Mid-range smartphones cameras are gradually closing the gap on the camera technologies that were once only found on flagship smartphones.
For example, the multi-camera systems which were previously exclusive to flagship smartphones (that cost more than $1,000 years ago), are now becoming commonplace on mid-range smartphones from manufacturers like Samsung, Oppo, Vivo, Huawei and Xiaomi. Multi-camera systems have cameras with different characteristics (eg. different focal lengths) allows its user to take high-quality photos from near as well as far away.
Manufacturers are adding these premium camera features to their mid-range smartphones cameras because there is a growing demand for this segment of the market. And among all the features that impact the purchasing decision of users, the camera system in the smartphone is a key factor.
Hence, we have reviewed and identify the best mid-range smartphone cameras in this article to help you in your decision.
A Spotlight On The Best Mid-Range Smartphone Cameras
Reviews of The Best Mid-Range Smartphone Cameras:
Our Review of Samsung Galaxy A70 – Best Landscape Day Camera
In a tricky day photograph tests taking a scene with sun starting to set amidst a mix of dark and white clouds, the results from all the smartphone cameras did a great job.
However, the Pixel 3a and Vivo S1 did too much processing causing the key and clouds to be too blue and not correctly representing what the actual scene look like.
Having said this, the photos from those 2 smartphone cameras look pleasing to the eye.
In the end between the Xiaomi and Samsung mid-range smartphone, Samsung Galaxy A70 wins due to its ultra wide-angle cameras which gives its photo a slightly more true-to-life colour rendition.
Our Review of Google Pixel 3a – Best Landscape Night Camera
It is really challenging for smartphones to make the dark areas visible while preventing the bright areas from being over-exposed.
This is the areas where most users failed having an over-exposed shots in night photography.
The Vivo S1 does not have a night mode. Hence, it is not surprising to find the photo it captured lacks details and looks pixelated.
The Xiaomi Mi 9T took some good shots showing different coloured lights in the scene. However, there are some flaws visible in the dark areas of the photos as a a results of over-processing.
The Samsung Galaxy A70 managed to capture the scene with plenty of good details. Unfortunately, the shots taken was more blue than the actual scene.
In the end, it is the Google Pixel 3a night sight mode that wins in this category. This smartphone captured the night scene with stunning clarity and rendered the colours of the different lights accurately. It also keeps the image noise level in the dark areas low with high level of details.
Our Review of Xiaomi Mi 9T – Second Best Landscape Day and Night Camera
It offers greater versatility with its rear triple-camera system and really excels in the day landscape and portrait shots. A category which is slightly won by Samsung Galaxy A70.
In the day photo shots, it has natural-looking effects and spot-on exposure of the subjects and surroundings. You can only see the differences in the photos taken by Xiaomi Mi 9T and Samsung Galaxy A70 if you really scrutinize the photo in details.
Hence, Xiaomi Mi 9T is a strong contender to the best overall smartphone in this article.
Our Review of Vivo S1 Pro – Best Selfie Camera
In a test where the sun is behind the subject to see how the cameras fare in rendering the dynamic range of a scene with sky and background structure.
Xiaomi 9T and Galaxy A70 have the problem of over-exposure for the sky in an attempt to keep the subject’s face correctly exposed. The clouds in the sky could not be seen as the sky was too white from overexposure.
The Google Pixel 3a on the other hand have the correct exposure that reflects the actual lighting situation. However the sun was overexposed and the subject was underexposed.
In the end, it is the Vivo S1 Pro wins in this category. This smartphone did a great job in rendering the scene with the right skin tones for the subject and right exposure for the background. However, the background looks over-processed and “beautified” and nowhere near being like the actual scene. Good effort though!
Best Overall – Samsung Galaxy A70
As smartphones including those not in this article have their own strength and weakness. Hence, to choose a mid-range smartphone camera for yourself will depend on what you are looking for in the smartphone camera.
In our review in this article, we have shared the following.
For day photography, the Samsung Galaxy A70 won by slight margin. The Xiaomi Mi 9T was a close second.
For night photography, the Google Pixel 3a’s Night Sight was the best.
For selfie shots, the Vivo S1 Pro shone through with its brilliant shots.
Overall, Samsung Galaxy A70 stood out as it is a decent enough performer in all the other categories. It is unbeatable in portrait and landscape tests and has perform well in night photography.