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Best low-light or night photography phones – 2020

by Antony Pratap
Capture the night with this list of night photography mobile phones - 2020

Although a lot of people today take good photos during daylight, the challenge is really when there is less light at dusk, and taking photos only using ambient light indoors or a cityscape.

Mobile phone giants are working hard to make their cameras on the phone to capture low-light photos. We have done our research and read up on a lot and have come up with a list that will help you decide.

Who really requires the night photography mobile phones?

Photographers or people who love to take photos whenever possible. At times there is a style to it and it comes under a genre. The ones who have taken enough photos using daylight and want to try out their hands-on night photography. People who socialize, party, or love nightlife. The ones who love to try and experiment with different genres of photography. And, the ones who love to keep up with the latest mobile photography world has to offer.

However, it may be a bit heavy in one’s pocket.

Even if you are not a fan of taking low-light photos, you will be surprised with the outcome compared to the other phones.

At times you may need a tripod or other accessories to take a nice sharp shot.

Features to look into while buying a low-light camera phone mobile

There are a few important things you need to take into consideration while choosing a good phone that can take good photos in low-light.

  • Megapixels
  • Aperture
  • Night mode
  • Smart HDR
  • Shutter lag
  • OIS – optical image stabilization
  • PDAF Technology
  • Laser Autofocus


The 64-megapixel mobile phone camera has become the mainstay on smartphones regardless of the cost. The question is does one really need a camera with such a thumping mega megapixel number on your mobile camera? Honestly, it is just a trend or if you are a pompous person. Experts say that even a 48-megapixel camera phone can take good pictures.

More megapixels? Better mobile photography? Photography usually is not about the gear, as they say, it is about capturing a good moment, or a landscape keeping angles in mind. The point is megapixel is not a factor in a quality photo.

More megapixels must mean better photos, right? No. This is the most important part of understanding why 48-megapixel cameras are a good thing: it’s not about quality. Megapixels are not a measure of camera or photo quality.


is one of the three pillars of photography. The lower the number (Example: f/1.2), the camera on your phone will be able to take good pictures when the light is low. The lower the number, the higher the price of the device.

Night Mode:

First of all, Night Mode is not Dark Mode! The tech part of this may go over the head. To easily understand, it is a mode you enable on your phone which will allow it to take beautiful photos during the night or where there is low light.

Smart HDR:

HDR – High Dynamic Range. Smart HDR lets you see more detail in your photo. The darker areas and brighter areas in the photo will have more details, this is achieved by the camera taking multiple shots with different exposures and merges it all into one picture. Any movement or shaky hands may not do justice to the output.

Shutter lag:

The delay or lag the camera takes in time to take a picture by focusing, calculating exposure, releasing the shutter, and recording the picture. You can reduce the lag to create dreamy traffic or light streaks during the night. You can increase it to get sharper images during daylight.

OIS – optical image stabilization:

This stabilizer is incorporated in the lens of the camera itself. This technology is built into the lens to eliminate blurry images that may have caused while taking the photo. If the subject is in constant motion, this feature does not do justice.

PDAF Technology:

Phase Detection Autofocus: It is a technology that takes two different images by adjusting your camera lenses, thereby phasing the images with one another to create the best possible image.

Laser Autofocus:

Laser Autofocus is a sensor that emits a laser beam at the subject or object and reflects it back. Distance is calculated between the two and technology plays its role to create sharp images.

Here is the list of phones that are good for low-light or night photography

(Note in any particular order)

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

The Samsung S20 Ultra’s camera captures good night photos with the right exposure. It is a big mobile phone which sports a 10x hybrid optic zoom, and up to 100x super-resolution zoom. The 40-megapixel front camera allows you to take mind-blowing selfies. It can also record 8K videos. This phone also has a complete editing suite to edit photos and videos on the go. Beautiful HDR with awesome colours. Blur out backgrounds for artistic effects. Super slow-mo videos with up to 960 frames per second. Check out the other features in the link below.

108 megapixels camera mobile phone for night photography by Samsung

Camera specifications:

  • 40 megapixels front camera
  • 12 megapixels ultra-wide camera
  • 108 megapixels wide-angle camera
  • 48 megapixels telephoto camera


Samsung Galaxy Ultra 20 sample photos on Instagram


Huawei P30 Pro

The Huawei P20 can capture brilliant low-light photos. It has a 10x zoom feature. It has a Portrait or Aperture mode which uses infrared light to gather depth information to blur the background. It can shoot wide-angle shots. Long exposures can be achieved by mounting it on a tripod to capture silky waterfalls or water scapes. 

Night photography mobile phone camera - Huawei P30 Pro

Camera specifications:

  • 40MP + 20MP + 8MP rear camera setup
  • 32MP front camera with f/2.0 aperture


Huawei P30 sample photos on Instagram


iPhone 12

iPhone 12 has

iPhone 11 Pro Max

The iPhone 11 Pro Max features the Live Bokeh and Smart HDR. It shoots 4K video with a dynamic range. Slow-mo videos are at 120 frames per second. Great Night Mode feature for night photography. It can also take wide-angle photos and telephoto.

Best night mode or night photography with low light camera phones

Camera specifications:

  • 12 megapixels TrueDepth front camera
  • 12 megapixels 13m ultra-wide
  • 12 megapixels 26mm wide
  • 12 megapixels 52mm telephoto


  • Night mode
  • Portrait mode
  • Smart HDR
  • 4K video up to 60fps
  • Slo-mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps


iPhone 11 Instagram photos


Samsung Galaxy Note 10

The Samsung Galaxy S10 features the Shot Suggestion feature to improve the photo you are to capture. It also has a Scene Optimizer feature to analyze the scene and help you make better photos. There is an Instagram Mode with which you can capture and post it without having to crop. 

Camera specifications:

  • Triple Rear Camera – 16MP (Ultrawide)
  • 12MP (Dual Aperture – F 1.5/2.4)
  • 12MP (Telephoto) with flash | 10MP front camera


Samsung Galaxy note 10 Instagram photos



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