‘Tis the season for shutterbugs to be happy with whatever new high-end smartphone they decide to splash the cash on for the holidays. The battle for first place overall in the DxOMark Mobile ranking is more heated than ever, and that’s obviously good news for anyone thinking of purchasing the Google Pixel 2, Huawei Mate 10 Pro, iPhone 8 Plus or Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

You can rest assured knowing all of the above are excellent photo and video-capturing performers, but if you want the best of the best, our most recent in-depth real camera reviews have yielded two names.

It’s the LG V30 if you like to fine-tune your creations every step of the way, or the baby Pixel 2 for auto mode perfection. Google has truly managed to release the finest smartphone camera out there this time around, but only if you’re the kind of user that tends to point and shoot without fiddling with settings and modes.

Keep in mind that the original Pixel’s main shooter was already pretty great, so the search giant only needed to refine the overall experience, solve a couple of lens issues and add hardware image stabilization.

Check, check and check, with the end result delivering smooth video, colorful exposures, crystal clear low light content and fun slow-motion. The Google Pixel 2 doesn’t need two sensors for a pleasing natural bokeh effect, and even the selfie cam can be described as competent, at the very least. There are a few weak links, but we’ll let you discover them for yourselves in Juan Bagnell’s thorough 11-minute real camera inspection above.

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