When choosing the best smartphone for video, options are more plentiful than ever before. These days, phones don’t just shoot video at high resolutions, but also provide pro-video features like optical stabilisation, high-frame-rate slow-motion, Log colour profiles and plenty more. You can absolutely capture top-quality content on smartphones; many people do. The key is just to find the right phone.

At AP, we take smartphone imaging very seriously, and that extends to phones. We review all the latest phones that come in from the likes of Apple, Google, Samsung and more, and we frequently pit them against each other in head-to-heads to figure out which ones are best. The phones on this list represent the top picks as tested by our technical team, and they come with our experts’ guarantee that they’re worth the prices the manufacturers are asking (which is saying a lot, given the way those prices tend to climb upwards).

Read on as we count off all the best smartphones you can buy for videography right now. For more buying advice when it comes to phones, you can check out our guide to the best phones for photography, or our rundown of the best budget camera phones if you’re looking to save some cash.

The best smartphones for videography in 2024

The best smartphones for video are always changing, but as we enter 2024, the models listed below are the most capable and versatile options you can buy.

Google Pixel 8 Pro

The Google Pixel 8 Pro. Photo credit: Amy Davies.

Amateur Photographer verdict

Excellent hardware and advanced software, the Pixel 8 Pro takes what the company has already done with its existing models and improved it even further.
  • Three high-resolution sensors
  • Computational magic makes images pop
  • Pro control option
  • Price hike from previous model
  • No 1TB storage option

Video specs:

  • 4K at up to 60fps
  • 1080p at up to 240fps
  • gyro-EIS, OIS
  • 10-bit HDR

Camera specs:

  • 50 MP, f/1.68, 25mm (wide), 1/1.31″, multi-directional PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
  • 48 MP, f/2.8, 113mm (telephoto), 1/2.55″, multi-directional PDAF, OIS, 5x optical zoom
  • 48 MP, f/1.95, 125.5˚ (ultrawide), 1/2.9″, AF
  • Price: $999-$1179 / £830 – £1100

The latest and greatest in Google’s range of Pixel phones, the Pixel 8 Pro offers a number of clever features that make it our pick for the best smartphone for video. The basics of its triple-camera array are of course rock solid – built around a 50MP main wide camera with a generous f/1.68 lens, as well as dual 48MP cameras offering ultra-wide and telephoto perspectives. With a beautiful 6.7” Super Actua LTPO OLED, Pixel 8 Pro handles brilliantly, and feels like a premium phone to use.

In terms of its video output, the Pixel 8 Pro shoots 4K resolution at up to 60p, and while some users might decry the lack of an 8K option, the reality is that most users simply do not need it. Google has instead gone all in on the computational, AI-powered wizardry that has started to become something of a hallmark for the Pixel series, enabling modes like Night Sight, which optimise image quality for low light. For video shooters specifically, a recent Pixel 8 Update has introduced Video Boost mode, which automatically kicks in Night Sight, HDR+ and Unblur in order to deliver the best-quality video possible (bear in mind that this won’t work with locally saved files; your video needs to be backed up to Google Photos in order for it to work).

A brilliant phone for video, delivering better value for money than most of its serious rivals, the Google Pixel 8 Pro is our pick for the majority of users.

Read our Google Pixel 8 Pro review.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

iPhone 15 Pro Max in Natural Titanium. Picture credit: Amy Davies

Amateur Photographer verdict

Its zoom capability and next generation portrait mod sets it apart from from the competition, although the updates from its predecessor are fairly gentle.
  • 5x zoom lens
  • Gorgeous display quality
  • USB-C connection
  • Maybe too large for some users
  • High price, and fairly incremental upgrade from predecessor

Video specs:

  • 4K video recording at up to 60fps
  • 1080p video recording at up to 120fps
  • Dolby Vision HDR (up to 60fps)
  • Cinematic mode (4K@24/30fps)
  • ProRes
  • Log video recording

Camera specs:

  • 48 MP, f/1.8, 24mm (wide), 1/1.28″, 1.22µm, dual pixel PDAF, sensor-shift OIS
  • 12 MP, f/2.8, 120mm (telephoto), 1/3.5″, PDAF, OIS, 5x optical zoom
  • 12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 120˚ (ultrawide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF
  • Price: $1,199 / £1,199 (256GB)

If you’re looking for the best iPhone for video, this is unquestionably it. While it’s not greatly different from the previous iPhone 14 Pro Max, and those looking to save themselves some cash may want to consider an older model, the iPhone 15 Pro Max iterates on a winning formula to deliver an absolutely outstanding smartphone for video – though it commands a high price.

While the triple-camera array may look quite familiar at first glance, the big addition is the overhaul of the telephoto zoom, which is now a sophisticated 5x optical zoom lens offering up to 120mm equivalent field of view. If you go all the way from the ultra-wide to the end of the telephoto, you’ve effectively got a 10x optical zoom at your disposal, and that provides a huge amount of compositional flexibility for the smartphone video shooter. That same shooter will also be pleased to hear about the addition of a Log shooting profile to the iPhone 15 Pro Max, a flat colour profile that delivers the maximum amount of dynamic range to provide as much latitude as possible for the colour grade.

Elsewhere, you’ve got plenty of the features that have already made iPhones popular for video – smart-looking 4K 60p footage, effective stabilisation, ‘Cinematic’ shooting mode, Dolby HDR, Apple ProRes and plenty more. As long as it’s within your budget, you really can’t go wrong with Apple’s latest smartphone.

Read our Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max review here.

OnePlus 12

OnePlus12. Image: Amy Davies

Amateur Photographer verdict

A well-performing model with improvements in cameras, giving excellent image quality across various conditions.
  • Good value flagship
  • Pro mode
  • Hasselblad portrait modes
  • Fairly short telephoto lens
  • Raw shooting only in Pro mode, can’t shoot JPEGs simultaneously
  • Selfie camera fixed focus only

Video specs:

  • 8K at 24fps
  • 4K at up to 60fps
  • 1080p video at 30/60 fps
  • 720p video at 30/60 fps
  • HDR at 1080p 30fps
  • Super Slow Motion: 1080p video at 240 fps, 720p video at 240/480 fps
  • Time-Lapse: 4K/1080p at 30 fps

Camera specs:

  • 50MP f/1.6 23mm equivalent 1/1.4” Sony LYT-808 camera
  • 48MP f/2.2 14mm equivalent 1/2” Sony IMX518 camera 
  • 64MP f/2.6 70mm equivalent 1/2” OmniVision OV64B camera
  • 32MP f/2.74 1/1.274” Sony IMX615 selfie camera, fixed focus 
  • Macro capability
  • Price: £849 / $799 (256GB)

If you crave extra resolution, the OnePlus 12 is one of the few smartphones on this list that is capable of 8K video recording. Now, you might think you don’t need 8K resolution – and 8K video will eat your memory cards and hard drives – but many videographers like to shoot in 8K to create higher quality down sampled 4K footage. This can be a real advantage.

The OnePlus 12 is equipped with a 50MP main camera, a 48MP ultrawide camera, and a 64MP “portrait” camera, giving you a wide range of options to achieve your desired image quality and composition. It also comes with a 32-megapixel fixed focus front-facing selfie camera for those looking to take more professional-grade self-portraits or videos.

The OnePlus 12 also offers a range of other features that make it a great choice for videographers. Both its 50-megapixel wide (main) and 64-megapixel short telephoto cameras feature impressive OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) feature that help to reduce camera shake and create smoother, more professional-looking footage. There are also a number of different video modes, such as Video Nightscape, Video HDR, Video Portrait, Timelapse and Dual-View video that make filming different subjects and scenes easier.

Read our OnePlus 12 review.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra cameras – here you can see the periscope lens for the 5x telephoto camera. Photo JW/AP

Amateur Photographer verdict

Simply put the best Android camera phone on the market right now
  • Improved image quality (slightly)
  • Massively improved screen (reduced reflection and improved scratch resistance)
  • Added AI features
  • Reflection removal particularly useful
  • Macro mode lags behind others
  • Shutter lag really hurts for fast moving subjects
  • 45W charging is looking slow

Video specs:

  • 8K 30fps video
  • 4K 120/60/30fps 
  • 1080p at up to 240fps
  • 720p at up to 960fps

Camera specs:

  • 200MP f/1.7 wide camera, with OIS, 1/1.3inch sensor, 23mm 
  • 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera (0.6x), 13mm 
  • 10MP f/2.4 3x telephoto camera, with OIS, 69mm 
  • 50MP f/3.4 5x telephoto camera, with OIS, 115mm 
  • 5x telephoto camera has 10x Super AI / Multi-frame / Super Resolution 
  • Price: $1299 / £1249 (256GB) 

The S24 Ultra is Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone packed with a raft of (inevitably) AI-powered computational features. Just like its predecessor the Samsung S23 Ultra is an absolutely outstanding Android smartphone for serious videographers. As a new addition now AI can be used to generate intermediate frames for an already recorded video and create slow-motion footage. The 12 MP selfie camera has 4K recording capability and autofocus which is extremely useful when vlogging or recording.

The headline feature is, of course, the 8K video, as we’ve already seen on the OnePlus 11. This is something most smartphones don’t offer, and right away it attracts attention. However, simply offering this feature doesn’t necessarily make the Galaxy S24 Ultra the automatic ‘best’ choice for videographers – most people simply don’t need this level of resolution. There’s also an argument to be made that results are overall better at 4K or even Full HD anyway, as shooting in 1080p allows you to take advantage of Samsung’s Super Smooth Stabilisation for gimbal-like footage. Still, it’s hardly like we’re going to criticise a phone for having too many options, and the Galaxy S24 Ultra really is an impressive technological achievement.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review.

Sony Xperia 1 V

Sony Xperia 1 V
Sony Xperia 1 V. Image credit: Amy Davies

Amateur Photographer verdict

Pro mode and 30 fps shooting will help you capture that decisive moment without a hitch. However the flagship price can be a deterring factor for some.
  • Good manual control
  • RAW shooting
  • Takes Micro SD card
  • 30 fps
  • No proper portrait mode
  • No macro mode
  • Pricey

Video Specs:

  • 4K HDR at up to 120fps
  • 1080p at up to 120fps
  • 5-axis gyro-EIS, OIS

Camera Specs:

  • 52MP (48MP effective) wide camera, f/1.9 aperture, 24mm equivalent, PDAF, OIS
  • 12MP ultra-wide camera, f/2.2 aperture, 16mm equivalent, PDAF
  • 12MP optical zoom telephoto camera, f/2.3-f/2.8 aperture, 85-125mm equivalent, PDAF, OIS
  • 12MP f/2.0 selfie camera, 24mm equivalent, fixed focus
  • Price: $1,398 / £1,299

optical steady shot with flawless eye, object tracking, eye af, s cinetone for mobile product showcase setting, video pro live streaming

The Sony Xperia 1 V is one of the best smartphones for video you can buy today and comes with some truly impressive features. Firstly, it has a 6.5-inch, 4K HDR OLED display with 10-bit colour in a 21:9 aspect ratio, which is great for viewing videos in cinematic widescreen. Videos look incredibly vibrant and clear.

Secondly, this smartphone has three rear cameras, including a 52MP main lens, a 12MP telephoto lens, and a 12MP ultra-wide lens. These pixel counts might seem low on the surface, but the sensors perform very well in low light, producing noise-free images with a wonderful range of tones. What’s more, the choice of three lenses includes 16mm, 24mm, and the telephoto option provides a true optical zoom of 85-125mm. This allows for versatile shooting options and the ability to capture wider scenes.

All three cameras offer 4K HDR 120fps video recording, Eye AF and Object tracking, which makes focusing a breeze. The Xperia 1 V is also capable of live-streaming video direct to video streaming services from your phone using Sony’s Videography Pro app.

Thirdly, the Xperia 1 V also comes with features such as SteadyShot stabilization and an AI-assisted autofocus system, both of which will help videographers get the best out of their footage. Finally, it is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, which provides smooth performance when editing and viewing footage.

Read our Sony Xperia 1 V review.

Best budget smartphones for video

Need something a little more affordable? If you’re willing to look for an older smartphone, there are some fantastic budget options out there which still create fantastic video. Here are a couple of our favourites.

iPhone SE

iPhone SE
iPhone SE. Photo credit: Apple.

Video Specs:

  • 4K at up to 60fps
  • 1080p at up to 240fps
  • HDR
  • OIS
  • Stereo sound recording

Camera Specs

  • 12MP, f/1.8 (wide), PDAF, OIS
  • Price: £449/ $150

With a sub-£500 price tag, the iPhone SE is a great budget option for videography. Not to mention its powerful A15 Bionic Chip, high-quality camera and excellent battery life. The Apple-developed A15 Bionic Chip provides a powerful processor that allows for smooth streaming and editing of videos without experiencing lag or stuttering.

Meanwhile, the SE’s lone 12-megapixel camera may look pedestrian in comparison to Huawei’s quad-camera arrays or the 108MP offerings from the likes of Samsung. All of this this aside however, its 4K footage is crisp, noise-free and full of rich colours.

What’s more, the device has excellent battery life. It can last for up to 15 hours of video playback on a single charge. This makes it perfect for long shoots and editing sessions. If you’re looking for a powerful, user-friendly device that can handle your everyday video needs, without breaking the bank, the iPhone SE is a solid option.

Google Pixel 6 Pro

Google Pixel 6 Pro camera phone rear
Google Pixel 6 Pro camera phone rear. Photo credit: Jon Devo.

Video Specs:

  • 4K at up to 60fps
  • 1080p at up to 240fps
  • gyro-EIS, OIS

Camera Specs:

  • 50 MP, f/1.9, 25mm (wide), 1/1.31″, Dual Pixel PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
  • 48 MP, f/3.5, 104mm (telephoto), 1/2″, PDAF, OIS, 4x optical zoom
  • 12 MP, f/2.2, 17mm, 114˚ (ultrawide)
  • Price: Refurbs available for around £300; new at around £450-500/ $599

The Google Pixel 6 Pro is expected to be one of the leading smartphones for video recording in 2023. The Pixel 6 Pro will feature feature a 6.67” OLED display, with a resolution of up to 3220 x 2800 pixels. It is expected to be capable of recording 4K video at up to 60 FPS and will include advanced OIS and EIS stabilization.

With the Pixel 7 series now released, the Google Pixel 6 Pro begins its fade to the background. However, the device is little more than a year old and offers some superb options for video at a now-reduced price.

The Pixel 6 Pro remains a great smartphone for videography because it offers that all-important 4K at 60fps recording option and comes with some features that are essential for capturing great videos. For instance, it has four stabilisation modes for video – Standard, Locked, Active and Cinematic Pan. It also offers a Dual Exposure Control. This enables you to adjust the highlights and shadows in your videos to get a better exposure.

When filming in low light, the Pixel 6 Pro has a Night Sight feature. It allows you to capture a wider dynamic range with amazing low-light footage. Combined with Google’s powerful Tensor chipset, 12GB of RAM and long battery life from its 5,003 mAh battery, the Pixel 6 Pro doesn’t look so long in the tooth at all.

Read our Google Pixel 6 Pro review.

How to choose the best smartphone for video

best smartphones for video
Photo credit: Sebastian Enrique via Unsplash.

While just about every phone these days will record video (apart from Nokia’s throwback ‘90s models) the best smartphones for video will primarily be the flagship models from big brands such as Apple, Sony, Samsung, Google, Huawei and a handful of others.

In addition to these brands’ flagship models, their mid-range models also typically boast excellent videography capabilities because a manufacturer’s signature technology tends to trickle down the range over time.

What’s more, for the truly budget conscious, some brands like OnePlus and Motorola have launched low-end models that offer no frills in some areas (eg screen size or resolution) but include quality cameras and video capabilities. The OnePlus Nord and Motorola G series are prime examples.

How much does the best smartphone for video cost?

Prices vary by brand, of course (we’re looking at you, Apple) and by country. But the average price of a high-end smartphone with solid video capabilities is around $600-1000 / £600-1000, depending on the model and features. Obviously, for flagship models, you will pay out at the upper end of that range. But you can still find good-quality smartphones for videography at the lower end.

Looking for more info on how to start shooting video? 

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