Smartphone cameras have come along way, heck who carries a point and shoot anymore, you’re either going with your big boy DSLR or you’re making magic with your Smartphone. Every phone that came with us on our trip down the East Coast of Taiwan was a beast. The Lumia 930 comes with a 20MP camera and settings that rival many traditional camera. The LG G3 has a 13MP camera that comes with a lazer focus making sure that you snap photos even fast while increasing the quality of nighttime shots. The flagship killer from Shenzhen comes with a 13MP camera as well that can take on the top dogs of the camera world.
Even if you’ve got a great camera on your phone stylizing and adjusting them is go for par in this Instagram world. We’ve pulled together our favorite photo editing apps for Android that will make you forget you’ve got Photoshop installed on your laptop.
Instagram is an obvious, go to, photo editing app/photo social network that most people will be familiar with, but we’re going to look at a few apps that will put the filters and customization available here to shame.
Pixlr Express is free and has more than 600 effects to choose from, its filters that offer the exact Photoshop effects you’re looking for. You also get the ability to make specific adjustments to exposure, color and hue just to name a few. A nice bonus is that you can remove unwanted spots or marks from pictures. With so many effects that all work and are easy to use this is one of the most powerful Android editors around, its Auto Fix and Focal Blur (tilt-shift) tools are also particularly effective.
– Photo from International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta taken with the LG G3
Snapseed is among the more powerful Android editors, it’s interface is different and very intuitive … once you figure out what swiping left or right and up and down does for basic adjustments of the photos. You manually tune the photos by swiping up and down selecting things like contrast and saturation. Once you’re in the desired effect, simple swipe left or right to increase or decrease the intensity. This seems simple enough, but things quickly get more advanced as you can edit part of the photo. The example we used in the video was at Sunrise the Audi was a little dark, so we just spot lightened the car while keeping the rest of the photo alone.
– Beach Near Taitung taken with the LG G3
The final app we’re going to look at isn’t for the faint of heart, it’s complicated powerful but worth the time to figure out how it works if you’re serious about photography. Visco (VSCO) is advanced and its filters are better than Instagram, but to warn you, some are free and some are paid. This shouldn’t stop you from downloading it.
-Photo from Nuishan near Hualien taken with the OnePlus One
What is intimidating about this app is it’s on the level of a professional editing suite, scale, brightness, contrast, highlights, shadows are all there. However, the app relies on codes and icons to apply filters instead of words. For instance the filters have names like B1 or F2 which are hard to remember when you first start using it.
If you’d like to see everything we’ve written about our trip down the East Coast of Taiwan, here is a link to our Out of the Box Tech and Travel Section.