Manufacturers continue to push what’s possible on smartphones in terms of their optics. Nowadays you don’t have to purchase a dedicated camera such as a DSLR to capture the beautiful sceneries and memories around you. In the past, these flagship photography experiences were mostly limited to very high-end smartphones. But we have been seeing that the manufacturers are willing to offer a similar flagship-level photography experience on their mid-range devices as well due to stiff competition. The result is you have a boatload of ‘camera smartphones’ that promise to offer a top-notch camera experience. However, not every smartphone can keep up to that promise. That’s why we have selected the best smartphones under Rs 30,000 that can offer you the best mobile photography experience on the move. So, without further ado, let’s get started with our list.
Things to consider while buying camera smartphones
Camera: When buying a phone with its cameras as a priority can be a challenging task. Especially if you’re purchasing it for vlogging. You need to make sure a few things to get a great camera and video shooting experience. One of the first things to make sure of is that the front camera should have a wide angle-view lens so you get more of the scenery while clicking group selfies or vlogging. Another thing to make sure of is that the manufacturer has included an optical image stabilisation (OIS) feature in the cameras so the video doesn’t shake when you’re walking. If the OIS is not available make sure the manufacturer is at least offering a software equivalent of OIS, which is generally called Electronic image stabilisation (EIS).
Camera modes and filters: Apart from improving upon the camera lenses, manufacturers include software enhancements like various filters and effects to make sure the images look great. Ensure that the phone maker has included a wide range of filters and camera modes so you capture the perfect shot you always wanted.
Display: Make sure for the best picture quality you either an IPS LCD or an AMOLED panel. For comparison, AMOLED offers wider viewing angles, higher contrast, and deeper blacks than IPS panels. If you’re after the image quality we suggest you go with a phone that has an AMOLED display for better visuals.
Processor, RAM, and storage: Make sure you get a phone with a faster processor along with a high amount of RAM for smooth multitasking and faster task completion. Similarly, a large amount of storage will help you store more of your favourite apps, games, and movies.
Battery and fast charging: Make sure the phone can offer at least a days worth of battery life, so you don’t run out of battery juice in the middle of the day. Another thing to make sure of is the availability of fast charging solution so that when the battery juice runs out you can recharge in a matter of minutes instead of hours.
Best camera phones under Rs 30,000
iQOO 7 5G
We start our list of best camera smartphones with iQOO 7 5G. The phone sports the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 processor at the core, making it one of the most powerful smartphones you can buy on the market currently. You get 8GB of RAM for smoother multitasking and 128GB of large storage for your apps, games, and movies. iQOO 7 5G sports an HDR10+ certified 6.62-inch 120Hz (AMOLED) panel that can also peak up to an impressive 1,300nits brightness for a smoother, brighter and more colourful image reproduction. To make the gaming experience as smooth as possible the handset includes an improved thermal cooling solution called Liquid Cooling System for fewer frame drops while gaming. Add to that you also have an Extended RAM feature that can be used to add an extra 4GB of virtual RAM on top of the existing 8GB of physical RAM. You get a 48MP Sony IMX598 rear camera with optical image stabilisation for blur-free clear photos and videos. The camera system also includes a 13MP ultra-wide lens so you can take group selfies with more people in it. There is also a 4,400mAh battery with 66W FlashCharge that promises to charge the phone from 0 to 100 percent in around 30 minutes. You also get dual speakers that support Hi-Res audio playback for a theatre-like movie viewing experience. The manufacturer is promising up to 2 major Android upgrades and 3 years of security patches for peace of mind. iQOO 7 5G is feature-packed and is one of the best camera smartphones you can buy currently.
OnePlus Nord 2
OnePlus Nord 2 is another camera smartphone that you can consider for a good photography experience. You get a high-resolution 32MP front-facing camera that clicks amazing selfies. The rear of the phone features a 50MP Sony IMX766AI triple camera along with optical image stabilization support for blur-free images. The front features a 6.43-inch 90Hz FHD (2400 x 1080) AMOLED display that produces buttery smooth scrolling apps. Further, the display also supports sRGB and DCI-P P3 colour gamut for vivid images and videos. Powering this phone is a Mediatek Dimensity 1200 processor that can handle most high-end games with ease. You also get 240fps slow-motion video shooting mode. This variant of the phone features 8GB of RAM for smoother multitasking and gaming, and 128GB of storage for apps and games. There is a dual-cell 4,500mAh battery with support for a 65W Warp Charge that fills the battery juice in a matter of minutes. You also get dual speakers and improved haptics. Overall, this is one of the best mid-range smartphones that you can currently buy in the market if you’re prioritising cameras as well as power-packed performance.
Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G
Moving on with our list we have a Xiaomi smartphone. Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G comes with a 6.55-inch 90Hz (10-bit OLED) panel along with a Dolby Vision certification that can produce more than a billion colours making it one of the best smartphones for movie watching as well as gaming. At the core, you get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G processor for faster performance. It features very compact dimensions measuring just about 6.81mm thin and weighing about 158g. At the rear, you get a 64MP triple rear camera that features 50+ ‘Director Modes’ letting you shoot the way you want and will help you get the perfect shot you always dreamt of. And at the front, you get a 20MP selfie camera for detailed shots. There is NFC support for wireless payments, Alexa for voice commands, 6GB of RAM for smoother multitasking, and 128GB of large storage for apps and games. The phone supports 12 5G bands as well making it future-proof. Xiaomi is promising 3 generations of Android upgrades and 4 years of security patches. This is also one of the best camera smartphones you can buy.
iQOO Z5 5G
iQOO Z5 is yet another camera smartphone worth considering. It sports a 120Hz IPS display with HDR10 certification for smooth motion in apps and vivid visuals in movies. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G processor is ticking at the core that is powerful enough to handle most apps and games with ease. Additionally, you get 12GB of RAM for increased smoothness and 256GB of storage for apps, games, and movies. There is a 64MP autofocus camera with a GW3 sensor that clicks high-resolution photos. The Super Night Mode applies various filters and enhancements to photos taken at night so they look great. You also get a dual-view video mode that displays both the rear and front view simultaneously, useful for those vlogging sessions. iQOO has packed this device with an improved Liquid Cooling System to reduce thermal throttling and offer a great gaming experience. Additionally, the 240Hz touch sampling rate ensures you can feel every moving pixel and can control all the character movements in real-time multiplayer games instantly. The phone packs dual speakers that promise to offer immersive surround sound and a big 5,000mAh battery with 44W FlashCharge that charges the device up to 50 percent in just 23 minutes. iQOO Z5 5G runs Android 11 out of the box and the manufacturer is promising an upgrade to Android 12. This is one of the affordable and feature-packed smartphones you can purchase on the market currently.
OnePlus Nord CE 2
The sequel to the original Nord is a great choice for a camera smartphone. It is an affordable yet powerful device. The OnePlus Nord CE 2 comes with a 6.43-inch 90Hz (AMOLED) Full HD+ panel that produces accurate and gorgeous visuals and is protected by a Gorilla Glass 5. Additionally, it is also HDR10+ certified. The front of the phone features a punch-hole cutout that houses the 16MP selfie camera that clicks beautiful pictures. The back of the phone gets a 64MP AI triple rear camera, which manages to click bright and high-resolution shots. There is a 4,500 big battery that charges through the included 65W SuperVOOC charger. OnePlus has retained the beloved headphone jack and there is a dedicated microSD card slot to expand storage as well. The phone features dual SIMs functionality and supports a wide range of 5G bands so you can experience 5G at its full potential. As with the OnePlus Nord series, the manufacturer is promising up to 2 major Android updates and 3 years of security patches. The phone is extremely thin and weighs about 178g. It is one of the best mid-range smartphones on the market that manages to offer everything a user needs at an affordable price point.
Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G
Moving on with our list, we have yet another affordable mid-range phone one can buy. Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G comes packed with features and sports a boxy design inspired by the new EVOL pro design that is stunning to look at. The phone sports a 6.67-inch Full HD+ (120Hz) Super AMOLED display along with a 360Hz touch sampling and 1200nits peak brightness for brighter image rendering and a more accurate responsive screen. The 100 percent screen colour gamut makes sure you get accurate image rendering capabilities. In terms of optics, we have a triple camera setup with a 108MP HM2 sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide sensor, and a 2MP macro sensor for beautiful shots. Additionally, the camera also packs dual-native ISO for noise reduction and 9-in-1 pixel binning for good low-light performance. You also get a 16MP front-facing camera for beautiful selfies. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 processor is ticking at the core with 7 bands of 5G support. With a 5,000mAh battery, Redmi is promising up to two days of battery life, and you also get 67W fast charging support that gives a day’s worth of battery life in just 15 minutes of charge. There is a LiquidCool thermal management technology, dual speakers for booming surround sound, a Z-axis vibration motor for grate haptic feedback, Corning Gorilla glass protection, IP53 certification, 6GB of RAM for fast multitasking and 128GB of storage for apps and games, and more. Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G runs MIUI 13 out of the box and it can be purchased in three beautiful colours: Mirage Blue, Stealth Black, and Phantom White.
Redmi Note 11 Pro
Next up we have another variant of the Redmi Note 11 series that is even more affordable and comes packed with features. This one also sports the same boxy design inspired by the new EVOL pro design that is beautiful to look at. You get a 6.67-inch Full HD+ 120Hz (AMOLED) display along with a 360Hz touch sampling rate and an impressive 1200nits peak brightness for greater sunlight legibility and responsive navigation. The front is also protected by the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for shatter-resistance and scratch resistance. The back features a 108MP HM2 sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide sensor, a 2MP macro lens, and a 2MP depth sensor for a mesmerising photography experience. The 16MP front camera ensures you get beautiful selfies. At the core, a Mediatek Helio G96 processor is ticking along with Liquidcool technology, which ensures you get an impressive day-to-day performance. The dual stereo speakers produce balanced and immersive theatrical surround sound, so you can really enjoy those long binge sessions. There is a 5,000mAh battery that charges from 0 to 50 percent with the included 67W fast Turbo-Charger in just 15 minutes. You get MIUI 13 out of the box, a Z-axis vibration motor for grate haptic feedback, IP53 certification, 6GB of RAM for fast multitasking, 128GB of storage for apps and games, and more. Redmi Note 11 Pro can be purchased in three beautiful colours: Star Blue, Stealth Black, and Phantom White.
iQOO Z6 Pro
We have yet another powerful and affordable smartphone. The iQOO Z6 Pro comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G Mobile Platform that features 15 percent more CPU performance and 30 percent GPU performance, letting you game without too many slowdowns. In addition to a powerful processor, iQOO has included a 5-layer Liquid Cooling System, which reduces the phone temperature by up to 10 degrees for stutter-free gaming. The phone sports a 6.58-inch Full HD+ 120Hz high refresh with a 240Hz touch sampling rate for smooth moving and responsive display. You also get 128GB of fast storage and coupled with a large 6GB of RAM you can be sure you get a good gaming experience. The phone includes a 50MP Eye Autofocus main camera, that is designed to accurately track moving subjects and reduce out-of-focus issues while shooting so you get a perfect video. You also get a large 5,000mAh battery with 18W fast charging support so you can fill the battery juice faster. iQOO Z6 Pro is 8.25mm in thickness and weighs about measures 186. It is one of the best mid-range camera smartphones you can currently buy on the market while still being light on the wallet and is certainly worth considering.
Samsung Galaxy M33 5G
Samsung Galaxy M33 5G is another camera smartphone you can depend on. Samsung Galaxy M33 5G features a quad-camera setup that includes a 50MP main camera, a 5MP ultra-wide sensor, a 2MP depth sensor, and a 2MP macro lens for an impressive photography experience. You also get an 8MP front-facing camera for selfies. Additionally, Samsung has included an object eraser and temporal noise reduction filters for distraction-free and low noise photography. The phone sports a 6.6-inch Full HD+ panel along with a 120Hz high refresh rate for buttery clear and smooth visuals. An Exynos 1280 octa-core processor is ticking at the core that is capable of supporting a total of 12 5G bands for improved 5G network compatibility. In terms of security, you get the Knox Security feature, which is capable of protecting the software and hardware from external attacks. Additionally, you also get a side-mounted fingerprint sensor for an easy authentication experience. Samsung Galaxy M33 5G is running on One UI 4 that is based on the Android 12 for an intuitive and feature-rich software experience. Samsung has packed this phone with 6GB of RAM for smoother multitasking and 128GB of storage for apps and games. And yes, you also get the 3.5mm headphone jack so you can connect your favourite wired headphones. The Power Cool technology ensures the phone doesn’t heat too much while you’re blasting through the gaming sessions. The Samsung Galaxy M33 5G is an affordable phone that offers a feature-packed experience and should be on your watchlist if you’re in the market for a camera phone under Rs 30,000.
Redmi Note 11S
Redmi Note 11S packs a 90Hz 6.43-inch Full HD (AMOLED) panel along with a DCI-P3 wide colour gamut and 1,000nits of peak brightness for vivid and smoother moving pictures. A Meditek Helio G96 processor is taking care of all the processing needs, which should be enough to handle most daily tasks without any hitches. The back features a 108MP primary camera along with an 8MP ultra-wide lens, a 2MP depth sensor, and a 2MP macro shooter for great high-resolution shots. The camera system also features dual-native ISO for low noise and 9-in-1 pixel binning for good low-light performance and a satisfying photography experience. The phone packs a 5,000mAh battery that charges through the included 33W Pro fast charger. Samsung has included an improved heat dissipation system for low thermal throttling while gaming. You get dual speakers for a theatrical audio experience, a reading mode to reduce eye strain, a Sunlight display mode that makes the display more legible in bright sunlight conditions, and more. This variant of the Redmi Note 11S packs 6GB of RAM for smooth multitasking and 128GB of storage for apps and games. The phone features a compact and beautiful design and is worth considering if you’re in the market for a camera smartphone.