Five smartphones that bring out the photographer in you

These smartphones are capable of running the latest apps and games, but it’s their optical prowess that stands out


Lenovo Vibe S1; Moto G4 Plus; and Asus Zenfone Zoom (left to right)
Lenovo Vibe S1; Moto G4 Plus; and Asus Zenfone Zoom (left to right)

Good smartphone cameras are no longer a rarity. Devices like the iPhone 6s Plus, the OnePlus 3 and the Galaxy S7 all boast of cameras that can give point-and-shoot cameras a run for their money. And in addition to the good-quality camera, they are great smartphones too.

There is, however, a distinct breed of smartphones where the camera hogs the limelight, so much so that these phones are even called “cameras that support calls and apps”.

If you love photography but do not always want to carry your digital camera or the big DSLR around, here are some smartphones you could splurge on.

Huawei P9’s images are sharp even in low-light conditions
Huawei P9’s images are sharp even in low-light conditions

Huawei P9

Price: Rs39,999

It has a 5.2-inch Full HD display, an octa-core Kirin processor, 3 GB RAM and 32 GB storage. The design is a beautiful blend of glass and metal. Leica, the German camera company, has helped with software optimization for the dual 12-megapixel cameras.

The absence of the optical image stabilization feature is surprising, but there is no denying that the P9’s camera is special. One of the two rear cameras is a monochrome one, capturing the same shot in black and white. The images are sharp even in low-light conditions. There are also a number of shooting modes and effects.

Lenovo Vibe S1 has dual front-facing cameras (one is 8 megapixels and the other, 2 megapixels).
Lenovo Vibe S1 has dual front-facing cameras (one is 8 megapixels and the other, 2 megapixels).

Lenovo Vibe S1

Price: Rs12,999

This is a rather unique device, with a feature that not many phones offer—dual front-facing cameras (one is 8 megapixels and the other, 2 megapixels) that add a whole new dimension to clicking selfies. Users can click a photo and superimpose it on different backgrounds with minimum fuss. There are a number of shooting modes and filters too. As a phone, it has a 5-inch Full HD display, 3 GB RAM, 32 GB storage, a MediaTek octa-core processor and a 13-megapixel rear camera.

Asus Zenfone Zoom steals the show when it comes to photography
Asus Zenfone Zoom steals the show when it comes to photography

Asus Zenfone Zoom

Price: Rs37,999

Asus might have promoted the ZenFone 3 as a “made for photography” device, but it’s the ZenFone Zoom that steals the show when it comes to photography. This is perhaps the only phone whose optical zoom works without protruding from the camera, as we see in digital cameras. This means that you can zoom into shots from a distance without compromising on the image quality or size. Its 13-megapixel camera takes sharp pictures. Overall, it’s a powerful device too, with an Intel Atom processor, a 5.5-inch Full HD display, 4 GB RAM and 128 GB storage, which should come in handy if you click a lot of photographs and record videos. The phone supports 4G too.

Oppo F1s has a 16-megapixel front-facing camera
Oppo F1s has a 16-megapixel front-facing camera

Oppo F1s

Price: Rs17,999

Oppo calls the F1 series of smartphones “the selfie expert”, and the F1s is no different, with a powerful, 16-megapixel front-facing camera. The 13-megapixel rear camera comes with a number of shooting modes, including a panorama mode and a few filters.

An octa-core MediaTek processor, 3 GB RAM and 32 GB storage ensure good performance as a phone too although, at this price, we would have expected a Full HD display. However, what you get right now is a usable 5.5-inch display (1,280x720 resolution).

Moto G4 Plus has a 16-megapixel camera
Moto G4 Plus has a 16-megapixel camera

Moto G4 Plus

Price: Rs13,499

The fourth generation of the iconic Moto G retains the good performance of its predecessors. And those who want a good camera will not be disappointed with the 16-megapixel camera. The camera of the G4 Plus is one of the fastest we have seen, and in normal lighting conditions, it can hold its own against smartphones that cost almost twice as much. And this being a Moto smartphone, you get the pure “stock” Android’s clean interface, a 5.5-inch Full HD display, and smooth performance powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor, 2 GB RAM and 16 GB storage.

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