What’s the Best Phone for Instagram?

Gentle reader, I find myself on the horns of a dilemma. You see, my current cel phone contract has expired. Two years ago, I made the switch from Rogers to Telus, and honestly, I’ve been really happy with their service. At that time, I upgraded from my iPhone 4 to an iPhone 5s. It’s now two years later, and I am qualified to get a new phone. But which one?

what's the best phone for instagram

I have a few issues with the iPhone, despite being a hardcore Mac user (I have all the Apple things–I work on a MacBook Pro, I have an iPad, and I just bought Apple TV). First, I don’t like how restrictive they are with their software, and like many of you, I’m sure, I’m not happy about how expensive the hardware is. Replacing headphones or a charging cable is always a costly venture. Then there’s the battery. Okay, I get that my phone is 2 years old, and the battery is never going to be as good two years in as at the beginning, but I can’t go an entire day, these days, without having to plug my phone in, and that’s a problem. My final issue is about storage. No matter how I try to free up storage, it never seems to be enough, and I’m constantly getting the “your storage is almost full message.”

Let’s talk about Instagram for a moment. I’m a pretty hardcore Instagram user–I post on the daily, and I’ve done tons of research on things like when’s the best time of day to post, and what are the best hashtags to use. Cel phone camera quality is incredibly important for Instagram, as well, as is battery life (if you are shooting at an event) and also storage space (ditto).

So, I decided to do a cross-comparison of some of the best phones out there right now, and try to determine which was the best for Instagram.

The phones I tested included:

I compared these 5 phones (plus my current iPhone as a base) on 6 different options (and threw in price as well, as that could be a factor for y’all):

  • battery life: obviously, the longer the better. None of the phones I looked at had removable batteries.
  • memory and removable storage space: how much internal memory did the phone have, and did it have a removable micro SD card slot?
  • cameras (front and back)
  • adjustable aperture: this is incredibly important when you’re shooting in lower light situations–it gives you more manual control over your aperture. This I scored out of 5, with 5 being the most adjustable, and 1 being the least.

Here are the results:

Phone Operating system Price Price with 2 yr contract Battery Storage SSD card? Camera front Camera back Adjustable Aperature
iPhone 5 iOS $625 $130 1560 mAh 16/32 GB No 1.2 mp 8 mp 2
iPhone 6s iOS $775 $170 1715 mAh 16/64/128 GB No 5 mp 12 mp 3
Alcatel One Touch Idol 3 Android $360 $0 2000 mAh 8 GB Yes 5 mp 13 mp 3
LG G4 Android $700 $150 3000 mAh 32 GB Yes 8 mp 16 mp 5
Blackberry Priv Android $890 $310 3410 mAh 32 GB Yes 2 mp 18 mp 5
Samsung Galaxy S5 Android $630 $150 2800 mAh 16/32 Yes 2 mp 16 mp 3

Here are photos taken on each of the phones (using the same subject and lighting):

iPhone 5s
iPhone 6s
Alcatel One Touch Idol 3
Blackberry Priv
Samsung Galaxy S5

What’s the best phone for Instagram?

For me, the clear winner is the LG G4. It has excellent cameras in both front and back, and it also has a longer battery life. In addition, it has fully-manual aperture settings that really give you lots of control–almost like shooting manual on a DSLR. The Blackberry Priv certainly deserves an honorable mention (see it in action here), as it also has some impressive specs, but it is new, and may not be available everywhere yet. Also, it’s a Blackberry, and, even though it runs on an Android operating system, I find that most people I know who are into Instagram do not use Blackberries. In terms of budget options, the Alcatel One Touch Idol 3 is a pretty good option (watch this space, you’ll get the chance to win one soon!).

I asked some folks on Instagram last night what their camera preferences were, and here is what they said:

One last note for hardcore iPhone users (like me). One incentive you may have for moving away from iOS is Instagram’s recent announcement that it is beta testing a multiple-account version of the Instagram app for Android only. I manage multiple Instagram accounts, and I find it giant pain in the tukus to sign out and sign back in again every time I need to post to a different account.

A huge shout out to Mieka Van Thiel, Caitlin Hall, Ana Douglas and the rest of the team at the Telus Garden Learning Centre for their help with this blog post.

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Rebecca Coleman

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Blogger, Author, Teacher, Trainer. Passionate foodie, mom to Michael, fueled by Americanos. I love my bike. Soon-to-be cookbook author. Localvore with a wanderlust.

Comments 2

  1. I ran the Instagram for a company I interned at for a while, and one of the biggest hindrances was the quality of my camera. I have a 5s, and I just find that the quality is very spotty. Sometimes you get great photos, sometimes not so much. I would love to find a phone that takes better quality photo and videos for marketing purposes, so thanks for sharing your results.

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