THE past few years have seen a meteoric rise in the kinds of pictures we can take for Instagram. 2019 smartphones can not only take stunning, pseudo-professional bokeh shots, but also enhance colours with artificial intelligence, depending on the photo’s subject.

Today’s flagships sure are competitive, but we’re picking out the cream of the crop — the ones that give your Instagram photos the best “shot”.

Read on to pick from the top contenders for this year’s lineup. Or if you aren’t impressed, wait a few more months for the new upgrades.


THose who love a big screen: Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

The Galaxy S10 Plus ticks all the boxes befitting a high-end smartphone in terms of design, performance and functionality.

On its back sits three lenses — the 2X optical telephoto lens, the 12MP wide-angle lens, and the 16MP ultra-wide lens. On the front, there’s a 10MP selfie camera and an 8MP RGB depth lens.

Its new features like Color Point introduces bokeh into your shots with masking it in grayscale, making your subjects pop with colour isolation. The best part? Enjoy these hi-res photos on its equally impressive 6.4-inch display.


no-Fuss photography: Apple iPhone xs Max

We’re calling it — the Apple iPhone XS Max is the biggest and baddest iPhone to date.

Apple is one of the few sticking to a dual lens setup, backed with even more robust hardware and image processing.

Its clutter-free interface facilitates an easy-to-use shooting experience, taking great snaps with minimal controls that you won’t have to worry about.

While shooting modes aren’t as versatile, exceptional photos are guaranteed every time, especially with in-built features like Smart HDR, depth control and enhanced portrait mode.

Or if you can, wait for Apple’s new iPhone for 2020 — rumour has it that it’ll include 3D sensing via the rear camera system; watch this space for updates.


The smartest camera: Google Pixel 3 XL

After making its debut, numerous tech publications have touted the Google Pixel 3 XL to be the best smartphone camera out there, and it shows.

The Pixel 3 XL prioritises consistency over quantity with just one 12.2MP lens camera at the rear.

It works magic with its embedded Pixel Visual Core chip, as well as machine-learning software. That means it can recognise what photos should look like and which shots you’ll really want.

For an intuitive interface with AI that adapts to your shooting habits, this phone is the smartest gizmo on the market.


The more accessible flagship: Google Pixel 3a XL

If you can’t digest the hefty price tags on 2019 smartphones, you’ll appreciate Google’s mid-range offering of the Pixel flagship.

At the centre of the new Pixel handset revealed at the Google I/O 2019 is the unique camera experience brought over from Pixel 3 XL — 12.2 MP, f/1.8 dual-pixel Sony sensor, HDR+, optimal image stabilization and electronic image stabilization.

Not forgetting the same Google AI prowess, you’ll also get Night Sight, Super Res Zoom and Portrait Mode for both front and rear cameras.

If you don’t mind a little bump down in hardware specs, Google’s Pixel 3a XL is a competitive smartphone you’ll have fun taking your #ootd photos with.


The notch haters: Oneplus 7 Pro

If you’re hating the ubiquitous notch that is now engraved in our 2019 smartphones, the Oneplus 7 Pro is the saviour to your photography woes.

The latest flagship comes with an immersive 19.5:9 display from the Chinese company. Its state-of-the-art design includes the same thin bezel screen outline from the Oneplus 6T, but with a pop-up selfie camera that leaves the screen unblemished.

The camera setup from the latest iteration has a 48MP sensor, a new 3X telephoto lens and a low-light ready Nightscape mode. With impressive specs packed into the phone, you get excellent photography results no matter the time of day.

Again — a 2019 smartphone with no notch — this phone is one in a million. 


Images belong to respective brands.

This article was first published on Lifestyle Asia BK

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