Lightest Mobile Phone with Excellent camera and good battery life??

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Tech' started by Autumn Flower, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. Autumn Flower

    Autumn Flower Trail Blazer

    My priority aside the obvious of making calls etc is taking photos, being able to use the internet, exxcellent battery life and as light as possible to accommodate the above.

    Any suggestions or ideas?

    Which phone do you use?

    Or do you use separate camera (which ones)?

    Thank you :)
  2. Gadget

    Gadget Thru Hiker

    Batteries are heavy, so that's the dilemma tearing at either end of your question.
    So if you want light, you will have to reduce the supply. Therefore, to achieve your aim, you will need to reduce demand. The best hardware way to get there, is to have a small screen.
    Autumn Flower likes this.
  3. Autumn Flower

    Autumn Flower Trail Blazer

    what phone and camera set-up do you use? @Gadget :)
  4. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

    Turning down the screen brightness helps quite a bit with power consumption. I think a good resolution is a must for mapping. I favour phones with a removeable back and interchangeable batteries, because a couple of spare batteries is a lot lighter than a recharging pack or solar panel. I use a Samsung Galaxy S5. The camera is OK, but not fab by the latest phone-cam standards.
    Enzo likes this.
  5. Bopdude

    Bopdude Section Hiker

    I just got the Huawei P20 Pro, outstanding pictures and battery life, not what you would call UL but not 'that' heavy.
    Diddi and Dave V like this.
  6. Gadget

    Gadget Thru Hiker

    Mine's a chunky ol' Samsung Note 3 that refuses to die.
    Can't afford to buy a new phone with comparable specs for less than 300 notes.
    (so that ain't happening)
  7. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    It depends what you want to use the camera for, but I don't think any phone has an excellent camera (closest is the Panasonic Lumix CM1, but even that has no optical zoom) due to the smaller sensor size. It won't be noticeable for photos viewed on a phone but if you look at the details on a computer screen it becomes more discernable. There are a number of compact cameras with 1" sensors available that do well. They're not cheap but they have the advantage of optical zooms.
    If you're set on a phone camera but serious about your photos, consider a phone that lets you shoot in RAW so you have better processing options.
    Teepee likes this.
  8. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

    Cheap secondhand 1" sensor camera is the Nikon 1 series. The lenses (apart from the kit zooms - which are good for the money) ain't cheap but are small, light and excellent.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  9. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    If I was set on a phone to take to Iceland, I'd be taking the Samsung S9 plus with a powerbank to suit your expected usage and duration (I don't like Apple) . It's got a fast f1.5 lens , shoots raw, does 4k video, has decent weatherproofing and will do everything else a smartphone should do.

    I agree with William, I'd be taking a seperate more capable camera.....your desires may not be as photographically oriented though.

    Just to give you an example of what can be achieved with a small sensor and not too heavy a dedicated camera, here is a friends site with pics from Iceland;
    Dave V likes this.
  10. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

    @Teepee Your friend seems to be a bit secretive about his gear, the exif data has been stripped from those wonderful images. Do you know what camera he was using?
  11. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

  12. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker

    I have a Sony Experia @98g..
    Waterproof too :dude:

    I weighed a thing !! :)

    Got it nearly two years ago mainly for the camera quality, But battery life is pretty OK on airplane mode.
    With a fat anker power pack 155g* which does three full recharges, of phone I can get six days of pics - I take lots.. Quality variable - but that's probs more to do with subject matter :thumbsdown:.

    Sure it's been superceded since, but I believe Sony are rated for their phone cameras.

    I do also take a Sony compact, with a good lens which is better again.

    But I guess your quality parameters ultimately have to be defined by you.

    Fabulous memories for yourself?

    Or impressing folks on Internet forums :geek:

    *omg - I did it again.. It's quite compulsive isn't it ? :unsure:
    Arne L. and Gadget like this.
  13. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

    FWC: "a fat anker power pack 155g* which does three full recharges"

    That's quite impressive. My three spare batteries weigh 135g. I thought battery to battery recharging was less efficient than that.
  14. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker


    i'm clearly a novice at this weighing items accurately, malarkey :bear:

    221 g :arghh:

    Sorry Rog' if i'd got you all of a lather there :redface:

    I can weigh beans though :geek:
  15. Dave V

    Dave V Moderator Staff Member

    I think it’s going to be hard to find a phone to do everything and have good battery life.

    As Roger said the screen brightness being lowered can help as can airplane mode but if your using the camera allot for stills and film, if the phone has OIS this can have an effect on battery life.

    I currently carry an iPhone 7 Plus, GoPro Hero 4 and on trips where I’m going to new or interested spots I carry either a Sony A5000/6000 or A7 depending on what kind of pictures I’m expecting to take. My power bank will charge all of the above using a Lightning / usb cable so I dot carry extra batteries.

    The P20 Pro looks to be a good choice atm but there are varied views on its battery performance.
  16. Autumn Flower

    Autumn Flower Trail Blazer

    Thank you everyone for the lovely suggestions. Will I look weird going to mobile phone shops with a scale hahahaha ??!!

    @Teepee Goshhh the pics are ABSOLUTELY stunning!!

    Please keep your suggestions or the phones you use coming in. I forgot to mention my budget is max 150£ lol lol so many phones will be excluded. Although i LOVE photos I dont need anything too fancy but the best I can get for my money... I trust, I am trusting to find the right perfect product. I love the sound of the sony experia and might check it out

    Happy trail blazing everyone :) :) :)
    Teepee likes this.
  17. craige

    craige Thru Hiker

    I have a Samsung s8+ which takes decent phone photos. The S9+ is better but I believe the s8+ and reg s9 are the same. Out of budget so not really relevant. Same with my actual camera which I got based on various recommendations from the guys on here, canon G7X ii. Pretty impressed with it so far but still haven't bothered working out how to use it to potential or how to take a good photo. It is noticeably better than my phone though.

    Sorry not much help but I don't think you'll get anything really good for £150 Tbh :frown:
  18. Taz38

    Taz38 Section Hiker

    I've got a sony xperia as well, rainproof, great for mapping, takes ok pics. Memory is pants so I often delete a few apps (ebay etc) before I go.
  19. boogiepanda

    boogiepanda Summit Camper

    Xiaomi Mi5 (my previous phone) was okay, got it for £175 2 years ago, price should be a lot lower now. Camera was good enough, especially if you're tech literate and can enable Camera2 API and sideload the Google Camera apk as the hardware is good, but Xiaomi's image processing is lacking. 129g with a Snapdragon 820 (flagship SoC of 2016, comparable to a high-midrange SoC from 2017 [Snapdragon 660] or a midrange processor this year [Snapdragon 636]).

    Only thing (and quite a big caveat, which is why I switched phones) is it lacks band 20 which is the band used by all major carriers in the UK for far reaching 4G signal. That being said I've always managed to get 4G whenever someone else has 4G, so I don't know how much having B20 will help. But if you're using it in airplane mode anyways and don't need it for data communication lacking B20 doesn't affect things too much.

    If camera is your priority, for £150 I would look into second hand/refurbed 2016-2017 flagships. Google Pixel 1, Galaxy S7, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, LG G5, LG V20 can be found for around your price point. Only thing is being old their battery life may not be as good as when they were new. Despite all the improvements since then in smartphone camera technology, most of the improvement are made in video and low light. I honestly think most people would struggle to differentiate a 2016 flagship in daylight and a 2018 one since they're all still using 1/2.3" sensors. Hell, I've printed 20"x16" photos that I took with a LG G2, a phone from 2013 and at normal viewing distances that looked fine. An outlier is the Google Nexus 5x, which has a very good camera that surpasses most of the 2016 flagships due to Google's processing. It's available for ~£80 but has reliability issues (google Nexus 5x bootloop) and uses a not-so-efficient Snapdragon 808 SoC.

    On that point, since most people take pictures during the daylight hours, I honestly think a phone is good enough for 85% of uses. Upgrading to a premium compact or point and shoot gives more options such as different focal lengths and control of depth of field, the actual quality in daylight doesn't improve drastically.

    As for myself, I currently carry a Nokia 7 Plus with an Olympus EM-5 with 12mm f2, 20mm f1.7 and 40-150mm f4-5.6 along with filters and a tripod because I enjoy photography. Probably gonna try and pick up a Sony RX100 iii/iv or Panasonic LX100 sometime soon though. I've been on the fence for ages and I think to drop ~600g from my kit without losing too much (only weather sealing, but my lenses aren't sealed anyway) for ~£300 is pretty good weight saving to cost ratio, especially considering if I were to sell my current photography kit off it would more than cover the cost of buying a premium compact.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  20. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    For those mentioning Sony Xperia, it's a bit like saying "I've got a car; it's a Ford." There are many models in various sizes and weights, with cameras of varying qualities and with variable battery lives. I have a Sony Xperia T2 Ultra for everyday use: big, great battery life, lacking in internal memory (8GB), good GPS, probably impossible to buy nowadays.
    Mole and Fair Weather Camper like this.
  21. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker


    But that's just not the case @Willum

    My car is definitely a Peugeot ...

    I even went and checked, to be certain :angelic:

    My tractor however, is a Ford :happy:

    I know - its easy to get these things muddled up :geek:

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