PhoneArena Awards 2011: Best cameraphone

PhoneArena Awards 2011: Best cameraphone
Remember the days when only cream of the crop cellphones were equipped with a camera worthy of being called good? Yeah, that wasn't too long ago, yet nowadays, even mid-range devices come with a decent shooter, and the high-end smartphones are well on their way to replacing entry-level point-and-shoot cameras.

That is why today, the PhoneArena Awards of 2011 will honor the year's best cameraphone. And the rules are pretty straight-forward – for a device to be pronounced winner in today's category, it needs to be capable of taking excellent shots under a broad range of conditions and with minimum effort on the user's side. Things like price range or hardware are not of importance.

That being said, it is now time to announce the best cameraphone of 2011, but before we continue, let us remind you that nine awards have been given already. The previous categories are listed below, so in case you have missed any of them, do not hesitate checking them out.


When the iPhone 4S was being announced, one of the features that got highlighted the most was its all-new 8-megapixel camera. And rightfully so – thanks to it, the latest iteration of Apple's smartphone takes great photos with ease and is quickly growing in popularity among amateur photographers, as its impressive Flickr stats show. Photos taken with the iPhone 4S in broad daylight are full of detail and the color reproduction is accurate and realistic. Its interface is simple, yet the technology behind it is not. The camera on the iPhone 4S has advanced optics for sharper images, a back-illuminated sensor and f/2.4 aperture for better low-light performance, and a hybrid IR filter for maximum color accuracy. On top of that, its camera is devilishly fast – it needs only a total of 1.1 seconds to boot, to focus on an object and to take the photo. And in just half a second, it is ready to capture the next image. Last but not least, the iPhone 4S excels in taking 1080p HD video.

First runner-up: Samsung Galaxy S II

In all honesty, the Samsung Galaxy S II does not lag far behind the iPhone 4S when it comes to shooting photos and videos, which is why it well deserves the second spot. Its 8-megapixel wide-angle camera captures a lot of detail and does a great job at representing colors accurately. Its shot-to-shot times are very short as well thanks to the virtually missing shutter lag. Shooting indoors? No problem! The Galaxy S II takes more than decent photos even when light is scarce. And as far as videos are concerned, 1080p footage taken with it is fluid and full of detail.


Second runner-up: T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide

HTC smartphones are generally not known for having great cameras, but the T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide is an exception to that rule. As a matter of fact, it is arguably the best cameraphone that the company has crafted so far. Its 8-megapixel camera, backed up by a dual LED flash, excels when taking outdoor shots and delivers sharp looking visuals, spot on exposure, accurate color reproduction, and nice looking details. It is also impressive how it manages to adjust the white balance correctly regardless of the lighting conditions. Add to that the zero shutter lag, the broad selection of shooting modes and the 1080p video capture and you have a device that will make you think twice whether you really need that old and clunky point-and-shooter.

And this, folks, concludes today's edition of the PhoneArena Awards of 2011! The iPhone 4S takes the title of best cameraphone, followed by the Samsung Galaxy S II and the T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide, made by HTC. However, the PhoneArena Awards of 2011 are not over just yet. We still have a few more categories to announce, and the most interesting are yet to come, so stay tuned!

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77 Comments

1. jubbing

Posts: 150; Member since: Aug 20, 2008

No HTC Titan? No Nokia phones (they apparently make the best camera's)? iPhone 4S I'll agree has a great camera, but I'm sure there are better shooters than the Galaxy S2 no?

3. ghost__uwi

Posts: 175; Member since: Nov 28, 2011

the galaxy s2 is pretty good. iPhone 4s I would agree on.

8. bluechrism

Posts: 99; Member since: Sep 09, 2011

Nokia N8 is still probably the best Camera Phone on the market (japan may have something better now but not sure) but was released in 2010 so it's right to skip it this time, though certainly worth a mention that as a camera, nothing in 2011 has bettered the 2010 device. As for other Nokia's, the devices released this year by nokia mostly had EDoF lenses which leads to many debates, but most people prefer an auto-focus lens. The Nokia N9 and Lumia 800 and 710 have Autofocus lens's and the first two have 8MP cameras, comparable to those listed above. The N9 camera has rated slightly better than the 800 camera in reviews I have seen - probably due to image processing software as the hardware is the same, but neither of them are worthy follow ups to the N8, but they are probably about as good as can be got in a thin device. So it is entirely possible that the phones listed above are better for pictures than anything nokia released this year, but still, the 2010 Nokia N8 rules over all of them. 2012 will be different and the rumour mill for an N8 successor in the works has been churning again, with talk of zoom inn there too.

21. jubbing

Posts: 150; Member since: Aug 20, 2008

Yea, with Nokia behind them, Windows Phones are going to have some pretty epic Camera's in their phones in 2012. I'm excited for it. Had the pleasure of testing the N9 a few weeks back, and it was better than any current Windows Phone, but certainly not better than the iPhone 4S (though wasn't *that* far off). Still I've been reading that the HTC Titan has a better camera than the iPhone 4, but not sure if they meant 4S or just 4.

41. snowgator

Posts: 3617; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

I have not played with the iPhone 4S at all and have had very limited experience with the 4, but I can say my camera loving wife who uses digital photography a ton for both bushiness and hobby and my Daughter who is taking some photography courses and worked in a photo studio until just recently both swear by the Titans camera. (My Daughter prefers Android smartphones, by the way, and wants one once she can pick up the extra cash on the data plan.) The Titan is GREAT at Macro shots, and they both say the interior shots are among the better they have seen in low lighting without a flash. I can also say my Wife liked both the camera in the AT&T version of the Galaxy S2 a lot, and really liked the shooter in the HTC Rezound over at Verizon.

66. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Great comment!

71. cnpthe3rd

Posts: 103; Member since: Feb 01, 2009

yes the N8 is STILL by far the best camera on a phone ( i still have not sold mine i hold on to it to this day) but it was not a phone of 2011 first and since it was not offered through any carrier it does not have the "main stream" appeal to put it on their list but i would fear that the iPhone showed based on popular opinion and was on merit

72. ladyhaly

Posts: 106; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

Sorry but the N8 takes crappy pictures. I have two friends who owns them and my Desire HD takes better pictures especially indoors. If you compete that with any of the following devices, it's going to get left behind in the dust... Better pixels over more pixels, I say.

75. Ixion

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 25, 2011

Sorry, but I have made intensive tests between my cameras, including the Desire HD and the N8. The N8 is in another league. The difference between my DSLR and the N8 is less than between the N8 and Desire HD. You might want to print your pictures and take another close look...

20. tacohunter

Posts: 408; Member since: Nov 06, 2011

It's not only about the megapixels.

22. jubbing

Posts: 150; Member since: Aug 20, 2008

Never said they were?

38. tacohunter

Posts: 408; Member since: Nov 06, 2011

Ok then it's OK. But I know a lot of people who just think about Mpixels is the major reason of a good camera.

42. snowgator

Posts: 3617; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

I did until just recently. I STILL have no eye for photography, but I have done a lot of reading on lens tech and the way megapixels work with macro settings and cropped shots. A ton of work goes into these cameras, and if you stop to think about it is pretty amazing how far they have come. I was one of those guys that rolled his eyes and LAUGHED at the thought of a camera in your cell phone back in the day. I mean, come on- who is EVER going to use that??? That is just STUPID......

63. jubbing

Posts: 150; Member since: Aug 20, 2008

Yea well we can't all be noobs here like that ;) But megapixels play a big part in it, it's just not the only part.

65. ledbetterp3

Posts: 467; Member since: Aug 31, 2011

What Nokia phones, barely any good ones made this year...

2. aries.phills

Posts: 161; Member since: May 17, 2011

I like my galaxy s2 CAMERA SHOTS. Just that the camera takes in a lot of details, including my hidden pimples and spots and I don't have time for picture editing. Well, I like the phone.

4. Martine

Posts: 102; Member since: Oct 20, 2011

And the iPhone 4S dramatically becomes best Camera phone over Nokia N8. iPA must be living in the dream land!

5. hepresearch unregistered

The N8 is soooo last year...

7. SlimSoulja86

Posts: 660; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

it mught be sooooo last year, but that doesnt mean just bcos it was soooo last year it won't top iphone [im not really saying N8 is better than iPhone 4S, jst the soooo last year statement] #JustAThought

30. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

its the best camera phone of 2011, the N8 was a 2010 phone, therefor disqualified. Im actually surprised that that Sony phone didnt make the list.. everyone was raving about its camera. (sorry forgot the name..lol)

53. XiphiasGladius

Posts: 813; Member since: Aug 21, 2011

Its the Xperia Arc, I own one, but compared to the SGSII and the iPhone4s based on the comparative tool at GSMarena it sucks! Thats why I would agree that these are the top two 2011 camera phones in the market today. I'm not sure about whose deserves the third spot though. . .

57. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

You idots just need to shut your mouths! Phonearena has stated that the N8 is the best camera phone ever released. They are just talking about the best camera phones released this year. Use common sense people. If you realized anything about the article, it is only talking about PHONES RELEASED THIS YEAR!! And stopped being so biased. So what if the iPhone 4S takes phenomenal pictures. I can guarantee that these android phones will give it a run for its money... Nuff said.

33. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

the n8 camera is still prob the best camera ive used on a phone to date. the phone itself is neither good nor terrible more just meh...

6. jubbing

Posts: 150; Member since: Aug 20, 2008

Yea N8 was 2010, this is 2011's contest! That still the best overall though!

10. bluechrism

Posts: 99; Member since: Sep 09, 2011

I think they should have made mention of it. It's probably the one area of mobile technology where a 2010 device betters anything that came in 2011.

12. hepresearch unregistered

agreed, N8 is about the best camera phone we have ever seen here in the States, but it was a product of 2010... DQed from the 2011 award, sadly, in my book.

9. SlimSoulja86

Posts: 660; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

I thought as much, there could never be a category here where iPhones doesnt win. when will we ever live in the planer where iPhone never wins anything mobile? [how I wish] #JustMyOpinionNot_A_Fact

28. Nick_T

Posts: 184; Member since: May 27, 2011

"...there could never be a category here where iPhones doesnt win." Hmm, how about the worst smartphone category, which is coming in a few days?

32. SlimSoulja86

Posts: 660; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

LOL. HHmmmm! Can't w8 to see which phone will win it

35. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

If they did the most faulty phone category than apple would fill all the slots

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