The best camera phone for travel photography in 2018: it is not the iPhone X

The best camera is the one that you have with you when there is something exciting to shoot. Often, this is exactly the situation on the road. Sure, serious photographers carry a camera with interchangeable lenses to all their journeys, even to long trips, but the camera may be safely waiting in the hotel room for the next morning’s excursion to the mountains when it is needed on the street. Another important factor is that the smartphone camera must be good in all situations because you never know what is around the next corner.

Huawei P20 Pro phone with 3 camera lenses The development of camera technology in smartphones has been stunning during the last few years. Phone manufacturers are using camera technology and image processing software as key competitive factors in global markets. Recent smartphone models, like the Apple iPhone X and the Google Pixel 2 simply have amazing cameras.

First, the iPhone X convinced us with its portrait mode and features that allow shooting high quality close-up images. Then, Google introduced its remarkable video stabilization technology in the Pixel 2. The Samsung S9 is a fine overall contender as well.

The best smartphone camera for many different types of photography situations, however, has been designed by Huawei’s engineers. The Huawei P20 Pro has been tested and reviewed, and the conclusion is that it has the best camera.

Tom’s Guide conducted a camera test using reviewers’ own eyes as judges, rather than relying on technical specifications and measurement devices. The same images were captured in the iPhone X, Pixel 2 and Huawei P20 in many different situations. Then, judges chose which photo they liked the best without knowing which frame was taken on which camera.

The clear winner was the Huawei P20 Pro. The Google Pixel 2 XL was the second, and the Apple iPhone X the third.
Huawei P20 Pro camera phone for travel photography, street photos
The secret to Huawei’s success in this camera test was that the smartphone has three camera lenses. Each lens has a dedicated function, and when the pixels from all three lenses are merged into an image, the results are better than in other smartphone cameras. Leica has co-operated with Huawei to make the complex imaging system work. The photographer doesn’t have to worry about the three lenses at all, the imaging software in the camera does all the hard work.

In any case, this is what the three camera lenses in the P20 Pro do:
– a 40-megapixel image sensor with an f/1.8 aperture and sizeable 1/1.7-inch image sensor is the main camera.
– an 8 megapixel sensor with f/2.4 telephoto lens features 3x optical zoom.
– a 20 megapixel sensor with f/1.6 monochrome unit.

Huawei P20 Pro key features and specifications

Mobile network: GSM / HSPA / LTE (2G, 3G 4G).
Display 6.1 inches. Resolution 1080 x 2240 pixels, (~408 ppi density).
AMOLED capacitive touch screen, 16 million colors.
Cameras: 40 MP (f/1.8, 27mm, 1/1.7″, OIS) + 20 MP B/W (f/1.6, 27mm) + 8 MP (f/2.4, 80mm), Leica optics, 3x optical zoom, phase detection and laser autofocus, LED flash.
Features Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama.
Video capture 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/60fps, 720p@960fps.
Secondary 24 MP, f/2.0, 720p.
Operating system Android 8.1 (Oreo).
Chipset Hisilicon Kirin 970, CPU Octa-core (4×2.4 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A53), GPU Mali-G72 MP12
6 GB of RAM.
Internal storage space 128 GB.
No memory card slot.
WLAN, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac.
No 3.5mm jack for headphones. 3.5 mm to USB-C headphone adapter included.
Bluetooth 4.2.
USB 3.1, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector.
Dimensions 155 x 73.9 x 7.8 mm (6.10 x 2.91 x 0.31 inches).
Weight 180 g (6.35 oz).
SIM Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by).
IP67 certified – dust/water resistant (up to 1m for 30 mins).
Non-removable Li-Po 4000 mAh battery.

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