5 Best Smartphones for Graphic designers in 2022

person using iPhone for graphic designing

By now every graphic designer should know that it’s possible to do graphic design on your mobile.

I have a detailed guide on how to do graphic design on mobile so if you have any doubts or questions about the overall workflow, be sure to check that out.

However, in that same post I outlined that you can’t just use any phone and start creating professional graphic designs.

You would need a phone that can handle graphic design/drawing apps, has a responsive touch screen and is updated to access the latest drawing apps and features.

So, today I compiled a list of the best smartphones for graphic designers in 2022 to help you choose a great phone before you go on to build your best office setup.

5 Best Smartphones for Graphic designers in 2022

Here’s a complete breakdown of the list of smartphones for graphic designers and an in-depth review for them as well.

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS BUY NOW
Apple Apple iPhone 13 best overall phone for graphic designing iPhone 13
  • Display:6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display
  • RAM:4GB
  • Storage:128GB/256GB/512GB
  • Battery:3,095mAh
  • CPU:A15 Bionic
  • Rear Camera:12MP+12MP ultrawide
  • Front Camera:12MP
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Samsung Samsung Samsung Galaxy s20 big phone for graphic designers Galaxy S20 FE
  • Display:6.5" FHD Infinity-O display
  • RAM:6GB
  • Storage:128GB/256GB
  • Battery:4500mAh
  • CPU:Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
  • Rear Camera:12MP
  • Front Camera:32MP
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Samsung Samsung Best mobile for graphic designing and digital art Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
  • Display:6.8" Infintiy-O display
  • RAM:16GB
  • Storage:128GB/256GB/512GB
  • Battery:5000mAh
  • CPU:Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
  • Rear Camera:108MP
  • Front Camera:40MP
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Samsung Samsung samsung galaxy note 10 plus for graphic design with stylus Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
  • Display:6.8" QHD+ AMOLED display
  • RAM:12GB
  • Storage:256GB/512GB
  • Battery:4300mAh
  • CPU:Snapdragon 855/Exynos 9825
  • Rear Camera:16MP + 12MP + 12MP + VGA
  • Front Camera:10MP
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Motorola Motorola best cheap budget phone for graphic designers Motorola One 5G Ace
  • Display:6.7" Full HD, Max Vision display
  • RAM:6GB
  • Storage:128GB
  • Battery:5000mAh
  • CPU:Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G
  • Rear Camera:48MP
  • Front Camera:16MP
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1. Apple iPhone 13

Best smartphone for graphic designers iPhone 13
Pros Cons
Color rich bright display Similar design to iPhone 12
Long battery life No home button or headphone jack
Powerful A15 processor Charger not included
Exceptional camera and picture quality

The iPhone 13 is the best phone to use for graphic designing as it has a beautiful liquid retina display, a great camera and a powerful processor. It has a 3095mAh battery life which can make it last for 8 continuous hours on a single charge.

Apple’s A15 processor chip is fast and leaves android competitors trailing by giving faster performance and better graphic rendering. The Apple IOS with Its 4GB RAM is the cherry on top making the phone perform faster and the 128GB is upgradeable to 512GB giving you enough space to place all your design resources.

I’ve always been a fan of Apple’s exceptional picture and camera quality and they seem to have maintained that in the iPhone 13. The12MP ultra-wide camera combined with the bright display is fantastic for taking photos and capturing subtle details such as shadows and highlights.

One place where the iPhone 13 goes wrong is its innovativeness. The iPhone 13 has a very similar design to the iPhone 12 which is disappointing considering that this was supposed to be an upgrade from the older model. If you are looking for a more noticeable upgrade you should opt for the pro version which offers better specs and features.

2. SAMSUNG Galaxy S20 FE

best samsung phone for graphic designing
Pros Cons
Great display for graphic designing Poor sensor
Expandable storage Low-quality front camera
Excellent processor Charger not included

The Samsung Galaxy S20 factory edition smartphone is a strong competitor to the iPhone 13 when it comes to the smoothness of the display. With its 120Hz screen it can play videos, games, and run apps on a consistent 60FPS. This is great if you are a video editor or plan on recording for YouTube channel. 

The 6.5” FHD display is also great for illustration work or digital painting on your phone. Oh and you don’t have to worry about the portability of the phone. Even the phone might be a bit large it also has a slim design making it easy to fit in your hand while drawing.

Inside it features a Qualcomm snapdragon 865 which is one of the best processors you can find on the market currently for mobile. The fast processor will load your graphic design asserts quickly as things such as, fonts, themes, color palettes, and images tend to add up and make your phone pretty slow.

The 128GB storage is somewhat of a turn off but thankfully, it is expandable and something I would definitely recommend. The graphic design apps, images, vectors, and fonts will add up andf this excludes all the apps you’re going to be downloading for your own personal use.

6GB RAM for a phone of this quality is great and really packs a punch. You have a quick response and switching from one app to another is easier and smoother. 

The main issue you would have with the Samsung S20 is it has a low-quality front camera and a poor sensor. Although these features may not disturb you very much, as they don’t affect your workflow as a graphic designer, they’re still pretty annoying – especially the sensor. The sensor might randomly detect you and sometimes won’t even notice you. Making phone calls, facetiming, and just generally placing it in your pocket can make the phone screen disappear and reappear multiple times without you interacting with it.

3. SAMSUNG Galaxy S21 Ultra

overall best phone for graphic designers

ProsCons
Amazing AMOLED displayNo headphone jack
8K videoNo expandable storage
Fantastic camera with multiple features Charger not included
Long battery life

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is the ultimate phone for content creators. It has a beautiful  6.8” AMOLED display with S pen compatibility which has been imporved since the last model and feels much more like an actual pencil.

It has BT 5.2 support which means you will have a much more stable Bluetooth connection so no more annoying pen or earphones cutting out while working.

The most impressive thing about the S21 Ultra would be its camera.

With a 108MP camera, 10x optical zoom and 8K video this phone is the best phone for video editors and photographers. Combine this with the 12GB RAM and this phone is a powerhouse for most graphic design software and can give you an exceptional workflow for all your graphic design work.

So, if the phone is so great why isn’t it at the top?

Samsung dropped micro SD card support. This means that you are stuck with the base 512GB storage. There’s not much point to recording 8K video if you don’t have any place to store it.

However, for most professional graphic design work the storage is more than enough if you don’t plan on using the more advanced features.

The other camera features however, do not disappoint and still make this phone a powerful competitor for most graphic designing tasks.

4. SAMSUNG Galaxy Note 10+

best graphic designing phone with stylus
Pros Cons
Ideal for digital artists and illustration No MicroSD card slot and headphone jack
Thin bezels
High-quality S Pen stylus

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is an ideal for digital artists and graphic designers specializing in illustration mostly due to the S pen. The Note 10+ features Wacom technology under the hood which makes the S pen consistent in its stroke and much more responsive.

Is it as good as the Apple pencil though? Not really. I don’t think most styluses nowadays can compare to the Apple pencil due to its pencil-like design and features. Speaking of features the S pen does work as a camera remote – so that’s cool I guess, not necessary for most, but cool.

The design of the phone is really nice aesthetically – it has an almost bezeless display making the screen wider and a camera that doesn’t take up too much space. The thin bezels might cause more accidental marks on the drawing surface as your palm might hit the surface. The Note 10+ also doesn’t do a very good job in palm rejection so you would have to be more cautious when drawing.

Now, the 256GB storage with no micro SD card slot would tempt you to yeet this phone out the window but keep in mind that this isn’t a phone that’s best for video or photo editing. I would rather consider it if you plan on doing some digital drawing, painting, and illustration work the Note 10+ is exceptional.

The all-glass design is a fingerprint magnet and if you’re like me you would avoid all-glass designs due to how sensitive they can be. It does also make the phone pretty slippery which can be frustrating when drawing without a surface. 

5. Motorola One 5G Ace

best cheap budget phone for graphic design
Pros Cons
Clean unbloated OS Heavy
Great budget phone Low-quality plastic design
Long lasting battery Average quality camera

The Motorola One 5G Ace is a great mid-range phone for graphic designers which comes in an affordable price of $300. It has a 6.7” FHD display which is a good size for drawing and other graphic design work. However, the screen isn’t as bright as most phones you would find in this price.

The 6GB RAM with the 60Hz screen rate makes this phone function smoothly and the 128GB storage would be enough on this budget.

The 60Hz screen can be set to 90Hz as well but that not only consumes more battery but isn’t really noticeable as well unlike the Samsung models.

A 48MP camera is pretty average – using this for product photos or high-quality professional photography is a no go but for other every-day use it’ll get the job done.

Inside is a 5000mAh battery which can last over a day on a single charge which is something you would need for hours-long work sessions. This heavy-duty battery does add to the weight of the phone making it hefty.

For graphic design work and illustration the Motorola One Ace is a decent phone given that it has a number of features, a smooth display, and a powerful battery.

How to Choose the Best Smartphone for Graphic designing

Choosing the smartphone that is best for your needs depends on several factors. Below I’ve listed some things you need to look out for when choosing a smartphone for graphic designing.

Display

Although the ideal phone size for most people would be somewhere around 5.5 to 6” it depends on the type of graphic design work you’re going to be doing. If you are a digital artist or illustrator you would need a big drawing surface to draw comfortably. A 6.2 to 6.5” display would be more than enough for that task. The Samsung Galaxy Note series actually does a great job at providing a good screen size for line art.

Apart from the size of the screen you also need to strive for quality. A FHD or QHD display is great for a phone intended for graphic designing.

Operating System (OS)

Most people are usually loyal to one brand – Apple or Android. If you are an Apple user and are happy with IOS you should probably stick with it same goes for Android users. Both OS come with their pros and cons but you should stick with the one you are most familiar with to avoid a huge learning curve.

Camera

Having professional, high-quality photos are essential to make your graphic designs stand out. Sometimes you just need to use a unique image of your own and not rely on a stock image site. Having a good quality camera is important to take better photos and this can usually be measured by the number of the pixels a camera has. A good range is anything between 8MP to 12MP.

However, it’s not all about the number of pixels, you also need to look out for features such as auto-focus, ISO levels, and Zoom features.

What you need in a camera depends on your field. If you are a product photographer you would need a highly detailed professional grade camera, if you just take pictures for your personal blog any camera would do you good.

RAM

RAM or Random Access Memory is the part of your phone’s internal storage responsible for speeding up the switching of apps. It saves a copy of the app in the memory to be used later which makes it respond faster to when you open it again. As a graphic designer I’d assume you’ll constantly be switching between the different Adobe apps so it’s important to have at least 4GB of RAM for a quicker more efficient workflow.

Storage

Having sufficient storage is important for downloading and keeping all your apps, resources, images, and files secured. For graphic design you’ll have a lot of font files and design resources downloaded and the projects you create would also take up a lot of space on your mobile. I recommend having 128GB of storage as the minimum. Most smartphones nowadays come with a micro SD card slot allowing you to increase the amount of storage.

It should be noted however that the more storage you have the expensive the phone is going to be so if you are on a budget you might have to settle for a phone with a lower amount of internal storage.