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Best phones for vlogging

If you’re interested in starting a vlog or taking yours to the next level, then look no further. We’ll explain what they’re all about, what accessories you might need, and which phones are best for the job. 

Last updated: 26th Jan 2021 at 11:06am

What is vlogging?

Vlogging is a blend of the words ‘video’ and ‘blogging’, where the content being produced is published as a video. As you would with a written blog, a vlog is when you discuss a particular topic or show something to others. 

It is a form of communication that has been growing in popularity over the last decade, especially on YouTube. YouTube isn’t the only place for vlogging though - vloggers (the person doing the vlog) often publish their content across various other platforms, like Facebook. 

The purpose of a vlog is to create a relationship between the vlogger and their audience, with a look to share experiences, build a fanbase, get to know more people from around the world, and possibly even earn an income. 

Why use a phone?

Vlogging, like anything where you’re trying to grow a respectable audience, is difficult to do. So if you’re just starting out, purchasing all of the expensive equipment and high-tech cameras probably isn’t the best idea, in case it doesn’t work out or you find that it’s not for you. 

Therefore, starting off with a smartphone is a safer option. You’ll no doubt already have one, but if you don’t, you can generally pick one up for much cheaper than a high-end camera. Phone technology has come a long way in the last few years, and you’ll now find that some handsets out there are just as advanced as professional video cameras. 

What to look out for in a smartphone for vlogging

The number one thing you need to consider when debating between phones is their camera quality. You’re going to be filming yourself, your surroundings, and other people around you, so you’ll need a phone that’s able to produce clear, vivid, and detailed imagery. 

Likewise, you’ll also need a good microphone and speakers on the device, so that your audio isn’t ruined by external sound. A high-quality microphone will go a long way in making your videos sound professional, and good speakers will make it easy to test and playback your own recordings. Phones that produce clear sound for music usually have very good speakers. 

If you’re going to be creating and uploading videos, you’ll need to make sure that your smartphone has a large enough storage capacity to cope with the amount of content you’ll be saving. You should also invest in cloud storage to keep your content backed up.  

Finally, a phone with a long battery life is a necessity, to ensure you’re not constantly running to plug it in, taking time away from your vlogging opportunities. 

Other accessories you might need

While your phone will be the most important piece of kit for vlogging, there are a multitude of other accessories that might come in handy as you grow your channel. 

  • Editing software - video recordings are never without interruption and mistakes, but even if you did manage to pull off a near-perfect first take, you’ll still need to invest some time in learning how to edit your videos. You can edit to create transitions, cut down clips, increase the brightness or contrast, add effects, and improve the overall quality of your vlog. Some editing software can be expensive, so look around for the best one for what you need to do
  • Laptop - it’s not easy to do all this on your phone, so having a more appropriate device for editing is a common addition to any vlogger’s lifestyle. You can upload your video from your phone to your laptop, then use the larger screen and more powerful system to edit your videos ready for publication
  • Tripod - a tripod is a three-legged stand that cameras and phones can be clipped into. It means you don’t have to be holding your phone up the entire time, and can instead place it on a stand completely still. This will improve the overall professionalism of your videos, as a shaky camera isn’t a good look! 
  • Ring light - lighting is notoriously hard to fix on videos, so having a dedicated clear, bright light is a good idea. A ring light is a stand with a circular ring at the top that provides a sheet of even lighting for you. If you’re doing a lot of filming inside your house, they can really improve the lighting in your videos, increasing the overall professionalism of them. These work best for sit-down videos, not ones where you’re wandering around, as it would be too difficult to lug it around with you. You can find desktop sized ring lights with a built-in holder for your phone
  • Microphone - you may need a more professional microphone if your smartphone isn’t picking up your audio very well, or if you’re too far away from the device for it to catch your voice
  • Portable chargers - even if your phone has a long battery life, you should still invest in a portable charger to carry around with you, especially if you’re nowhere near a plug socket. If your phone starts dying, you can plug it into the portable charger and keep using it to film
  • Camera - as you advance, you might want to invest in a little camera to work in conjunction with your smartphone for recording more than one angle.

Best phones for vlogging

Although there are a number of features necessary to produce a successful vlog, a good camera is the most important asset. Therefore, looking for phones with excellent camera quality should be your first priority. Here are our top picks for vlogging phones. 

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G

Release date

March 2020

Price

From £599 from Samsung

Cameras

Cameras: Triple lens

Rear: 108MP Wide Angle, 12MP Ultra Wide, 48MP Telephoto

Front: 40MP

Video recording

8K

Other helpful features

Built-in AI system adjusts lighting and noise while recording


The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G is a new and exciting phone, with an incredible triple lens rear camera, and a high-resolution front camera. The two together are a powerful pair, and give you great flexibility with whatever you’re filming. It records in 8K, a step up from the more common 4K recording, producing clear, detailed footage. The built-in AI will do half of the work for you, minimising blur and distractions of external noise to produce better quality video. 

iPhone 12 Pro Max

Release date

September 2020

Price

From £1,099 from Apple

Cameras

Cameras: Triple lens

Rear: 12MP Wide, 12MP Ultra Wide, 12MP Telephoto

Front: 12MP

Video recording

4K

Other helpful features

LiDAR depth sensing, 12x digital zoom photo / 7x digital zoom video, Night mode, Portrait mode, Panorama, Slow-motion, Time-lapse


The newest iPhone 12 Pro Max has some of the best camera qualities we’ve ever seen on an Apple phone. With a built-in sensor, it produces stable, clear, and detailed images that can be further enhanced by the various ‘modes’ available. The 4K recording is fast and smooth, with optical image stabilisation on the wide lens camera. 

Google Pixel 4 XL

Release date

October 2019

Price

From £829 from Google

Cameras

Cameras: Double

Rear: 12.2MP Wide Angle and 16MP Telephoto

Front: 8MP

Video recording

4K

Other helpful features

2x optical zoom, Astro Mode for detailed images, Night Sight, Auto focus, optical stabilisation


This 2019 Google phone is a solid choice for a vlogging, especially if you want to include photos too. You can zoom in while recording and maintain a clear, detailed picture of whatever you’re filming - perfect for capturing things from a distance. The wide angle lens means you’ll be able to capture huge landscapes, which is great if you do a lot of filming outdoors.

Huawei P40 Pro

Release date

April 2020

Price

From £899 from Huawei

Cameras

Cameras: Ultra Vision Leica Quad

Rear: 50MP Ultra Vision, 12MP Telephoto, 40MP Ultra Wide Cine, 3D Depth Sensing

Front: 32MP

Video recording

4K

Other helpful features

50x Max Zoom on Telephoto lens, slow-motion, time-lapse, RYYB colour filter array for maximum light and noise control, auto focus, AI technology


Huawei phones are renowned for their cameras that produce stunning photography and videography. The P40 Pro is one of the finest Huawei have on offer, with its powerful and high-resolution quad cameras (some of the best on the market) and huge capabilities to zoom into footage. The AI technology keeps videos balanced, coloured, lit, and stable. 

Xiaomi Mi Note 10

Release date

February 2020

Price

From £459 from Mi

Cameras

Cameras: 5 rear

Rear: 108MP AI Rear Penta, 12MP Portrait, 20MP Ultra Wide Angle, 5MP Ultra Telephoto, 2MP Macro

Front: 32MP

Video recording

4K

Other helpful features

Moon mode, Portrait mode, Panorama mode, AI technology, distortion correction on Ultra Wide Angle, blur adjustment on Portrait mode, slow-motion


The Xiaomi Mi Note 10 has a large range of cameras on the rear of the device for all sorts of photography and videography needs. You can take advantage of the various modes to enhance the appearance of your vlog, as well as the automatic blur and distortion adjustments to keep your video steady and balanced. This phone is on the cheaper end of things, so might be a better option if you’re on a budget. 
 

If you’re just starting out on your vlogging journey, one of these phones might be the perfect start, and would be a safer bet then investing all of your money on a camera. Mastering the art of vlogging will take time, but you can practice with these editing apps on your new smartphone. 

If there’s a certain type of phone you’re interested in more, check out our dedicated guides:

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