How important are megapixels?

Take a closer look at what makes a great camera phone...
How important are megapixels?

It wasn't so long ago that phone makers were telling us that the best camera phone was the one with the most pixels. But that’s simply not true - there’s more to a great camera phone than just megapixels. Here a few areas that are just important - it's worth considering all of these when you're shopping around for your next phone.

Lenses and apertures

Lenses help you take photos in perfect focus by controlling the light coming into the camera. With a good lens and aperture (which controls the amount of light going into your lens), your camera phone will be able to take crisp shots in all sorts of lighting conditions.

The aperture is measured in f stops, followed by a number. Anything below f/1.9 is a good size for your smarpthone.

Dual lenses

You'll find dual lenses on most good smartphones these day (some even have triple lenses). This camera technology offers next-level photography experiences, with the lenses working together to digitally reproduce the professional-looking blur you get in the background of photos taken with a DSLR.

Interested? Take a look at our pick of the best smartphones with dual lens cameras

Image stabilisation

Lenses are great for focusing light perfectly but they need to be held steady for a really clear photo. So keep an eye out for optical image stabilisation (OIS). If it's on your phone, your camera will take blur-free photos even when your hands aren't completely still.


Pixels are the tiny dots on the camera sensor that register light. The more you have, the sharper your photo will be. But as there’s not much space in a phone, the more pixels you have, the smaller they are and the less light they let in.

Bigger pixels let in more light, so your pictures will show better, brighter colours and more detail but if you don’t have enough pixels, you’ll be able to see each dot.

That means it doesn’t just come down to how many megapixels your camera phone has anymore. The size of the pixels is really important too.

Image processors

The image processor takes all the information the camera sensor has collected and turns it into a digital image. A good image processor makes the biggest difference in low light. That’s because there’s less information for the camera to collect, so you need a more powerful image processor to make sense of it all.

AI Technology

AI powered photography is the next big thing in the world of mobile phones. This amazing technology understands what you’re pointing your camera at, and adjust your settings for the perfect photo. That's right - with AI technology on your phone, you might never take a bad photograph again!

Got a question on smartphone camera technology? Then post it below, and we'll do our best to answer it.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

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