the best smartphones for photography in 2021

For many people, the photo part is very important when choosing a new phone. Which ones are doing best? Here is our selection of the best photo phones.


Photographers used to say that “the best camera is the one you always carry with you”. In this respect, our smartphones are often unbeatable and their photo quality is growing, they have more than enough to compete with some cameras, at least for everyday use.

The versatility of the different optics, the quality of the algorithms to improve the portrait mode and night shots, the sharpness of the daytime image… We test more than a hundred smartphones per year, focusing on each of these details. In this selection, you will find those that we consider to be the best phones of the moment in terms of photography, which will allow you to take excellent pictures in most situations.


And because images often speak better than words, we have compared in video the top names in the field.

The Galaxy S20 Ultra was our photo reference at the beginning of 2020, so its successor was leaving with high expectations. No more suspense: not only does it do as well as its ancestor, but it builds on its strengths.

This allows it to be indisputably the best photophone of the moment and more generally the best Android smartphone.

The photo module is once again built around a 180 MP main sensor, to which are added an ultra-wide-angle 12 MP and two 10 MP sensors with 10x and 3x optical zoom respectively. The whole is particularly bulky and Samsung does not even try to hide it anymore.

The results are impressive. Not only is the main sensor very comfortable in all situations, but the telephoto lenses prove to be bluffing. The 10x zoom is perfectly sharp and therefore usable. The 100x digital zoom is also making a comeback in an improved, much more stable version. It is fun, but the quality is still too degraded to be of any real use from an aesthetic point of view. Generally speaking, the S21 Ultra is therefore the most powerful and versatile photophone on the market and it is hard to put it down.

the best smartphones for photography in 2021

The rest of the device is in line with the rest: the screen is by far the best on the market and the new Exynos 2100 processor manages to combine power and energy saving. Result: the autonomy is good, with almost two days of use and a fast charge that requires a small hour to fill up.

The only real regret: the charger is no longer supplied and as with Apple it is a petty choice at this price level.

So Samsung makes an almost perfect copy with a high-flying photophone with no surprises charged at a stratospheric rate.

You’ll find all the details in our full test of the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

And don’t hesitate to take a look at our video comparing shots with the iPhone 12 Pro Max to see for yourself the differences with Apple’s flagship.