These days, we’re all the stars of our own reality show, with technology enabling us to stream ourselves live at any time and any place on Earth. Whether you’re a regular vlogger, occasional streamer or just need to live stream an important meeting or conference, it’s important that you have the right tech with you. Luckily, you no longer need a full camera kit and caboodle to make high-quality, instant video content, given that these days you can find all the recording hardware, live editing tools and sharing platforms in your average smartphone. However, there are a few key hardware concerns that anyone who’s serious about high-quality streaming needs to look out for, and they definitely can’t be found in every smartphone on the market. Here’s your guide to finding the best smartphone for live streaming.
Find the Right Camera
This is definitely the most obvious consideration, but before you condemn us for stating the obvious, ask yourself this: How many live streams have you been unable to watch due to the poor video quality making the whole stream look like CCTV footage? Compact camera technology has made amazing strides in the past couple of years, meaning you can live-stream studio-level content from your smartphone if you know where to look. Very recently, on J
The best examples on the market right now are the insanely clear Google Pixel 2 camera, as long as you get the XL model, and of course the game-changing iPhone X, with a camera that quite literally is ahead of the game, with both models sporting 12MP rear cameras. If you have older or more affordable smartphone models, you’ll need to invest in some attachable camera hardware to improve the quality of your content, with the Sony Cybershot QX10 being the gold standard at the moment.
Think About What Kind of Streaming You’re Doing
So you’ve got your camera, and you feel ready to go, but first, stop and ask yourself: What am I actually streaming? Your filming and streaming style should always be shaped by the type of content you’re actually shooting, so always try to shape your streams accordingly. You might be live streaming on the move, for example going on a live hike or giving a building tour, so you’ll definitely need to make considerations on which smartphone is most suited (and mobile) for this kind of content.
One up and coming trend is for interactive live streams. We’ve seen its beginnings in features such as Twitch Plays, where the Twitch platform allowed for players to control video games through commands typed in the live video’s chat box. Very recently, on June 21, YouTube announced at VidCon 2018 a new feature called YouTube Premieres, which takes interaction of the streamer with their fans and viewers to new levels with new features. Similarly, Betway’s live streamed casino games allow gamblers to play roulette, blackjack, and other games via live stream and make their choices using on-screen buttons and option menus. To go with interactive streaming, you’ll need to make sure the right tech is there, and most importantly, if your viewers interact with your content, a fast smartphone with solid 4G (or better yet, 5G) capabilities is an absolute must, with Chinese smartphone brand Huawei definitely being an industry leader in that arena. The kind of content you’re aiming for will undoubtedly affect what you need, so always bear that in mind when searching for the right smartphone.
Don’t Forget to Edit
These days. Many people still think the live footage comes through completely unfiltered and unpolished, without realizing the huge role that live editing technology and techniques now play in broadcast content across the world. It certainly takes a little bit of finesse, but you don’t need studio tech and studio budgets in order to pull off flawless live editing. Cinamaker, available for iPhones and Android devices, is mobile-native and allows for multi-cam editing and live streaming. Similarly, Videohance is also designed to allow you to improve footage quality and avoid errors live from your phone, ensuring that your content is a crisp and smooth as if there were an entire team of editors working behind the scenes.
Compatibility means a lot of things in today’s world, but when it comes to live streaming, one of the most important factors is having technology with is compatible with you, regarding usability and of course, your budget considerations. It’s important to have a phone brand which allows you to sync up your content across your other devices for example, and even on a physical level, you’ll need a smartphone that you’re comfortable using and filming with for long hours at a time. That’s why it’s important to shop around as much as possible until you find the phone that is the right fit for you, to ensure your live videos are as good as they can be.
If you have any tips on live streaming technology for smartphones, let us know in the comments.