Top 5 Camera Phones For Q3 2023

In May 2023, we evaluated the best smartphones for their ultimate camera performance for Q1 2023. Since then, we have been able to evaluate more cameras from flagship phones that launched at MWC and after: the Xiaomi 13 Pro (02/27/2023), the Honor Magic5 Pro (02/27/2023), and the Xiaomi 13 Ultra (06/12/2023).

Here is our selection of the 5 Best Camera Smartphones for Q3 2023. We have not got our hands on the iPhone 15 Pro Max yet, and we will update this article after the launch of the Google Pixel 8 Pro.

The prices of the 5 smartphones go from 1,499.99 (~$1570) to $1099 (launch prices that may not reflect the current prices). To select the best devices for mobile photography, we use multiple criteria. We check in priority the camera prowess, and by order or importance, the display quality, the system’s speed, the industrial design, and the battery life.

We evaluated the camera potential using our proprietary Ubergizmo CAMERA HW score*, and for this comparative review, we shot photos with each lens of each smartphone’s main camera system. You can learn more by going to the benchmark page.

Our current selection includes smartphones that we had time to play with and review. However, new mobile phones with great photography capabilities are constantly being released, and we will update this selection in the coming months.

*Our CAMERA HW score only includes the main rear camera system and does not consider the front selfie camera. It is generated by algorithms based on the technical specifications of the camera hardware

1/ Xiaomi 13 Ultra


  • Ultimate main camera system with 4 lenses, including 1” main sensor and a 5X optical zoom
  • Excellent SoC performance
  • Excellent large display with 2600 Nits theoretical peak brightness
  • IP68
  • Fast 90W charger in the box (~$40 value) – about 40 min for a full charge


  • The most expensive of the selection
  • No 4K video recording for the selfie camera
  • No U.S. availability

Global launch on June 12th, 2023 – launch price €1499.90 (~ $1,570)

Camera specifications highlights:

  • Wide angle (principal) 23mm 50MP f/1.9-4.0 variable aperture, OIS
  • Ultrawide angle 12mm 50MP f/1.8
  • Telephoto 75mm 50MP f/1.8, OIS optical zoom 3.2X
  • Telephoto 120mm 50MP f/3.0, OIS, optical zoom 5X
  • Selfie Front Camera, 21 mm 32 MP, f/2

The Xiaomi has a quad 50 Megapixel rear camera system, which is quite unique Xiaomi came up with a design that is powerful and very well-balanced. The primary 23mm camera uses a Sony IMX989 50MP sensor with sizeable 1.5-micron sensing pixels. The sensor is about 57% larger than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, and the lens is optically stabilized to maximize the photos’ sharpness.

The 75mm and 120mm zoom cameras also have optical stabilization, and both are powered by a Sony IMX858 sensor, which is a high-end choice since this chip can also be found in primary cameras of other contenders. 120mm is not the absolute most powerful zoom on a phone, but it should produce terrific zoom photos. 

Even the 12mm Ultrawide camera is equipped with the same Sony IMX858 sensor, which makes it the most potent ultrawide camera in this group. This one does not have OIS but might outperform lesser stabilized sensors.

Like all Android smartphones in our top camera phones Q3 2023 selection, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra features Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 flagship System-on-Chip (SoC), one of the most powerful mobile processors on the market. For the global market, Xiaomi offers a single version with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. The Xiaomi 13 ultra delivers one of the best performances of this selection, both on the CPU and the GPU sides. (Check the performance comparison graphic at the end of the article).

The gorgeous  6.73” AMOLED display with 1-120Hz adaptive refresh and a QHD+ resolution of 3200 x 1440 delivers excellent image quality and an impressive 2600 NITs theoretical peak brightness.

2/ Honor Magic 5 Pro

Ubergizmo Camera HW score: 213


  • Great main camera system with 3 lenses
  • Very Good SoC performance
  • Very good large display 
  • IP68
  • 66W charger in the box (~$40 value) – about 45 min for a full charge
  • The largest battery of this selection (5450 mAH)


No U.S. availability

Global launch on February 26th, 2023 – launch price €1199 (~ $1,255)

Camera specifications highlights:

  • Wide angle (principal) 27mm 50MP f/1.6, OIS
  • Ultrawide angle 13mm 50MP f/2
  • Telephoto 95mm 50MP f/3, OIS, optical zoom 3.5X
  • ToF Sensor 0.3MP
  • Selfie Front Camera, 12 MP, f/2.4

The Honor Magic 5 Pro comes with triple 50 Megapixel camera sensors, augmented by a ToF (time of flight) sensor, for computing bokeh (background blur). The most critical cameras, the 27mm primary (OIS) and the 95mm zoom (OIS), have optical stabilization that reduces the likelihood of blurry photos. 

Both these cameras feature the Sony IMX858 sensor, which is very popular at the high end this year. The IMX989 is about 12% larger, so not all 50 MP sensors are equal, but Honor’s large-aperture f/1.6 lens maximizes the sensor surface utilization, and overall, the Magic 5 Pro has one of the best primary camera hardware.

Its 95mm zoom is nice but less extreme than the 230mm zoom that other cameras might have. Likewise, the 13mm Ultrawide camera is very decent but slightly below average when compared to the other contenders in this list.

In essence, the Magic 5 Pro emphasizes its resources and budget utilization in the primary 27mm camera. That’s not a bad strategy, but the performance between its internal cameras is not the most balanced,

Powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, like the three other Android phones in our selection, the Honor Magic 5 Pro delivers very good performance. In the Geekbench 5 multi-core benchmark that evaluates the CPU performance, the Magic 5 Pro featuring 12GB of RAM  is slightly above the Galaxy S23 Ultra but under the iPhone 14 Pro Max, the  Xiaomi 13 Ultra, and the Xiaomi 13 Pro.

Check the performance comparison graphic at the end of the article.

The beautiful quad-curve 6.81” OLED display offers the lowest resolution of the four Android phones in our list but slightly higher than the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s 2796×1290 resolution. The LTPO panel has a 1-120Hz adaptive refresh rate and delivers 1800 NITs theoretical peak brightness, which is slightly above the one found in the Galaxy S23 Ultra but below the iPhone 14 pro max (2000 NITs), the Xiaomi 13 Pro (1900 NITs) and the Xiaomi 13 Ultra (2600 NITs). 

3/ Xiaomi 13 Pro

Ubergizmo Camera HW score: 205


  • Great main camera system with 3 lenses
  • Great design with ceramic back
  • At 219g, the lightest of the selection
  • Great SoC performance
  • Excellent large display with a high 522 PPI
  • IP68
  • Uber-fast 120W HyperCharge charger in the box (~$40 value)
  • 0 to 98% in 20 minutes, the fastest charging speed here


  • Expensive compared to the competition in the same Camera HW score range
  • No 4K video recording for the selfie camera
  • No U.S. availability

Global launch on February 26th, 2023 – launch price 1299 € (~ $1,360)

Camera specifications highlights:

  • Wide angle (principal) 23mm 50-MP f/1.9, OIS
  • Ultrawide angle 14mm 50-MP f/2.
  • Telephoto 75mm 50-MP f/2, OIS
  • Selfie Front Camera, 32 MP, f/2

The Xiaomi 13 Pro also features a triple 50MP camera setup in the rear, with a 23mm primary (OIS) camera, a 75mm zoom (OIS), and a 14mm ultrawide camera. There’s no bokeh sensor, but we don’t consider this to be a critical element as phones such as the iPhone, Galaxy S, and Pixel have proven that it is possible to achieve excellent Bokeh, without a dedicated sensor.

The primary camera is backed by a Sony IMX989 sensor, which explains why its hardware is so well-ranked. However, its lens doesn’t seem to be as high-performing as the Xiaomi 13 Ultra, which is designed to rank at the top.

The 75mm zoom camera would be comparable to the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s and is more built for portrait photography than extreme zoom. The Ultrawide camera is very decent but would be the weakest of the phones present in this list, so there’s nothing special to brag about.

Featuring the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 combined with 12GB of RAM, the Xiaomi 13 Pro delivers excellent performance, specifically for gaming.

The 6.73” LTPO AMOLED display offers WQHD+ 3200×1440 resolution, with the highest 552 PPI of all the phones here, adaptive 1-120 Hz refresh rate, and 1900 NITs peak brightness.

4/ Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Ubergizmo Camera HW score: 201


  • Main camera system with 4 lenses, including 200 MP sensor in the primary module
  • Two high-quality telephoto modules, one is a un 10X optical zoom
  • Beautiful design, IP68
  • Excellent SoC performance
  • Excellent large display with the S-Pen


  • Expensive
  • “Fast” charger (45W) is not provided, and costs about $50
  • At that price, the charging speed could have been faster

Announced on February 1st, 2023, available since February 17th, 2023 – launch price $1,199.99.

Camera specifications highlights:

  • Wide angle (principal) 24 mm, 200 MP, f/1.7, OIS,
  • Ultrawide angle 13 mm, 12 MP, f/2.2, OIS
  • Telephoto 69 mm, 10 MP, f/2.4, OIS, optical zoom 3X,
  • Telephoto 230 mm, 10 MP, f/4.9, OIS, optical zoom 10X
  • Selfie Front Camera 26 mm, 12 MP, f/2.2

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra needs no introduction and has been a camera reference for many years. The 2023 S23 Ultra edition remains one of the best camera systems on the market, but it is fair to say that Samsung has not invested as much in the components as some of its rivals. 

Instead, it is sticking to its strategy of offering an extremely high 200MP sensor (OIS) on its primary camera, paired with an extreme 230mm zoom that has been universally applauded by users. In long-distance zoom contest, the S23 Ultra is the best of all, and this has been proven time and time again.

It gets a CAMERA HW score of 201, which is very good but virtually equivalent to the S22 Ultra.

If you love portrait photography, there’s also a 69mm zoom, which is OK, but its 10MP sensor is noticeably weaker than the S23 Ultra primary camera, whether measured by level of details or color accuracy.

Finally, the 12MP ultrawide (HW) camera is great but has yet to see much evolution. However, it remains one of the better ultrawide cameras in this group because other OEMs often neglect this function, even though ultrawide photos are very popular. While 12MP might seem small, 50MP ultrawide sensors often have tiny pixels (down to 0.65-micron). This UW camera has 1.4-micron pixels instead.

Equipped with Qualcomm’s latest System-on-Chip (SoC), the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, the S23 Ultra offers very good performance specifically for gaming (check the performance comparison graphic at the end of the article).

The 6.8” 1440p AMOLED display with an adaptive refresh rate 1-120 Hz delivers an impressive image quality and offers 1750 NITs theoretical peak brightness that we measured at 1045 NITs. The display is not the highest resolution or the highest brightness of this selection, the Xiaomi 13 Pro delivers 552 PPI (vs 501 for the S23 Ultra), and the Xiaomi 13 Ultra delivers an impressive 2600 NITS peak brightness.

5/ iPhone 14 Pro Max

Ubergizmo CAMERA HW score: 200 (same as the iPhone 14 Pro with an identical camera system)


  • High-quality camera sensors and lenses
  • Excellent SoC performance
  • Beautiful display


  • At 240g, the heaviest smartphone in this selection
  • Slow charging (30W)
  • Charger not included

Announced September 14, 2022, available since September 24, 2022– launch price $1,099.

Camera features highlights**

  • Wide angle (principal) 24 mm, 48 MP, f/1.78, OIS,
  • Ultrawide 13 mm, 12 MP, f/2.2,
  • Telephoto 77 mm, 12 MP, f/2.8, 3X optical zoom,
  • Selfie 23 mm, 12 MP, f/1.9

Among all the smartphones we selected here, the iPhone 14 Pro Max possesses the weakest technical specifications, except for its camera system. However, at $1099, it is now the cheapest of our selection.

The Apple device display delivers the lowest pixel density, its battery has the smallest battery capacity (4352 mAh vs. 5000 mAh for the others and 5450 mAh for the Honor Magic 5 Pro) alongside the slowest charging speed.

On the graphics performance side, the iPhone 14 Po Max is not as good in some common benchmarks (which reflect most of the current games) as its Android peers with a similar size and equipped with the best Qualcomm chip, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. With more recent benchmarks, it does a very good job. However, it delivers the best CPU performance of all the devices we selected. (See graphics performance charts at the end of this article).

That said, the 6.7” OLED display is excellent, and the sound quality the stereo speakers deliver is one of the best, just behind the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max shows Apple’s effort to close the gap when it comes to camera hardware. In the past couple of iterations, Apple has caught up with Samsung in overall camera hardware strength, and you no longer hear people talk much about large photo differences between the two rivals, except when it comes to long-zoom performance, where Samsung remains the definitive leader.

The similarity in score is not completely surprising. Despite the 48MP vs. 200MP, the primary sensor size is identical to the S23 Ultra. We found the 14 Pro’s 77mm zoom to be a bit better than Samsung’s 69mm zoom, but the Ultrawide cameras are tied and the best in this group.

We chose to review the iPhone 14 Pro Max for this selection, despite the fact that the iPhone 14 Pro features the same camera at a lower price point ($999 launch price). One of the main differences is its smaller screen size, at 6.1”. On one hand, we prefer large displays, and on the other hand, it was logical to consider an iOS smartphone with a similar size to the rest of our list.
The recently released iPhone 15 Pro Max features an upgraded main camera system, and we will update this article in the upcoming weeks.


The arms race in the mobile camera space has resumed, and manufacturers such as Xiaomi and Honor are doubling down by investing in impressive sensors that are almost 50% larger than leading established competitors. Over time, this investment can pay off not only in image quality but also in reputation and branding. 

Using our score, we’ve previously demonstrated that Samsung built its camera reputation by investing in better camera hardware. Huawei used a similar strategy. 

Obviously, there’s more to a phone experience than how powerful the camera hardware is, but it is also clear that camera performance is even more important than battery life, according to recent customer surveys.

Filed in Reviews. Read more about , , , , , and .

Trending Products

Add to compare
Corsair 5000D Airflow Tempered Glass Mid-Tower ATX PC Case – Black

Corsair 5000D Airflow Tempered Glass Mid-Tower ATX PC Case – Black

Add to compare
CORSAIR 7000D AIRFLOW Full-Tower ATX PC Case, Black

CORSAIR 7000D AIRFLOW Full-Tower ATX PC Case, Black


We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Register New Account
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Shopping cart