For instance, check out this video: Eminem Performing his hit "Venom"
This was shot on Google Pixel 3.
Does it *really* feel like it was captured through a Smartphone camera?
For most of us, the difference would be almost non-existent. The quality is as great as it gets.
(Of course, not to hush that in shooting the above video, a lot of other equipment and best lighting would have been employed. But that's a whole different topic altogether.)
In short, we do have Smartphone cameras that perform - at least for regular people like us - equally well with digital cameras.
Google Pixel 3XL & 3A, Huawei P30 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, Apple iPhone XS Max -- these phones haveincredible camera quality.
In the coming days, phone manufacturers would continue innovating. The camera quality would continue improving.
Sure, at the same time, camera companies would, too, make innovation to improve the quality of their product. However, as we move forward, they would continue shifting to the high-end consumers; like the YouTubers and Filmmakers. Because digital cameras would continue to see a decline in demand in the consumer market.
So, there's a good chance that we could even see the narrative of Smartphone cameras vs. digital camera, a part of which we're already seeing now. And if that comes in the mainstream, economically-smart consumers would always opt for the Smartphone.
Now note: The quality of digital cameras still and will continue to remain the benchmark setter. After all, that's what they are made for. So, they would always be the holy grail in the quality that Smartphone cameras will chase.
(After all, when it comes to clicking/shooting high-quality pictures, a lot go into it than just megapixels. This gives professional cameras an upper hand!)
But in the coming years, the Smartphone camera will see major innovation where their quality would be beyond what we see now.
At present, for normal consumers like you and me, we could hardly notice (or care to notice) the difference between visuals taken from (good) Smartphone camera and digital camera.
In short, to answer your question...
" Will Smartphone cameras ever reach higher quality than digital cameras?"
YES. That might happen.
(Courtesy: Digital Camera World)
You can romanticize the nostalgia and relevance of digital cameras. But unless the camera companies invest big in improving their products, they would get taken over.
I mean, just look at the consumer market. Their demand has declined. The smartphone is a go-to for all for its quality, among other reasons.
There's a reason why directors and YouTubers are testing with Smartphone cameras. Not because they want to look cool - but because it's much more convenient and cost-effective forthem.
Here's a parting thought: Go figure why the demand for GoPro continues to climb. Why people are buying its cameras not just for the "action" purpose.
Hope this answers your question.
(Fun Fact: A lot of NDTV stories and shows are shot on Samsung Galaxy.)