PhoneArena Awards 2012: Best Cameraphone

PhoneArena Awards 2012: Best Cameraphone
Phones aren't just for calling anymore, and we bet that even your grandparents are well aware of that. Instead, taking photos is what smartphones are used for the most, as recent surveys have shown. And that should come as no surprise: most high-end smartphones can capture images so good that they are well capable of replacing an entry-level point and shoot camera. Therefore, including a 'Best Cameraphone' category in our PhoneArena Awards of 2012 seems quite logical to us. 

The best cameraphone of the year may be nothing impressive as a phone, but its photographic abilities are yet-to-be-matched by another handset. It is a product that required years of research, and the results are very impressive indeed, we have to admit. Perhaps our frequent readers already know what smartphone we have in mind.

Okay, time to cut straight to the chase! Go check out the cameraphones that impressed us the most this year, and don't hesitate to share your thoughts with us down in the comments! And so, the first place goes to...

Nokia 808 PureView

This wasn't too hard to guess, was it? Without a doubt, the Nokia 808 PureView is the year's best cameraphone - so good that it is commonly regarded as a point-and-shoot camera replacement with some phone functionality built in. And it isn't only about megapixels, altough with 41 of them, one can capture incredibly detailed images. (For a phone, that is.) You get features like lossless zooming - none of that digital stretching non-sense, both when shooting still photographs and while capturing video, even at 1080p. Moreover, the camera is smart enough to manipulate those millions of pixels and combine them producing a 5 or 8MP image that no other cameraphone can recreate.

Apple iPhone 5

Yes, the iPhone is on our podium for a second consecutive year, this time occupying place number two. And rightfully so as it is still one great cameraphone. Not only that photos taken with it look great under most conditions, but the camera interface is extremely easy to get around, while the camera app launches in a split second. What's more is that with the iPhone 5, Apple added panorama mode to the list of camera features capable of producing seemlessly stitched photographs at up to 28 megapixels. 

Samsung Galaxy S III

There was fierce competition for the third place in today's cameraphone category, yet ultimately, the Samsung Galaxy S III took over the spot. And it well deserves to be honored for a number of reasons: first of all, it takes detailed, true-to-life photos under most conditions, with virtually non-existent shutter lag. Moreover, you get a ton of handy features, such as the ability to take 20 shots in burst mode and then pick the best one among them and to snap full-res stills while shooting 1080p video.

And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen: the Nokia808 PureView is the cameraphone of the year, followed by the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S III. But keep in mind that we aren't quite done yet with the PhoneArena Awards of 2012. The next category will be annonced in 24 hours so stay tuned!

Story timeline



1. a1000smiles4u

Posts: 84; Member since: Apr 24, 2012

where is lumia 920 ???

5. Naviiin

Posts: 16; Member since: Oct 10, 2012

Was about to ask, but they didn't like it that much in that comparison that was posted a couple of days ago.

8. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Maybe so, but their own "920 vs 5" comparison had the 920 coming out on top excepting still image detail for auto modes.

42. iamfury

Posts: 78; Member since: Oct 07, 2012

OHHHHH C'MOOOOOONNNNNN........ this article FORCED me to sign in and coment about how biased this article is. i dont really think this is iphonearena or samsungarena, but i am damn sure they have some grudges with nokia and MS. 90% of the article here directly or indirectly bash both nokia & MS. I used to love this website but now it just makes me sick.

80. Edmund

Posts: 656; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

My sentiment's exactly.

102. TROLL

Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

So what, what's the big deal? Looks like NickT doesn't like MS and Nokia, what's you're problem?

124. iamfury

Posts: 78; Member since: Oct 07, 2012

your* man i'll never get tierd of this =D And to respond to *YOUR* senseless reply !!!! My dear troll, this forum is *SUPPOSED* to be a neutral reviewer so it can help us make our mind from an arbitrary point. But this hasnt been the case right here. Thats the reason I have started to dislike this website. and let me ask you by using *YOUR* question, what is *YOUR* problem with me disliking this website for its biased reviews ??? I'll be more than happy to here from you :)

138. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

wait.. this article is bashing nokia..? So.... did they give a NOKIA THE WIN because they felt sorry for bashing it? Did you even read? The pureview by NOKIA won. It had nothing to do with OS.. since it runs Nokia's now dead OS, but its by far the most superior camera. It would have won regardless if it was on WP8, Android, Meego, or Bada.

104. Nadr1212

Posts: 741; Member since: Sep 22, 2012

REALLY?!?! The iPhone 5's there and the Lumia 920 isn't shown? This is so messed up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

9. a1000smiles4u

Posts: 84; Member since: Apr 24, 2012

They who ??? iPaid Reviewers ???

35. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

gotta give them iPhone 5, but I can't accept the fact that 920's not included here. It has the best low light capabilities. superb IOS.

78. metalpoet unregistered

what i dont understand is how the iPhone 5 got 2nd place when it was already reported to have the purple glare in their pictures!

84. darkkjedii

Posts: 31030; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Bcuz several others had it too. Please do your research, not just attack the iPhone dude

93. whysoserious

Posts: 318; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

S3 doesn't have it. 920 doesn't have it. And trust me, for your sake, I did my research prior to this.

132. a1000smiles4u

Posts: 84; Member since: Apr 24, 2012

whysoserious he wont trust u ... he only obey orders from apple inc.

10. MeoCao unregistered

My picks are: 1. 808 PureView: no comment needed 2. Lumia 920: Great shock absorbing mechanism and low light capability. 3. iPhone 5: Great camera in a very thin body

20. darkkjedii

Posts: 31030; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

What!!! Am I reading this correctly? MeoCao actually said something not anti about the iPhone. There's hope for u after all n the land on fairness lol. Just kidding man... Gs3, and iPhone r a tops up for 2nd.

28. MeoCao unregistered

LOL, I never complained about iPhone 5 camera except the purple flare which turned out to be normal for most phone cameras.

30. darkkjedii

Posts: 31030; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

That's true

23. arsenaljimenez

Posts: 198; Member since: May 03, 2012

Perfect List

36. eisenbricher

Posts: 973; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

I am flattered! Meo you are thinking rationally!!!

65. Insignificant

Posts: 192; Member since: Sep 22, 2012

Nah, Xperia T over the iPhone 5. It has a CAMERA BUTTON! Makes sense for a camera phone. And a better camera overall I think. Especially tweaked with non-official mods.

131. iDroid8

Posts: 155; Member since: Oct 16, 2012

A shutter key (2-way at that) is ABSOLUTELY essential in a "camera-phone"

19. the_best

Posts: 139; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

man they suck here at PA, who in their right mind can selebrate panorama as a amazing new feature? When reading the Lumia920 review they complain about no new features to the camera, i guess cinemagraph and smart shoot doesnt count.. (the reason i got the phone, that and the night capabilitys). and then i havnt even mentioned the filming capabilitys.... aaand the Lumia920 got panorama to.. every high end phone got panorama! so whats the reason they shoose ipone5, its not cause its the best, cause its clearly not.. its a great phone but not just the best camerawise.. could you please explain this to me, and everyone else who read your articles...

27. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Right, plus Photosynth which allows for spherical panoramas. Straight panoramas are sooooo 2010

115. pliskin1

Posts: 59; Member since: Oct 17, 2012

Oh wow...panorama, so cutting edge...NOT. I've owned several dumbphones that have panorama capabilities.

26. arsenaljimenez

Posts: 198; Member since: May 03, 2012

Seriously, the image stabilization alone should be enough to have be up there

40. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

I don't usually accuse PA of bias (except when it comes to the original Palm Pre review) but this list is seriously messed up. The 920 didn't even crack the top 3? Ridiculous. If Samsungarena was as catchy as iPhonearena, I'd use it to describe them right now.

45. RiseAgainst94

Posts: 281; Member since: Mar 03, 2012

As much as I hate to say it, based on the comparison they recently did I would have also excluded the Lumia 920 from the list. *no bias I'm a proud Lumia 900 owner*

62. simplyj

Posts: 406; Member since: Dec 23, 2009

The reason it's not included is beacuse it has great low light photography, but sub-par daylight photography. The iPhone 5 and GSIII beat it hands down during the day light and still have good (but not as good as the Lumia 920) night time photos.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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