The best smartphones for media are in general the ones with the most horsepower under their hood. But horsepower is only one piece of the media creation solution. The truth is that any Smartphone can be used to create media, however, the key components to creating what could be termed the best smartphone for media creation from my perspective are listed below. But having great hardware is only addressing half of the solution to what is or what makes the best smartphone for media keep reading to find out why.
Best smartphone for media 2017 – Hardware
The CPU has cores the more the better! Some modern phones are shipping with octacore (8) and decacore (10) processors. The processor is at the heart of a good SOC or “system on a chip” this is the heart of the smartphone – The best SOCs as of April 2017 are the Qualcomm 835, Kirin 970 and Exynos 9 series.
The more the better! Random Access Memory is key for allowing the CPU to work. The smartphones with the most RAM as of April 2017 is – The Asus Zenfone AR with 8GB of ram, that is double that of the Samsungs new S8 and almost triple that of the iPhone 7. For media creation like photo editing 2 GB min is recommended and for video editing 3 GB min is recommended.
The Samsung S7, Samsung S8, LG G5, LG G6, HTC, Huawei and almost all other premium handsets ship with 4 GB of RAM.
Again the more the better. For media production on a phone, you are ultimately looking for a smartphone with an SD card option, which will allow you to expand the memory beyond the allocation it arrives with. Unfortunately, Apple has no plans ever!! to allow future iPhones to come with an external memory solution. Having enough memory to create and store your video and images is key. It’s always good to have extra space available to allow the phone’s processor and ram to move information around freely when it needs to work ie editing and or rendering video. Cloud storage is also a viable solution for expanding your smartphone’s storage.
When thinking about cameras from a media production perspective, there is in my opinion three key areas. These are:
- The Lens/ Aperture
The lens which determines the aperture and the aperture controls the maximum amount of light a lens can bring into the sensor. Samsung S7 has a 1.7 Aperture.
- Sensor Size
The sensor size, the larger the better. Samsung S7 has a 1 / 2.5” (5.76 x 4.29mm) sensor whereas a Full Frame DSLR has a 36 x 34 mm sized sensor, which allows it to process so much more light rendering a far superior image. Panasonic once released the infamous Panasonic CM1 with a massive 1” (13.2 x 8.8mm) sensor (which has a sensor 4 times the size of sensors usually found in smartphones.)
Stabilisation – Is a key component to filmmaking and photography and almost all premium phones now have a combination of Optical image Stabilisation (OIS) and Digital Image Stabilisation (DIS).
Capturing audio is a fundamental part of creating quality video and impressive live streams. Some Smartphones manufacturers recognise the importance of a good microphone and audio processing but unfortunately, most are still camera heavy in terms of importance to the general consumer. There are external solutions to help record better audio on your phone.
Video and Image Editing apps
These are extremely important to how your images and video will turn out, editing is a completely underrated aspect to producing great engaging content. I would go so far as to say editing can make or break a creative media project. Please be aware that video editing apps are extremely power hungry and require the best hardware you can afford, however, they will run on lower spec’d phones, it will just take more time to process the project(video or image).
Knowledge the other half of the Solution
This is what I am selling, yes selling. For £10 ( other options available for EU and USA etc) you can purchase ten years of award-winning media knowledge. From how to use the various settings of your smartphone’s camera (ISO, aperture, shutter speed etc ) to framing the shot, to what all the various editing features are and what they do, to the importance of audio, to the best apps for editing and more. Breakdowns and explanations of audio, video and image editing, the rules of photography, the rules of video production, live streaming, social media and more. Smartphone Media Production will show you how to plan, capture, edit, distribute and track your visions – all from your phone. The book includes cheat guides, best apps, worked examples and more.
Experience only comes when knowledge is applied over time, the more you play, the more you experiment with the knowledge presented in Smartphone Media Production the faster you will become a media producer, be it for work or pleasure.
I hope this answered the question of which is the best smartphone for media 2017, but I would just like to emphasize that a user with knowledge and experience and a mediocre smartphone will create far better media every time compared to someone who has the shiniest new smartphone with no knowledge or experience. Having a super powerful phone and having no idea of how to take a photo, of how to frame it, of how to decide what a picture needs, then all it is is a shinny toy. Whereas a cheap phone with no power in the hands of someone with knowledge and experience will create a better video, image etc every time.
Invest in the knowledge as well as the best hardware that you can afford.
Click here to purchase your copy of Smartphone Media Production: A media revolution for everyone.