Are you thinking of starting a vlog but don’t know which phone to use? In this blog post, I will list the best phones for vlogging on YouTube. These phones have great features that will help you make high-quality videos.
So, if you are looking for a new phone and want to start vlogging, keep reading!
How Is A Smartphone Good For Vlogging?
Here we have enlisted the main factors which are good for vlogging on the smartphone, take a look at them:
Out of many reasons why you should start vlogging with your phone, it being a compact device is one of them. Being small in size has its advantages. For example it fits perfectly in your hands, and you don’t get tired holding it for long periods of time, which is one thing that you have to do while vlogging, especially if you’re not using a tripod.
That is why usually vloggers tend to choose cameras that are smaller in size, because they are easy to handle.
I mean, the name says it all, doesn’t it? A mobile phone, a device that you can take and use anywhere. Being a vlogger, you are always going here and there, trying out new restaurants or if you’re a travel vlogger, then going to different cities and countries.
If you’re a routine vlogger, you won’t just pack up all your gear and set it up every time you change a location, right? That’s where your phone comes in handy. You take it with you everywhere anyway, so there is no extra burden to keep your vlogging gear. This way, you can even record and incorporate unexpected events in your vlogs.
In fact, that will add a unique and interesting touch to your vlogs and your audience will definitely increase.
3- Camera Resolution:
Despite being a very generic and common device, one thing is for sure, the built-in cameras in smartphones undoubtedly come with amazing image and video resolutions. Some are even good enough to compete with professional-grade, expensive cameras.
4- Variety Of Apps:
It is often necessary for vloggers to have editing software and other apps that make their vlogging experience more fun and creative. Vlogging with your smartphone gives you an edge here because there is a galore of various apps that can help you achieve that fun look everyone is always searching for.
You get to choose your favorite editing app. The good thing is that if you are on a budget, you will find loads of free editing apps for your vlogs.
So what if you don’t have a camera with built-in features and a brilliant lens? You can always use extra accessories to turn your smartphone into a formal video camera.
There are a number of different accessories available in the market that you can pair with your phone for example, external flashes improve the quality of your video by a significant degree.
Secondly, you can attach better lenses to achieve a bigger zoom or a better image resolution; you can also add to your phone a good image or video stabilizer to reduce the shakiness and give your vlog a professional look.
Summary List Of The 5 Best Smartphones For Vlogging:
1- iPhone 13 Series
Recently, Apple came out with a brand new iPhone series that made our jaws drop; at least mine did. The series contains 4 variants of iPhone namely, the iPhone 13 mini (a budget-friendly, very compact phone), iPhone 13 (The standard iPhone model), iPhone 13 pro (This one comes with a telephoto camera which the iPhone 13 lacks), and lastly, the iPhone 13 pro max, the beast as I like to call it.
The iPhone 13 pro max is the top-of-the-line model in this series and has truly impressed me with its new features and amazing interface. I have always been an Apple fan but I promise I won’t be biased here.
The touchscreen is so smooth and the display so bright which is great if you’re using it for video making. You get to see the original colors that your video has captured and the ProMotion tech is absolutely the best as it gives you a higher refresh rate at 120Hz which makes this phone completely lag-free and that is exactly what I love about it.
Long Lasting Battery Life:
This new phone also has a longer battery life that just adds to the other stellar features it offers. I was stress-free when I was shooting my latest vlog with this phone because even after shooting for about 3-4 hours straight, it had almost more than half of its battery left which was just downright impressive.
Although the size of the phone is bigger than most iPhones, it gives us vloggers an edge because it gives you the advantage of having a bigger screen to edit your videos on. Having a bigger display is good in two aspects; one being the easy editing and the other being able to watch your videos and notice little details on the bigger, brighter screen so you can retouch them later.
Undoubtedly, the iPhone 13 phones have the best cameras when it comes to smartphone cameras. Even if it is a 12MP camera, it will give you such a classy image that if not known, you’d easily believe it’s from a professional camera.
iPhone 13 comes with two rear cameras; one is wide-angle and the other is the ultra-wide angle. The wide camera has been upgraded to catch up to 47% more light when capturing images and videos which makes their quality brilliant.
I personally loved the brighter images; it made my vlog look more aesthetic and colorful, just like my audience wants it to be. In addition to that, the new ultra-wide camera captures a wider angle that takes in the darker areas in your surroundings too and is very helpful if you’re shooting an action vlog or a travel vlog where you have to show the most of the scene.
Furthermore, Apple came up with the new sensor-shift optical image stabilization, and in my opinion, this has been the best addition to it so far, if looking in terms of video making. This all-new stabilization allowed me to shoot videos with lots of spontaneous movements without making it look shaky at all.
The end result was so impressive; the video was clear, smooth, and just brilliant. The same is with the images; even if you don’t have a steady hand, it won’t be much of a problem because this new optical stabilization reduces the shakiness to the lowest level, giving you a steady and grain-free photo.
It has a number of options in resolutions when it comes to video recording. I was able to shoot a breathtaking clip in 4K resolution. Another thing that intrigued me to buy this phone is the new storage option of 1 TB because this is a game-changer for vloggers really because video data takes up a lot of space and often it has been a problem with smartphones vlogging but now, Apple has become our savior!
This only adds to the other amazing things the telephoto lens can do; I tested it out on a friend where she stood in front of the sun, giving her a stronger backlight, and even then the camera captured a relatively brighter and clearer image of my friend.
I was quite impressed! It also reduces the risk of overexposure by darkening the photo which produces some attractive shots. Despite its endless pros, I only use the telephoto lens when I want a specific focus on one subject and just want to blur out the surroundings, but nonetheless, it’s an amazing feature.
On an ending note, let me mention here that the built-in microphones are amazing quality-wise. My voice was so clear in my draft videos, and that was before enhancing it, so I’d say it is actually the best phone you can get being a vlogger.
Reason To Buy?
- Cinematic Video Mode
- Long-lasting battery
- 4K video resolution
- Brighter display
- Higher refresh rate
- Smooth performance
- User-friendly interface
Reason To Avoid?
- Video can be shot at only 1080p in Cinematic mode
There is no doubt when I say that iPhone 13 series are the winner here, being the best smartphone for video making in every aspect be it camera resolution, apps compatibility, interface, or smooth performance overall, iPhone 13 series takes the trophy. Within that category, I’d personally go for 13 pro max but if you’re a little tight on budget, then the iPhone 13 is a good option too!
2- Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus
I wouldn’t call Samsung Galaxy S21 plus the absolute best but it is one of the many great smartphones that I’d prefer for those who wanna use their smartphones for vlogging. This model is a solid 9 out of 10; with its brilliant camera, impressive battery life, and powerful system.
That’s mostly what you need for vlogging and this phone offers you just that at a cheaper price tag than that of S20 plus. However, if your pocket allows, you can go for S21 Ultra which I would rank as Samsung’s best phone yet.
In my testing, I found using this phone very pleasing; it’s very much capable of giving you a satisfying result if you make use of its capabilities fully. Though Samsung decided to drop some specs from this phone as compared to its predecessors, it still is a pretty decent handset for the given price.
It has a larger display which is one of the reasons I found it delightful to use; it made editing my videos so easy for me, and I didn’t have to do any double-takes. The refresh rate is the same as its rival iPhone 13 pro max; however, the screen size is a bit smaller than that of its competitor but it doesn’t make much of a difference. I found using both phones for editing comfortable.
There haven’t been many differences in the camera setup of the S21 Plus as its predecessor S20 plus; therefore, featuring a wide-angle camera with a 12MP sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, and a 64MP telephoto lens. The telephoto lens supports a 3x optical zoom, great for capturing distant subjects hence, perfect for travel vlogging where you can easily capture places and wider scenes.
I compared the iPhone’s cameras with Samsung’s cameras and I noticed that photos captured from S21 plus are way more saturated than those captured with iPhone 13 pro max, which, in my opinion, is not needed to such an extent.
Capturing a neutrally colored image is very important because you want to show your viewers exactly what you see live, so to manage that, you will have to edit the saturation a bit later on.
In another experiment, in direct sunlight, this phone was able to capture a relatively decent picture, eliminating any glares in the lens and exposing the tiny details pretty well.
It also brightens up the image when shot indoors in poorly lit areas, which is a very good feature for those vloggers who like to shoot indoors but do not have access to proper lighting kits or a formal studio.
When it comes to portrait mode, I noticed that S21 Plus captured a photo with more realistic colors and it was quite impressive how it softly blurred the background but didn’t mess with the colors; iPhone on the other hand made everything look too cool. So according to my opinion, Samsung wins this round.
Coming to the video part, Samsung S21 plus hasn’t failed to impress me here as well. It is capable of shooting at up to 8K at 24fps, but if you prefer something lighter, you can shoot at 4K at 60 fps or at 1080p at 120 fps.
This is a remarkable video resolution for a smartphone, to be honest. It also features a Super Steady element to reduce shakiness in your videos and that’s how it creates awesome, aesthetic videos that would please my viewers’ eyes.
The cherry on top houses another intriguing feature especially for vloggers called Director mode. It activates the front and rear cameras at the same time and lets you record from both simultaneously; along with that, it also saves live thumbnails from all lenses for later use.
This phone has 3 built-in extraordinary microphones that capture your voice clearly and without any distortion which is great for vlogging because your viewers can hear you clearly and understand your content.
There won’t be a need for external microphones, however, you can get one to block background noises if your vlogs are supposed to be professional.
Reason To Buy?
- Beautiful display
- 8K video resolution
- Sleek design
- Brilliant zoom
- Director mode
- Smooth performance
Reason To Avoid?
- Does not come with a charger or microSD card
3- Samsung Z flip 3
Samsung Z flip 3 is one of the most affordable foldable phones today and Samsung has yet again impressed me with its outstanding features and performance. It is durable in terms of screen and water resistance, has a relatively high refresh rate- giving it a smoother feel, and most importantly, comes with a high-resolution pair of cameras. I mean, isn’t that what we all are actually looking for?
This phone has an 8GB RAM which makes it one of the fastest foldable phones in today’s time, and it comes in 2 variants storage capacity wise; one is 8GB RAM with 128GB ROM and the second is 8GB RAM with 256 GB ROM.
I know it is not very appealing to most vloggers that shoot longer videos if compared with other phones but it is still pretty decent at this price point.
Samsung offers this phone in multiple colors, and I personally loved the Lavender. It really speaks to me, looks as if it is made for me; and then the design! Oh, I fell in love with how pretty it looks when folded and how perfectly it fits in my pocket. Extending the display only helped me in my video editing, and also in letting me view my draft and final videos and therefore helping me notice whether all the details are in place.
Display & Design:
The dual display is my favorite part about this phone though; the extended full display is a whopping 6.7 inches AMOLED touchscreen. It is super smooth, adequately sized, and downright beautiful. The closed display on the other hand is a tiny 1.9 inches touchscreen that shows you the weather, you can use it to control music and even take selfies.
How cool is that? This display is fairly bigger than its predecessor’s which is why I prefer this over the Z flip. You can access so many options without evening unfolding your phone, I mean isn’t it the perfect phone for lazy people? Jokes apart though, Samsung has really changed the game with this display and I am quite enthralled.
With the sleek design, portability, and bigger and smoother display, this phone became one of my favorites for vlogging purposes; I’d highly recommend this Samsung Z flip 3 if you’re looking for a phone you can use for vlogging for under $1000.
Audio & Microphones:
When it comes to the camera and audio-related features of the phone, I have tons of stuff to say. For instance, let’s talk about the audio element first; the speakers are a marvelous upgrade! Samsung Galaxy Z flip 3 houses a pair of stereo speakers that are not only loud but amusingly clear too.
I think this is perfect for us vloggers because I am sure every one of us goes through their draft or raw video at least once before we start editing, and we will therefore know the quality of the sound and hence it will give us an idea on any sound enhancements needed.
The microphones are okayish, to be honest. Not very impressive. Having used iPhone 12 pro max, I feel that the Samsung Galaxy Z flip 3 has lost the game here to Apple. The quality of the mics is a tad bit lower than that of the iPhone; the voice captured isn’t as clear and the noise reduction is way better than the iPhone. However, that is not a deal-breaker because you can always pair your phone with an external microphone.
Now to the camera element, the Z flip 3 offers nothing new in the package as compared to its predecessor, the original flip. There is still that 12MP wide-angle lens along with a 12MP ultra-wide lens. Both are quite impressive and a great fit for vlogging purposes. The front camera is a 10MP lens with an f/2.4 aperture; fairly nice for vloggers who tend to use the front camera for their vlogs.
I was expecting a telephoto lens this time but Samsung has disappointed me there, but no worries, this is still a fairly decent choice for us vloggers.
The front camera uses a tech that smooths out your face blemishes and uses a cooler undertone, which could be useful for vloggers that prefer to modify and edit themselves, for instance, beauty bloggers. I, however, did not like it much, I prefer to appear as natural as possible and I am not achieving that here.
Though it’s not a deal-breaker, Samsung can really work on that. Having said that, don’t just pass on this phone because of this one teensy bit of a flaw, which is only a flaw in my eyes, because other than that, it is a pretty sweet deal.
In terms of photography, it captures mesmerizing stills that are amazing in quality and just a treat for the eyes. It is vital to incorporate stills that are clear and understandable so that the viewers don’t lose time making sense of what you’re actually trying to show. It keeps the neutrality of the colors and produces bright, vibrant photos outdoors and even indoors. However, it’s no match for the iPhone.
Let’s talk about the video element now, shall we? This phone is capable of shooting at up to 4K resolution at 60fps and gives a smooth, clear, and sharp end result.
I really liked the quality of videos I shot with this phone; the sound was fairly okay, the stabilization is top-notch, the colors are vibrant and it compensates well with the daylight.
Reason To Buy?
- Reasonable price point
- High refresh rate
- Water resistance
- Commendable inner and cover display
- Brilliant cameras
Reason To Avoid?
- Longevity not good
- Slow charging
4- Google Pixel 5
Google Pixel 5 is another amazing device that vloggers can use to shoot impeccable videos for their YouTube channels. Obviously, the function is not limited to it, but it is one heck of a device if you are fully inclined towards using your smartphone as your vlogging device.
It is priced at a reasonable tag and is a powerhouse for vloggers. The camera, software, design, and every single thing is absolutely perfect for people who make vlogs.
This new Pixel has a bigger battery, giving it better longevity which is what I found the best in this phone. I prefer using devices that I do not have to charge every 2 or 3 hours of using; it kinda kills my mood.
So if you’re also like me, then you will love the brilliant long-lasting battery life. Secondly, it features wireless reverse charging, so it is also good for us vloggers because as we’re constantly traveling, this feature is a must-have.
The design of this phone is relatively compact, which makes it easier to carry around everywhere and it easily fits in your pocket too. It became very handy for me when I went out for a walk and didn’t feel like taking my whole vlogging backpack with me; I just stuffed it in my pocket and went my way.
It is also water-resistant which is another plus point, especially for vloggers who tend to shoot sports or travel videos that feature water bodies.
Apart from that, it is amusingly lightweight, giving me a calm feeling when I use it. It doesn’t tire down my hand or cause any cramps in my fingers, so I really didn’t see the need to use a tripod or a selfie stick for this phone, which is quite amazing.
Display & Colors:
Coming down to the display of the new Pixel; it is a whopping 6 inches OLED display with a Full HD resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. I know the refresh rate is a bit lower than the phones we talked about above, but trust me when I say this, it is one of the fastest and smoothest phones I have ever used.
The colors of the display are stellar; striking a perfect balance between neutrality and saturation so it gives you the perfect look of your draft videos and then allows you to edit them accordingly. And since it is a large screen, it also facilitates easy editing.
As I discussed above, the camera and audio are the most important elements of a phone when your sole purpose is to make high-quality videos from it. That being said, let’s take a look at this particular phone’s camera and audio quality.
The Google Pixel 5 houses a dual-camera system, with the main camera being a 12.2 MP lens and the second being a 16MP all-new Ultra-wide lens.
This new lens is the replacement of the previous telephoto lens and I’d say it was the right call to switch to an ultra-wide lens if Google did not plan on improving the optical zoom with the telephoto lens in the previous Google Pixel 4.
There have been some improvements from Google’s end in the main camera, giving me a more vibrant and clearer end result. The lens captures a bright image and Google’s powerful processor gives me a better pop of color and saturation in darker areas that I found it very useful given the case if I ever have to shoot at night scenes; this would be a life-saver.
Along with that, let me mention here how the new Pixel has upgraded its video shooting capabilities to a whole new level. It has included a range of electronic stabilization modes, for instance, standard stabilization that reduces the amount of shakiness so if you’re a clumsy person, with shaky hands, your problem is solved.
There’s another stabilization mode that can be used for shooting distant subjects and another for shooting spontaneous action, for example, it is very useful for action vloggers. Lastly, there is another stabilization option for slo-mo shots that are more useful for product review videos, or travel vlogs.
It can shoot high-resolution videos at 4K with a speed of 60fps max, which is better than its predecessor the Pixel 4’s 4K/30fps. Hence, producing clear, smooth, and judder-free video clips.
The enhanced battery also is a great help to keep you recording for longer periods without having the need to charge it constantly which has always been such a turndown for me.
As for the audio, the speakers weren’t as impressive as I was expecting but that’s not really our concern; our main concern is the microphone, and it is pretty decent however,
I would suggest pairing your phone with an external mic for better noise reduction and clarity. Otherwise, it’s a complete powerhouse for vloggers and you should definitely go for it if your budget’s a bit tight.
Reason To Buy?
- Compact and sleek design
- Camera quality is outstanding
- User-friendly software
- Brilliant longevity
Reason To Avoid?
- No option for higher storage capacity
5- Samsung Galaxy Note 20
Samsung Galaxy Note series is pretty famous for being the ‘corporate’ or ‘business’ phone, mostly being used for official purposes, however, this phone can be an amazing choice for vloggers, let me tell you why;
The best among the Notes so far has been the Note 20; it has a gigantic 6.7 inches display which is more than perfect for video editing and cherry on top, it comes with a stylus which has literally made video editing so much fun for me. I love doodling on it and I love just how easy the whole editing process is now, thanks to the stylus.
The outstanding SnapDragon 865 processor has made this phone silky smooth and a lot faster than other Samsung phones and that too is not for a hefty price as compared to its sibling Note 20 Ultra. Though undoubtedly it is not as cheap as I am implying, the features it has to offer, are surely going to turn some heads and people will be willing to pay that price.
It is efficient in use, slim and beautiful in looks with a plastic back that looks like glass and definitely comfortable in the hand, or so I feel.
Camera And Lenses:
It has three camera lenses, with the main lens being a 12MP lens with an aperture of f/1.8; the second is the 64MP telephoto lens with 3x lossless zoom, and last comes the 12MP ultra-wide lens.
The images captured with these cameras are undoubtedly captivating. The colors are vivid, and it retains most of the natural colors, giving your images a more realistic look.
On the video front, the Note 20 is capable of shooting at 8K resolution which produces an amazing quality of the video, perfect to catch the attention of your viewers. It uses the telephoto lens for this though, to get a good result.
I also shot a video clip in 4K @60fps; whereas the 8K video shows a bit more details, the 4K shoots a more consistent video and hence I’d prefer you shoot in 4K mostly.
The audio is fairly okay; the speakers are good and the microphones capture a clear voice as well. Absolutely love the noise reduction, it’s perfect for vlogging.
Reason To Buy?
- Brilliant software/performance
- Versatile camera setup
- Amazing video quality
- Design better for video editing
Reason To Avoid?
- Battery life is not that impressive
Accessories You Can Pair Your Phone With:
Even if your phone houses all the necessary features a vlogger needs, it’s wiser to keep a few accessories with yourself that may come in handy;
Keeping a backup charger is vital and I can’t stress that enough. Especially when you’re an avid traveler, you must keep backup charging at all times.
2- TRIPOD OR SELFIE STICK:
3- RING LIGHT:
4- EXTERNAL MICROPHONE:
5- LENS SET:
To obtain better results and better zoom, in case you’re aiming for distant subjects, you should pair your phone with different lenses as per your requirements.
6- WRAPPING IT UP:
I personally like to use any kind of accessories that are easily accessible to me to make my videos more creative and watchable, and I’d suggest you do the same. When you’re saving money on a camera, spend some on the accessories and improve your vlogging experience.