How important is camera performance when buying a phone?

An essential part of any purchase or an afterthought?

We’re just wrapping up Mobile Photography Week at Android Police, where we’ve covered everything from tips and tricks for improving your shots to our favorite accessories and more. Mobile photography has proven itself to be the dominant way most of us capture the world around us, making it easier to leave the DSLR in the hotel room and step out into a foreign city with only the gadget in your pocket. There’s only one question remaining: how important is camera performance to you, dear reader?

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Most Android flagships are excellent at taking impressive photos, but it often requires dropping plenty of cash on a new smartphone. Midrange devices are more hit or miss — for every Pixel 6a, there’s a OnePlus N20 5G, where you might trade off incredible shots for a more impressive display. Still, camera technology on phones has come a long way over the last 15 years, as what looks unacceptable today might’ve been cutting edge a decade ago. There’s also an aspect of personal taste to this — while someone might prefer what Google’s doing with computational photography, others might prefer the look produced by the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

More than ever, camera quality has become unattached to the price of an actual device. The Pixel 6a — and really, Google’s A-series in general — have made this obvious, as have smartphones like the Galaxy Z Flip 4, where top-tier cameras are traded for some fancy flexible screens. A midrange model might beat out a flagship smartphone in a blind photography test, something that was much less likely a few years ago. It makes it easy for anyone — no matter their budget — to pick up a great camera, or to skip out on one in lieu of other features.


So, to cap off Mobile Photography Week, I want to return to a poll we ran back in 2018. How much do you care about a phone’s camera quality? At the time, opinion was mixed, and I’m excited to see if overall attitudes have changed over the last four years. Is it at the top of your list, or are you more concerned with high-refresh rates and long-lasting batteries? Let us know in the poll below, and hey, if you haven’t checked out all of our Mobile Photography Week pieces, make sure to do that. It’s perfect for some lazy Sunday reading.

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