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Best Smartphones With Zoom Capabilities


A Telephoto lens has become common with all newly launched smartphones, and some brands have engineered crazy zoom capabilities up to 100x digital zoom. With a lot of options available in the market, here is a comprehensive list of all the best smartphones that feature ultimate zoom capabilities.

By Akhil Taneja - 
19th Mar 2020
Best Smartphones with Zoom Capabilities

Highlights of the Story

  • A Telephoto Lens enables taking photographs of subjects at moderate to far distances.
  • With software optimisation, these lenses can digitally zoom in about 30x-100x.
  • A periscope lens is used in some smartphones such as Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, this allows a 100x Digital Zoom.
  • The zoomed-in images at maximum zoom capacity are not of great quality and are not ideal to post on social media.

The cameras in a smartphone play an important role in deciding a smartphone for the youth generation, and particularly with the introduction of new lenses such as the Ultra-Wide, the Telephoto, and the Macro. The Periscope/Telephoto lens has been gaining huge popularity and people now prefer to opt for a smartphone with these lenses onboard. While new mid-range devices also have started to come with these lenses, here we combine you with the list of the best smartphones with zooming capabilities so that you can choose the best smartphone as per your preferences. We will be majorly focusing on cameras but will also give you an idea of the other specifications.

Also read: Top Camera Smartphones

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra:

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Starting off with the smartphone that claims to have ‘Space Zoom’ Features which Samsung feels to call it, a smartphone that we can call as Giant (in terms of the numbers). The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra comes with a 108-megapixel f/1.8 Primary Sensor, with a secondary 48-megapixel 10X Hybrid Zoom Lens which can go up to 100x Digital Zoom, a third 12-megapixel ultra-wide and a ToF sensor on the rear. The 100x zoom feature looks impressive on paper, but At 100X, the images are blurry to the point that they resemble an impressionist painting. It’s just a gimmick but still, the images at 30x or 50x turn out to be better than the competition. 

Samsung S20 Ultra 100x Zoom
Image Source: Fobes

The image processing from Samsung on Flagships, as usual, is great, the photos come out to be sharp and well-detailed, colours are natural and white balance is on point. Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra has one of the best Camera mechanisms ever seen on a smartphone yet. And it obvious that if you are buying such an expensive device, it should be featured packed in all categories. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Packs in a gigantic 6.9-inch QHD+ AMOLED Display having a 120Hz Refresh Rate, under the hood, the device is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Chipset and boasts a 40-megapixel front-facing selfie shooter, on to the battery front, the S20 Ultra has a 5,000mAh battery and its beastly in size. Overall the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is one of the most expensive but the best flagships out there in the market currently.

Also read: Galaxy S20 First Impressions

Huawei P30 Pro:

Huawei P30 Pro

Moving on to the trendsetters of the Telephoto Lens in smartphones and one of the first few brands to implement it, the Huawei P30 Pro from Huawei also has one of the best periscope lenses ever seen on a smartphone. Starting off with the specifications, the Huawei P30 Pro boasts a 40-megapixel primary lens, a secondary 8MP 5x Optical Zoom which can go up to 50X Digital, a 20MP Ultra Wide and a ToF Lens. The photos from the primary lens are great and well detailed but with the telephoto lens, there is some lack of detail, as it only has an 8-megapixel lens. But Overall, the colors are well saturated and vibrant, with no complaints about here. Moving on to the other specifications, the Huawei P30 Pro sports a 6.47-inch FHD+ OLED Display and a front-facing 32-megapixel selfie shooter. Under the hood, the device is powered by the Kirin 980, a massive 4,200 mAh battery. The device is featured packed in all ways and on can opt for this smartphone any doubts if he needs a camera-centric smartphone.

Also Read: Huawei P30 Pro Review

Oppo Reno 3 Pro:

Oppo Reno 3 Pro

‘To a smartphone launched recently, the Oppo Reno 3 Pro also has some incredible zooming capabilities. If the specifications are concerned, the Oppo Reno 3 Pro has a capable quad-camera setup comprising of a primary 64-megapixel sensor, a secondary 13-megapixel 2x Telephoto, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The specifications are quite amazing and the photos translate them too, the photos from this phone match Oppo’s color processing with highly saturated images and good levels of details, the telephoto lens functions exceptionally. On the front, the Reno 3 Pro has a 44-megapixel sensor with a 2-megapixel depth sensor. While this phone isn’t a flagship, it sports the Helio P95 Chipset and its a great mid-range processor. The phone also has a 6.4-inch AMOLED Display with a 4,025mAh battery under the hood.

iPhone 11 Pro Max:

iPhone 11 Pro Max

One phone that everyone wishes to have, and absolutely the best camera smartphone out there in the market, the iPhone 11 Pro Max with its 2x Telephoto Lens is a great smartphone for shooting zoomed-in pictures. While the camera specifications may seem basic, the camera’s are ultimate. It sports a primary 12-megapixel lens, with a 12-megapixel 2x Telephoto lens, and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens on the rear. The iPhone’s 2x Telephoto lens is capable of 20x Hybrid Zoom and the main highlight of iPhone’s cameras are, it doesn’t have color shiftings on all three lenses and photos are pretty natural and sharp with the white balance exactly on point. Even the 20x Zoomed shot is fairly usable. Moving on to the other specifications, the iPhone 11 Pro Max has a 6.5inch Super Retina OLED display, is powered by the Apple’s A13 Bionic Chipset, has a 3,969mAH Battery and lot more. It’s the best camera on a smartphone out there.

Also Read: iPhone 11 Pro Max Review

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+:

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus

Last, but not the least, Another Samsung phone made it to the list and this time its the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ too has a capable camera setup comprising of a primary 12-megapixel primary shooter, a secondary 12-megapixel 2x Telephoto lens, a 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens along with a ToF sensor. This can also go up yo 20x digital zoom similar to the iPhone and is pretty close to it in terms of details, but the colors are a little faded and look odd sometimes while zoomed in. On the front, the Note 10+ has a 10-megapixel shooter, has a gorgeous 6.8-inch QHD+ AMOLED Display, is powered by the Exynos 9825 Chipset, has a 4,300mAh battery and lot more packed in inside. Its another option, if you also prefer to have a stylus along with the smartphone.

Also Read: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus Review

So to conclude, the Telephoto lenses on a smartphone are the new trend in the smartphone market with the option to offer tens of digital zoom features. Although none of the above-mentioned smartphones deliver great-looking pictures when fully zoomed in, still having 100X zoom on your smartphone is just incredible.


Apple iPhone 11 Pro

With a heavy price tag, the Apple iPhone 11 Pro which comes in Gold, Space Grey, Silver and  Midnight Green colour variants,is a gadget anybody would love to get their hands on. Powered by  iOS 13, Dual SIM capability , assuring great sound quality with a spatial audio playback with support for Dolby Atmos, rated IP68, having a A13 Bionic chip, TrueDepth camera for facial recognition, a battery that lasts up to 4 hours longer than iPhone XS which charges to 50% in 30 minutes, an 18W USB-C Power Adapter, capacities ranging from 64GB -256GB -512GB, light weight and a Super Retina XDR OLED Multi‑Touch 5.8‑inch display with a 2436×1125 pixel screen resolution at 458 ppi , this smartphone offers the best of all.

Apple has added a 2x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out and a  digital zoom up to 10x to this  iPhone which is magnificent while taking pictures. A 2x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out and a digital zoom up to 6x is provided for shooting recordings. Therefore, its zoom capabilities are pretty amazing.

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