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Modern smartphones have replaced landlines, PDAs, notebooks, players and even cameras. The ratings of the best gadgets with cool cameras usually include phones from the expensive segment.

But are there budget devices for photo and video shooting? Yes. The rating of the best inexpensive camera phones was collected in this material. Are there models that are not mentioned in the list of the best? Write about them in the comments.

Even inexpensive gadgets today have good cameras. Photo: mavink.com

Important: this collection collected models that were released in 2022. The old and beloved by all the flagships of past years will not be here.

How to choose an inexpensive phone
TECNO Camon 19 Pro
Realme 9
Samsung Galaxy A53
OnePlus Nord 2T 5G
Poco X4 Pro 5G
Xiaomi 12 Lite

How to choose an inexpensive phone

Camera. It is worth paying attention to 3 criteria: the number of megapixels (more is better), image stabilization (neutralizes shaking when shooting), additional photo processing options (AI, color enhancement technologies, etc.).


Read also why you can’t look only at the number of megapixels:

Camera phones 2022: how to choose a phone with a good camera


Autonomy. Taking photos and videos quickly drains the battery. Battery capacity from 4000 mAh is the optimal size.

Display resolution. It depends on how clear the picture on the screen will be. 1920×1080 (Full HD) is the minimum recommended value. Such a picture will be pleasing to the eye, the image will be more convenient to edit.

Screen size. The parameter is individual. But if you plan to retouch pictures, it is better to choose a screen from 6.5 inches. It will be more convenient to do this on such a display.

The amount of RAM. Its quantity affects the speed of the smartphone, the quick launch of programs. The more it is, the more productive the gadget. We recommend choosing from 4 GB of RAM.

The amount of built-in memory. Minimum 128 GB to fit all files on the device.

What is the difference between a budget camera phone and an expensive one?

He shoots worse. The quality cannot be identical for a smartphone for 20,000 and 100,000 rubles. The difference is not always visible when shooting with good lighting and correctly set settings in PRO mode. But in the evening, at night, in the bright sun, it is noticeable. Also, the color reproduction may not be as saturated and realistic as we would like.

Why?

In expensive models, almost always improved artificial intelligence and additional features, new technologies. They automatically improve the picture. For example, they even out the brightness throughout the photo. As a result, there will be no highlights or very dark areas.

For example, the Photonic Engine option on the Apple 14 Pro and Pro Max improves exposure in those areas of the frame where it is needed.

Models in the mid to high range often have special modes for different types of shooting. For example, Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra has a special mode for astrophoto. Pictures are taken without noise.

Now let’s move on to our top. All prices are valid at the time of writing.

TECNO Camon 19 Pro

This is the first model in the ranking of the best camera phones in 2022 for 18,650 rubles. Camera is always On (the camera is always on) is the slogan of the product line from this brand. His philosophy is to take cool shots without much effort.

Camera Advantages:

  • For this model, TECNO has developed an RGBW matrix together with Samsung. It increased light absorption by 200%. The amount of noise is reduced to a possible minimum. Therefore, photos at night, in the evening, in cloudy weather and indoors will be clear, and the color reproduction will be natural;
  • optical stabilization – the frame will be clear, even if you shoot on the go;
  • laser autofocus is very fast. You can easily focus even on an animal in low light;
  • there is artificial intelligence – a rarity for the budget segment. It automatically corrects the brightness, white balance and contrast of the photo.
TECNO Camon 19 Pro is the best inexpensive camera phone under 20,000 rubles. Photo: www.gsmarena.com

Realme 9

Realme smartphones are very popular in Russia. Users are attracted by the low price, high performance and striking design. Realme 9 is a universal model with:

  • capacious battery – 5000 mAh enough for 10-12 hours of active use;
  • large display (6.4 inches) with high resolution (2400×1080) and a refresh rate of 90 times per second. This means that the movements of the characters in the video or in the game will be smoother;
  • RAM (6 GB) and built-in (128 GB) memory, which is enough to work without slowdowns and store important files.

Camera Advantages:

  • new Samsung ISOCELL HM6 sensor for the main rear camera module. He knows how to combine several pixels into one, because of this, the photos are clearer in low light;
  • There is digital stabilization. It reduces shaking, which is why photos and videos are obtained without smearing;
  • high detail when shooting with the main and wide-angle lenses. Both can record video in 1080/30p format.
  • When shooting during the day, the frames are bright, with rich, not artificially bright colors. There will be noise in very low light, but this is normal for a budget smartphone. Pictures taken with the front camera are clear and bright.
The budget Realme 9 camera phone is a versatile model with a bright Super AMOLED screen, a capacious battery and a good camera. Photo: anpoimages.com

Samsung Galaxy A53

The next in the top of the best camera phones is a new product with optical stabilization from Samsung for 36,500 rubles. This is an improved version of the A52 model, which is in great demand.

The main module is 64 MP. Optical stabilization is better than digital to compensate for motion. There is a night mode. It automatically reduces the amount of noise and increases the brightness of the picture.

The 12MP ultra-wide-angle lens captures well in good light. If it is not enough, it can “think” for a couple of seconds, it is important to keep the camera static at this time.

There is an auxiliary depth sensor for shooting portraits. The image is not flat, but three-dimensional, realistic.

Front camera 32 MP. Photos are clear and bright with enough light. Objects in the dimness are not very detailed.

Samsung has not only cool expensive smartphones, but also budget ones. Galaxy A53 is an example of an inexpensive but productive smartphone with an excellent camera. Photo: phonearena.com

OnePlus Nord 2T 5G

The next in the ranking of the best cheap camera phones this year is Nord for 27,990 rubles. Another versatile model with:

  • good display: AMOLED, bright, with a resolution of 2400×1080 and a refresh rate of 90 Hz. By the way, the refresh rate is floating, adjusting to the image on the screen. This helps conserve battery power. For example, in games, the update is 90 Hz, and when reading a book, 24 Hz;
  • MediaTek Dimensity 1300 processor, the performance of which is enough to run not only video, but also modern games and applications;
  • 4500 mAh battery with fast charging function. In 25 minutes, you can fully restore the battery.

The model received updated cameras:

  • main 50 MP with f / 1.8 aperture;
  • ultra wide-angle 8 MP – f / 2.2, viewing angle – 120 degrees;
  • monochrome 2 MP – f / 2.2.

Sony IMX766 is the main one. The pictures are clear, bright, and the colors are natural. The edges of the photo are not blurry. There is AI. It automatically improves the quality of pictures. This is especially noticeable in night shots.

OnePlus Nord 2T 5G is a smartphone for entertainment: games, photos, videos. Photo: smartprix.com

Poco X4 Pro 5G

Camera phone, which the manufacturer calls the “Universal Hero”. This is true, because it has absolutely everything that a modern user needs:

  • bright AMOLED display with a resolution of 2400×1080, a refresh rate of 120 Hz. Movements in games and videos are smooth, without jerks;
  • there is Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the screen – it will protect against 80% drops from a height of up to 1.5 meters;
  • 5000 mAh battery and fast charging function. The battery will last for 10-12 hours, and you can fully charge it in 40 minutes;
  • new LiquidCool cooling system – even with constant use, the device will not become hot;
  • great camera. The main module is 108 MP + ultra wide-angle and for macro photography. Video recording 1080p, 30 frames per second. There is an automatic image enhancement. Thanks to this, the image will be clear at any time of the day;
  • front camera 16 MP. The picture is bright and clear. The only drawback is the rough treatment of the area around the hair in portrait mode.
The Poco X4 Pro 5G smartphone is a universal model for children and adults. Photo: mysmartprice.com

Xiaomi 12 Lite

The top best camera phones of 2022 cannot be made without a new product from Xiaomi. This brand offers a wide range of gadgets in different price categories. The Lite version of Xiaomi 12 is budget, the price is 30,000 rubles.

The manufacturer made an emphasis on the main unit of the rear camera (108 megapixels). The pictures are clear, bright and detailed. During the day, outdoors and indoors, it’s easy to take beautiful shots. 50 MP ultra wide-angle camera, juicy colors, correct white balance, the frame is not blurry at the edges.

Video recording is available in different resolutions. Maximum – 4K at 30 fps. The picture is smooth and natural. Various “Movie Effects” are available. For example, you can shoot video from the rear and selfie cameras at the same time.

It is worth saying that the budget gadget is practically not inferior to the Pro-model from this line. Worse in the Lite version is shooting at night. More noise than the flagship Xiaomi 12 Pro (applies to both the main unit and the ultra-wide angle). But this is the problem with all budget models.

A nice bonus is the front camera (32 MP) with autofocus. Xiaomi 12 Lite is positioned as a gadget for streamers, tiktokers and youth. Therefore, the picture quality when shooting a selfie is high.

Xiaomi 12 Lite is a great alternative to expensive smartphones. Photo: tek.id

We collected the characteristics of the best budget camera phones in 2022 up to 30,000 rubles in one table.

Characteristic TECNO Camon 19 Pro Realme 9 Samsung Galaxy A53 OnePlus Nord 2T 5G Poco X4 Pro 5G Xiaomi 12 Lite
Screen Diagonal (inch) 6.8 6.4 6.5 6.43 6.67 6.55
Display Resolution 2400×1080 2400×1080 2400×1080 2400×1080 2400×1080 2400×1080
Screen refresh rate (Hz) 120 90 120 90 120 120
CPU Mediatek Helio G96 Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 Samsung Exynos 1280 MediaTek Dimension 1300 Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G
RAM (GB) eight 6 eight eight eight eight
Built-in memory (GB) 128 128 128 128 256 128
Main camera 64 MP, f/1.6 aperture, 26mm focal length, laser autofocus, optical image stabilization 108 MP, f/1.8 aperture, phase detection autofocus 64 MP, f/1.8 aperture, 26 mm focal length, phase detection autofocus, optical image stabilization 50 MP, f/1.8 aperture, 24 mm focal length, phase detection autofocus, optical image stabilization 108 MP, f/1.9 aperture, 26mm focal length, phase detection autofocus 108 MP, f/1.9 aperture, 26mm focal length, phase detection autofocus
4K video recording Not Not up to 30 fps up to 30 fps Not up to 30 fps
selfie camera 32 MP, f/2.4 aperture 16 MP, f/2.1 aperture 32 MP, f/2.2 aperture 32 MP, f/2.4 aperture 16 MP, f/2.5 aperture 32 MP, f/2.5 aperture
Battery capacity (mAh) 5000 5000 5000 4500 5000 4300
Size (mm) 167x75x8 73x160x8 75x160x8 73x159x8 76x164x8 69x152x8
Price (rubles) from 18 650 from 21 500 from 26 000 from 27 000 from 28 000 from 30 000

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