Technology. It marches on and on and slowly, gradually but assuredly, sweeps aside everything that is old. The smartphones, in every measure marvels of technology, are doing it since 2007. And finally in 2016, they have reached a position where they are threatening even the mighty DSLR cameras when it comes to clicking photos. At least, the high-end phones like the Google Pixel XL and the iPhone 7 Plus are doing that.
No, the phones are still not better than a proper DSLR or a large sensor camera. But the likes of the Pixel XL and the iPhone 7 Plus are so good that for many people, they will be good enough. And in most cases, these high-end expensive phones are definitely better than many cheap compact cameras, even in low and tricky light.
So, just what is going on? Two things. One, the image sensors and lenses etc have become good in the phones. And two, which is actually the bigger deal, the phone companies are winning it on the basis of their software and all that computing horsepower they are putting in the phones using powerful processors. This refined software and computing power allows phones to process the images in a way that ensures that even if technically, at pixel level, these images aren’t as good as the dedicated cameras, they are good enough — in some cases even better — compared to images clicked with high-end cameras.