In today’s world, capturing precious moments with a high-quality camera doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Introducing the 8 Best Budget Camera Phones of 2023: affordable options that bring impeccable photography right into your pocket.
Whether you’re seeking Android or iOS devices, these budget-friendly smartphones boast advanced camera technology and impressive image results without breaking the bank.
Top 8 Best Budget Camera Phones For 2023 – Overview
Take a quick peek at our recommended products list, or scroll down for comprehensive reviews.
- Best for Long-lasting battery, advanced camera, and enhanced security: Google Pixel 7a
- Top Choice for High-Performance 5G Smartphone Experience: OnePlus Nord 2T
- Affordable and Like-New iPhone for AT&T Users: iPhone SE
- Secure, intuitive 5G smartphone with advanced camera features: Google Pixel 6
- Affordable yet Powerful Smartphone with 256GB Storage & 48MP Quad Camera: Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro
- Capture Life’s Details with a 108MP Camera: Realme 8 Pro
- Capture Life’s Adventures in Crystal Clear Detail with Advanced Camera Technology: Samsung Galaxy A52
- Unbeatable Battery Life: Charge Once, Last 3 Days: Moto G Power (2022)
Google Pixel 7a
- 5G cellular technology for lightning-fast data speeds.
- Large 128 GB memory storage capacity for all your apps and media.
- Unlocked for use with any carrier, giving you more options.
- Android 13.0 operating system for the latest features and updates.
- High – quality camera with advanced features for stunning photos and videos.
- Slim and lightweight design that’s easy to carry around.
The Google Pixel 7a is a top-tier smartphone that delivers exceptional performance and security at an affordable price.
With its stunning design powered by the Google Tensor G2 chip, you can expect lightning-fast processing speeds and advanced online protection through VPN by Google One.
The all-day battery life (24-hour), along with the option to extend this to up to 72 hours using Extreme Battery Saver, ensures your budget phone won’t disappoint on those long days out.
Equipped with an amazing camera array featuring wide-angle lens capabilities, capturing memories has never been easier or more enjoyable. Furthermore, the built-in Pixel Camera allows you to take impressive low-light shots and effortlessly fix blurry images, perfect for photographers at any skill level.
Users can also benefit from seamless integration between their unlocked Android 5G Google Pixel 7a and other devices, such as tablets, watches, and earbuds, for personalized help throughout their day.
It’s no surprise we rank the Google Pixel 7a as our number one pick in smartphones – it offers outstanding features without breaking the bank while providing unrivaled security levels.
- Unlocked Android 5G phone for carrier flexibility.
- Advanced security features with Google Tensor G2 and Titan M2 chip.
- Pixel Camera and Google Photos make taking great pictures easy.
- All-day battery that can last up to 72 hours with Extreme Battery Saver.
- No expandable storage options.
- Limited availability in some regions.
- No headphone jack.
OnePlus Nord 2T
- 5G cellular technology for lightning-fast internet speeds.
- Large 6.43-inch AMOLED screen for stunning visuals.
- Powerful 8GB RAM to handle multiple apps with ease.
- Massive 128GB storage capacity for all your media needs.
- Impressive dual camera system (rear and front) capturing every detail.
- Sleek slate form factor design that’s easy to hold and carry.
The OnePlus Nord 2T is an impressive mid-range 5G smartphone that offers a seamless user experience with its combination of powerful hardware and sleek design.
Ranked as the No. 2 option on our list, it features a vibrant 6.43-inch FHD+ AMOLED display and smooth performance driven by the Android 12 OxygenOS 12.1 operating system, offering users optimal visual entertainment and multitasking capabilities.
Photography enthusiasts will appreciate the OnePlus Nord 2T’s versatile triple camera setup featuring a high-quality rear cameras consisting of a 50-megapixel main sensor plus an 8-megapixel ultra-wide lens and a 2-megapixel macro camera to capture stunning shots in various conditions.
Paired with an efficient battery life made possible by the hefty built-in 4500mAh unit and blazing fast charging support at up to-80W SUPERVOOC speeds, this device truly stands out from competitors in its price segment.
However, potential buyers should be aware that the OnePlus Nord CPH2399 is GSM unlocked only – meaning it won’t work with CDMA carriers like Verizon or Sprint – so compatibility must be checked before purchasing this Jade Fog gem of a phone.
- Rapid charging with 80W fast charging capability allows for quick and efficient battery recharging.
- Stunning photographic results thanks to the high-quality rear camera setup with 50-megapixel, 8-megapixel, and 2-megapixel lenses.
- Smooth display experience with the FHD+ AMOLED screen and a refresh rate of 90Hz, ensuring seamless operation.
- A large storage capacity of 128GB paired alongside a highly capable OS (Android12 OxygenOS) means you can store more data without sacrificing performance.
- Not compatible with CDMA carriers like Verizon, Sprint, etc.
- No warranty is included with the device.
- 5G availability may vary depending on location and carrier.
- Compact and lightweight design with a 4.7-inch screen.
- The impressive built-in storage of 64 GB stores all your data and media files.
- Uses the latest iOS operating system for a smooth experience.
- Wireless connectivity through Wi-Fi for faster browsing and downloading.
- Compatible with AT&T wireless carrier network for seamless communication.
- Comes in classic black color, making it suitable for any style or outfit.
The iPhone SE (2nd Generation) has been a game-changer for those seeking Apple’s premium design and performance without the hefty price tag. Ranking at No. 3 in our list, this compact powerhouse is equipped with the A13 Bionic chip, one of the fastest chips available in smartphones today.
This enables users to experience smooth multitasking, seamless app usage, and impressive gaming performance – all within a sleek 4.7-inch device.
Photography enthusiasts will appreciate the iPhone SE’s advanced camera capabilities, such as Portrait mode, which produces studio-quality portraits with six different lighting effects.
Additionally, its next-generation Smart HDR enhances detail across highlights and shadows for professional-looking shots no matter the environment. Cinematic-quality 4K video recording further elevates your digital storytelling skills to new heights.
This renewed iPhone SE model offers outstanding value as it comes guaranteed with minimal cosmetic damage and an inspected battery capacity of at least 80%.
While locked to AT&T only, purchasers can enjoy peace of mind knowing they are getting a top-tier smartphone that boasts long battery life and water resistance – perfect for busy lifestyles on the go. The Apple iPhone SE (2nd Generation), US Version, 64GB Black AT&T Renewed truly combines functionality and affordability while living up to Apple’s iconic standards.
- High-quality iPhone at a fraction of the cost.
- Passed full diagnostic tests for like-new functionality.
- The guaranteed minimum battery capacity of 80%.
- Includes Mfi-certified charger and charging cable.
- Only compatible with AT&T and not able to be used with other carriers.
- Minimal cosmetic damage may still be present on the device.
- Does not come with headphones or a SIM card.
Google Pixel 6
- 6.4 – inch screen for an immersive viewing experience.
- Android 12.0 operating system for fast and efficient performance.
- Unlocked for all carriers, providing flexibility and freedom of choice.
- Large storage capacity of 128 GB to store all important files and photos.
- Multiple wireless network technologies, including GSM, Wi-Fi, LTE, CDMA, HSPA, and EVDO.
- Impressive battery life with Lithium Polymer batteries required.
The Google Pixel 6 is a game changer in the world of smartphones, featuring the custom-designed Tensor processor that provides blazing-fast performance and top-notch security.
This innovative device is an unlocked 5G Android phone, giving you flexibility with carriers and data plans. With its stunning 6.4-inch Smooth Display crafted from ultra-durable Gorilla Glass, your experience navigating through apps and gaming will be smoother than ever before.
Photography enthusiasts will appreciate Pixel’s powerful 50-megapixel rear camera that captures up to 150% more light for photos exuding richer colors and greater detail.
The professional tools, including Magic Eraser, Motion Mode, and Portrait Mode, elevate your photography skills to new levels.
In addition to impressive hardware is Google’s Live Translate feature, capable of translating live video captions, private chats, and messages in up to 55 languages without requiring additional apps or an internet connection.
The privacy-centric approach backed by the Titan M2 security chip guarantees protection for sensitive information on your smartphone. Fast charging technology ensures all-day battery life that adapts to your usage patterns.
- Google Pixel 6 has a tough Gorilla Glass display that is more responsive for gaming and scrolling.
- Live Translate feature allows you to translate up to 55 languages right on your phone without the need for internet or language courses.
- Pixel smartphone comes with built-in privacy and protection features, backed by the Titan M2 security chip, 5 years of updates, and the security core.
- Pixel’s powerful camera captures photos with richer colors and more detail thanks to its 50-megapixel rear camera.
- No expandable memory option.
- No headphone jack included.
- It may be pricey for some consumers.
Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro
- Blazing fast processor with 8 GB of RAM for smooth performance.
- Large, crystal-clear 6.67-inch display for an immersive viewing experience.
- Unlocked and compatible with all carriers for ultimate flexibility.
- Top-of-the-line connectivity technologies like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC.
- Generous storage capacity to easily hold photos, videos, and apps.
- Powered by the latest Android operating system for a seamless user experience.
The Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro is a feature-packed smartphone offering outstanding performance at an affordable price. With its powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 processor and Adreno 640 GPU, the device can handle demanding tasks such as gaming and multitasking with ease.
The ample storage of 256GB ROM, accompanied by 8GB RAM, ensures that you’ll have plenty of space for your favorite apps, photos, and videos.
One standout aspect of the Poco X3 Pro is its impressive camera setup. The quad-camera system features a 48MP primary lens, enabling users to capture high-quality images in various lighting conditions.
Additionally, the 20MP front-facing camera ensures clear selfies and video calls. Alongside these fantastic photo capabilities, this smartphone also offers great battery life thanks to its sizable 5160mAh battery, which can easily last throughout the day without requiring constant charging.
- Unlocked for international use with GSM carriers worldwide.
- Large 256GB ROM and powerful 8GB RAM for storage and performance.
- Stunning 48MP quad-camera setup for high-quality photography.
- Long-lasting 5160mAh battery with fast charging capabilities.
- No US warranty.
- Not compatible with CDMA carriers such as Verizon or Sprint.
- International model may not have all features available in the US.
Realme 8 Pro
The Realme 8 Pro offers a sleek and stylish design, weighing in at just 176g and measuring a slim 8.1mm for an easy-to-hold and comfortable grip. This smartphone features a stunning 6.4″ Super AMOLED Fullscreen display with an ultra-fast in-display fingerprint sensor for added security, making it ideal for users seeking both style and functionality.
At the heart of this device lies the Snapdragon 720G processor, providing smooth performance across various tasks and gaming sessions. The impressive 108MP Ultra Quad Camera allows users to capture stunning images with great detail while exploring their creative side with unique features like Starry Time-lapse Video mode.
With its efficient battery life of up to 4500mAh(typ) coupled with the fast charging capabilities of its included charger – offering you up to about half your phone’s battery within just seventeen minutes – long-lasting usage is no longer a concern.
Ultimately, the Realme 8 Pro delivers high-end performance at an affordable price point, catering perfectly to those looking for quality alongside efficiency.
- Fast charging capability allows for 50% battery life in just 17 minutes.
- High-quality LCD Super AMOLED display with a 180Hz touch sampling rate provides a smooth user experience.
- The powerful Octa-core CPU and dual sim LTE bands offer reliable connectivity and efficient processing power.
- With its worldwide unlocked capabilities, the Realme 8 Pro is ready to use on any compatible network around the globe.
- Not compatible with Verizon/BOOST/CRICKET or any CDMA carrier.
- LCD screen may not be as vibrant as OLED screens.
- No wireless charging feature.
Samsung Galaxy A52
- 6.5 – inch AMOLED display for stunning visuals.
- 128 GB storage capacity to store all your media and files.
- 4G, 3G, and 2G cellular technology for fast data speeds.
- Android 11.0 operating system for a smooth user experience.
- Unlocked wireless carrier capability for added flexibility.
- An awesome Blue color option that stands out from the crowd.
The Samsung Galaxy A52 is a feature-packed smartphone that beautifully combines functionality, style, and performance. One of its standout features is the 6.5″ Super AMOLED display with a smooth 90Hz refresh rate and an impressive 800 nits brightness, ensuring sharp visuals even when outdoors.
The eye care certification and Eye Comfort Shield make extended browsing sessions more enjoyable by automatically adjusting color temperatures to reduce eye strain.
This device also boasts a versatile quad camera setup with a high-resolution 64MP primary sensor, which allows for stunning photo quality in various settings, thanks to scene optimizer AI technology.
For video enthusiasts, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) ensures steady shots during those action-packed moments, while Night mode captures crisp images even in low light conditions. Fun content creators can customize their photos and videos using AR Emoji and My Filter or try out Snapchat’s AR Lenses directly from the native camera app.
Plus, powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G processor coupled with ample storage (128GB ROM) and memory (6GB RAM), this international model GSM unlocked phone promises seamless multitasking experiences on Android OS 11 with One UI 3.1 interface.
- Enjoy stunning, crystal-clear viewing on the 6.5″ Super AMOLED display with a high refresh rate of 90Hz.
- Capture every moment in detail with the powerful quad-camera setup featuring a 64MP main camera and various other lenses for breathtaking shots.
- Keep all your apps running smoothly thanks to the Qualcomm SM7125 Snapdragon 720G processor and ample 6GB RAM.
- Store all your photos, videos, and apps with ease thanks to the generous 128GB internal storage.
- No warranty in the US.
- Not compatible with CDMA carriers such as Verizon, Sprint, and Boost.
- International model may have differences in software and features compared to the US model.
Moto G Power (2022)
- Long-lasting battery with up to 3 days of power.
- Large, clear 6.5 – inch screen for an immersive viewing experience.
- Plenty of storage space with 128 GB built-in memory capacity.
- Universal compatibility with all carriers and wireless networks (unlocked).
- Fast connectivity options including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB, and hotspot.
- Runs on the Android 11 operating system for optimized performance.
The Moto G Power (2022) stands out as a reliable and affordable smartphone equipped with an impressive 3-day battery life. With its powerful 5000 mAh battery, users can capture more of life without worrying about needing to recharge frequently.
The phone’s octa-core processor with HyperEngine technology ensures efficient performance for all your daily tasks, while the spacious 128 GB built-in storage provides enough room to hold hundreds of apps and videos or over 2000 songs.
The device’s camera system is another highlight, featuring a stunning 50 MP main sensor that takes professional-looking portraits and close-up photos.
Additionally, dual-capture capabilities allow you to tell your story in even more creative ways. The Moto G Power (2022) offers a water-repellent design that safeguards against accidental spills and splashes; it also supports secure unlocking through fingerprint recognition or facial recognition features.
Its carrier compatibility includes major providers such as AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Spectrum, making this smartphone versatile for various user needs.
- 3-day battery life for uninterrupted use.
- 50 MP camera system + Dual Capture for professional-grade photos and videos.
- Unlocked and made for the US by Motorola, compatible with major carriers.
- Water – repellent design ensures durability against accidental spills and splashes.
- Limited carrier compatibility (does not support some major carriers).
- Display resolution is lower than some competitors.
- No 5G connectivity.
Camera Features Comparison: What To Look For In A Budget Camera Phone?
When comparing camera features in budget phones, consider factors such as megapixels, aperture, low-light performance, processor and RAM, and battery life to ensure the best quality photos and videos.
Megapixels have long been the hot topic when it comes to budget camera phones, as a higher megapixel count often translates to better image quality. However, it’s essential not to get too caught up in the numbers game since other factors like aperture and sensor size also significantly impact photographic performance.
While having more megapixels can certainly enhance your photography experience on low-cost handsets like Realme 9 Pro Plus and OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G, keep in mind that software optimization plays a crucial role as well.
A prime example is Apple’s iPhone SE (2022), which despite its modest megapixel count of just 12MP, manages to produce exceptional results thanks to Apple’s advanced image processing technology.
In the realm of budget camera phones, the aperture plays a vital role in determining the quality of your photos. Simply put, aperture refers to the size of the opening in the camera lens that allows light to pass through and reach the image sensor.
For example, the Google Pixel 7a – ranked as one of the best camera phones for 2023 – boasts an impressive 64MP wide camera with an f/1.9 aperture, ensuring great low-light performance and depth-of-field control.
A wider aperture comes particularly handy when capturing images under dim lighting conditions or creating stunning portrait shots with blurred backgrounds.
Low-light performance is a crucial aspect to consider when searching for the best camera phone in 2023. As we know from important facts, devices like Google Pixel 7a and Samsung Galaxy A54 5G have made their mark as leading affordable Android phones with excellent camera quality.
To achieve impressive low-light performance, manufacturers employ various technologies such as larger sensors, wider apertures, and image stabilization systems. For example, the Google Pixel 7a sports a wide f/1.9 aperture on its 64MP camera that allows more light to enter the lens during photography sessions at night or in poorly-lit indoor conditions.
Processor And RAM
A budget camera phone’s processor and RAM play a significant role in its performance. A powerful processor ensures that the phone can run multiple applications simultaneously without lagging, while sufficient RAM allows for smooth multitasking.
For instance, the Google Pixel 7a offers an Octa-core Snapdragon 778G 5G processor with up to 6GB of RAM, which ensures efficient operation when taking photos or recording videos.
Similarly, Samsung Galaxy A54 5G comes with an Octa-core Qualcomm SM7225 Snapdragon 750G and up to 6GB of RAM that delivers excellent processing power.
Battery life is an essential consideration when choosing a budget camera phone. No one wants to miss the perfect shot because their battery has died, and being forced to charge your phone every few hours can be frustrating.
Most of the phones on our list have decent battery life, but some stand out. For example, the Google Pixel 7a boasts an impressive 4680 mAh battery that lasts up to two days with regular use.
When it comes to budget-friendly options, the Realme 9 Pro Plus offers excellent value for money with its massive 5000 mAh battery and fast charging capabilities.
Additionally, Apple’s iPhone SE (2022) may not have as large of a battery as some of its competitors at only 1821mAh, but it compensates by offering powerful software optimizations resulting in longer-lasting daily use per charge.
How To Choose The Best Budget Camera Phone For You
Choosing the best budget camera phone for you may not be easy, but there are a few things to consider when making your decision:
- Identify your photography needs: Determine what kind of photographs you’d like to take and how you plan to use them. If you’re an avid vlogger or social media influencer, consider a device with advanced video capabilities. If low-light photography is important to you, look for a phone that excels in this area.
- Consider your budget: While budget phones can deliver excellent photographic results, it’s important to set realistic expectations based on your budget. Decide on a price range that works for you and stick with it.
- Look for key camera features: Pay attention to the megapixel count, aperture size, low-light performance, processor and RAM, and battery life when comparing different devices. Each factor can contribute significantly to the quality of your photos and videos.
- Check out online reviews: Before making any purchase, check out online reviews from reputable sources. This can help give you an idea of the device’s real-world performance and what actual users think about its camera.
Remember that the perfect budget camera phone is one that meets all your specific needs while fitting within your budget. Use these criteria as a starting point when making your decision.
Frequently Asked Questions
The 8 best budget camera phones of 2023 include Apple iPhone SE, Google Pixel 4a, Samsung Galaxy A52, OnePlus Nord CE 5G, Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro, Motorola Moto G Power (2021), Nokia G20, and Realme Narzo 30 Pro.
When choosing a budget camera phone, you should consider factors such as the quality of the primary rear-facing camera sensor(s), the resolution & size of the display screen, along with battery capacity.
Many modern phones additionally have software tools that enhance photography upon processing which could prove crucial in deciding between models, such as Google Pixel 6A.
Yes. While it may not be as advanced or perform at higher levels than flagship devices – many of today’s more affordable smartphones come equipped with multiple-rear facing cameras boasting respectable resolution levels that can take stunning pictures or video footage even under challenging lighting conditions depending upon model specifications.
This will depend on each individual device; however, the majority will possess microSD card slots allowing owners the ability to increase memory capacity outside factory default limits (which also varies per smartphone).
Owners would need to review the manufactures website/documentation for specific details relating to whether they support external storage options before purchase though most newer models do possess this feature, including some included within the list above.
In conclusion, finding a budget-friendly phone with an impressive camera can be challenging but not impossible. Our list of the 8 best budget camera phones for 2023 showcases some exceptional options that won’t break the bank.
For those who prioritize photography above everything else, we recommend purchasing the Google Pixel 7a. Its advanced camera features, such as portrait mode and night mode, produce breathtaking photos consistently.
On the other hand, if you want a phone that excels in both performance and visuals, we highly recommend the OnePlus Nord CE2T.
Investing in a budget-friendly yet feature-rich phone can be fulfilling without breaking your wallet. Be sure to consider all factors, such as megapixels count, when choosing which device suits your needs best.