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Best Camera Phone of 2024

Best Camera Phone of 2024

We test each phone in real-world scenarios, focusing on its features, design, performance, camera, battery life and overall value. We document our findings in a preliminary review that is updated periodically when new software updates are released, or to compare with new phones from competitors such as Apple, Samsung, Google and OnePlus. .

The author holds up the Z Flip 5 to take a photo. The author holds up the Z Flip 5 to take a photo.

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 has much of the same camera hardware as the Z Flip 4. But the new chip brings some improvements in image processing.

Lisa Adecco/CNET

Photography

Photography is a major focus for most phones these days, so we take pictures and videos of different subjects in different settings and lighting scenarios. We try out any new camera modes, like the Action mode that debuted with the iPhone 14 line, or the Unblur photo tool that launched with the Google Pixel 7 series.

Battery life

Battery testing is done in different ways. We measure how long the phone lasts during a typical day of use and note how it performs during video calls, media streaming and more focused gaming sessions. We also do a video playback test, as a simple, replicable measure of pure battery life, which isn't always included in the initial review but is sometimes included in a later update.

Performance measurement

We use our own anecdotal experiences using the phones for our review, as well as benchmarking apps to measure each phone's performance. Most notable are how the graphics and animations look. Are they smooth? Or do they lag behind or stutter? We also see how quickly the phone switches between landscape and portrait orientation, and how quickly the camera app opens and is ready to take a photo.

A man holds an iPhone 14 Pro outdoors on a distant hill. A man holds an iPhone 14 Pro outdoors on a distant hill.

Emergency SOS might be one of the most important features to come out on any phone this year.

Kevin Haines/CNET

We perform processor-heavy tasks like editing photos, exporting videos and playing games. We evaluate whether a new version of a particular phone includes enough features to make it worth upgrading from older models.

Read on More: How do we test phones?

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