Acamera phone is a quintessentially 21st century concept. The first camera phone came out in Japan in 2000 with a 0.11-megapixel camera that produced images that would look blurry on today’s HD screens. In 15 years, the technology has advanced so much that the next iPhone is expected to give stiff competition to DSLR cameras for quality. If we forget quality, smartphones have already made the dedicated DSLR camera obsolete in terms of comfort and availability. One way phone companies are trying to compete on quality is by packing their cameras with pixels and in 2015, 20 of them seems to be the cutting edge. Here are the phones available now with 20-megapixel cameras.
Matham is a tech geek.
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Sony Xperia Z3+ (Rs 55,990)
Sony has just announced the Xperia Z3+. Through the exterior, it is difficult to tell the newer Z3+ apart from the last year’s model. There is the familiar, sleek glass body framed by an aluminium band that oozes the Sony design ethos. It is available in the familiar white, black and copper. There is a new aqua green option, the phone got thinner by about 0.4mm to 6.9mm and despite being fully waterproof there are no awkward flaps for the USB port. While the exterior has stayed pretty much the same, the internals got a big yearly update. The 5.2-inch full HD screen with a resolution of 1080p is supported by 3GB of RAM running a Snap-dragon 810 chip. The back camera looks quite modest, but holds a 20.7-megapixel lens that Sony is becoming famous for and to power it all up there is a decent sized 2.930mAh battery and the phone runs on Android 5.0. But with a price tag of Rs 55,990, the Z3+ does not come cheap.
Gionee Elife E8 (approx Rs 40,000)
In a crowded smartphone market, some companies thrive on cheap prices. For some design is the USP. But Gionee, the Chinese manufacturer takes pride in pushing its phones to the extremes. With its newest phone, the Elife E8, Gionee is pushing the envelope in the camera department with 24 MP with support from software that can stitch together multiple images to produce images of up to 120 megapixels in resolution. There is the six-inch QHD Super AMOLED display powered by 3GB of RAM with 64GB of internal storage. The dual-SIM 4G phone will run on Amigo 3.1, Gionee’s in-terpretation of Android 5.1 Lollipop. While it has other features like NFC connectivity and an 8-megapixel front camera, the star of the show here is the main rear camera. Packed with a six-element lens made from sapphire glass and boasting of features like optical image stabilisation, that camera is capable of record-ing 4K video and zooming up to 3x without any loss in picture quality.
Meizu MX 4 with Ubuntu (Rs 23,000)
The MX 4 from another Chinese manufacturer Meizu may have taken inspiration from many previous generations of iPhones when it comes to hardware, but inside it is a whole different game. Available in the white, grey and gold colours, the MX 4 is one of the first better built phone to run on Ubuntu, the open source Linux operating system popular with maso-chistic geeks everywhere. This 4G phone with a 5.3-inch full HD screen runs on 2GB of RAM. It has a 20.7 MP camera at the back and for the price, is the cheapest phone to do so. The camera is supported by a Dual LED flash while on the front you will find a 2.1 MP selfie camera. While the battery is big at 3100 mAh, the phone comes with a mere 16GB of internal storage which cannot even be expanded using a microSD card. And if Ubuntu puts you off, you can pick up an MX 4 running Flyme, Meizu’s take on the Android operating system.
HTC One ME (Rs 40,500)
The Taiwanese smartphone maker that has been struggling to make a dent in the market for quite some time now is betting big with its One series of phones this year. First came the flagship M9. Now comes its slightly cheaper sibling, the dual-SIM phone called the HTC One ME. On the face of it, the ME looks very much like the M9 until it doesn’t. While it has the familiar speaker grills on the front of the phone, it is when you flip the phone that you notice that the back is not made from quality aluminium like the M9 but is carved out of a much cheaper feeling plastic. You will also notice the big, gaping circular mole on the back that holds a 20 MP camera with f2.2 lens. On the front is a 4 MP shooter and the phone is run by 3GB of RAM, has a 64-bit processor and 32GB of internal storage. The One ME tries to copy a page from Apple and Samsung’s playbook by integrating a fingerprint scanner on the front of the phone positioned awkwardly in the middle of the speaker grill on the chin of the phone. Running Android 5.0, Lollipop, it is available in white, Meteor Gray and Classic Rose Gold colours.