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Megapixel Warriors: Five Phones With Huge Megapixel Snappers

It has been raining megapixels in the Indian phone market. Until a few months ago, most phones came with cameras with megapixel counts generally in the vicinity of 12MP or 13MP. Some would get into the 20-megapixel territory and some would have multiple cameras, but by and large, the focus (pun intended) on phone cameras seemed to be more on features like depth sensors, aperture, optical zoom and so on. That however seems to have changed in 2019, where huge megapixel counts have suddenly come to the camera phone party. So much so that recent times have seen a deluge of phones toting cameras with megapixel counts ranging from 40 to even 48-megapixels, and at price points that go from the mid to the premium segment. So if you are in the market for a phone which has a hefty megapixel count, do consider the following:

Redmi Note 7 Pro – a whole lotta pixels for not too many bucks

It is the most affordable “huge megapixel count” camera phone in the market and rather interestingly, is perhaps the only one that has gone to town with the 48-megapixel camera on its back. The camera is a Sony sensor with an f/1.79 aperture. The large half inch sensor is easily one of the biggest seen on a phone. It is paired with a 5-megapixel depth-sensing camera at the back for better bokeh. Making sure that the device does not stumble under the weight of all the heavy duty image processing is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor, aided by 4GB or 6GB of RAM, and storage variants of 64GB or 128GB. It is not quite as flagship level as the Kirin chips on the Honor and Huawei devices, but it just works, and thanks to a massive 4000mAh battery, keeps working for a longish time as well. And well, if you are patient enough, you will get some very good pictures – this is easily the most affordable camera phone out there in the market.

Price: Rs 13,999 onwards 

Perfect for: anyone who wants lots of megapixels and high resolution images without spending a bomb  

OPPO F11 Pro – the front camera rises, but the rear one has the pixels

The newest arrival to the mega-megapixel party, the OPPO F11 Pro has highlighted the low-light prowess of its camera. And the biggest reason for this is the large 48-megapixel sensor on its back, which captures a wealth of detail. The phone also comes with a large 6.53-inch display, which has hogged headlines because it has no notches and very thin bezels. Making this possible is the fact that the front facing camera on the F11 Pro actually lies behind the display and pops up when needed. To an extent, this camera has partly stolen the thunder from the rear shooters (there is a 5-megapixel secondary camera to help you get better bokeh) on the device. There are some who also feel that the MediaTek Helio P70 processor is not powerful enough to really handle the kind of imaging work the rear sensor will place on it, but allied with 6GB of RAM, we never really had too many problems with it. OPPO’s ColorOS remains a little difficult to understand, but it comes with a stackful of photography options which allow you to do so much more with those cameras, including a very good low light mode.

Price: Rs 24,990

Perfect for: Anyone looking for good low light photographs, and a big display too

Vivo V15 Pro – megapixels front and back

In terms of sheer camera numbers, the Vivo V15 Pro is right up there with the best. It not only has a big 48-megapixel rear sensor but is actually paired with two other rear cameras, a 8-megapixel ultra wide sensor and a 5-megapixel depth sensor. Add a 32-megapixel front facing pop-up camera to the mix and you have a staggering 93-megapixels of shooting power in the device, one of the highest counts you will see in any smartphone out there. The other hardware is very impressive too – the device has a very good 6.39-inch AMOLED display with an in-display fingerprint scanner, and as the front facing camera is a pop up one, there are hardly any bezels. Handling the working is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor with 6GB and 8GB of RAM, ensuring that there are very few lags. The Funtouch OS on top of Android 9 will give you shooting options aplenty, but will take some getting used to. At the end of the day, this is perhaps one of the best combinations of front and rear cameras in this collection. Almost a hundred megapixels of shooting power here!

Price: Rs 28,990

Perfect for: Megapixel counters, and those who want snazzy new features (pop up camera, in display fingerprint scanner, et al) 

Honor View 20 – classy, sassy and loaded with megapixels

The first off the 48-megapixel base in India was actually the Honor View 20. However, the phone made headlines for being the first with what was termed a punch hole “in display” camera as well as a very eye catching rear panel, and that led many to overlook the extremely able 48-megapixel shooter on the back of the phone, with a large half-inch sensor and f/1.8 aperture which was paired with a 3D stereo second camera. The phone also came with some very high end hardware, including the Kirin HiSilicon 980 chip that was seen in the high-end Mate 20 Pro, 6GB and 8GB RAM variants and storage which went up to 256GB, as well as a brilliant 6.4-inch full HD+ display with that punch hole notch. The camera came with a stack full of shooting options and settings that enabled some very creative photography. Unfortunately, far too many forgot about it in the fuss over the punch hole notch and that snazzy design.  It remains perhaps the best value for money big megapixel phone cameras out there, hitting the middle ground between the two Pros – the Redmi Note 7 Pro and the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.

Price: Rs 37,999 onwards

Perfect for: All those seeking flagship level performance and a very eye catching design 

Huawei Mate 20 Pro – overall camera overlord

The Mate 20 Pro made news for its three cameras, and the main sensor was 40-megapixel one, backed by a 20-megapixel ultra-wide and a 8-megapixel telephoto lens. And all three came with Leica technology. Want more? Even the front facing camera is a 24-megapixel one! No, you could not shoot 40-megapixel snaps by default, but when you did, you ended up getting some amazing detail. Add Leica technology to the mix and the results were eye popping. And with a Kirin 980 processor, a fantastic 6.39-inch QHD+ AMOLED display, 6GB RAM, 128GB storage and a massive 4200mAh battery that was capable of also charging other phones, this is clearly the option for anyone who wants a super high quality camera in a super high quality phone. Yes, it costs a bomb, but then it delivers fantastic pictures too. In terms of sheer image quality, this one can simply turn to the others and say “who is your daddy, then?” Because well, it is!

Price: Rs 69,990

Perfect for: Those wanting a camera phone that can deliver the highest quality of photography, right up there with the iPhones and Pixels. And general performance to match

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Nimish Dubey

Nimish Dubey has been writing on technology since 1999. He has contributed to a number of publications and websites including The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Mint, Economic Times, Outlook, and India Today. He is currently the Editorial Mentor at TechPP.com and a regular contributor to Indian Express. When not writing, he loves to read and listen to classic rock.

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