The Best Budget-Friendly Smartphones for Photography Enthusiasts in 2023

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The Best Budget-Friendly Smartphones for Photography

Are you passionate about photography but constrained by budget? Many have shared this challenge – a desire to delve into photography, held back by financial limits. I recently asked my Facebook friends and followers what is one hobby they have always wanted to get into, but haven’t and why. The answer from quite a few was photography and the reason for not starting is because it’s too expensive. This spurred me to create a list of budget-friendly smartphones for photography, proving that starting this hobby can be affordable. These smartphones are your perfect gateway to photography, allowing you to explore and capture the world without a hefty price tag.

The Best Budget-Friendly Smartphones for Photography

1. Moto G Power (2021): The Cheapest Option You’re Gonna Find


Price: $66

The Moto G Power (2021) is a testament to budget efficiency. With a robust 5000mAh battery, it offers extended shooting hours. Its 50MP camera captures crisp images, making it an ideal choice for beginners. The phone’s sturdy build and reliable performance ensure you don’t miss those spontaneous photographic moments.

Highlights: 50MP camera, 5000mAh battery, 6.5″ display.All for less than $100.

2. Moto G Play (2023)

MOTO G PLAY (2023)

Price: $100

The Moto G Play (2023) is a perfect entry-level smartphone for photography. It boasts a 16MP triple camera system, ensuring quality shots. The 5000mAh battery complements a photographer’s need for long hours of shooting. Its 6.5″ HD+ display offers a clear preview of your captures, enhancing the overall photography experience.

Highlights: 16MP triple camera, 5000mAh battery, 6.5″ HD+ display. It’s also on sale right now for a whopping $70, so don’t sleep on this deal!

3. OnePlus Nord N100

OnePlus Nord N100

Price: $126

This device stands out with its 13MP main camera, supported by a long-lasting 5000mAh battery. The 6.52” screen enhances photo review and editing on-the-go. It’s a great blend of affordability and performance, making it a top pick for beginners in mobile photography.

Highlights: 13MP main camera, 5000mAh battery, 6.52” screen. Also on sale for about $125 – need I say more?

4. OnePlus Nord N30 5G

OnePlus Nord N30 5G

Price: $230

The OnePlus Nord N30 5G is a mid-range powerhouse. Its 108MP Triple Camera offers high-resolution images with crisp detail. The Snapdragon 695 chipset ensures smooth operation, and the 6.7” 120 Hz Display is a boon for editing photos directly on the phone.

Highlights: 108MP Triple Camera, Snapdragon 695, 6.7” 120 Hz Display. Also, OnePlus phones are just awesome!

5. Nothing Phone 1

Nothing Phone 1

Price $356

A blend of aesthetics and functionality, the Nothing Phone 1 features a 50 MP wide camera for capturing stunning shots. Its 6.55-inch OLED display is perfect for photographers who value screen quality as much as camera performance.

Highlights: 50 MP wide camera, 6.55-inch OLED display, 4500 mAh battery.

6. Google Pixel 6a

Google Pixel 6a

Price: $340

Known for its superior camera software, the Pixel 6a is a gem for mobile photography. The 12 MP camera, backed by Google’s advanced image processing, offers exceptional photo quality, especially in low light. Its compact and efficient design makes it a favorite.

Highlights: Google Tensor chip, 12 MP camera, 6.13-inch screen.Plus, Pixel cameras are widely-known for being some of the best in the game!

7. Samsung Galaxy A54 5G

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G


The Samsung Galaxy A54 5G excels with its triple camera setup, led by a 50MP primary sensor. It’s a solid choice for those who want Samsung’s reliability and camera prowess without the flagship cost.

Highlights: 50MP + 12MP + 5MP rear cameras, 6.6-inch display, Octa-core processor. Galaxy phones have also long been a top contender in the mobile photography world.

8. Google Pixel 7a

Google Pixel 7a


The Pixel 7a is an upgrade in Google’s A-series, offering a refined photography experience. Its camera leverages Google’s advanced algorithms for stunning shots. The balance between price and performance makes it a compelling choice.

Highlights: 8 GB RAM, fast-charging battery, Pixel Camera with Google Tensor G2. At only $35 more than the Pixel 6a, you might as well just go ahead and get the latest model, right?

9. Samsung Galaxy S22

Samsung Galaxy S22


The Galaxy S22, even in its renewed form, is a powerhouse. Its 50MP triple rear camera setup is perfect for capturing high-quality photos and 8K videos. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor ensures smooth operation, making it an ideal choice for photography enthusiasts.

Highlights: 6.1-inch AMOLED display, 50MP + 10MP + 12MP rear cameras, Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

Tips for Buying Budget-Friendly Smartphones for Photography

When considering a budget smartphone for photography, there are several key factors to keep in mind:

  1. Pixel: The pixel count of a camera is crucial for high-quality photos. A higher pixel count can produce more detailed and subtle photos. However, higher-pixel photos can take up more storage space.
  2. Lens: Good lens transparency, accurate color reproduction, and quality image storage are vital. The lens quality affects the purity of the photo, with many flagship phones using six-lens systems for better light gathering and enhanced lens contrast.
  3. Aperture: The aperture size affects the depth of field and background blur, making portraits appear fresher and more natural. A large aperture (small value) is beneficial, especially in low light conditions, for stable photos.
  4. Screen Comparison: The phone’s screen impacts the preview effect of photos. Screens like Samsung’s Amoled provide excellent color saturation and contrast, although the effect may vary when viewed on different devices.
  5. Sensor: The sensor size and color depth are critical for photo quality. A larger sensor size captures more details and reduces noise, leading to higher quality images.
  6. Image Processing Engine: This is the imaging system of the phone, which includes processing chips and imaging algorithms. The effectiveness of the image processing engine can vary between brands, affecting the overall camera function.

The Best Budget-Friendly Smartphones for Photography: Wrapping Up

This list offers a variety of options for folks seeking budget-friendly smartphones for photography in 2023. From the Google Pixel 6a’s low-light capabilities to the all-round performance of Samsung Galaxy S22, there’s a phone for every preference and budget. Share your experiences or ask questions about these smartphones in the comments. Your insights help shape a more informed community.

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