Recommend a new(er) Android phone for architectural & text photos
April 13, 2022 7:34 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for a smaller, lighter Android phone that does all the basic phone and internet stuff well, that has a responsive camera for drive-by architectural photography and that also captures large blocks of text well when shooting documents in archives.

I assumed the new Pixel 6 would be an improvement over my overheating Pixel 4a, but it's too big and heavy, and very slow to focus when trying to shoot cool buildings out the passenger side window. Please help me find a replacement phone that will let me document the built and printed environment and not make my wrists ache. (Or is the answer to get an iPhone?)
posted by Scram to Technology (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: The only specific reason for wanting an Android is that's the operating system I've been using and happy with. Definitely open to making a change if anyone else is using their phone for what I do, and would recommend a model.
posted by Scram at 8:12 PM on April 13

Best answer: For the use case of passenger seat photography, a mirrorless camera or DSLR will be much more responsive than any phone camera. The problem of lugging around extra kit is a lot smaller if you can just drop it in the console when you are not shooting.
posted by Superilla at 8:27 PM on April 13 [4 favorites]

Best answer: You could consider the Sony Xperia 5. It's about the only compact Android phone I know of that doesn't compromise the camera.
posted by dbx at 3:46 AM on April 14 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I've had a Pixel 5a for almost 8 months and I've been very happy with it (including picture quality), but it's bigger than the 4a.

Still, despite the rampant Apple fandom on this site, there are plenty of Android phones with good cameras. For instance, a quick search indicates the Samsung Galaxy S22 has a great camera system; it's about as tall as the 5a but noticeably narrower (like the Pixel 6) which might help it feel smaller to you. The Sony Xperia 5 III is about that same size, or even a little narrower. The Asus Zenfone 8 is sold as a compact phone and is highly regarded all around, not just for the camera.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:10 AM on April 14 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I purchased a Pixel 5 last year and have been pretty happy with the camera. The not-huge size is one of the main reasons I bought it instead of waiting for the 6. I know it's not available straight from Google anymore, but a quick search shows plenty for sale elsewhere (presumably refurbished).

Although if fast shutter and responsiveness is important, I think you'd probably be better off with a DSLR.
posted by photo guy at 5:06 PM on April 14

Best answer: Personally, this sounds more like you need a "superzoom" compact digital camera.

Canon PowerShot SX740 HS
* 20 megapixel CMOS sensor
* zoom out to 24mm wide-angle
* Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity

So keep your phone, upgrade the camera instead.
posted by kschang at 9:32 PM on April 14

Response by poster: So whatever was making the focus slow when I posted this Ask seems to have been fixed on the software side, and I'm getting used to using the bigger, heavier phone for the car window shots I enjoy taking. But I do appreciate all the good advice and will keep it in my back pocket should there be any more trouble with this phone's camera.
posted by Scram at 11:14 PM on May 22

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