AH Reader's Choice Awards: Best Camera Smartphone – Pixel 4 Series

Pixel 4 AH Award

Cameras on smartphones are getting better and better these days. 2019 was a year with plenty of great smartphone options if you were looking for an excellent camera.

And according to your votes the Pixel 4 series was chief among them. Not surprisingly, if you think about it, considering that previous Pixel phones have been the cream of the crop every year as well.

This year, we also chose the Pixel 4 series as best camera smartphone, and with good reason. Not the least of which is just excellent quality photos as an end result.


Excellent software and interesting features at the helm

When it comes to the Pixel 4 series phones, camera hardware isn't what really keeps the phone on top. In fact the same is really true with any Pixel series phone.

That doesn't mean that the hardware isn't good. Just that the quality of the photos that come out of the Pixel 4 and past Pixel devices is the software.

Google's computational photography took the smartphone world by storm with the original Pixel. With the Pixel 4 the improvements that Google has continued to make are clear.


It truly believes that the best camera is the one you have on you. And it's intent on making sure that the Pixel 4 can deliver in that area.

Some of those features in the software were available on the phone at launch. While others were implemented later on. One of the former is the astrophotography capabilities.

While there's no dedicated mode that you can swap to for astrophotography, you can enable it. Through Night Sight mode. Simply open up the camera and launch Night Sight, then point the camera at the sky and make sure it's still enough to capture whatever you're trying to shoot.


A feature added much more recently is the ability to add blur to photos you've taken. While the Pixel 4 launched with a portrait mode, it was meant for photos you were taking right then and there.

This new portrait mode of sorts allows you to add those same results to photos you've already taken without blurring during the image being taken. These are just a couple of the many little camera tricks the Pixel 4 offers.

Things like a really good zoom that doesn't take too much away from image quality and in-viewfinder controls for brightness and white balance are others.


The best camera of any mobile phone out there

If your smartphone is your main camera, the Pixel 4 should be your choice. That is if you want a good camera.

Out of all the choices available this year, there were more than a few the Pixel 4 series had to step over. Devices like the Huawei P30, OnePlus 7 Pro, and Galaxy Note 10 Plus all offer great cameras.

In the end though, the Pixel 4 series wins out, both according to us and to you. And the camera on it will likely only get better with future software updates and feature additions.