Review: From iPhone 7 to Pixel to P9, a year of best camera phones that 'loved' every pixel of image

These are some of the phone cameras which redefined smartphone photography, some are even better than your DSLRs

Phone camera

When you look back at 2016, you can't help but notice that photography has changed a lot this year. Where 2015 was fuelled by bulky cameras and gigantic lenses, 2016 was the time of smart phones finally making their statement in the field of photography. "The best camera is the one that's with you" has never been as true as it was the last year. So here we are taking a look at five smartphones which, with their exceptional cameras, helped make this huge transition and seal the deal with photography enthusiasts and professionals.

Xiaomi Mi5

Xiaomi's journey has been quite a surprise package over the past year, as the company pushed itself to improve in leaps and bounds. The company surely knows what its user wants and delivers it with panache. The flagship phone from Xiaomi i.e the Xiaomi MI5 comes with a 16-megapixel rear camera with Sony IMX298 sensor, support for 4K videos, 4-axis OIS, PDAF and dual-tone LED flash, along with the 4-megapixel front facing camera. This phone was the most sensible choice for a person looking to opt for a great phone on a budget and yet not compromise with the photography bug in him.

Huwaei P9

Go to any photographer, look at him or her romantically and whisper the word "leica" and watch him/her go to a slightly dazed trance daydreaming about owning it one day and flaunting it shamelessly. But leica costs a bomb and to most that has been a distant dream. So when Huwaei promised a phone with Leica tag, you couldn't help getting excited and dancing like a maniac on the streets. Huwaei P9 boasts of a 12 megapixel dual camera and promised to deliver images that packed quite the punch and by all things tech-y, it did and we couldn't help but gush all over it.

Google Pixel

Have you ever looked lovingly at someone and promised that you will love every inch of their being? Well this phone apparently likes every pixel of your image the same way. Aimed and marketed as a photographer's camera phone, this beast is not shy to brag about itself and there is no good reason to put it on a hold. Armed with 12.3 MP, f/2.0, EIS (gyro), phase detection & laser autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash this phone is not edging itself away from a ground reality check. The bonus cookie on the cake is the fact you are going to get the latest software update as soon as they come in the market.

Sony Xperia Z5

The fan boys swear by it and the pros adore it. This is a worthy successor of the Xperia line and it purrs like a well tuned beast ready to burst out into pure unhinged performance at your single touch. Although you may argue that it's an old bit of tech to play around with but the argument falls flat when you see how it fights for you in tricky light conditions like a seasoned fighter. The specs read 23 MP, f/2.0, 24mm with phase detection autofocus and the images do the rest.

iPhone 7

I was saving the best for the last. Apple has almost turned into a creed among aficionados and it does help that they have their own iPhone Photography Awards since 2007 to give things a boost. But set aside all this; is it really worth to cough up a humongous amount every year to get the latest model that is in the offing? If the specs are as sweet and the performance is grabbing eyeballs, then the money is well spent on the giant. 12 MP, f/1.8, 28mm, phase detection autofocus, OIS, quad-LED (dual tone) flash, 1/3" sensor size, geo-tagging, simultaneous 4K video and 8MP image recording, touch focus, face/smile detection, HDR (photo/panorama). Phew! That was a mouthful to write and even comprehend. This is the best there in the game, till the next Apple phone hits the market.

This article was first published on January 3, 2017