5 Best Phones for Online Classes in 2021 – A Complete Guide

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Best phone for online classes

Phones are a great tool. Probably one of the most important inventions of the modern-day world. We can do anything with this device that fits right into our pockets. You can even use it for educational purposes. Therefore, we present the best phones for online classes.

During these times, online education became something completely normal. For some, it is even the preferred way of getting knowledge, which has some advantages over the traditional way. It enables very cost-efficient learning since we don’t have to spend any money on the commute, accommodation or other stuff that come along. Online courses often promote faster learning and are less time-consuming.

All you really need for an online class is a phone. Today’s phones are more than capable enough for that and there is no need for some expensive computer. Moreover, a phone offers you some features that you simply can get in another device. Today’s screens are also large enough and you will have no problem following the class via smartphone. To make your decision easier, we have prepared a selection of five phones, including our recommended option and a budget choice.

If you want to read a full detailed review of our recommended phone for best phone for online classes click here. Or if you are more interested in our top budget pick we got you covered here.

DID YOU KNOW: Back in 1995 only 4% of companies used online learning. Today, this number has risen to 90% and is expected to grow in the future. The business sector is expected to be the main growth driver in online education.

NOTE: Below you can find a comparison table and a detailed description of the best phones for online classes.


BUDGET RECOMMENDED
Samsung Galaxy A12 Samsung Galaxy S10 Xiaomi Mi 10T Samsung Galaxy S21 5G Samsung Galaxy Note20

Samsung Galaxy A12

Samsung Galaxy S10

Xiaomi Mi 10T

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G

Samsung Galaxy Note20
Display 6.5 inches 6.1 inches 6.67 inches 6.2 inches 6.7 inches
Main camera 48 MP wide, 5 MP ultrawide, 2 MP macro, 2 MP depth 12 MP wide, 12 MP telephoto, 16 MP ultrawide 64 MP wide, 13 MP ultrawide, 5 MP macro 12 MP wide, 64 MP telephoto, 12 MP ultrawide 12 MP wide, 64 MP telephoto, 12 MP ultrawide
Video max. 1080p@30fps max. 4K@60fps, HDR10+ max. 8K@30fps max. 8K@24fps, HDR10+ max. 8K@24fps, HDR10+
Front camera 8 MP 10 MP wide 20 MP wide 10 MP wide 10 MP wide
Battery 5000 mAh, non-removable 3400 mAh, non-removable 5000 mAh, non-removable 4000 mAh, non-removable 4300 mAh, non-removable
Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon

OVERALL RATING

We evaluated the phones based on several key factors that are important to capture high-quality photos. The most important being camera megapixels, resolution, and lens zoom performance and capacity. And we must not forget the display as you don’t want just to capture an image in high quality but to also look nice on the screen.

We tested and evaluated all mentioned features and compiled results to a single score number. Please note that the final score does not take the price into the account. So obviously the budget phones will not perform as well as the high-end flagship. But we make sure that all our recommended phones will give you a great camera experience.


What are the best phones for online classes?

SAMSUNG Galaxy A12

One of the best phone for online classes
CUSTOMER REVIEWS

KEY CAMERA FEATURES

MAIN CAMERA FRONT CAMERA VIDEO
Quad with 48 MP wide, 5 MP ultrawide, 2 MP macro and 2 MP depth Single 8 MP Up to 1080p 30 fps

PHONE DESCRIPTION

Samsung Galaxy A12 is a phone that will bring you the experience of premium brand on a budget. This is a perfect choice for any of you that are looking for a good and affordable entry level phone. The overall performance is good and it covers all the basic features that a good phone needs. However, do not compare it to the newest flagships. Still, the battery life on A12 beats most of the competition. Based on its abilities and an awesome price/quality ration, we decided to list it as one of the best phones for online classes.

Galaxy A12 has a quad camera setup. It is equipped with 48 MP main camera, 5 MP ultrawide camera, 2 MP macro camera and a 2 MP depth sensor. The daytime photography is looking surprisingly good, especially for a budget phone. The photos taken with a main camera come out very sharp with a lot of detail and a wide dynamic range. There is also practically no noise and colours are very accurate. You can also make very decent selfies with 8 MP selfie camera. The subject is nicely exposed with a high level of detail. Close up shots taken with macro camera look okay, but do not have as much detail as you would expect. Also, there is more noise in the photos. Low light photography is not the best. Dynamic range is pretty narrow and images are sort of noisy. Colours remain good, but highlights and shadows do not look their best. However, for a basic user all this might not pose a problem. These are details that some may not even care about. So basic users should still go for this phone, however professionals might search for more expensive phone with better camera. Video recording is nothing special and is very basic. You can record up to 1080p at 30 fps. Video quality is average, however sharpness is good and there is also very little noise.

If you are interested in more details about the phone you can read more by clicking here.

WHAT WE LIKED
  • Very affordable. Great price/performance ratio
  • Sleek design makes it Easy to handle and place into pockets
  • Huge 5000 mAh battery is really good and supports 15W fast charging
  • 6 GB model will be able to handle games pretty good
  • Fast, accurate, and repeatable autofocus
WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED
  • The processor chip may be a bit weak for more demanding games. If this will be your primary gaming phone you should consider some higher-end models on this list.
LEARN MORE OR CHECK PRICE

SAMSUNG Galaxy S10 – Top Budget Phone for online classes

One of the best phone for online classes
CUSTOMER REVIEWS

KEY CAMERA FEATURES

MAIN CAMERA FRONT CAMERA VIDEO
Triple with 12 MP wide, 12 MP telephoto and 16 MP ultrawide Single 10 MP wide Up to 4K 60 fps

PHONE DESCRIPTION

Samsung Galaxy S10 is an excellent phone that comes with a great design. It’s not as big as newer Galaxy S phones and it is also a bit older model, but still works really great. The phone has a great chipset with enough RAM to run every task. Therefore, we decided to list this phone as one of the best phones for online classes.

The phone features triple camera setup. You get 12 MP main camera, 16 MP ultrawide camera and 12 MP telephoto camera with 2x optical zoom. Shot taken during the day look great. You get a lot of detail and a very capable autofocus for really sharp photos. Noise is pretty much at its minimum and colours look lively. Zoomed in photos also have a very good quality, which can compare to the quality of photos taken with main camera. Photos taken during night have a great dynamic range and look more or less good. They capture a lot of detail, however, the quality decreases when it’s too dark outside or when zooming in too deep. You can also make 4K footages at 30 fps or 60 fps. Regardless which option you choose the videos look great. They are very sharp and have a good resolution. Zooming in too deep can decrease the quality of your video.

If you are interested in more details about the phone you can read more by clicking here.

WHAT WE LIKED
  • As it is an older flagship you can get it for a very good deal. The specs are still better then some of the newer mid-range phones
  • An excellent and smooth performance from the powerful chipset. 8 GB of RAM is plenty even for the newest games.
  • Camera setup is great and creates sharp images with true-to-life colors and lots of details
  • Accurate white balance and pleasant color rendering in most conditions
WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED
  • Battery capacity is smaller then todays standards
LEARN MORE OR CHECK PRICE

XIAOMI Mi 10T

One of the best phone for online classes
CUSTOMER REVIEWS

KEY CAMERA FEATURES

MAIN CAMERA FRONT CAMERA VIDEO
Triple with 64 MP wide, 13 MP ultrawide and 5 MP macro Single 20 MP wide Up to 8K 30 fps

PHONE DESCRIPTION

Xiaomi Mi 10T is a brand’s flagship phone that was released in 2020. However, price wise it’s more of a mid-ranger. It sells at a very reasonable price, especially if we take into account everything the phone offers us. It’s still isn’t the cheapest phone you will find, but it’s quite a bargain for such quality. The phone has a great chipset and amazing battery life. The camera performance is awesome and there aren’t any major issues here. Therefore, we decided to list this phone as one of the best phones for online classes.

The quality of cameras is surprisingly good for a mid-range phone and is one of the phones strong points. The phone features triple camera setup, with one 64 MP main camera, one 13 MP ultrawide camera and a 5 MP macro camera for close-up shots. You will find the daytime photos to be extremely good. The phone really makes high quality photos. There is impressive amount of detail with almost no noise. Dynamic range is very good and photos appear very sharp. Colours look pretty natural. Zooming will cause loss of sharpness and detail and the quality will drop. However, photos still look good and beat some of the competition. Portraits look good and the edge detection works quite fine. Phone does a good job in low light as well. Sharpness is decent with good contrast and well preserved colours. The dynamic range remains quite wide.

As far as video recording goes, you are able to make 8K footages at 30 fps. There is also an option for 4K footages and regular 1080p footages. These videos all look great and have very good quality. Sharpness is good with the right amount of detail. Also, noise has been reduced to a minimum.

If you are interested in more details about the phone you can read more by clicking here.

WHAT WE LIKED
  • Performance is great thanks to Snapdragon 865
  • Camera is great with many options and settings
  • You will appreciate 144 Hz refresh rate of the screen. Especially when playing games or watching videos
  • Great battery capacity and an excellent battery life
  • Accurate target exposure in indoor and outdoor photos and videos
WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED
  • No wireless charging
LEARN MORE OR CHECK PRICE

One of the best phone for online classes
CUSTOMER REVIEWS

KEY CAMERA FEATURES

MAIN CAMERA FRONT CAMERA VIDEO
Triple with 12 MP wide, 64 MP telephoto and 12 MP ultrawide camera Single 10 MP wide camera Up to 8K 24fps

PHONE DESCRIPTION

Samsung Galaxy S21 is a state-of-the-art phone and it is one of the brand’s top achievements. It has a sleek, new design and it is very attractive. The phone is slightly smaller than its predecessor – the model S20. However, smaller size and lighter weight can sometimes be an advantage. S21 is very capable and works really well, which makes it appropriate for both inexperienced and sophisticated users. It’s a nice choice if you are looking for a high-end and compact phone. Therefore, we list it as one of the best phones for online classes.  

This is an amazing phone, which is just meant for taking photos, so it is definitely one of the top choices. With this phone, you will be able to take photography on a whole new level. The phone features a 12 MP main camera with dual pixel autofocus, which allows you to take very sharp and accurate photos. The S21 also has a 12 MP ultrawide camera with a fixed focus. Additionally, it also has a 64 MP telephoto camera that supports 3x digital zoom. This will allow you to take incredibly detailed photos. The phone camera has a wide dynamic range and well-controlled noise. It also performs well in low-light photography, delivering stunning results. The phone also features a very capable frontal camera, which will allow you to take really sharp selfies, as it can capture a lot of facial details.

Regarding video quality, the main camera can take 4K videos at 30 or 60 fps. Additionally, it also has the ability to capture 8K videos at 24 fps. However, the best results are achieved with 30 fps 4K videos, as they are often sharper and feature more details.

If you are interested in more details about the phone you can read more by clicking here.

WHAT WE LIKED
  • Super fast and responsive performance thanks to Snapdragon 888
  • Easy to hold and place into pockets
  • Battery is really good and supports 25W fast charging
  • 8 GB RAM will handle your everyday tasks without a problem
  • Overall an excellent camera performance in any conditions
WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED
  • No external SD card slot. Depending on your style of usage 128 GB of internal storage may not be enough so in that case you should go for 256 GB version
LEARN MORE OR CHECK PRICE

SAMSUNG Galaxy Note 20

One of the best phone for online classes
CUSTOMER REVIEWS

KEY CAMERA FEATURES

MAIN CAMERA FRONT CAMERA VIDEO
Triple with 12 MP wide, 64 MP telephoto and 12 MP ultrawide Single 10 MP wide Up to 8K 24 fps

PHONE DESCRIPTION

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 is a well designed phone with a lot to offer. In terms of performance and other features it definitely one of the top phones to buy. It is a bit smaller than Note 20 Ultra and is also less expensive. It has different camera set up and a slightly smaller battery. However, we still need to treat Note 20 as a high end phone; after all, it still is one of the top choices out there. So without any hesitation, we list Galaxy Note 20 as one of the best phones for online classes.

The camera setup on this phone is fairly similar to the one on Galaxy S20, rather than the one on Note 20 Ultra. Here you get a 12 MP main camera with Dual Pixel PDAF. You also get a 12 MP ultra-wide camera and 64 MP telephoto camera with 3x hybrid zoom. In general, photos taken from the main camera look pretty good. Daytime photos look excellent. The camera captures a lot of detail with almost no noise, so shots are really sharp.

If you are interested in more details about the phone you can read more by clicking here.

WHAT WE LIKED
  • We really like the fingerprint reader on the screen. It’s super fast and accurate
  • Multitasking is smooth so it never freezes or slows down.
  • Great and large screen. Perfect for playing games, watching videos or scrolling social media or web pages
  • Design wise, that phone looks really good. It feels bad putting any covers on it so we recommend only a thin transparent case.
  • Excellent ultra-wide and close-range zoom shots
WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED
  • Under heavy load the battery may get drained quicker then some other phones on this list.
LEARN MORE OR CHECK PRICE

Additional hardware information

Cameras

The phones these days feature multiple-camera setups. In fact, it is very difficult to find a phone with just one camera. Usually, they have at least two in the back and some even feature four. Now there is a logical explanation behind all this. The companies aren’t just stacking cameras left and right. Each camera is different and serves its own purpose. This is how we get the best results and enhance our photography experience. The most common camera types you will find are wide camera, ultrawide camera, telephoto camera, macro camera and ToF sensor.

Wide camera – It is also known as the main camera that we find on the rear side of the phone. You will notice differences in Megapixels that a certain camera has. A good main camera should have at least 12MP. Furthermore, it is also good if it has good autofocus and an optical image stabilizer, also known as OIS.

Ultrawide camera – It offers a wider field of view than the main camera. This way you can capture more into the image and it is more similar to what our eyes see. It can offer a great advantage when taking wider images such as family reunion photos for example. However, sometimes a photo can appear curved due to a wider angle and some objects might appear abnormally shaped.

Telephoto camera – It is normally used for zoomed-in shots that are taken from a distance. You can zoom in on a scene or subject and get closer without actually having to move. This can serve us well when we don’t want to approach the subject. A telephoto lens increases focal length. It brings objects closer to you.

Macro camera – It is used for close-up shots. We can capture images of small objects, such as insects or plants. These objects can appear big in a photo and we can capture a lot of detail. In fact, we can capture things that are too small to be visible to the naked eye.

ToF sensor – It is a piece of equipment that most flagship phones these days have. A ToF sensor can help you determine the distance between the camera and the object. It is actually a depth sensor that helps the phone create a three-dimensional map of the world. It uses infrared light to determine the distance between the objects and maps 3D space.

Dynamic range

The understanding of dynamic range can really help us improve our photos. Dynamic range describes the ratio between the maximum and minimum light intensities. In simple words, it tells us the difference between the lightest and darkest tones in an image.  Each device has its own dynamic range, which affects the output – that is our image. The wide the dynamic range, the better. You will stumble across this topic a lot in photography. So just remember that a wider dynamic range gives you better results. A wide dynamic range will allow you to capture more detail in brighter or darker areas. Otherwise, those areas will just appear very bright, nearly white or very dark, nearly black. So to create a good exposure, there must not be too bright or too dim parts.

An interesting fact is that human sight has a relatively high dynamic range. No camera can match it. Therefore some pictures of sunsets for example appear different than they are in real life.

Sharpness

Sharpness in photography stands for the overall clarity of the image. This combines focus and contrast. The subject must be clear, lifelike, and have a lot of details. This is when we can speak of sharpness.

Sharpness is very important in photography. Better sharpness means more detail. Furthermore, it also emphasizes the textures of the subject. You should always try and make your photos as sharp as you can. This way the images will appear more professional and interesting for the viewers.

For the best results, you will have to have good equipment as well as the right technique and well-developed skills. However, with the right gear, it can be much simpler. It is also important to know that sharpness is related to the resolution, as the number of pixels and their size affect overall sharpness.

Resolution

The image resolution relates to the number of pixels that are featured in an image. Higher resolutions simply mean that there are more pixels in the photo, whether lower resolutions mean that there are fewer pixels in a photo. The number of pixels also determines how much information is captured in an image. Or in other words, how much detail it can hold. So, the more the better, as it usually results in higher quality photos.

Changing the resolution, you are basically saying how many pixels you want to have per square inch. So it is always good to have a little more than less. After all, it affects the sharpness of the image as well, and you don’t want blurry photos. You want to capture as much information as you can. Cropping the photo, while keeping the same resolution will significantly drop the quality of the photo. That happens because you remove a certain amount of pixels, which basically means you lose a certain amount of information that should occupy that space. So avoid doing that.

There is a lot of talk about Full HD resolution these days. Here we have 1920 pixels wide and 1080 pixels high image. Such resolution is very common among televisions these days. However, there is also Ultra HD, which is also known as 4K. This means that the resolution here is about 4000 pixels, although is usually a bit less – 3840 pixels.

Contrast

Contrast represents a visual ratio between different tones in an image. It defines color characteristics and affects areas such as highlights, shadows, colors, clarity, and textures. A simple way of putting it is to say that contrast is the scale of difference between black and white in the photo. High contrast means that there will be bright highlights and dark shadows, whether low contrast images have little difference between light and dark tones.

We also know different types of contrasts. There is Tonal contrast, which refers to dark and bright areas in the photo. Then we have Color contrast which means pairing warm and cold colors to make them stand out more. We also know Conceptual contrast, which helps us add depth and encourages viewers to engage with the photo. Then there’s also Texture contrast, where we combine rough and soft elements for an extra punch. All of the contrasts are very important if we want the image to look professional and appealing. So we must know how to use them if we want to achieve that magical result. They can help us tell a story and make certain things stand out more. So we can really be artistic with the contrast.

best phone for online classes – CONCLUSION

As you have learned choosing the best phone for online classes is not a trivial task. The phone cannot compare to a professional DSLR camera with its small sensor size. Therefore, it is important that the sensor quality is at the top level and you will also need to play with some manual camera settings, as standard auto mode usually won’t cut it.

Any phone from our list will give you the best camera experience. So if you stay within our selection of best phone for online classes you are good and ready to go. Have fun taking photos.

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