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2019: The Year in Smartphone Cameras (Premium)

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The conversation about the top smartphone cameras has revolved around Huawei and Google in recent years. But that all changed in 2019. Thanks to the unexpected and profound improvements to its computational photography capabilities, Apple vaulted into the top tier of smartphone camera makers for the first time.

Don’t misunderstand what this means: The latest Google and Huawei handsets outperform Apple’s latest entries in some key areas. But I’m arguing that there is no longer any way to declare that such and such a smartphone as the best overall camera system. Instead, each wins in one or more categories. And that means that the conversation has changed: It’s no longer possible to choose a single handset if the quality of the camera is your number one criteria for choosing a new phone.

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