Streaming has become so popular nowadays, and the reason being is that you don’t really need a lot of equipment to start your streaming career. Sure, you can get a nice streaming PC, a mic, and great pair of headphones, but you can also just use your mobile phone.
For that reason, I want to talk about the best phone for streaming so you know which device to get. In my opinion, the best one is Google Pixel 3a XL because of its powerful CPU, great camera, and affordable price.
Let’s take a look at other options too.
QUICK OVERVIEW: Best Phone for Streaming
Google Pixel 3a XL
Google Pixel 4 XL
Apple iPhone 12 Mini
Table of Contents
Best Phone for Streaming
Reviewed & Tested
In my list of the 7 best phones for vlogging and streaming you’ll find some of the best phones on the market, and also some cheap alternatives that still work great but won’t make a dent in your wallet.
Let’s jump straight in!
1. Google Pixel 3a XL
Top choice overall
This phone ticks all of the boxes for streaming! What amazed me the most was the camera’s quality: 1080p at 30 FPS shooting for both the main and front cameras, as well as the option to record at 4K, which I think is a must for streaming.
Also, the option to upgrade it to a newer Android version, long-lasting battery, and solid memory were big pluses in my book!
Why do I think Google Pixel 3a XL is the best among these?
It’s a good phone you can use for everyday vlogging, but it’s also more affordable than other smartphones with similar specs as it will cost you around $300. Also, Google’s phones are quite user-friendly.
So let’s see what else the phone has to offer.
Who is it best for?
As this is a fairly priced smartphone, lots of people are going to love it just because it’s a powerful device, and yet quite affordable. For streaming and vlogging it’s also a solid choice as the phone features 4K video shooting, and is also quite compact for everyday use.
It may not be the most updated smartphone, as it was released in 2019, but it’s still a viable option if you’re just going to use it as your streaming phone and not your main one.
Having said this, I think that this phone is for everyone – those searching for a budget phone for streaming and those that want a powerful phone that can keep up with their streaming career.
As it’s a Google phone, the Pixel 3a XL runs on a Chrome OS which is actually Android 9.0, but you can upgrade it to Android 11.0.
The most important specs for me personally, the camera, is a 12 MP one capable of shooting 4K videos at 30fps, and 1080p videos at 30 to 120fps and the selfie camera can shoot 1080p videos at 30fps.
Here is what really makes it stand out: the phone uses a Qualcomm SDM670 Snapdragon 670 chipset and runs smoothly so it won’t be an issue if you’re using it just for streaming.
As far as memory is concerned, the phone has 64 GB of internal memory but with no SD card slot which I didn’t really like, and it also has 4 GB of RAM which is solid for this type of phone.
The phone also has an Octa-core CPU, Adreno 615 GPU, a USB-C port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a 3700mAh battery capacity, and a screen size is 6″.
- Solid camera
- Good FPS shooting
- Small storage capacity
2. Google Pixel 4 XL
The best phone for vlogging
The newer, but a bit more costly model is quite similar to Pixel 3a XL. The camera is amazing, suitable for vlogging, but what I liked the most was 6 GB RAM and octa-core CPU. The streaming was easy and smooth.
If it had a bit better battery life, it would even be my top pick.
What makes this phone a viable choice is a dual camera, but also some other unique features which brought this phone to my best phone for streaming list.
So let’s check out the specs and see what the Pixel 4 XL is all about!
Who is it best for?
This phone has all the features which make it a good vlogging phone but also a phone you can have as your main one. The dual main camera is quite handy to have when you want to stream videos with more depth, but also the selfie camera is quite solid.
Even though this isn’t a budget phone, if you’re looking for a new phone anyway and you want to start streaming, then the Pixel 4 XL is a viable option.
The main feature of this phone is the dual rear camera. The first camera has 12.2 MP and a 27mm wide lens, and the second one has 16 MP and a 50mm telephoto lens and both offer full 4K video shooting at 30fps and 1080p shooting at 30 to 120fps.
The selfie camera has 8 MP and can shoot full HD as well.
The phone runs on an Android 10.0 OS which can be upgraded to Android 11.0.
It also features a Qualcomm SM8150 Snapdragon 855 chipset, an Octa-core CPU, and an Adreno 640 GPU making it quite snappy as far as interaction is concerned.
The phone also has 64 GB of internal storage and 6 GB of RAM meaning you can even have a decent gaming experience.
The Pixel 4 XL has a 6.3” display, uses a USB-C 3.1 port, has a 3700 mAh battery, and is even water-resistant to up to 1.5 meters.
- Excellent video quality
- Great size
- Low memory capacity
3. Apple iPhone 12 Mini
The phone with the best camera quality
If you want the best shots and video quality, then go for iPhone. This model allows you to record 4K videos at 60 FPS, with so much detail that some professional cameras cannot capture.
Also, it’s quite easy to navigate and intuitive, with a powerful CPU and RAM sufficient for streaming.
Of course, what’s a phone review without an iPhone on the list? And on this list, I bring you the iPhone 12 Mini which is the smallest of the iPhone 12 series, but it shouldn’t be taken for granted just because of its size.
This cute phone is actually quite powerful, and since Apple has one of the best cameras in the game, it sure is the best phone for content creators who need decent video footage.
Who is it best for?
They say that once you try an iPhone, you’ll never go back to Android. There’s nothing wrong with Android phones, it’s just that Apple has a unique user-friendly platform that once you get used to it, you simply don’t want to change to another type of OS.
The iPhone 12 Mini is no exception as it has the same chipset as the other 12 series models, of course with a smaller frame and lower components.
Still, it’s a pocketable phone that you won’t even notice carrying, and when it comes to streaming or vlogging, you’ll be amazed by the sharpness of the camera.
So this phone is for Apple fans and many others who want a great phone for everyday streaming.
The iPhone 12 Mini has 2 rear cameras and each one has 12 MP, but one is meant for wide-angle footage with the 26mm lens, while the other is used for ultra-wide videos with the 13mm lens. The selfie camera also has 12 MP and a 26mm wide lens.
All of the cameras are capable of shooting 4K videos at 60fps, which was something I personally enjoyed.
It also features an Apple A14 Bionic chipset, Hexa-core CPU, and Apple 4-core graphics GPU, and when you use it you can feel how fast it is compared to the previous iPhone series.
This iPhone 12 Mini has 64 GB of storage, and 4 GB of RAM, and it also has 2227 mAh and uses a lighting USB port for fast charging.
- Amazing video quality and shooting speed
- Fast animation
- Quality lenses
- Low battery capacity
4. Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
The phone with the best internal memory
This phone has everything you need for streaming: a great display, a triple camera that can shoot 1080p at 240 FPS, and a powerful CPU. But what makes it really stand out is the internal memory. I tested its 12 GB of RAM with several games, and it worked smoothly.
However, if you’re just starting out, you might not be ready to spend as much money on just a streaming phone.
I have 3 Samsung phones on this list, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is the first phone I’ll review. This is also the second most affordable phone on the list as it costs around $600.
What makes this phone perfect for streaming is the almost bezel-less display which looks and feels like you’re holding a piece of glass in your hands. This also comes in handy when you need to see your stream clearly and on full-screen.
Let’s check out the other features!
Who is it best for?
If you’re familiar with the Note series, you won’t mind the massive display that all of the phones from the series have.
If you think about it, large displays are ideal for streaming, as when you use your phone for streaming, you’re basically doing everything that you’d do if you’re on a computer, and with a larger display, you’re going to have an easier time setting up your camera, getting the right angle, seeing yourself clearer and so on.
Let’s talk about the camera first. The phone has 3 main camera lenses, 2×12 MP, and 1 16 MP. All cameras have different lens sizes and suit different purposes and they can all shoot 4K at 60fps, and 1080p at 240 fps. The front camera has 12 MP and can also shoot 4K at 60fps.
The phone uses an Android 9.0 OS which can be upgraded to Android 11.0. It also uses a Qualcomm SM8150 Snapdragon 855 chipset, one of the fastest ever manufactured for Samsung phones, and also has an Octa-core CPU, and an Adreno 640 GPU.
Now, the storage is quite good as it has 256 GB of storage, and a massive 12 GB of RAM means you can literally play any mobile game out there.
The battery is also amazing, as it has a 4300 mAh capacity, so I tested and used it the whole day without charging.
As I’ve already mentioned the phone has a 6.8” display, and for easier use, it also comes with a stylus pen.
- Amazing video quality
- Good battery life
- Lots of storage
- Large display
- A bit pricey
5. Samsung Galaxy S10+
The phone with the best audio support
If you have enough for just one piece of streaming equipment, Samsung Galaxy S10+ is all you need. I was quite impressed by the sound quality it captured, and my friend was also! Without a mic, I managed to record studio-quality audio.
Once again, the downside is the price.
The next Samsung phone on the list is the well-known Samsung Galaxy S10+ which was Samsung’s flagship phone of 2019.
It has all the features you need for making high-quality streams and it’s also not that expensive compared to the newer S20 ultra.
Who is it best for?
The main thing about the S10+ that attracted me to review this phone is the back camera as it’s one of the best I’ve seen and provides not only great video quality but audio support as well.
Sure, it’s not as good as the S20 ultra camera, but still, this phone is quite cheaper than its successor.
Even when I compared it to the iPhone 11 Pro Max which was released the same year as the S10+, the camera on the Samsung is still better as it provides more options for the users to play around with and changes to their preference.
The S10+ comes with a triple camera system on the back and features a 12 MP wide, 12 MP telephoto, and a 16 MP ultrawide camera which all can shoot 4K videos at 60fps and also have an HDR10+ stereo sound recording capability.
This is quite important if you’re going to use this phone for streaming as it offers you the freedom not to use a streaming mic and still get studio-quality sound.
Next, the phone has a Qualcomm SM8150 Snapdragon 855 chipset and an Octa-core CPU making it quite fast and furious.
The phone also has 128 GB of internal memory, but you can also get the 512 GB model if you want, and it also has 12 GB of RAM which is more than enough for any app or game you’re going to use.
It runs the Android 9.0 OS which is upgradable to Android 11.0, uses a USB-C 3.5 for fast charging, and even has a 3.5mm headphone jack which is quite important to have if you’re going to use it for streaming.
- One of the best video quality
- Lots of storage
- Excellent speed
- Pristine sound recording
6. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
The best high-end phone
108 MP and stereo sound are quite impressive features, but what impressed me was the graphics. I don’t think I ever came across a phone with that powerful GPU. You can game harder than ever.
The biggest disappointment was the battery – it lasts quite long but less compared to other Samsung models.
I’ve already made a short introduction about this phone while we talked about the S10+. Some people are going to point out the price and say that it may not be worth the money.
However, it’s a high-end phone with high-end specs. So, it is up to you to decide if it is worth for you.
Who is it best for?
It’s one of the best phones when it comes to shooting videos.
Having a 108 MP camera as your main and a 40 MP one for a selfie camera allows you to film insanely good-looking videos.
Still, as this smartphone is quite expensive for a lot of streamers, as it costs as much as a prebuilt streaming PC, not many people are going to go out of their way to buy it.
Let’s tackle the main feature of the phone step by step – the camera. The main camera has a 108 MP wide, 48 MP, periscope telephoto, 12 MP ultrawide, and 0.3 MP depth lens which in combination provide the best video shooting possible on a smartphone today.
You can shoot 4K videos at 60fps, but what’s really fascinating is that you can even shoot 8K videos at 24fps, and all this is backed up by the HDR10+ stereo sound making your voice crisper than ever.
This is also the first Samsung phone to use the newest Exynos 990 chipset with the ground-breaking speed and animation transition.
The CPU is an Octa-core one, and the GPU is the latest Mali-G77 MP11 meaning this kind of graphics has never been seen on a mobile device.
The phone has 128 GB of internal storage, and it can be expanded via a micro SDXC card, and also has 16 GB of RAM which is the highest amount of RAM of all the phones on our list.
It uses the Android 10.0 OS, has a 5000 mAh battery capacity, and sadly, it doesn’t have a headphone jack.
- Great camera quality
- Fastest animations
- Lots of storage
- Doesn’t have a headphone jack
7. Xiaomi Mi 10T
The best budget phone for streaming
Considering the price, I was quite amazed by what this phone can do: video recorded at 8K and 30 FPS looked quite well, and the few games I tested ran quite smoothly.
However, 6 GB of RAM is not much, and I would like it more if it had a headphone jack.
The last phone on my list can’t really outshine the previous one by one bit. However, I’ve saved the best budget streaming phone for last.
I’m talking about the Xiaomi Mi 10T which doesn’t have the best specs in terms of power, but still has an awesome camera that many streamers will appreciate.
Who is it best for?
As this is a budget phone, many people are going to want to have it solely for their streaming needs because it has an amazing camera, and Xiaomi is known for making pristine quality devices so there’s no doubt that it’s worth the price.
Using it as the main phone is also an option, but let’s be real if you add a few hundred bucks you can buy an iPhone which is a far better option for your day-to-day phone.
So to summarize, if you want a good streaming phone but don’t want to break the bank, then the Mi 10T is the one for you.
The camera on the Mi 10T is simply the best in this price range as you get a 64 MP wide, 13 MP ultrawide, and a 5 MP macro lens camera capable of shooting 4K at 60fps and 8K at 30fps.
Of course, this sounds like it’s better than the S20 ultra, but the lenses on the Samsung are sharper, which doesn’t take the value from the Mi 10T.
The phone also features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 5G chipset, an Octa-core CPU, and an Adreno 650 GPU which means that this phone has excellent speed and power.
It also has 128 GB of internal storage, and only 6 GB of RAM which is not a surprise as it only costs around 400$ so you have to settle for less if you want a good camera.
The phone runs on an Android 10.0 OS, has a 5000 mAh battery capacity, and no, it doesn’t have a headphone jack.
- Amazing video quality
- Good storage
- Excellent battery life
- Not a lot of RAM
Things to Consider Before Buying a Phone for Streaming
As you can already see, smartphones aren’t as cheap as one would think, so if you’re already planning on getting a streaming phone, you need to invest your money properly.
That’s why I’ve made a list of things to consider before buying a phone for streaming so you can get the best of the best and be satisfied with your purchase.
Let’s see what you need to pay attention to.
The number one thing you need to pay attention to when buying a phone for streaming is of course the camera. You need to make sure that the camera has perfect video quality and that it can stream at least at 1K resolution as this is the bare minimum that will make your streams look professional.
Remember that video quality has nothing to do with the number of megapixels a camera has, but rather the type of lens it uses so if you’re going to get an iPhone as a streaming phone, do know that those typical 12 MP are just as good as the 64 MP on an Android phone.
2. Memory Capacity
When buying a streaming phone, you need to get one that has lots of storage as your streaming videos will take a toll on the memory capacity. Always get a phone which supports a micro SD card as you can easily take it out of the phone and upload the data to your PC.
Of course, iPhone enthusiasts will have to either get the most storage model or use iCloud to their advantage. In both cases, never settle below 128 GB.
3. Battery Capacity
The final thing you need to take into consideration is the battery capacity as streaming is a battery-consuming operation and the worse thing that can happen is that your phone shuts down midstream.
That’s why you need at least 3000 mAh to even make it possible to stream more than 2 or 3 hours before charging your device.
Of course, you can always carry a power bank, but your phone will surely overheat.
It’s always tough to choose the best product, so here is a quick overview of my top three streaming phones:
- Google Pixel 3a XL as the best overall,
- Google Pixel 4 XL as the best for vlogging,
- Apple iPhone 12 Mini with the best camera.
I hope you liked my review and I’m sure that some of these phones caught your attention so I’m glad to have helped you out.
Good luck with the vlogs and streams, I’ll be sure to stop by!
Related: How to Stream IRL on Twitch
Frequently Asked Questions
What phone do YouTubers use?
Many YouTubers stream or make videos using their smartphones and some of the most popular choices are the iPhone 11, Samsung Galaxy S10+, Samsung Galaxy S20 ultra, iPhone XS Max Pro, Huawei P30, and Google Pixel 4.
Which phone is good for vlogging?
The best phone for vlogging has a good selfie camera. These include the iPhone 11, iPhone 12, iPhone XS, Samsung Galaxy S10+, Samsung Galaxy S20 ultra, Huawei 30 Pro, Huawei Mate 20 Pro, and so on.
Can I use my phone to make YouTube videos?
Of course, you can use your phone, just make sure that it has good video quality and sound recording so that you don’t need much editing to make quality videos. Still, you do want to do some editing before posting the clip on YouTube for aesthetic purposes.