Best smartphones with a periscope camera

by ARKANSAS DIGITAL NEWS


UPDATE: 11/28/2023 12:35 EST BY ROLAND UDVARLAKI

We regularly update these lists to ensure they’re up-to-date and show you the latest and most relevant content. We included the new iPhone 15 Pro Max.


New high-end smartphones often come with three or four camera sensors on the back, each sporting higher and more impressive hardware than the other. More isn’t always better, although in this case, they all provide unique features and performance improvements that improve the overall quality. Most modern premium smartphones come with periscope camera sensors, allowing users to zoom in up to 10x using an optical sensor. Some devices further let users zoom in 50-100x using digital technologies and advanced algorithms.


If you’re looking for a device that can zoom in up to 10x, or 100x digitally, you’ve come to the right place. We collected some of the best smartphones with a periscope camera that money can buy in 2023. We also recommend you visit our guide explaining the benefits of the periscope camera sensor.

  • PBI Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

    Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

    Best Overall

    $900 $1200 Save $300

    The new Galaxy S23 Ultra is the go-to flagship from Samsung in 2023. It’s powered by the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, carries the same price tag as its predecessor, and has improved gaming and camera capabilities to let you capture the perfect moment. 

    Pros

    • Outstanding camera performance
    • Gorgeous design
    • Beautiful display
    Cons

    • Expensive
    • Charging speeds aren’t particularly fast
    • Curved display is not for everyone

  • PBI PNG Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

    Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

    The best Galaxy from 2022

    $800 $1200 Save $400

    The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is one of the best Android devices available on the market. It features top-of-the-line specs, tons of power, an extraordinary camera, S Pen stylus support, and other great features. If you’re looking for an absolute beast and something that can do it all without breaking a sweat, the Galaxy S22 Ultra got it all. 

    Pros

    • Beautiful design
    • Excellent camera performance
    • Cheaper than S23 Ultra
    Cons

    • Battery could be better, and charging speed isn’t fast enough

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is one of the best smartphones in 2023, and it comes with one of the most advanced camera setups on the front and back. The latest Galaxy S23 series improve on the previous generation, and come powered with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, coupled with 8/12GB of memory and 256/512GB and 1TB of storage.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra comes with a 200MP f/1.7 primary sensor, a 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide, a 10MP f/2.4 telephoto with 3x optical zoom, and a 10MP f/4.9 periscope telephoto lens with 10x optical zoom. Samsung introduced significant upgrades for the camera sensors this year, and as a result of that, the camera on the S23 Ultra is the best camera smartphone yet from the company.

The Galaxy S23 comes with a large 5,000 mAh battery, and it supports 45W wired, and 15W wireless charging. It lasts more than last year’s Galaxy S22 Ultra, and it’s a perfect choice if you’re looking for the best overall camera smartphone in 2023. That said, the Galaxy S22 Ultra remains a great alternative, as it’s now cheaper, and still sports a more than capable camera setup, powerful hardware, and excellent design.

pbi-iphone-15-pro-max

iPhone 15 Pro Max

First iPhone with Periscope camera

The iPhone 15 Pro Max is the latest and the greatest smartphone in Apple’s lineup. The smartphone is powered by the latest Apple A17 Pro chipset, coupled with 8GB of RAM. It has a more refined Titanium chassis that makes it lighter and more comfortable, and it features a new periscope telephoto camera.

Pros

  • Beautiful, responsive and bright display
  • Powerful A17 Pro chip with more memory
  • Great camera upgrades and new telephoto sensor
  • USB-C port and 30W charging
Cons

  • The titanium finish is slippery and a fingerprint magnet
  • $100 more expensive than previous generation

The iPhone 15 Pro Max is the highest-end flagship from Apple, and it’s the first device to feature a periscope telephoto sensor. The phone is equipped with a 48MP primary, a 12MP ultrawide, and a 12MP periscope telephoto camera that’s capable of achieving up to 5x optical zoom, and 25x digital zoom. It sports the new Apple A17 Pro chipset with 8GB of RAM, and it’s the most powerful device we’ve seen yet. It can capture beautiful photos in all lighting conditions, and if you ever wanted to zoom in further, now you can, on an iPhone.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max features a 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR, OLED display with 120Hz refresh rate and up to 2,000 nits of brightness. It’s light thanks to its Titanium chassis, and it’s perfect for multitasking, and playing graphics-intensive games. The phone comes with a USB-C port, MagSafe, and it supports 30W wired charging, or 15W via MagSafe.

If you’re looking for an iPhone with the most versatile camera setup, and you don’t mind spending a bit extra, the 15 Pro Max offers everything you’d need, perhaps even more than most people require. Whether you’re a professional, or you just want the latest and the greatest, the iPhone 15 Pro Max offers an excellent experience in a thin and light package.

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Pixel-perfect zooming capability

The Google Pixel 7 Pro, powered by the new Google Pixel Tensor sensor, provides great graphics performance and computing power to let you easily play all of your favorite games and multitask. The device also has a highly capable camera setup that’s backed by a unique post-processing algorithm that helps achieve great results.

Pros

  • The Pixel camera to this date
  • Up-to-date and timely software updates
  • Beautiful and powerful hardware

The latest Google Pixel 7 Pro is one of the best camera smartphones on the market, and the best Pixel phone to date. It’s powered by Google’s own, powerful Tensor G2 chipset, coupled with 8/12GB of RAM and 128/256/512GB of storage. It’s fast, powerful, and excellent for power users and gamers who are looking to experience Google’s take on Android.

The Pixel 7 Pro comes with a triple camera setup, a 50MP f/1.9 primary, a 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide, and a 48MP f/3.5 periscope telephoto sensor, capable of 5x optical zoom. While the Pixel 7 Pro won’t win any zooming capabilities, the 5x optical zoom captures beautiful images from a distance. Google is well known for having an excellent algorithm to enable users to take photos with a single button press.

The Pixel 7 Pro comes with a 5,000 mAh battery, and it can last all day on a single charge. It supports 23W wired and 23W wireless charging, provided you use the original cable and charging accessories. It’s an excellent pick if you’re looking for a simple, minimalistic take on the Android OS, and want to experience the latest software features coming straight from Google.

PBI HONOR Magic5 Pro-1

HONOR Magic5 Pro

Best-in-class camera performance

The HONOR Magic5 Pro is one of the best flagship devices in 2023. It has a beautiful 6.81-inch LTPO OLED display with accurate colors, an impressive 50MP camera setup on the back, a long-lasting battery life with fast charging, and a gorgeous design. If you’re after raw power and one of the best devices for photography, the Magic5 Pro is an excellent choice.

Pros

  • Outstanding camera performance
  • Gorgeous design and powerful hardware
  • Fast wired and wireless charging
Cons

  • Limited availability
  • Slippery back surface

The HONOR Magic5 Pro is one of the best phones you can buy in 2023. It’s powered by the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, and it has 8/12GB of RAM and 256/512GB of storage configurations. It’s one of the most beautiful devices on the market today, and it sports a large 6.81-inch LTPO OLED display with 120Hz refresh rate.

On the back, it sports a triple 50MP camera setup, including a 50MP f/1.6 primary, a 50MP f/2.0 ultrawide, and a 50MP f/3.0 periscope telephoto sensor with 3.5x optical zoom. It’s capable of capturing beautiful photos at up to 10x zoom, and we’ve been rather impressed with the overall performance in challenging lighting conditions and broad daylight. On the front, the device sports a 12MP f/2.4 sensor, making it an excellent camera for capturing selfies and large groups of friends or family.

The Magic5 Pro has a 5,100 mAh battery that can last more than a day on a single charge. It supports 66W fast wired, and 50W fast wireless charging, and it’s an excellent alternative for those considering the Galaxy S23 Ultra series in Europe.

PBI OPPO Find X6 Pro

Oppo Find X6 Pro

Excellent alternative if you don’t mind importing

The OPPO Find X6 Pro comes with the flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC, up to 16GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of storage. It has an impressive triple camera setup with a 1-inch main camera, and an all-day battery life with 100W wired and 50W wireless charging.

Pros

  • Bright and gorgeous OLED display
  • Outstanding camera performance
  • Premium design and powerful hardware
Cons

  • Unavailable outside of China
  • No 4K selfie videos

The OPPO Find X6 Pro is an excellent smartphone, but sadly, it’s not an easy recommendation due to its limited availability. The device isn’t available outside of China, but it still made it onto our list as it’s one of the best camera smartphones to have come out in 2023. Here’s how the OPPO Find X6 Pro compares against the competition.

The Find X6 Pro is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, and it has a 6.82-inch LTPO3 AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, and up to 2500 nits of peak brightness. It’s one of the best displays on the market and supports HDR10+ and Dolby Vision.

Flipping the phone on its back reveals a triple 50MP camera setup, including a 50MP f/1.8 primary, a 50MP f/2.2 ultrawide, and a 50MP f/2.6 periscope telephoto sensor with 2.8x optical zoom. The sensors are optimized by Hasselblad, and provide the company’s famous color calibration to take photos with distinctive looks. There’s also a 32MP f/2.4 front-facing camera, allowing users to take high-quality selfies.

The Find X6 Pro comes with a 5,000 mAh battery that can last a full day on a single charge. It supports 100W fast wired charging, promising 45W charge in just 10 minutes, and a full charge in just half an hour. The device also supports 50W fast wireless charging, that can top up the phone in less than an hour

PBI-Xiaomi-13-Ultra

Xiaomi 13 Ultra

The best phone you can’t buy

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra is powerful, capable, and beautiful flagship smartphone. It has a 6.73-inch LTPO AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, an insane quad 50MP camera setup on the back, and a 5,000 mAh battery with fast wired and wireless charging. 

Pros

  • Impressive camera performance
  • Unique design
  • Excellent battery life
Cons

  • Unavailable outside of China
  • Expensive

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra features a similar design to the Xiaomi 13 Pro on the front, but there’s a significant difference on the back. Instead of housing the camera on the top left side, the phone opts for a large circular camera array and an antibacterial silicone leather finish. Here’s how the Xiaomi 13 Ultra compares to the competition.

The Xiaomi 13 Ultra comes with a 6.73-inch LTPO AMOLED display with 2600 nits peak brightness and 120Hz refresh rate. It’s powered by the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, and it has up to 1TB of storage and 16GB of RAM. It’s one of the most powerful devices in 2023, but we don’t yet have any details on whether it’ll ever see the light of day outside of China.

That said, the 13 Ultra packs an impressive camera setup on the back, including a quad 50MP array. It has a 50MP f/1.9 primary sensor, a 50MP f/1.8 telephoto with 3.2x optical zoom, a 50MP f/1.8 ultrawide, and another 50MP f/3.0 periscope telephoto with 5x optical zoom. There’s also a 32MP f/2.0 front-facing camera, and a 5,000 mAh battery with support for 90W wired and 50W fast wireless charging.

PBI-HUAWEI-P60-Pro

Huawei P60 Pro

Best from HUAWEI

The HUAWEI P60 Pro is a beautiful and one of the most powerful devices from HUAWEI’s popular lineup. It’s equipped with the powerful Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, a large 6.67-inch LTPO OLED display, and a triple camera setup.

Pros

  • Unique design
  • Powerful camera setup
  • Fast charging
Cons

  • AppGallery lacks support for many popular apps
  • No 5G

HUAWEI unveiled its P60 series in March 2023, consisting of the P60 and the P60 Pro. In a typical HUAWEI fashion, the new devices are only available in China. Still, since the company often launches its devices in the old European continent, we thought we’d mention them. The new P60 Pro is powered by the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, and it lacks support for 5G. The device comes with HarmonyOS 3.1 in China, and EMUI 13.1 in Europe, and it lacks Google Play Services.

The device has a large 6.67-inch LTPO OLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, and it houses a 13MP f/2.4 front-facing camera on the front, placed in a center hole-punch cutout. Flipping the phone to its back reveals three camera sensors in a unique camera island. There’s a 48MP f/1.4-f/4.0 primary sensor, a 13MP f/2.2 ultrawide, and a 48MP f/2.1 telephoto camera with 3.5x optical zoom.

The device has a 4,815 mAh battery, supporting 88W fast wired and 50W fast wireless charging. The phone is currently only available in China, but there’s a chance we could see it sometime soon in Europe.

HUAWEI Mate 50 Pro

HUAWEI Mate 50 Pro

Second Best from HUAWEI

The new HUAWEI Mate 50 Pro returns to the market after a 2-year break. It sports a large 6.74-inch, 120Hz, OLED display, a quad-camera setup on the back, and it’s powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset. It comes in beautiful Black, Silver, and Leather Orange color combinations.

Pros

  • Beautiful design
  • Outstanding camera quality
  • Gorgeous display
Cons

  • No Google Play services
  • No 5G
  • Unavailable in many regions

The HUAWEI Mate 50 Pro is the company’s latest flagship in the Mate-series lineup, and it’s powered by the previous generation Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset with 8GB of RAM and 256/512GB of storage. It comes with a large 6.74-inch OLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, and it also features an IP68 certification against water and dust.

The Mate 50 Pro has three camera sensors in a circular shape on the back of the device. It features a 50MP f/1.4-/f4.0 primary sensor with PDAF, Laser AF, and OIS, a 64MP f/3.5, 90mm, periscope telephoto sensor with PDAF, OIS, and 3.5x optical zoom, and a 13MP f/2.2 ultrawide camera. There’s a 13MP f/2.4 sensor on the front with a depth sensor for face unlock.

The Mate 50 Pro is powerful, and packs one of the best cameras on the market for the price. It’s powered by Harmony OS 3.0 in China, and EMUI 13 on the international market. It has a 4,700 mAh battery and supports 66W fast wired charging and 50W fast wireless charging. It’s an ideal device if you’re looking for something new, but keep in mind, you won’t have 5G or access to Google Play Services.


Our Recommendation

If you’re after the best overall periscope camera smartphone in 2023, then look no further. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is one of the best camera smartphones this year, and it stands out with its excellent performance, great design, and software support. The device is capable of capturing breathtaking photos from far away, and it’s hands-down the best zooming feature we’ve seen yet on a phone that you can buy from any carrier and store in North America.

Another runner-up, that we thought was worth mentioning, is the iPhone 15 Pro Max. It offers excellent features, quality, and hardware, and while it’s not cheap, it goes head-to-head against the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. If you’re an Apple user wanting better zooming features, the 15 Pro Max is the one to consider due to the unique hardware and exclusivity limited to the Pro Max device.

PBI Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Best Overall

$900 $1200 Save $300

The new Galaxy S23 Ultra is the go-to flagship from Samsung in 2023. It’s powered by the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, carries the same price tag as its predecessor, and has improved gaming and camera capabilities to let you capture the perfect moment. 



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