If you're looking for the best all-around Android camera that is simple to use but also extremely powerful, look no further than the Galaxy Note 7.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7
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Samsung introduced this camera setup in the Galaxy S7, and it's just as fantastic today in the newer Galaxy Note 7. The 12MP resolution gives you plenty of pixels to work with, and the optical image stabilization (OIS) keeps everything clear whether you're taking low-light shots or shooting video on the move.
Just as important as the photo output is how quickly the camera operates. Two presses of the home button launch the camera in less than a second, and photos are taken instantaneously even when shooting in HDR or a tough lighting situation. The camera interface is simple but also powerful if you choose to move to the full Manual mode, which can enable great shots if you want to tweak and use a tripod.
Bottom line:For a nearly compromise-free experience, the Note 7 has the best camera in any phone, Android or otherwise, available today.
One more thing:The Galaxy Note 7 is obviously an expensive phone. For the same camera in a cheaper (and smaller) body, consider theGalaxy S7 instead.
Why the Galaxy Note 7 is the best
The Galaxy Note 7 is a great phone, and one of its main features is its camera experience.
When it comes to taking photos with phones, most of us have a pretty basic set of needs that we want addressed. We want a camera that can take photos quickly, and have those photos be bright and without blur no matter the situation — that's particularly true for low-light scenes.
The Galaxy Note 7 accomplishes this, and it doesn't matter necessarily how it does it; though the 12MP resolution, f/1.7 lens, OIS and phase-detect auto focus definitely tick the spec sheet boxes as well. But the real important part is that Samsung uses all of that hardware to make your otherwise-poor photos average and your average photos excellent. You can pull out the Note 7, double press the home button and be taking dozens of photos in just a few seconds, then share them out without editing — that's extremely powerful.
As we said in our Galaxy Note 7 review :
Since the launch of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, the competition hasn't produced a better camera. And clearly Samsung was happy enough with its own progress to keep the exact same hardware in the Note 7.
The Note 7 still relies a bit on HDR to make its photos pop and can sometimes lean toward being too warm and over saturated, but that's what the average phone buyer wants to see and Samsung delivers. No matter the situation or time of day, you can take a great photo with the Note 7 — and that's why it's our top pick.
Best for tweaking
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Thenew LG V20 borrows the same dual-camera setup fromthe LG G5, but that's not a bad thing. The main 16MP rear camera is capable of taking crisp, well-balanced shots with the support of a bright f/1.8 lens and OIS. Where the V20 looks to stand out is its second rear camera, which is an 8MP sensor with a super wide-angle lens. The wide-angle shooter can be toggled to quickly for awesome and unique shots you don't get on other phones, though the sensor itself is unfortunately just not as good as the main 16MP offering.
Its camera interface isn't quite as simple or fast as Samsung's, but it's not far off. And what you give up in simplicity you gain in manual controls and tweaks. The Manual mode is comprehensive and powerful, and if you're into recording video there's even a Manual video mode that incorporates high-quality microphones for audio and new electronic image stabilization to keep things steady.
Bottom line:For a great camera that has a few extra options to play with, the V20 is worth considering over the Note 7.
One more thing:The V20 is only on sale in some regions right now, with U.S. availability coming soon . If you want one in the States, you'll have to wait a bit longer.
Best on a budget