Why budget smartphones have poor cameras

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Are you one of those who complain about poor cameras on budget devices? Have you read gadget reviews in which the reviewer scores a budget device low because the camera doesn’t take stunning shots? To be honest, you should not be surprised. Budget phones are the wrong places to look for quality cameras.

Budget Phones And Poor Cameras Are A Pair

Whether it is on smartphones or on drones or manned aircraft or on security towers, great cameras and budget do not mix. Wherever you see an outstanding camera, you are looking at something that has cost money to produce. It is like expecting a high octane performance engine in a budget city car. If you find one in there, it is placed there at great, extra cost.

Ignore The Megapixel Ratings

We have known for years that a camera’s quality is not all about its megapixels rating. There are a handful of factors that contribute to the quality of photos that a camera produces. As such, you can have an 8 megapixel camera on a N20,000 budget smartphone and an 8 megapixel camera on a N90,000 flagship. But the flagship will produce much better images than the budget phone ever can. It is more than the megapixels.

poor cameras

All The Best cameras Are On Flagships

Have you ever – at any point in time since smartphones were invented – found the best cameras on any device that is not a flagship? Run your web searches. Since the garden of Eden, every list of the best camera phones year after year have always featured the most expensive phones.

But What If…

But what if one manufacturer were to produce a phone that has budget specifications in every other area and then include a flagship grade camera on it? It would cost a bit more than the average budget phone. Perhaps its price would cross over into mid-tier territory. But I am wondering….a performance camera would require a really good processor too. Those glorious photos tend to be heavy too and will require lots of internal storage. Sigh. The price is going up gradually; right? Perhaps cloud storage can be used?

Anyway, you get the picture? Stop expecting anything other than poor cameras on budget smartphones. It costs quite a bit to produce a well refined camera that produces stunning photographs.


  1. Budget phones are the wrong places to look for quality cameras.

    I think…

    Budget phones are the wrong places to look for quality ANYTHING.

    If you get quality ANYTHING, it is a privilege, not your right, based on how much you spend.

    That being said, if OEMs think great camera is of such high importance, they would scrimp on other things to put that great camera, and still operate within targeted budget . But, like I think, cameras on phones is a waste of time (mostly). You want great pictures, get you a good digital camera.


  2. Yes, it’s true that excellent phone cameras are not about megapixel counts.

    That’s the lesson Samsung has learnt from Apple by retaining the same 12 megapixel camera on their Galaxy S7 for the newly released Galaxy Note 7.

    As at the last report from global tech reviews, the Galaxy S7 spots the best phone camera in the market.

    Generally, increasing phone specs by numbers every year is only good for bragging rights and not necessarily for real-world performance. As much as I am not an Apple fan, I must credit Apple for that realization which the Android phone makers should learn from instead of engaging in the rat-race for the phone with the most camera megapixels, most specs CPU/GPU, most RAM specs, etc on paper.

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