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How to Choose a Digital Camera Phone

Updated on January 21, 2011

A mobile phone today needs to be capable of serving a variety of different functions. Most people want a phone that doubles as their music player, laptop and digital camera. The problem is that one of these areas usually gets compromised when the others are improved. For example, a handset maker might come out with a really terrific smartphone that does a great job of accessing the mobile web and has an impressive multimedia player but the digital camera on the phone isn’t that great. So how do you find a great digital camera phone that also meets all of the other needs that you have from your cell phone?

First Determine What You Need from a Phone

Before you even start looking at which digital camera phones are out there, you need to sit down and ask yourself what you really need or want from your cell phone. Do you care a lot about call quality? Is it important to you that you have a touchscreen on your cell phone? How much does it matter to you to have productivity tools, a music player or high-quality video recording features? By asking yourself what you want overall from a phone, you’ll be able to start your digital camera phone shopping with a really good idea of what you’re looking for.

Brainstorm a list of features that you want and then rank them in order of importance so that you really get what you want. For example, my list might include that I want a small, lightweight slider phone that gets great web access and has a high-quality digital camera. If it has a music player or a touchscreen too then that’s great but those features fall further down my list. Knowing this helps me to make a good choice.

Next Figure Out What You Want From a Camera Phone

Knowing what you want from the phone overall is just the first step. If you’re looking specifically to get a digital camera phone then you’ll want to ask yourself which camera features matter most to you. Some people care a lot about getting a phone with a lot of megapixels. Other people want to make sure that they get a camera phone that has geotagging capabilities so they can tag their photos with their location and upload them to the mobile web. Knowing what you want from you camera is going to help narrow down your search even more.

Some of the Most Important Camera Phone Features:

While you’re trying to decide what you want from the camera portion of your phone, these are some of the features to consider:

• Megapixels. How much do megapixels matter? Some people say that they matter a lot and some people say that they only matter a little bit. As far as digital camera phones go, you’ll want to look at a camera that has 8-12 megapixels if you’re looking for a really good camera phone. If you’re willing to settle for a mediocre camera phone then 5-8 megapixels is fine. Don’t go lower than 5 if you plan to really use the camera on the phone.

• Autofocus and detection features. A good digital camera has a variety of features including autofocus, face detection and smile detection. Most good camera phones are now offering these features.

 Flash. Does the camera have a built-in flash? How strong is it? Is it a Xenon flash or an LED flash? If these questions don’t mean anything to you then the only thing you’ll need to know is if it has a flash (because you do want one). If you know more about digital cameras then you may want to look for advanced flash features.

• Geotagging. A lot of people like to tag their photos with their location using the phone’s GPS features. They also like to upload to tagged images to the mobile web. Do you care about this? Does your phone offer this option?

• Screen quality. If you plan on viewing your pictures on the screen of your digital camera phone on a regular basis then you should pay attention to the screen quality of the phone. You may also look for different shooting and viewing modes.

• Video options. Most camera phones also offer video recording. This can range from simple to advanced recording. What do you want?

Examples of Some of the Top Digital Camera Phones Today:

You’ll find the phone that you want by looking at your list of desired phone features and camera features and selecting the phone that best meets your needs. However, there are some cell phones that are considered to be at the top of their class when it comes to their digital cameras. Here are a few to consider:

• Sony Ericsson Satio. This digital camera phone hasn’t been released yet (as of the time that this article was written) but it’s due to hit the market soon and is expected to be one of the best digital camera phones ever.

• Sony Ericsson Cybershot C905. If you don’t want to wait for Sony Ericsson to release a new phone then it’s a safe choice to go with the best of their existing phones which incorporates their well-known Cybershot digital camera into a great lightweight handset.

• Samsung Pixon 12. This is a high-quality digital camera phone that is best known for the fact that it’s a 12 megapixel camera. It’s also a high-quality smartphone that offers a great touchscreen interface that people seem to enjoy using.

• Samsung Memoir. A more basic phone from Samsung is the Memoir which is just an 8 megapixel camera phone. It’s a slim phone with a good camera for someone who is looking for a mid-range (but quality) digital camera phone.

• Nokia N86 8 Mexapixel. This is a great digital camera phone for someone who wants a really smart smartphone but who also wants a good digital camera. The phone offers a lot of business productivity features and is a great cell phone but it also has a terrific 8 megapixel digital camera built into it.

• Casio Exilim C721. This is an interesting digital camera phone. It’s a good choice for someone who wants a moderately good camera because of the fact that it’s only a 5 megapixel camera. And yet it’s one of the more expensive digital camera phones available and the reason for that is that it’s specially-designed to withstand the elements. If you’re looking for a decent camera inside of a phone that you can take anywhere then this is a good choice.

Those are some of the top digital camera phones available right now but of course there are new releases coming out all of the time.


Submit a Comment

  • alung12 profile image


    6 years ago

    I like this Hub thank you for the advice. The 8MP camera on my phone take amazing pictures. The flash can be really heavy on battery though, so I try and keep it off as much as possible.

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    I got my Nokia phone simply because it has a Carl Zeiss lens and a 5 megapixel camera. It doesn't do much else but it takes good photos!

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    I am looking at upgrading my phone so I am glade I found your article. Your information will help me pick the right phone.

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    Thanks for the complete information!

  • CheapMobilePhones profile image


    8 years ago from UK

    Now a days phones become a good replacement for Cameras.

  • Ambition398 profile image


    9 years ago

    It's amazing they're even considered phones anymore!

  • prasetio30 profile image


    9 years ago from malang-indonesia

    nice tips you have excellent review about various cellular phone.


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