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Smartphones & gadgets

True or false: The more megapixels, the better the phone camera

There was a time when you had two options for taking pictures. Hire a photographer or buy a disposable one from the local Rite Aid or CVS and shoot your own. We all delighted in those disposable cameras as kids, filling them with nonsense photos before sending our parents to the photo store to have them developed, with no idea what the final product would look like.

Thankfully smartphones changed the way we take pictures, giving every amateur a camera able to mimic professional photographs. Smartphones have improved beyond what we thought possible, and now every year, Apple and Android brands come out with fancy new models to outdo each other. Tap or click here to see the best smartphone cameras available now, ranked.

The latest challenge for the leading competitors in smartphones, Apple and Samsung, has been all about the camera. Each model boasts an amazing camera with endless features. The latest tag line is how many megapixels the camera has to ensure consumers are getting the best product. But do more megapixels really mean a better camera? Let’s answer this question once and for all.

How many megapixels is enough?

There was a time the number of megapixels a camera contained actually mattered. The original iPhone came with a 2MP camera and couldn’t even record video. Do you remember the days before smartphone videos dominated our social media feeds?

RELATED: 5 ways to use your phone’s camera like a pro

Now even the most basic smartphones boast a camera that will take great photos no matter how inexperienced the person behind the camera is. Seven megapixels are all you need to produce a high-quality 8×10 photograph.

Do you dream of being a fashion photographer in New York City? Are you planning on posting images on the billboards you see on the way to work? Well, unless these careers are in your future wheelhouse, anything beyond 8MP is completely unnecessary.

The average smartphone today comes standard with between 12-16 megapixels. This means that when choosing your new smartphone, how many megapixels it has is a completely irrelevant advertisement because it won’t make any difference in your photos.

Newest flagship models gone overboard

With competition in the technology market heating up, Samsung, Google, and Apple continue to add fancy features to outpace each other. Some of these features are completely unnecessary. The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra costs a whopping $1,200 but boasts an insanely high 108 megapixels. With a price tag like that, you are clearly paying for the extra features.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max costs a little less, starting at around $1,100. It comes with a 12MP camera. While this is considerably less than Samsung’s new model, 12MP allows you to take up to an 11 x14 photograph in perfect clarity with your smartphone.

How does the Google Pixel 5 compare? Google’s newest phone costs only $700. This is far less than its competitors. Much like the iPhone 12, it boasts a 12MP camera. The same amount of megapixels for $400 less.

It’s clear that the idea that more megapixels mean a better camera is false. With today’s smartphones all coming standard with enough megapixels to print out clear photos, any additional megapixels is just fanfare. Hoping to take better pictures with your smartphone? Tap or click here to take better photos and videos.

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