A lot of emphasis gets placed on the cameras of our cell phones.
On the one hand, snapping pics is one of the most common things people will do with their phone. So it makes sense this is an important point to people.
On the other hand, modern phones have gotten SO good, each generation seems to only have incremental gains over the previous generation. Batteries last all day. Screens have great refresh rates and brightness levels. Storage capacities are large (or maybe most of your stuff is in the cloud anyway).
One area where phone makers try to one up each other is with the camera on their phones. Whether it's through hardware design to give better optical zoom and image stabilization, or software and AI for touch ups after a picture is snapped, camera quality continues to be a bragging point.
I currently have the most modern flagship phones from Apple, Samsung, OnePlus, and Google. So I figured I'd do a little camera testing and share some pics for those who want a quick comparison.
2024 Flagship phone photography test
Even though two of the pones were released in 2023, my test was done in January of 2024, hence the title.
I decided to test in 3 commonly used modes: Portrait (for an aesthetic, soft background), Macro (for close up details), and Zoom (for those faraway distance shots).
Which phone has the best portrait mode in 2024?
Using my trusty Krrsantan Funko as a test subject, here's a comparison of Portrait Mode between the various phones. Display order: S24 Ultra, iPhone 15 Pro, OnePlus 12, and Pixel 8 Pro.
Draw your own conclusions, because I think "best portrait mode" is a bit subjective. I feel like iPhone made the subject a tiny bit softer than it should be. One Plus really darkened the figure's fur moreso than real life. My personal taste leans toward the S24 or Pixel 8 Pro as a favorite. But all four models do a great job of achieving a pretty depth of field for portriat photography.
Which phone has the best macro mode in 2024?
This Krrsantan Funko is actually perfect for this test because this version is "flocked" which means its finished with tiny fuzz over the figure.
Again, this will come down to personal taste and preference. The S24 Ultra focus was a bit more soft around the edges of the subject. And iPhone 15 Pro's temperature leaned a little warmer than real life. My pick for macro favorite is between the OnePlus 12 or Pixel 8 Pro. Leaning slightly more toward OnePlus 12.
That's our quick test of portrait and macro modes between a few of the best phones you can buy in 2024. Based on the pictures above, or your own experience with any of these models, share your phone photography thoughts about why you do, or don't like a certain brands photos.