Named phone with the best camera for portraits

The abundance of a wide variety of smartphones on the market makes it difficult to understand which one is the best. Today

There are a lot of phones that can be considered an excellent alternative to a professional camera. But we will be interested not in the general quality of photos and videos, but in portrait photography.

The best camera for portraits

I must say that over the past few yearsmobile cameras have evolved greatly. Still, they are not as good as professional ones. One of the first companies to make a big step in the direction of professional portraiture was Apple. Three years ago, the portrait mode was first introduced on the iPhone 7 Plus. After that, the rest followed. Now almost every smartphone has this option, but its presence does not guarantee really cool portraits on the camera.

One of the bloggers being the owner of the newOnePlus 7 Pro, I decided to compare portrait photography on several phones at once. In his opinion, it is OnePlus 7 Pro that makes the best quality portrait shots.


If you ask any photographer what the quality of portrait photography primarily depends on, he will tell you — lens. In professional photography there is a term called “portrait lens”.

The lens is critical in one simple wayreason — these are proportions. If any part of the face looks distorted, you will notice it immediately. To properly capture a human face in a photograph, photographers use long telephoto lenses. However, true telephoto lenses in professional photography have nothing to do with the misuse of the term "telephoto lens" on smartphones.

Except for Huawei P30 Pro, the telephoto lens onMost phones these days are around 55mm in terms of focal length. This is not a telephoto lens in professional photography parlance. Instead, it is a "normal lens", which simply means that this focal length is generally related to the focal length of human vision. To get great portraits, however, you need a true telephoto lens: the most commonly used lenses start at 85mm and above, if you want truly creamy background blur or bokeh effects.

What camera does most phones use for portraits in 2019? Usually a 26-28 mm lens, which is considered a professional wide-angle lens.

A wide-angle lens does something like this:


The left photo was taken on a Galaxy S10+ withwide-angle camera; note the cartoonish appearance and the disproportionately large head and small body. The second photo (right) was taken with the OnePlus 7 Pro's telephoto lens; notice how everything looks proportional.

iPhone XR wide angle lens

OnePlus' telephoto lens handles proportions much better


Here is a complete list of flagships that use their wide lenses (usually 26 mm) for portraits:

  • Samsung Galaxy S10 / S10 + / S10e
  • Apple iPhone XR
  • Google Pixel 3 / 3a
  • LG G8
  • Huawei P30 Pro

And the list goes on and on.

From the very beginning, all these phones incorrectly set up the portrait mode: they use a wide lens that is simply not suitable for creating an attractive portrait image!


Another important parameter on which dependsquality of portrait frames directly — it's contrast. Too sharp and excessive contrast will give a negative result. In particular, exaggeration of wrinkles and other imperfections.

Pixel 3 adds too much contrast, making you look 10 years older

The OnePlus' pleasantly soft details and vibrant exposure make for great portrait photography


Most smartphones come with smallsensors, and these small sensors require a lot of extra processing to get the details right. Most smartphones use one trick — high level of sharpness and aggressive over-contrast. Sometimes it can look good: for example, if you are shooting details in nature, landscape, etc. But if we are talking about portraits, excessive sharpening and contrast — this is exactly what we don't want to see. If you are over 30, there is a chance that all your flaws (wrinkles, tired eyes) will be greatly emphasized.

Google Pixel 3, by the way, sharpens the mostdetails compared to how they look in reality. So, combining the wrong lens with the wrong processing results in portrait photos that don't look very attractive. The OnePlus 7 Pro is different! The right lens and the right processing.

OnePlus 7 Pro — the only phonewhich solves these two main problems and produces cool portrait shots. Unlike most phones in 2019, it uses a 3x telephoto lens rather than a wide lens. This gives you a nice compressed look that looks very attractive. The processing is very soft, with soft details and none of the aggressive, over-the-top contrast found on other phones. It brightens the faces and makes them amazingly beautiful. No other phone takes portraits as well as the new OnePlus 7 Pro. Examples below.