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Best camera phones 2017: Our favourite mobile cameras right now

What is the best camera phone you can buy right now? We pick the best mobile phone cameras in 2017, from great-value budget shooters to the most advanced premium mobile cameras which can shoot RAW images and 4K Ultra HD video.

One of the most important features for a modern mobile phone is the camera stuck on the back. After all, we've pretty much all ditched our digital cameras in favour of that tiny snapper, to capture everything from family fun days out to that hilarious time Dave got wasted and puked up on the cat.

Of course, not everyone can afford the very latest flagship phone packing the best camera around, so we've also covered the best camera phones that can be picked up for a budget of £200 or less. Here's our complete round-up of the best camera phones in the UK in 2017, however much you spend.

What are the best camera phones in 2017?

Here's our full list of the best camera phones you can buy in the UK in 2017. Scroll down for links to our in-depth camera reviews.

Best camera phones

  • Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge
  • Google Pixel and Pixel XL
  • LG G6
  • Sony Xperia XZ
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • Huawei P10 and P10 Plus
  • Huawei Mate 9
  • HTC 10

Best budget camera phones

  • Moto G5
  • Moto G5 Plus
  • Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus
  • Lenovo P2

We'll start with the most expensive models and finish with the best budget camera phones you can buy right now.

Best camera phones 2017: Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus

Price: £619
Release Date: April 2017
Our Review: Samsung Galaxy S8 review
Camera specs: 12-megapixel rear, 8-megapixel front

If you're after the absolute best of the best, then look no further. Samsung's latest smartphone snapper on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus handsets is truly remarkable, mostly because it churns out gorgeous results every time, even if you don't really know what you're doing.

That f/1.7 aperture 12-megapixel camera on the back shoots detailed, beautiful images in almost any conditions. That includes dark pubs, brightly lit exteriors and everything in-between. Like last year's Galaxy S7 camera (see below), it's the night shots that really impress. You can also capture up to 4K resolution video, with impressive image stabilisation.

Around the front the S8 and S8 Plus also impress, with a great f/1.7 selfie camera that's again great in low light.

Check out our guide to the S8 and S8 Plus' camera modes for a closer look at the S8 shooter's best features, and our in-depth Galaxy S8 camera review for all you need to know.

Best camera phones 2017: Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge

Price: £549
Release Date: March 2016
Our Review: Samsung Galaxy S7 review
Camera specs: 12-megapixel rear, 5-megapixel front

If you're after a simple-to-use point n' shoot smartphone camera, then Samsung's Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge flagships from 2016 are still among the very best. This 12-megapixel snapper is the same on both phones and brilliant in almost any conditions, with low light proving its specialty. Home movies also look great, with Full HD, Quad HD and 4K recording all on offer.

Our Galaxy S7 camera review tells you everything you need to know, and we've also taken an in-depth look at the Galaxy S7's many camera features, including the Pro mode for confident photographers and the streaming feature for live broadcasting on platforms like Facebook.

Best camera phones 2017: Google Pixel and Pixel XL

Price: £599
Release Date: October 2016
Our Review: Google Pixel XL review
Camera specs: 12.3-megapixel rear, 8-megapixel front

Google made some rather grandiose claims when the Pixel and Pixel XL were launched towards the end of 2016. The tech giant and creator of Android OS reckoned that these own-brand blowers sported one of the best smartphone cameras of all time, a boast backed by the impressive DxOMark Mobile score of 89. As we discovered when we reviewed both handsets, Google's words were on the money.

Both the Pixel and Pixel XL feature a 12.3-megapixel rear camera which can shoot up to 4K video, with all of the same features and identical image quality. Along with a super-fast shutter speed, these phones really impress with their excellent photo results. Truly outstanding stuff.

Take a look at our in-depth Google Pixel and Pixel XL camera review to see full photo and video samples.

Best camera phones 2017: LG G6

Price: £TBC
Release Date: April 2017
Our Review: LG G6 Review
Camera specs: 13-megapixel and 13-megapixel dual rear cameras, 5-megapixel front camera

Dual-lens mobile cameras are suddenly all the rage, and you'll spy a fair few in this best camera phones round-up. The LG G6 is one of the latest blowers to sport such a setup, a full year after the LG G5 introduced LG's first double lens snapper.

The G6's first lens is your go-to shooter, offering an f/1.8 aperture for detailed night shots and rich, good-looking everyday photos. Built-in image stabilisation helps to reduce blur and keep your movies steady. At any point however you can switch to that second wide-angle lens, which is a great way to capture sweeping vistas or fit a large group into a single photo.

LG has as usual packed a wealth of bonus camera modes in, such as the ability to preview photos as you shoot them on that 18:9 widescreen display. You can snap collages and shoot up to 4K resolution video, along with the now-standard timelapse and slow-motion footage.

Check out our full LG G6 camera review for all you need to know.

Best camera phones 2017: Sony Xperia XZ

Price: £549
Release Date: October 2016
Our Review: Sony Xperia XZ review
Camera specs: 23-megapixel rear, 13-megapixel front

Sony has plenty of experience when it comes to world-class camera tech and so it's no surprise that the optics on the latest Sony Xperia phones is truly brilliant.

The Sony Xperia XZ can take beautiful, vibrant and supremely sharp photos with almost no delay, thanks to the fresh new tri-sensor tech. You can also capture crisp Full HD and 4K video footage with excellent image stabilisation.

Even better is the impressive front-facing camera, which snaps excellent selfies with accurate skin tones even in very low light.

Check out our full in-depth Sony Xperia XZ camera review for photo and video samples and more of our thoughts on this highly capable smartphone snapper.

Best camera phones 2017: iPhone 7

Price: From £599
Release Date: October 2016
Our Review: iPhone 7 Review
Camera specs 12-megapixel rear, 7-megapixel front

Apple's iPhone snappers are among the easiest to use, yet consistently prove to be some of the best smartphone cameras you can buy. Just point and shoot and you can guarantee solid results in almost any conditions, with plenty of detail packed in.

The iPhone 7 boasts better low light results than ever before, while still offering that ease of use we've come to expect from Apple. And of course you get the usual slow-mo mode, timelapse and the ability to shoot up to 4K resolution video.

Check out our in-depth iPhone 7 camera review for more info. And we've also compiled an iPhone 7 camera tips and tricks feature to help you get the most from your Apple snapper.

Best camera phones 2017: iPhone 7 Plus

Price: From £719
Release Date: October 2016
Our Review: iPhone 7 Plus Review
Camera specs Dual 12-megapixel rear, 7-megapixel front

If you want to go a step further than the standard iPhone 7, the iPhone 7 Plus boasts a dual-lens setup similar to the LG G6. One of those lenses can shoot detailed, attractive photos whether it's night or day, complete with image stabilisation and a super-fast shutter speed. Meanwhile the secondary lens offers a 3x optical zoom, which means you can get much closer to your subject with no loss in quality.

You can also shoot some attractive bokeh shots, thanks to the dual lens setup. This gives you some snazzy background blurring, to really make your victim stand out.

Of course, that second lens is a far from essential feature, especially if you just want to snap your kids and cats around the homestead. The 7 Plus is definitely geared more towards sightseers and anyone else who wants to capture some arty pics.

Take a look at our in-depth iPhone 7 Plus camera review for our full thoughts and samples.

Best camera phones 2017: iPhone 6s

Price: £539
Release Date: October 2015
Our Review: iPhone 6s Review
Camera specs 12-megapixel rear, 5-megapixel front

Although the iPhone 6s is now over a year old, Apple really raised its cameraphone game for that phone, so it's still a great snapper compared with a lot of rivals. The iPhone 6s' 12-megapixel snapper is another simple-to-use point n' shoot camera just like the iPhone 7's, and once again is capable of capturing 4K home movies when needed.

Have a gander at our full iPhone 6s review for camera photo samples and video samples.

Best camera phones 2017: Huawei P10 and Huawei P10 Plus

Price: £599
Release Date: April 2017
Our Review: Huawei P10 review
Camera specs 12-megapixel dual-lens rear, 8-megapixel front

Like the Huawei P9 before it, the P10 boasts a dual-lens rear camera designed in collaboration with optics experts Leica. This updated mobile snapper offers a 20-megapixel monochrome lens and a 12-megapixel colour lens, complete with Optical Image Stabilisation, PDAF and a two-tone LED flash. You can even shoot in 4K now, something missing from the P9. Nice.

If you want to know what all of that gubbins means, take a close look at the P10's camera and video modes and browse some photo and video samples shot on the P10, check out our in-depth Huawei P10 camera review.

The P10 Plus is a small step up in terms of image quality. That f/1.8 aperture lens can soak up more light, for improved performance in dim conditions. However, it's still not quite as strong as rivals such as the Pixel and Galaxy S7.

Check out our in-depth P10 Plus camera review for more info.

Read next: P10 Plus vs Pixel vs Galaxy S7 camera comparison

Best camera phones 2017: Huawei Mate 9

Price: £699
Release Date: November 2016
Our Review: Huawei Mate 9 review
Camera specs 12-megapixel and 20-megapixel dual lens

While the Mate 9 doesn’t quite snatch the crown of best mobile phone camera of 2016, that dual-lens Leica setup is a solid all-round effort. It’s a fast and effective snapper in good light and only dim conditions prove its undoing, compared with other flagship phones. You won't find better bokeh from any other phone camera however, and can get some arty shots with that double-lens hardware.

This is the first Kirin-powered mobile phone to shoot 4K video too, and results are good. Image stabilisation isn't as strong as with other phones like the Galaxy S7, but for your home movies it's more than up to the job.

Check out our Huawei Mate 9 camera review for our full verdict on this solid smartphone snapper.

Best camera phones 2017: HTC 10

Price: £499
Release Date: April 2016
Our Review: HTC 10 Review
Camera specs: 12-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front camera

You get some vibrant and detail-packed photos with the HTC 10's excellent 12-megapixel camera phone, which rivals the Samsung Galaxy S7's shooter for best camera phone of 2016. The camera app is nice and simple but boasts some solid features like RAW image support. And moving subjects are well handled, good news for parents and pet owners.

Video recording is a winner again, with up to 4K resolution supported. Video quality is excellent with some strong image stabilisation to cut down on hand judders.

Check out our full in-depth HTC 10 camera review for more info on one of the best mobile phone cameras of 2016.

Best camera phones 2017: Moto G5

Price: £199
Release Date: April 2017
Our Review: Moto G5 review
Camera specs: 13-megapixel rear, 5-megapixel front

Last year’s Moto G4 Plus really impressed us by packing some solid optics for under £200, including full phase detection autofocus (PDAF) for a near instant shutter speed. That feature has trickled down to the new Moto G5 handset, which is even faster at locking onto your subject than before.

The G5 packs a 13-megapixel sensor with an f/2.0 aperture lens, which is pleasingly capable in almost any kind of conditions. HDR support sorts out any kind of vicious contrast and even low-light performance is decent enough. Meanwhile the 5-megapixel front-facing camera on the Moto G5 features a wide-angle lens for cramming in plenty of heads.

Great news if you take lots of spontaneous shots too, as the Moto G5's camera app can be activated just with a double-twist of the phone, even when the phone is hibernating.

Check out our full Moto G5 camera review for samples and analysis.

Best camera phones 2017: Moto G5 Plus

Price: £269
Release Date: April 2017
Our Review: Moto G5 Plus review
Camera specs 12-megapixel rear, 5-megapixel front

The Moto G5 Plus may have stripped back to a 12-megapixel rear camera, which means less pixels crammed into each shot compared with the standard Moto G5 and last year's Moto G4 Plus. However, the Dual Pixel Autofocus technology and f/1.7 aperture lens matches Samsung's brilliant Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge cameras and that kind of smartphone mettle for a budget price is definitely enticing.

Moto’s camera app is pleasingly simple to use and the main interface is free of clutter, giving you access only to the most essential settings and features. The auto mode with built-in HDR offers attractive shots even in a range of tricky conditions, while the f/1.7 aperture lens sucks up plenty of light to produce respectable night shots. You can also shoot up to 4K resolution video, on demand.

For our in-depth thoughts, check out our Moto G5 Plus camera review.

Best camera phones 2017: Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus

Price: £229
Release Date: November 2016
Our Review: Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus review
Camera specs: 16-megapixel rear, 8-megapixel front

British brand Wileyfox really impressed us with the Swift 2 Plus, which captures detailed snaps pretty much the moment you tap the shutter button.

Our test photos look great when viewed back on a big screen, providing lighting conditions are reasonable. You get realistic colour reproduction, while the autofocus deals well with everything from up-close macro shots to sweeping vistas. Even fast-moving subjects like pets and kids are usually caught without too much blur to ruin the photo.

You can also shoot up to Full HD video, while the 8-megapixel front-facing camera captures every sag and wrinkle. Nice.

Best camera phones 2017: Lenovo P2

Price: £199
Release Date: January 2017
Our Review: Lenovo P2 Review
Camera specs: 16-megapixel rear, 8-megapixel front

The Lenovo P2 sports a low £199 asking price and offers a whole bunch of great stuff in return. This handset’s main USP is its mighty 5100mAh battery, which delivers up to three full days of use between charges. But thankfully the P2 isn’t a one-trick pony, also packing a smart and dependable 13-megapixel camera on the rear.

Complete with a two-tone LED flash, the P2's shooter is a perfectly decent budget effort. Lenovo’s ‘Smart’ auto mode does a respectable job of figuring out the best settings for each shot on the fly, while the Phase Detection Autofocus locks onto your subject in double-quick time. Check out our complete Lenovo P2 review for more info and samples.

Let us know what your favourite camera phone of 2017 is in the comments below.

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