There’s an old saying that once you leave the lot with your brand new car, it starts to lose its value. In some ways, this could also be true about smartphones. It seems that whenever you just get the newest one, there are already articles and podcasts about what’s coming next. When you spend some serious cash on a smartphone, it can be very annoying.
If you work in a creative field, you know that when you spend your money on a phone, it needs to do exactly what you need it to and we’re not talking about playing Pokemon Go. With our list of the best smartphones for creatives in 2020, we are certain that we can help you find a smartphone that does everything you need it to. Even if that means catching Pikachu.
Before we start though, let’s take a closer look at our shopping list and what you should be paying attention to when you buy your next smartphone.
- 17 Essential Tools for Designers
- Best chromebooks for designers
- Best computers for designers
- Best Macbooks for designers
- Best laptops for designers
- Best laptops for programming & coding
- Best budget laptops for designers
Top Gear for Video Editing
- Best monitors for editing video
- Best laptops for video editing
- Best computers for video editing
- Best external hard drives
More Top Gear for Designers
- Best printers for designers
- Best monitors for designers
- Best tablets for designers
- Best Huion tablets for designers
- Best mouse for designers
- Best earphones for music-lovers
- Best cameras for designers
- Best microphones for designers
- Best office chairs for designers
- Best external hard drives for designers
- Best monitor calibrators for designers
- Best pens for creatives
- Best phones for designers & creatives
Shopping list for your next smartphone
Picking a smartphone, especially when you work in a creative field, isn’t like picking a can of Spaghetti-O’s at the grocery store. You need to make sure you pick one that offers you exactly what you’re looking for. Don’t know what to look for? Then take a gander at our shopping list.
Depending on the type of work that you do, the size and resolution you choose will depend on how you use your smartphone. If you edit photos or video, a smartphone with a display between 5.5 and 6 inches with either FullHD or QHD should work extremely well. Although having a larger screen can be beneficial, the trade-off just isn’t worth it. It can be too big and bulky and a pain to carry around with you and fit in your pocket.
The power that the processor can put out on a smartphone can vary from phone to phone because of variables such as OS version, UI, bloatware, and more. If you’re doing heavy-duty work on a smartphone such as editing media and other heavy-duty tasks, picking a smartphone with either a Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 or Snapdragon 820/821 should make things much easier.
Just because your camera has a high number of megapixels, it doesn’t mean that the camera on your smartphone is better than anything else out there. Several other factors can be considered essential as well such as the camera aperture, ISO levels, pixel size, and autofocus.
A higher number of pixels means that the size of the overall image is bigger and also sharper when viewed on a small screen. While a photography enthusiast many want a camera with higher megapixels such as 12 or even 16MP, an amateur or hobbyist photographer can do just as well with a smartphone camera with 8 or 12 MP.
Depending on how you use the smartphone, the battery usage will differ from person to person. If you primarily use the phone to do work on apps, take photos, or even stream content, a smartphone with a 3500mAh battery should be more than sufficient.
The smartphone you choose will primarily come with one of two OS, either Android or iOS. While both are certainly capable of providing you with an amazing smartphone experience, each choice has the upsides and downsides. For many people though, when it comes to picking a smartphone, they will generally choose the OS that they are most comfortable or familiar with.
While most of the storage on a smartphone is taken up by the pre-installed apps and OS, the smartphone doesn’t tell you how much space you have to use. If you’re doing a lot of editing, regardless of whether its photos or video, you will want to choose a higher with a higher amount of storage, if you can afford it. Generally, the more storage a phone has, the more expensive it can be so choose wisely.
Best Smartphones for Graphic Designers & Creatives in 2020
We know you have a lot of choices when it comes to picking a smartphone that can help your work in your creative field get the boost it needs. We felt that clearing the fog of all the options out there and giving you a concise list would help everyone involved.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 8 – $348
- OnePlus 8 Pro – $999
- Samsung Galaxy S20 (& Plus) – $999
- Huawei P30 Pro – $729
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus – $1019
- Google Pixel 4 – $549
- iPhone 11 Pro Max – $999
- Moto G Power – $229
- Samsung Galaxy s10e – $699
- LG G8 ThinQ – $749
Best Smartphones for Creatives in 2020 Compared
Best Smartphones for Creatives in 2020
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 – $348
Still a great piece of tech
Release date: September 2017 | Weight: 195g | Dimensions: 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6mm | OS: Android 7.1.1 | Screen size: 6.3-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2630 | Storage: 64GB/128GB/256GB | Rear camera: Dual 12MP | Front camera: 8MP
The oldest phone on our list, its longevity speaks to the quality that Samsung puts into it. While the Note 9 and 10 have since come out since the release of the Note 8, this particular model is available at an affordable price but is not lacking the processing power that you’re looking for. Fantastic cameras on the front and back come with great features like live focus that you can use for instant bokeh. While technologically, the Note 8 has been passed by, the combination of tech and price make this a great smartphone.Learn More
Latest Price on Amazon:
- 6.3-inch Super AMOLED Capacitive Touchscreen, 1440 x 2960 pixel resolution with Corning Gorilla Glass 5
- Android v7.1 Nougat, Chipset: Exynos 8895 Octa, Processor: Octa-Core (Quad-Core 2.3 GHz & Quad-Core 1.7 GHz), GPU: Mali-G71 MP20
- Dual 12 Megapixel Camera with (26mm, f/1.7, PDAF & 52mm, f/2.4, AF), OIS, autofocus, 2x optical zoom, dual-LED (dual tone) flash + 8 Megapixel Front Camera with f/1.7, autofocus, 1/3.6" sensor size
- Non-Removable Lithium Polymer 3300 mAh Battery
- Dimensions: 6.40 x 2.94 x 0.34 inches, Weight: 6.88 oz
OnePlus 8 Pro – $999
For the customization lover
Release date: April 2020 | Weight: 1,35lbs | Dimensions: 6.51 x 2.93 x 0.31 inches | OS: Android 7.1.1 | Screen size: 6.78-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2630 | Storage: 128GB/256GB | Rear camera: 48MP | Front camera: 16MP
For years, OnePlus has been releasing great affordable phones and the 8 Pro is their best release yet, even though the price continues to rise with every new release. The 6.78-inch AMOLED screen is beautiful to look at with its deep blacks and accurate colors. The 12GB of RAM and Snapdragon 865 Plus processor allow the phone to handle multiple things at once without any lag. With a 48MP rear camera, along with an 8MP telephoto lens provides you with 3x optical zoom so you can get those incredible shots every time.Learn More
Latest Price on Amazon:
- 120 Hz Fluid Display – Watch your favorite shows and movies on a state-of-the-art 6.78" QHD+ display with brilliant color accuracy and a seamless 120 Hz refresh rate.
- 5G Capable – Experience faster upload and download speeds along with lower latency when connected to a 5G network.
- 48 MP Quad Camera - Frame every moment with a 48 MP main camera and 48 MP Ultra Wide Angle camera. Get closer with the 3X telephoto camera with up to 30x Digital Zoom, 5 MP Color Filter camera and 16...
- 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage – Experience powerhouse performance with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865.
- High-Capacity 4510 mAh Battery – Speed up your charge with Warp Charge Wireless 30 for fast wireless charging and Warp Charge 30T technology when you need to plug in.
Samsung Galaxy S20 (& Plus) – $999
An excellent smartphone from top to bottom
Release: February 2020 | Screen size: 6.2-inches | Screen type: AMOLED | Resolution: 1440 x 3200 pixels | Dimensions: 151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9 mm | Weight: 163g | Rear camera: 12MP (wide + OIS) + 64MP (telephoto) + 12MP (ultra-wide) + ToF sensor (on Plus only) | Front camera: 10MP (wide) | Maximum video resolution: 8K, 30fps | Storage: 128GB/512GB
With an impressive set of features and incredible screen, the Samsung Galaxy S20 packs a ton to tech into a device that is super manageable and costs less than its big brother, the S20 Ultra. With three rear cameras that include a 64MP 3x zoom telephoto camera which lets you capture images from unbelievably far away. Packaged together with an ultra-wide camera along with 8K video recording, the S20 and S20 Plus can put a small movie studio in your pocket without breaking your budget.Learn More
Latest Price on Amazon:
- Power of 5G: Get next-level power for everything you love to do with Samsung Galaxy 5G; Share more, game harder, experience more and never miss a beat
- Single Take AI: Capture video and multiple types of images with one tap of the shutter button; Lenses, effects and filters capture the best of every moment, every time
- Hires Camera Zoom: Capture hires images as if you’re 3 feet away, from 100 feet away; Whether you want to zoom in close from afar or magnify details nearby, the new 30x Space Zoom gives you...
- Bright Night Mode: Capture crisp images and vibrant video in Bright Night mode and create high-quality content in low light – no flash needed
- Super Fast Charging: Charge up quicker with Super Fast Charge so you can keep moving with more juice; Give your buds – or Galaxy buds – a boost of power with Wireless PowerShare right from Galaxy...
Huawei P30 Pro – $729
A great all-round smartphone
Release date: March 2019 | Weight: 192g | Dimensions: 158 x 73.4 x 8.4mm | Screen size: 6.47-inch | Storage: 128/256/512GB | Rear camera: 40MP + 20MP + 8MP + ToF | Front camera: 32MP
Ever since Huawei release their ‘P’ line of phones, the company has been releasing some impressive hardware and the P30 Pro is their best yet. With a Full HD display, an amazing camera, and all-day battery life make it a very strong competitor to the options released by Apple and Samsung. Along with its incredible camera, the P30 has a feature no other smartphone does – a 50x zoom, letting you zoom in further than ever before. The only real downside is its lack of availability in the US. If this isn’t a problem where you live, the P30 Pro is an excellent choice.Learn More
Latest Price on Amazon:
- For USA Buyers : This Smartphone is compatible/will work with any GSM Networks such as AT&T, T-Mobile. For exact 2G GSM, 3G, 4G/LTE compatibility, please check with your network provider in advance...
- Dual/Hybrid-SIM, Network Compatibly : SIM CARD 1 [ 2G GSM 850/ 900/ 1800/ 1900 and/or 3G 800(B6) / 800(B19) / 850(B5) / 900(B8) / 1700|2100(B4) / 1900(B2) / 2100(B1) and/or 4G/LTE 700(B12) / 700(B17)...
- 6.47 inches, OLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, 1080 x 2340 pixels,
- 256GB Storage, 8GB RAM, Up to 256GB Card slot (Uses shared SIM slot)
- Android 9.0 (Pie), HiSilicon Kirin 980 (7 nm), Octa-core (2x2.6 GHz Cortex-A76 & 2x1.92 GHz Cortex-A76 & 4x1.8 GHz Cortex-A55), Mali-G76 MP10
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus – $1019
The best smartphone for creatives
Release date: August 2019 | Weight: 168g | Dimensions: 151 x 71.8 x 7.9mm | Screen size: 6.3-inch | Resolution: 1080×2280 | Storage: 256GB | Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 12MP | Front camera: 10MP
For many people working in creative fields such as illustration, having a smartphone that becomes an extension of your laptop at work is a dream machine. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus has just made your dreams come true. Packed with a triple camera that features an ultra-wide lens, telescopic lens, and regular lens, all perfect for all kinds of shots. The video camera includes advanced image stabilization and ‘bokeh’ background blur giving you the ability to capture high-quality videos right from the device. The real star of the phone is the S Pen which provides 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity so you can be sure everything you sketch is just how you want it to be.Learn More
Latest Price on Amazon:
- Fast-charging, long-lasting intelligent power and super speed processing outlast whatever you throw at Note 10.
- S pen’s newest Evolution gives you the power of air gestures, a remote shutter and playlist button and handwriting-to-text, all in One Magic wand.
- 7nm Processor Octa-Core 2.7GHz, 2.4GHz, 1.9GHz | 12GB RAM | 256GB ROM | 4,300mAh Battery Capacity
- 10MP Selfie Camera, 16MP, Ultra-Wide Camera, 12MP Wide-angle Camera, 12MP Telephoto Camera, DepthVision Camera, Live Focus Video
- Warranty provided by Suny cellular communication ltd official SAMSUNG distributor in Israel
Google Pixel 4 – $549
Best Android Experience
Release date: October 2019 | Weight: 5.7 ounces | Dimensions: 0.33 x 2.7 x 5.77 inches | Screen size: 5.7-inch | Resolution: 1080×2280 | Storage: 64/128GB | Rear camera: Dual camera with 12 MP, 16 MP telephoto | Front camera: 8MP
Running the latest and most advanced version of the Android platform, its no wonder why the Pixel 4 from Google provided the best Android experience. With its cool design, an immersive display, and an incredible dual camera that you can use to shoot high-quality video or professional-quality photos. With up the three years of support from Google, the Pixel 4 will always be among the first devices to receive updates. The affordable price and combined features make this a great phone for any fan of the Android OS.Learn More
Latest Price on Amazon:
- Point and shoot for the perfect photo. Capture brilliant color and control the exposure balance of different parts of your photos.
- Get the shot without the flash. Night Sight is now faster and easier to use it can even take photos of the Milky Way.
- Get more done with your voice. The new Google Assistant is the easiest way to send texts, share photos, and more. 
- A new way to control your phone. Quick Gestures let you skip songs and silence calls – just by waving your hand above the screen. 
- End the robocalls. With Call Screen, the Google Assistant helps you proactively filter our spam before your phone ever rings. 
iPhone 11 Pro Max – $999
The best iPhone available (for now)
Release date: September 2019 | Weight: 226g | Dimensions: 158 x 77.8 x 8.1mm | Screen size: 6.5-inch | Resolution: 1242×2688 | Storage: 64/256/512GB | Rear camera: 12MP+12MP+12MP | Front camera: 12MP
It seems that every year, Apple releases a new smartphone upgraded with the newest feature and its flagship phone, the iPhone 11 Pro Max continues that trend. With a design that feels like it was made with creatives in mind, the Pro Max features cameras that are more powerful than ever, providing you with an ultra-wide camera plus optical zoom. If you do any photo or video editing, the CPU on the phone is the fastest on the market today, making any kind of editing easy to do on the go.Learn More
Latest Price on Amazon:
- Fully unlocked and compatible with any carrier of choice (e.g. AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, US-Cellular, Cricket, Metro, etc.).
- The device does not come with headphones or a SIM card. It does include a charger and charging cable that may be generic, in which case it will be UL or Mfi (Made for iPhone) Certified.
- Inspected and guaranteed to have minimal cosmetic damage, which is not noticeable when the device is held at arms length.
- Successfully passed a full diagnostic test which ensures like-new functionality and removal of any prior-user personal information.
- Tested for battery health and guaranteed to have a minimum battery capacity of 80%.
Moto G Power – $229
Best budget-friendly smartphone
Release date: April 2020 | Weight: 7.02 ounces | Dimensions: 6.29 x 2.99 x 0.38 inches | Screen size: 6.4-inch | Resolution: 1080×2280 | Storage: 64GB | Rear camera: 16MP +2MP macro +8MP wide/depth | Front camera: 6MP with Quad Pixel
When you first look at any smartphone under $250, the first thought might be that there is something wrong with the phone for it to be available at such a cheap price but that’s not the case with the G Power from Motorola. With a beautiful design, impressive performance, expandable memory, triple camera, and excellent battery life, it has everything you need if you’re on a budget. The camera comes with a 16 MP main sensor flanked by an 8 MP ultra-wide and 2 MP sensor that can be used to capturing macro photos from less than an inch away. The Moto G Power has the specs you need to use in your creative endeavors without breaking the bank.Learn More
Latest Price on Amazon:
- Unlocked for the freedom to choose your carrier. Compatible with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon networks. SIM card not included. Customers may need to contact Sprint for activation on Sprint’s...
- Up to 3 day battery *. Go up to three days1 on a single charge thanks to a 5000 mAh battery.
- 16 MP triple camera system. Capture ultra-wide angle panoramas, sharper portraits, and super detailed close-up shots.
- Dual Stereo Speakers tuned by Dolby. Enjoy 4x more crystal-clear audio that’s 4x more powerful2 with dual stereo speakers tuned by Dolby.
- Max Vision display. Bring games and movies to life on a vivid 6. 4" Full HD+ display.
Samsung Galaxy s10e – $699
The best small smartphone
Release date: February 2019 | Weight: 1.51 ounces | Dimensions: 5.65 x 2.75 x 0.31 inches | Screen size: 5.8-inch | Resolution: 1080×2280 | Storage: 128/256 GB | Rear camera: 12MP Super Speed Dual Pixel ; 16MP Ultra Wide | Front camera: 10MP
While Samsung has released many newer versions of the Galaxy line, the S10e is one of the best compact smartphones that you can buy today. With its powerful chipset, large and beautiful display, and amazing battery, you would believe the phone is larger than it appears to be and is easily used one-handed. The dual camera is one of the best in its class with a main 12 MP sensor and a 16 MP sensor with an ultra-wide lens. With its waterproof body, expandable memory, and fast charging capabilities, you’ll revel in the experience you get with the Samsung S10e.Learn More
Latest Price on Amazon:
- Updated Camera Features: Get the more powerful S10e with a software update that gives you all new features including Single Take AI, Pro Video and more
- High-quality camera lenses: With a full set of pro lenses, including ultrawide for stunning landscapes and micro-zoom for epic details, Galaxy S10e is a studio in your pocket, featuring live video...
- Photos and video with one tap: capture multiple images and video all at once, in one tap. Lenses, effects and filters capture the best of every moment, every time
- Capture with pro-grade tool set made for masters: Control your camera settings with Pro-Video Mode to adjust the exposure, focus and more to bring your creative vision to life
- Share more, quicker: The Galaxy S10e can now connect to and share with up to 5 other compatible devices at the same time using Bluetooth and WiFi, with no limits on content type or file size
LG G8 ThinQ – $749
The smartphone with the best audio
Release date: May 2019 | Weight: 14.7 ounces | Dimensions: 6.9 x 3.6 x 2.4 inches | Screen size: 6.1-inch | Resolution: 1080×2280 | Storage: 128 GB | Rear camera: Dual 12 MP + 16 MP | Front camera: 8 MP
For all the creative work you do, sometimes, you just want to be able to listen to good music and listen on a quality device and that’s where the G8 ThinQ from LG comes in. Even with its high-end specs, the phone comes with a bunch of neat audio features including being able to turn the display into an acoustic surface. The Crystal Sound OLED transforms the front of the device into a stereo speaker which also eliminates the need for an earpiece. While LG decided to skip the triple camera option, overall the G8 Thinq is an excellent phone worthy of your time.Learn More
Latest Price on Amazon:
- Pre-installed selection of Amazon apps, including Amazon Shopping, Amazon Music, Audible and Amazon Alexa
- Amazon exclusive version with Amazon Alexa built-in: Simply say “Alexa” or double press the power button to play music, hear the news or check the weather wherever you are. Just ask - and Alexa...
- 6.1" QHD+ OLED FullVision display (3120 x 1440 ), 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage with option to add up to 2 TB of microSD expandable memory, and Android 9
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Octa-core processor (2.84+ GHz x 1 + 2.42+ GHz x 3 + 1.79+ GHz x 4)
- 16.0MP + 12.0MP dual rear-camera setup with OIS+ and Dual PDAF, 8.0MP front-facing camera with Story Shot & Makeup Pro
Best Smartphones for Designers & Creatives in 2020
Choosing the right phone can be easy for just about anyone. However, when it comes to buying a smartphone that you can use as part of your career in a creative field, it suddenly becomes a little harder.
With our list of the best smartphones for creatives in 2020, we hope that we’ve made this process easier so you can get the phone that you not only want but also need to advance your career.