Capturing life’s special moments with stunning clarity is now easier than ever, thanks to the advancement of smartphone camera technology.
In 2023, optical zoom has become a major game-changer in mobile photography, allowing users to get up close and personal with their subjects without compromising image quality.
This blog post aims to help you find the perfect device for your snapping needs by ranking the top 8 best optical zoom camera phones set to hit the market this year.
From impeccable stargazing shots to crisp still photography and video recording capabilities, these high-end smartphones promise an unparalleled photo-taking experience that will leave you awestruck.
Optical zoom is a crucial feature in modern smartphone cameras, as it allows users to get closer to their subjects without physically moving or losing image quality. This technology works by using the camera’s lens elements to magnify the subject, enabling photographers to capture finer details and distant objects more clearly.
The importance of optical zoom in camera phones lies in its ability to enhance mobile photography experiences.
With increased zoom capabilities on smartphones like Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra with its massive 200MP sensor or iPhone 14 Pro, known for exceptional video performance, consumers can take stunning shots from afar without compromising resolution or clarity.
As mobile camera technology evolves further with developments like larger megapixel counts and advanced optical image stabilization systems, having an impressive optical zoom range becomes even more critical for capturing professional-quality photos on the go.
Additionally, optical zoom contributes significantly towards a phone’s low-light performance; better magnification enables photographers not only to take detailed images during daytime but also in nighttime settings where artificial lighting conditions may be inadequate or absent altogether.
- Explore the Micro World Anywhere with 200X Phone Microscope: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (200x zoom)
- Capture the World in Crystal Clear Detail with 200x Zoom: Huawei P50 Pro (200x zoom)
- Elevate Your iPhone Photography Game with 10x Zoom: iPhone 14 Pro (10x Zoom)
- Capture stunning details from afar with 50x zoom technology: Google Pixel 7 Pro(50x zoom)
- Unleash Blazing-Fast 5G Speeds and Superior Camera Quality: OnePlus 11 (5x zoom)
- Capture Life’s Details Like Never Before with Motorola Edge+: Motorola Edge+ (3x zoom)
- Stylish phone case with holder and screen protection: Oppo Find X6 (2x zoom)
- Best for Pro-Grade Photography and LiquidCool Technology: Xiaomi Mi 12 (10x zoom)
- 200x zoom for extreme close-up shots
- Achromatic lens for clear, sharp images
- Compatible with smartphones for easy use
- LED light source for added brightness in low-light environments
- Small and compact design at 2.2 x 1.5 x 1.5 inches
- Manufactured by the trusted brand Evil Eye
The primary camera boasts a whopping 200MP with a 1/1.3″ sensor and f/1.7-aperture lens that delivers incredible results in all lighting conditions. The ultra-wide angle lens produced stunning images with its 12MP and f/2.2 aperture.
The telephoto lenses were also remarkable, with their dedicated cameras of 10MP, each offering zoom capabilities up to 10x, making it perfect for long-range shots.
According to the DXOMARK Camera score of 140, this phone’s camera did not disappoint as it performed consistently well in virtually every test attribute without any major shortcomings or drawbacks that would affect the overall image quality.
The still images captured exhibited sublime details even under bright sunlight, resulting in an excellent dynamic range across different light levels – which was equally impressive. Though the default capture resolution is 12 MP resolution, we can always achieve higher resolutions if needed.
One standout feature was Samsung’s dual-tele approach using two dedicated telecamera modules (Tele1: Focal length -84mm & Tele2:Focal Length -490mm), providing consistent quality zoom functional very well over long ranges.
- 200x magnification turns your smartphone into a professional microscope, perfect for lab work, industrial inspection, or outdoor exploration.
- Strong compatibility with 95% of smartphones, including popular brands like Apple and Samsung. No need to download any app – just clip it on and start exploring!
- Comes with a USB-C charging cable, storage bag, dust-proof cloth, and product instruction manual for easy use and maintenance.
- Lightweight (only 17.5g) and portable design allows you to explore the micro world anywhere – from skin/hair inspection to jewelry & stamp appraisal. A fun gift for kids, adults, friends, and families alike.
- Not suitable for phones with high lens protrusion like iPhone 14 Pro
- LED light may not be strong enough in low-light conditions
- Requires cooperation with the mobile phone’s magnification function to achieve 200x magnification
- 200x zoom allows for incredibly detailed photos and close-up shots
- 8 GB of RAM ensures smooth and efficient performance
- Unlocked for all carriers, giving you the freedom to choose your preferred network provider
- The 6.6-inch screen size provides a large viewing area for videos and apps
- NFC connectivity enables easy contactless payments
- Front-facing camera enhances selfie-taking capabilities
I recently picked up the Huawei P50 Pro, and I have to say, this phone’s camera is truly something special. The large-sensor primary camera is just the beginning – it also comes equipped with an ultra-wide lens, a telephoto lens, a monochrome sensor, AND a multispectral color temperature sensor. This combination helps optimize white balance and color rendering for stunning photos.
But what really sets this camera apart is the monochrome sensor. It improves fine detail rendering and reduces noise in low-light situations, making for some seriously impressive shots. Plus, it even helps with depth estimation to create that beautiful bokeh effect we all love.
And when put to the test in DXOMARK Camera rankings, this phone absolutely crushed it with an overall score of 144 – beating out my previous favorite (the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra) by one point.
The photo quality on this phone is unbeatable – earning itself a new top mark in the Photo category with its score of 149 (again, higher than the competition). The only area where there were noticeable differences was in preview images versus final captures under high-contrast conditions.
- Lightweight and compact for easy handling
- High-quality photography with Huawei XD optics and Fusion Pro Image Engine
- Advanced camera technology, including 200x true steady recording and SuperZoom matrix
- Large screen, long-lasting battery, and fast charging capabilities
- Lacks Google Services
- Pricey compared to other smartphones on the market
- Limited availability in certain regions
- 10x zoom capabilities for capturing distant subjects with stunning clarity
- Versatile focal length ranges from 10mm to 25mm for wide-angle and close-up shots
- High-quality macro lens for detailed, up-close photography of small objects
- Made by JIUYEKEW, a trusted manufacturer based in China
- Sleek and compact design measuring just 1 inch in all dimensions
With a DXOMARK Camera score of 146, this is hands down the best iPhone camera I have ever used.
The primary camera boasts a 48MP sensor with second-generation sensor-shift OIS and Dual Pixel AF that produces consistent results in all conditions.
The ultra-wide lens has a 12MP sensor with an f/2.2-aperture lens and Dual Pixel AF, while the telephoto lens has a powerful 12MP sensor with an f/2.8 aperture lens paired with OIS.
What is even more impressive to me is how well it performs in portrait photography and videography thanks to its stunning skin tone rendering, high levels of detail, and excellent autofocus tracking capabilities – truly remarkable.
In my opinion, the Apple iPhone 14 Pro’s camera is a true marvel of engineering. While the hardware specs may not look as impressive on paper compared to some competitors like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra or Honor Magic4 Ultimate, that doesn’t do justice to what this device can accomplish.
The Quad-Bayer image sensor, in particular, has been masterfully implemented by Apple engineers.
What really sets this phone apart from other flagship models is its ability to provide seamless zooming capabilities up to x3 when combined with the dedicated tele lens.
This means that users can capture stunning photos and videos at multiple focal lengths without any loss of quality.
- Get stunning close-up shots with the 10X and 25X macro lenses
- Easily capture distant subjects like pets and portraits with the telephoto lens
- Take interesting photos with the fisheye lens’s unique perspective effect
- Protect your phone’s camera with the magnetic flip-type cover included in this kit.
- May not be compatible with other phone models besides iPhone 14 Pro Max
- The case may add bulk to the phone and make it less pocket-friendly
- Price point may be higher than other similar products on the market
- 50x zoom for exceptional photography
- 5G cellular technology for lightning-fast connectivity
- Large 6.7-inch screen size for an immersive viewing experience
- Unlocked for all carriers, allowing you to choose your preferred network provider
- Android 13.0 operating system with advanced features and customization options
- Sleek Obsidian color and minimalist bar form factor for a premium look and feel
As someone who values both photo and video performance, I was excited to try out the Google Pixel 7 Pro. With a DXOMARK Camera score of 147, it has earned its place at the top of their ranking – something no Google device has achieved since the Pixel 2 five years ago.
I was pleased to find that the Pixel 7 Pro produced consistent results across all test categories. Although it didn’t quite reach the top scores in Photo or Video subscores, as an overall package, it is currently the best option for users like me.
I especially appreciated how well this phone worked for capturing photos of friends and family thanks to great contrast preservation, realistic skin tone rendering, quick capture speeds, and excellent motion freezing capabilities.
When comparing it to its predecessor – the Google Pixel 6 Pro – there are noticeable improvements in zoom and video thanks to updated software algorithms and better-optimized camera tuning.
The fusion algorithm is particularly impressive because it uses image information from both primary and tele cameras that produce high-quality images regardless of what tele zoom setting you’re using.
Additionally, there’s now a macro mode feature available which makes use of the ultra-wide camera lens for some amazing close-up shots. This function can also be easily disabled with a simple tap on the screen if one prefers not to use this functionality.
- Unbeatable photo and video quality with 5x telephoto lens, 30x Super Res Zoom, ultrawide lens, and Macro Focus
- Long-lasting battery life of over 24 hours (up to 72 hours with Extreme Battery Saver)
- High-end security features, including Google Tensor G2 and Titan M2 security chip
- Unlocked Android 5G phone for carrier flexibility
- High price point compared to other smartphones on the market
- Limited availability in certain regions or through certain carriers
- No expandable storage options beyond the 128GB internal storage capacity
- Powerful 5G connectivity for lightning-fast internet speeds
- Stunning 6.7 – inch screen for an immersive viewing experience
- High memory storage capacity of 12 GB to store all your favorite content
- Unlocked wireless carrier options give you the freedom to choose your own plan
- Android 12.0 operating system offers the latest technology and features
- Innovative 5x zoom camera for capturing stunning photos from afar
I recently got my hands on the OnePlus 11 and was impressed by its key camera features. The primary lens boasts an impressive 50MP Sony IMX890 RGBW 1/1.56” sensor, with a fast f/1.8-aperture lens and OIS technology for steady shots.
The ultra-wide camera is equipped with a solid 48MP sensor, while the telephoto lens has a powerful 32MP sensor.
After putting it through various tests, I found that the OnePlus 11 performed really well in terms of exposure and detail in both photos and videos, scoring well at DXOMARK Camera tests (127 out of 200).
However, color rendering issues did become apparent, along with some undesirable image artifacts, which brought down its score slightly.
The still images produced were top-notch due to low noise levels accompanied by excellent exposure and detail thanks to its wide dynamic range feature offering great insights into details present even within highlight and shadow regions of any picture captured.
- Enjoy hands-free convenience with Alexa compatibility
- Stay powered all day with a massive 5000mAh battery and super-fast charging options
- Take your mobile gaming to the next level with HyperBoost Gaming Engine and an excellent heat dissipation system
- Capture stunning photos and videos with the versatile triple camera system co-developed with Hasselblad, including a 150º ultra-wide lens for expansive shots
- Expensive price point
- No expandable storage option available
- May experience carrier compatibility issues with 5G network
- 3x zoom camera for stunning close-up shots
- Massive 256GB storage capacity for all your files and apps
- Unlocked for use with any carrier, giving you the freedom to choose
- Android 10.0 operating system for fluid performance
- Large 6.7-inch screen ideal for multimedia consumption
- The Baltic Grey color adds a touch of sophistication to the device
The phone truly lives up to its premium price tag, offering a 6.7-inch OLED display with almost no bezels for a sleek design. Running on the top-notch Qualcomm 865 chipset with 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of fast storage, this device packs a punch.
One of the standout features of the Edge+ is its camera system. With three cameras on the back – standard-wide, ultra-wide, and tele-lens modules – it can give flagship smartphones from other manufacturers a run for their money.
The primary camera boasts a very high-resolution 108 MP sensor that quad-bins output down to 27 MP, linked to an f/1.8-aperture lens with PDAF and OIS for excellent image stabilization.
Meanwhile, there’s also an impressively dedicated tele-camera that features an 8 MP PDAF sensor and stabilized f/2.4 lens for capturing great images at long-distance shots without compromising quality or stability.
The ultra-wide camera utilizes a laser focus-assist sensor behind its 16MP Rear Camera sensors which allows you to take stunning landscape photos easily.
- Stunning 108MP camera with triple lenses for capturing memories in ultra-high resolution
- Lightning-fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor and Adreno 650 GPU for seamless performance even while multitasking or gaming
- Immersive Endless Edge display with a silky-smooth 90Hz refresh rate, providing unmatched visuals and user experience
- Massive 256GB ROM and whopping 12GB RAM to store all your data, apps, and media files without the need for frequent cleanup or deletion
- No expandable memory (no card slot)
- Single SIM only
- Does not come with a US warranty
- Advanced 2x zoom feature for capturing high-quality photos from a distance
- Sleek and modern design in vibrant red color
- Compatible with Oppo Find X6 Pro smartphones for seamless integration
- Lightweight and compact at just over an ounce in weight
- Wireless display capabilities for enhanced versatility
- Produced by trusted manufacturer FZZSZS with a long history of quality products.
I recently got my hands on the Oppo Find X6 with its impressive camera specifications. The primary module features a 50MP 1/1.56″ sensor, 1μm pixels, and an f/1.88-aperture lens that provides excellent auto-focus and optical image stabilization (OIS).
Additionally, the ultra-wide module boasts a large 50MP sensor with an aperture of f/2.05, providing sharp images even in low-light conditions.
I was amazed by the quality of photos taken by this smartphone’s camera, which performed admirably across all test attributes.
Despite having a smaller sensor compared to other flagship devices like its sister model Oppo Find X6 Pro or Honor Magic 5 Pro – I found myself incredibly impressed with how well-balanced the device performed overall.
One of my favorite attributes of this phone’s camera is how it handles texture/noise trade-offs in both photo and video modes so gracefully – resulting in clear and vivid pictures every time.
Tele zoom hardware, commonly found on more expensive models, can be quite intimidating for beginners, but not so with the user-friendly software solutions provided here; you won’t have any trouble capturing far-off subjects perfectly without losing picture quality.
- Convenient mobile phone holder function
- Easy installation of the screen protector with hydrophobic and oleophobic coating
- Full access to all functional ports without removing the case
- Complete protection with high-toughness tempered glass and leather flip cover with cardholders and kickstand wallet case
- Limited color options available
- May add extra weight to the phone
- Magnetic closure may not be as secure as other types of closures.
- 10x zoom camera for crisp and clear photos from a distance.
- 5G connectivity for lightning-fast internet speeds.
- Large storage capacity of 256 GB to store all your files and media.
- Fast charging support to keep up with your busy lifestyle.
- Wireless charging feature for convenient and easy charging without cords.
- MIUI 13 operating system for smooth performance and advanced features.
I recently got my hands on the Xiaomi 12, and I must say, it delivers a solid performance overall. Although it may not be considered one of the top devices in the Premium segment, I still find slight improvements over its predecessor Mi 11, in both photo and video quality.
As the junior model of Xiaomi’s flagship 12 series, this device boasts the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset as its Pro counterpart. However, it does come with a smaller display and noticeable hardware differences in terms of camera setup.
The primary camera has a slightly smaller image sensor than that of the Pro version but maintains a resolution of 50MP with OIS and PDAF features. The ultra-wide camera uses a lower-resolution sensor relative to the Pro model and is accompanied by a macro lens featuring a focal length equivalent to that 50mm.
One key feature worth noting is that despite these hardware differences between models, both offer equal video recording specs capable of capturing up to an impressive 8K resolution at 24 frames per second. Additionally, HDR10+ support allows for better clarity when recording videos at resolutions up to 4 K/30fps.
- 10x zoom camera with pro-grade quality for stunning photos and videos
- Powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip for smooth performance and lightning-fast speeds
- Global unlocked compatibility for use anywhere in the world with any GSM carrier
- Large storage capacity and fast charging capability for convenience on-the-go
- Not compatible with Verizon, AT&T, Boost, Cricket or Straight Talk
- No expandable storage options are available
- Relatively high price point compared to other smartphones in the market
Let’s dive into an in-depth comparison of the top 8 optical zoom camera phones for 2023, exploring their camera specifications, optical zoom range, additional features, and pricing ranges.
A crucial aspect of evaluating the best optical zoom camera phones for 2023 is examining their camera specifications. These technical details go beyond just megapixel count, incorporating elements such as image sensors, aperture size, and additional lenses like telephoto and ultra-wide angle lenses.
For instance, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra boasts an impressive 200MP sensor which significantly enhances its zoom capabilities and overall image quality.
Understanding camera features like optical image stabilization also plays a key role in determining the ideal device for mobile photography enthusiasts or professionals alike.
Having a stable shot while capturing images at high zoom levels or during low light situations is critical to attaining clear and vivid results.
The optical zoom range in camera phones plays a crucial role in capturing high-quality images, especially when you want to shoot subjects from a distance.
This technology allows users to get closer to the subject without losing any image quality, an advantage that sets it apart from digital zoom, which relies on cropping and can lead to pixelated photos.
A wide optical zoom range is essential for various types of photography, from panoramic landscapes to detailed macro shots or even stargazing photography. Some high-end camera phones can provide impressive optical zoom ranges of up to 100x or even more.
Apart from their impressive optical zoom capabilities, the top camera phones for 2023 come equipped with additional features that enhance their overall performance. For instance, some models have advanced optical image stabilization (OIS) systems that help to reduce blur and shake in photos and videos.
Most of these devices also have upgraded low-light performance compared to previous generations, making them ideal for night-time photography. Additionally, some models feature telephoto lenses that enable portrait mode shots with bokeh effects or even astrophotography for stargazing enthusiasts.
The price range for optical zoom camera phones can vary greatly depending on the brand and model. Generally, high-end flagship phones with advanced camera features and high optical zoom capabilities tend to be more expensive.
On the other hand, there are also mid-range options available that offer good value for money without sacrificing too much on image quality. The Pixel 7 Pro is a great example of this, offering excellent performance at a more affordable price point compared to some of its competitors.
Consider the camera’s performance and features, brand reputation, pricing, and user reviews and feedback before choosing an optical zoom camera phone.
The performance and features of a camera phone are crucial when making a purchase decision. A high-end camera phone should offer a variety of shooting modes, including manual, night mode, and portrait mode.
It should also have advanced features such as optical image stabilization (OIS) to reduce shake and blur in photos and videos.
For instance, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra boasts excellent camera performance with its 200MP sensor that captures stunning details even in low light conditions. The Pixel 7 Pro is another excellent option with its triple rear-camera set-up led by a 50MP main sensor with an f/1.9 aperture that delivers sharp, vibrant images both day and night.
Brand reputation is an important factor to consider when choosing an optical zoom camera phone. It’s always a good idea to stick with reputable brands that have a proven track record of delivering high-quality smartphones.
Samsung, Apple, and Google are some of the most well-known and trusted brands in the market today. Samsung has been making waves with its Galaxy series phones for years now, while Apple remains a popular choice among many consumers due to its highly-touted features, such as A-series chips, software stability, and ecosystem benefits.
Meanwhile, Google’s Pixel lineup offers great value for money and consistently receives positive feedback from users for their advanced camera capabilities paired with user-friendly software.
The pricing of optical zoom camera phones can vary greatly depending on the brand, model, and features offered. Generally speaking, high-end camera phones with advanced optical zoom technology tend to be more expensive than those without it.
However, it’s important to note that price should not be the only factor considered when choosing an optical zoom camera phone. Factors such as camera performance and features, brand reputation, user reviews, and feedback should also come into play.
User reviews and feedback are crucial when selecting the best optical zoom camera phone. It’s essential to consider what other users have experienced with a particular phone’s camera features, image quality, and user interface before making a purchase decision.
For instance, many users rave about Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra’s advanced 200MP sensor with an impressive 10x optical zoom range that produces sharp and detailed images even in low light conditions.
Additionally, Pixel 7 Pro has received positive feedback because of its triple rear camera setup led by a high-resolution main sensor lens that offers excellent still photography capabilities at an affordable price point.
The ability to capture stunning photos with our smartphones has become a crucial factor for many of us in choosing our mobile devices. With advanced camera technology and improved zoom capabilities, taking breathtaking shots has never been easier.
Our top recommendation is the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, which boasts an incredible 200x zoom, perfect for extreme close-up shots. Its achromatic lens ensures clear and sharp images, and its compatibility with smartphones makes it easy to use on the go.
Another great option is the Huawei P50 Pro which also has a remarkable 200x zoom function but comes unlocked for all carriers providing you with greater freedom in selecting your preferred network provider.