Smartphone cameras have been the trending thing in video production for half a decade-plus. Aside from inspiring a crazy spike in content production, they have also made the process of video production easy. Moreover, the ever-present smartphone is quite handy when it comes to shooting videos. In this article, we will be all over the best smartphones for YouTube videos. However, it won’t be solely about YouTube videos. We can also talk about the new things in town, like TikTok for instance.
What are the best smartphone cameras for youtube videos? Every other few months, a new smartphone gets launched. With the constant evolution of smartphone cameras, this list may be redundant in a few months. However, the following are the best smartphones as of today;
- iPhone 11 Pro
- Huawei P30 PRO
- Samsung Galaxy S20
- Google Pixel 4
- Sony Xperia 1
- OnePlus 7T Pro
- Oppo Reno
Assuming that all the smartphones listed in this article are high end $2000+ pieces will be wrong. We have included budget pieces too! You don’t have to torture your budget for that iPhone 11 Pro when you can get a good smartphone camera for far much less.
Here Are The Best Smartphone Cameras For YouTube Videos
Things to check out while shopping for a smartphone camera
While shopping for a smartphone camera for youtube videos, you should look out for the following specs and features
- Resolution-Smartphone cameras have heavily evolved. Come to think of it, we have smartphones with 108MP resolution today. For good Youtube videos, a phone with a higher resolution will be better.
- Storage – The higher the storage capacity, the more space you have to store your videos. Most of the phones we will review here have large RAMS. Normally, anything above 2GB of RAM is acceptable when thinking of a smartphone camera. However, recent phones have gone for a higher power. We have phones with 8GB RAMs and higher internal storage.
- RAM and Processing Power-Some of today’s smartphones can easily rival the power of a PC. They have moved from sluggish processors to strong Quadcore processors. Nevertheless, looking at the smartphone’s processor speeds is crucial in determining whether you can edit your videos on your phone.
- Operating system– Android is the most common OS around. It shares clientele with Apple’s iOs. Each of the operating systems has its peculiarities, advantages, and disadvantages.
- Screen size and resolution– Most smartphone screens can support a healthy dose of 1080p. However, we have a few that can comfortably pull off 4k vision. If you intend to shoot 4k videos, get a phone with a good 4k screen. On the size side, it’s all about how you want your phone to feel.
- Battery Power and Charging times-Each smartphone come with a battery. The battery life depends on the phone’s specs and how you use it. However, you should check out the amount of battery power a smartphone has before getting your wallet out. You don’t want to be low on battery every other few hours. For recent smartphones, faster charging is a possibility.
With all those factors in mind, we think that the following smartphones have the best cameras for shooting YouTube videos.
The end of 2019 was great for apple. There are several reasons for that. However, the main one is the fact that the launch of the franchise’s flagship phone; the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro went really well. Apart from springing iPhones back into the market, and giving the company a few more billion dollars, the launch of the inaugural iPhone 11 and 11 Pro also meant that iPhones were officially back onto the throne.
For a few years, everyone had out the iPhone cameras out of the race. They were done. Huawei had done a smooth coup with the launch of the Mate series, and the later P series. While the iPhone continued launching Ponies, other companies were offering full-blown stallions at the same price. That was the situation until we had this. Since the launch of the iPhone 11 pro, the “iPhone cameras are dead when compared to Huawei and Samsung” conversation has fizzled out. Instead, the same critiques have turned to praise the subtle ingenuity and awe-inspiring raw power presented by this awesome phone. A few months down the line, the iPhone 11 Pro remains a darling for critics.
This is the sole focus of this article. Yes, we know that the rest of the specs are equally important. Nevertheless, we would be selling ourselves short if we started reviewing the iPhone 11 Pro without starting with the camera power.
Just so you know, this phone has three back lenses and a single 12 MP front-facing lens. For better youtube videos, using the back lenses will produce better videos. According to the iPhone designers, using the three lenses provides a better bokeh effect than using one powerful less. I’m happy to see the design idea work out exactly as they put it on paper. With the three lenses achieving sharper, more accurate videos have become more of a smartphone possibility than a dream.y That aside, each lens on the iPhone is meant for something specific. There’s a regular wide lens for regular shooting modes, a telephoto lens for better zoom, and an ultra-wide lens for wide-view shooting.
Although the physical iPhone lenses are great, they would be mundane and commonplace without great software backing. This is where the greatness of the iPhone magic plays out. The dark mode, which switches on automatically is one such software feature. The supporting range of filters and shooting options also helps a lot. Moreover, the smoothness of the whole camera interface, which is entirely a software thing comes into play.
Lest we forget about the rest of the things………….
The iPhone 11 pro cant be defined solely based on its amazing camera. The camera might be great, but it won’t count for much if the phone was whack.
Unlike older iPhones, one thing you might find different with this phone is battery life. See, I’ve been using iPhones since the iPhone 3 was a thing. One thing I have never been comfortable with was battery power. On this phone, critiques have put the battery power at over 10 hours, even on 65% of charge. That’s pretty awesome, right? Well, the battery time pales in awesomeness when you consider the fact that this phone is charged via wireless charging, and can also be charged super fast if you are rushing.
On the performance side, the iPhone 11 is stellar. First, you have to talk about the new iOS 13 and the popular dark mode features. Moreover, we also have to think about seamless face ID for security and a new A13 Bionic Processor which runs as fast as Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes Petronas when compared to other phones. While talking about the Mercedes Petronas, this phone has a different design. It has an aura of difference and elegance around it. I know that Mercedes almost always goes for elegance. It seems that the iPhone designers took a cue from them. Even the three cameras lenses, which we expected to be ugly, and only functional look beautiful on the phone casing.
The iPhone 11 screen is also a trendsetter in the touchscreen business. The OLED display is crystal clear and super sharp. Apart from looking like an expensive Italian suit, the fact that the screen is compatible with HDR10 and DolbyVision means that you can get even more clarity out of it when shaping your videos.
For Youtube videos, this phone will do beyond what you need. To think of it, you can use it as a one-stop studio. I know of a few celebrities who shoot, edit and share in one sitting for instance. The iPhone 11 easily outperforms most other phones on a whole lot of fronts.
If there was ever a smartphone that exemplified what photography excellence should be all about, it was the Huawei P30 Pro.
Before the iPhone 11 was a reality, the only thing that stopped the iPhone from taking all the trophies was this phone, among a few others. Though the Huawei name has been through a lot of dirt, the P30 as a brand on its own has stood through all kinds of tests, ups, and downs, and more importantly, critical upheavals.
An upgrade of the P20
The P30 is a bridge from the P20 model. At the least, the P20 was a trendsetting phone. It introduced is to hybrid Leica lenses with 10X hybrid zoom power, something we hadn’t seen in smartphones before then. It also gave us a pinch of how much power a phone can have when it has the right chipset. Finally, the P20 gave iPhones a healthy run for their money. At some point, every other Top-Ten Best Smartphone review had a Huawei at the top of the list, and iPhones lagging somewhere lower.
However, rather than simply upgrading what we already had as the bottom line for Huawei excellence, the Chinese firm decided to go overboard and rebuild the whole camera. While the P20 was amazing, the P30 makes it a shadow when the two are compared.
For a camera phone, the Huawei P30 is a powerhouse. If you think about the RYYB sensor, the use of AI to improve sensor sensitivity, Kirin 980 Image sensor Signal Processor and the lossless ultrawide lens, you can’t afford to call it anything less than that. Moreover, Huawei has also included optical image stabilization and anAI powered stabilization system to ensure that your videos are more stable. Just in case you are wondering, the whole setup is based on a 40 MP camera back-facing. yes, you read that right. It’s a whole 40MP on a smartphone. The front-facing camera, on the other hand, is also a commendable 32MP. Any Youtube video shot on a 40mp camera should look as clear as what your eyes can see in summer.
Other design aspects
If we keep talking about the P30 camera, we might do it the whole article. Let’s talk about other design aspects, shall we? For instance, the super slim design is worth talking about. While the P20 was relatively wide, the P30 has gone for a super slim fit which also means that it has a bigger screen, and a lower screen to body ratio. This screen supports FHD definition and OLED.
On the other hand, the phone runs on Android 9.0 which is powered by a heavy 8GB RAM and an equally powerful processor chipset. In case this looks familiar, you bet that it has enough power to rival the iPhone 11 pro quite easily. It also has 128 GB of internal storage space for all your videos and files.
On the battery side, Huawei went for two things. First, the phone has a 4200mAH internal battery. If the iPhone has long battery life, this battery makes what you have with the iPhone 11 pro sound like a bad Dave Chappelle joke. Besides the battery, the charging system is also wireless, and charges at crazy speeds. I didn’t mean to use the word crazy. However, the fact that you can go from 0% charge to 60% in 14 minutes is crazy, right?
Shooting YouTube videos needs a camera that can pull off amazing videos even in the dark. The Huawei P30 does exactly that and more. You won’t regret jumping from the iPhone ship into the Huawei boat in case you do.
A few weeks back, Samsung announced the all-new S20 was ready for the market. For most skeptics of the Samsung brand( I have been one since the Note 7 started blowing apart), I thought that the Galaxy S20 was nothing different. After all, we have all seen the curved edges, screaming colors, and extremely colorful camera products from all kinds of Samsungs before. Well, it seems that there was a shocker in the deal this time around. While I have been skeptical about how good Samsung phones can be, I was pretty surprised at the quality of videos and photographs the S20 has.
Not the most cutting edge of the Samsungs
While the S20 isn’t the most amazing of the recently released S20 phones- we might as well call S20 ultra into the room for this conversation- it is effortlessly powerful and well designed. However, the S20 ultra somehow has to justify why it costs $200 more than the S20 when they both share the same specs and have the closest features that a set of identical twins can have.
Three camera lenses on the back-facing camera
The phone comes with three cameras. It seems that having three lenses is the in-thing for most new phones. Each of the camera lenses, just like with the iPhone 11 Pro has its specific use. However, for the Galaxy S20, the cameras work together as a unit.
Often, Samsung has been on the receiving end of blunt criticism for packing their camera with a lot if marketing drivel when they are no different from the rest. While I have been generally positive about the marketing involved with the other smartphones, I should say that the S20s cameras feel a little off, especially when you zoom. They said that it could shoot 8K videos. I didn’t feel that because the phone feels like a 1080p- at -the -best type of phone for a start. It was the worst of marketing lies. It feels inches away from producing a lot of false color on most occasions. Moreover, it also has a few issues with color correction in poor lighting. However, without zooming, it does well enough to be considered at the top of the list, if not close to the top.
The minute camera issues aside, the definitive thing about the new S20 is the power. Ooh, it feels overpowering sometimes. 12 GB of RAM running on Snapdragons’s newest chipsets makes it run like a brand new Ferrari on flat tar. Although it might not be at the edge of being a camera powerhouse, you bet it can replace what it doesn’t have on-camera power with seamless and fast editing. Better yet, the S20 also comes with wireless charging and 4000mAH battery to ensure that you go through the day without needing a recharge.
I hate to say this at the beginning of a paragraph. However, I have to anyway. Over the years, Google has been hard at work, trying to remove the faces of iPhones, Samsungs and Huawei from the top of the list. They haven’t achieved that. They are not even close to it yet. What Google has achieved instead, is churning out a continuous line of generously powered smartphones, with not enough juice to compete with the three biggies at the front of the race.
Google Pixel 4 is no different from any of the other Google phones you might have heard of. Rather than radically change the whole outlook of the sometimes mediocre Pixel phones, google stuck with what it considers a time-tested approach to building smartphones with good cameras and low power.
The size measures 5.7 inches across the screen. When compared to the rest, it certainly feels small. However, just like with the other Pixels, special attention has been put into developing a strong camera. Three lenses, with one of them being a dedicated telephoto lens, super res zoom, and google’s amassing image processing algorithm is what you get once you purchase the phone.
Low battery power
With 2800mAH of battery power, the phone has the affinity to switch off on you in the most unlikely of places. If you intend to shoot continuous videos for a long time, you would rather tag along with an extra battery, or get a phone with a larger amount of power.
While the Google Pixel 4 is more of a catch-up product than anything, it performs well enough to be considered a good smartphone especially where YouTube videos are concerned. Should you find a way around the glaring power problems, you will have a great camera for ages, at a cheaper price.
According to Android Authority, the Sony Xperia feels like the Larry Bird of Smartphones. It delivers when you hardly expect it to. Moreover, it also manages to climb the kind of performance walls you didn’t expect it to.
This boxy phone is a definite change from what we expect from an Xperia phone. We have been treated to great screen resolution, subtly average cameras, and 1080p at best.
True 4k Screen resolution
Here’s something. We don’t have any other 4K phones along these smartphone streets. You might as well have the first one before everyone jumps into the bandwagon.
The phone has three cameras on the back, each of them holding 12 MP sensors for that ultimate shooting experience. While this might not be SOny’s best camera smartphone just yet, the blend of true color definition even under poor lighting and solid shutter times makes it one of the best in the market on any day.
The boxy shape might put you off for a moment. It looks like an old phone design. I don’t know why Sony has moved away from everything else apart from this design. Besides it, the screen size is also large enough to more on the side of cumbersome than comfortable. Despite all this, it still feels good enough to be flashed around. The buttons are all on one side for faster access.
Critiques have postulated that the Xperia one is ahead of the curve when it comes to screen technology. I won’t go into that. For anything, I feel that the judgment is warranted. If only the Cameras were more powerful, Sony would take the race any day.
A phone that doesn’t your pockets might just be a better option. After all, most of us won’t afford the $1500 that an iPhone 11 goes for. Neither can all of us afford the $1400 for a Samsung S20. Just in case both of those are not within your range, going for the OnePlus 7T or the 7T pro will also ensure that you get good videos for your YouTube channel. When talking about smartphone cameras, we hardly ever have mid-range phones making it into the list. Surprisingly, we have one here.
While it’s not the best Android-based smartphone around, the OnePlus 7T pro is superlight, blitzing fast, and handy when it comes to running android software. It also looks amazing from a cursory glance at the front and backsides.
The on-screen definition on the new 7T Pro is perhaps the best you would get for any OnePlus phone. 500 pixels per inch is commendable for the price. In any case, even the highly-priced Xperia one has only 693 pixels per square inch. The difference is not staggering as much when you think about the difference in prices.
Considering that past OnePlus phones have often had their cameras as the ultimate undoing of the smartphone, the 7T and 7 Pro seem to have found a way to catch up with the rest of the industry. While there are no triple lenses on this one, the dual 48MP+8MP back-facing cameras do enough as a replacement. The OnePlus also has a nifty night mode which makes shooting in absolute darkness a reality.
For a medium-priced smartphone, I think that the One-Plus deserves a good round of applause. It has enough camera capacity to rival higher-priced phones with ease. moreover, it also has enough processing power to support all the shooting.
I hardly knew about this Chinese made brand until I saw a video on YouTube, shot entirely on the Reno Lenses. At the least, the video quality on that specific video could rival the one I get on my cameras.
Surprisingly, Oppo has cut quite a niche for itself with its amazing selection of smartphones. One thing that defines all Oppo phones is the camera. According to the most recent of the company’s advertisement outlets, having an Oppo smartphone is all about appreciating how powerful and crisp a smartphone camera can get.
Triple camera, with a pivot zoom lens
The reno has a triple camera setup. There are two wide range and normal lenses carefully notched into the backside and a 10X zoom camera which pivots around. The clarity provided by the camera when shooting under optimum lighting is a result of immense innovation in the phone’s camera system. Given that the camera is a single novel-pivot lens( it essentially ejects from within the phone and rotates at the top of the screen to whatever side you want it to), it works equally well on the front-side as well as on the back.
While shooting mode, Oppo special stabilization system kicks on. This feature works well enough, especially when you’re using the zoom lens at the top of the screen. It balances walking motion and camera shake without letting go of the point of focus all the while. In retrospect, this stabilization works along with the more often preferred gimbal technology. It allows you to get the most out of your videos despite the shaking and unbalanced motion. Even though the videos shot using this camera are susceptible to some level of motion blur, they look crisp enough to be loved by your normal YouTube audience.
In case you prefer pre-filtered videos to post-filtered ones, buying your Oppo Reno will get you just that. The price is not exactly mid-rage. Neither can it be said to be high-range. Instead, this smartphone hangs in a limbo between being high-end and mid-range in terms of price. However, it’s worth all the money spent on acquiring it.
While the reviewed smartphones will get you all you need in a good smartphone for your YouTube videos, you can also go beyond them and check out the following
- Moto G7 Power- The low price might surprise you. Nevertheless, it has a great camera. It also has enough battery life to last two whole days!
- Xiaomi Mi Note 10- Aside from Huawei, this might be the second-best Chinese made smartphone in the market. It has a great camera. Moreover, it also goes for a relatively low price.
To shoot great videos using your smartphone, you need to balance a variety of factors. That’s why I think you will really appreciate reading this well-written 15-tip-guide on how to get great videos using your smartphones.
[author title=”About the Author”]