Are there any modern cell phones that natively take photographs in 16:9?

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Android Central Question

My Galaxy S6 just died, and I guess it was the perfect phone for me. It took photographs in 16:9, which is optimal since I never print anything and mostly just view my travel photography on widescreen TVs and computer screens. The S6 also allowed me to conveniently rotate and crop photos in the blink of an eye via the Gallery. Not to mention it had the only occasionally used, but still helpful, camera voice controls. The phone screen looked pretty good, too, and the overall size of the phone was big but manageable.

Now it seems that standards have changed, and not for what I would consider the better. I got myself a Pixel 3a, since Pixels are supposed to have the "best" cell phone cameras, but so far I am miserable with it. SOME of the things my S6 did I can bring back with 3rd party apps, though I shouldn't have to. However, I can't fix the issue with the aspect ratio. Seemingly all the modern phones, and not just the Pixel, shoot at 4:3 now. I understand it is probably easier to make a sensor that takes quality photos at that ratio, since that is closer to being a "square" shape, but that doesn't work for me. I take too many travel photographs to want to crop every single one after the fact. My new phone can simulate taking a 16:9 photograph by reducing the resolution to 8MP, but that is a stark downgrade from my S6's 16MP 16:9 photographs.

So, are there any newer phones on the market that can still take quality 16:9 photographs? I have been tempted to simply re-buy the S6, but they are all used, aging, and I don't want to fall too far behind in technology - for example, the charging cables are not even up to modern standards anymore. And the only thing my Pixel has on my S6 so far (for my purposes) is that the phone runs a bit faster overall, and battery life is a little better because it is brand new.

Is the Pixel (or the very similar Galaxy S10e) as good as I can do now? Or am I overlooking some other modern phone that can do what my four year old S6 could easily do? I would hate to leave the Android platform, but might consider it...


Q&A Team
Nov 22, 2014
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1st of all, megapixels don't determine quality. The Galaxy A50 has a 25 megapixel camera but the 12 megapixel on the Pixel still beats it.

Second, the 8 megapixel 16:9 ratio on the Pixel and Galaxy S series don't suffer any loss of quality compared to the 12 megapixel photo. The camera just automatically crops it to 16:9. There is no difference between you taking a 12 megapixel photo and then cropping off the top and bottom to fit 16:9 because when you do so, it's not 12 megapixels anymore because you removed pixels when you cropped it.

Third. The Pixel is the best phone for photos, and no phone you find out there will beat the 8MP 16:9 photos the Pixel produced.


Retired Moderator
Feb 12, 2012
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The only comment I'd make is that the 3 is better than the 3a because the 3a doesn't have the Visual Core chip, so processing takes a bit longer. (But the picture quality ends up the same).

The Pixel 2 and 3 series is why every other manufacturer compares their camera to the current flagship Pixel (and loses). Showing that it's almost as good as a Pixel is an advertising plus. 4X3, 16X9, it makes no difference, it's still the best phone camera out there. (No 3 or 4 lenses, but you can always buy a good lens kit for under $20.)


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Nov 15, 2020
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There is only one such phone except for the Galaxy S6 devices and Note 5, the LG G5. It may be old, but it takes native 16:9 photos and has a removable battery. The only downside compared to the S6 is that it comes with a TFT LCD display, not AMOLED.

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