Choosing a video editor for your smartphone

Using smartphones to make media. Photo: Kaique Rocha/CC/Pexels
Using smartphones to make media. Photo: Kaique Rocha/CC/Pexels


There are hundreds of video editing apps on the market, but most of them are junk. After testing every app available from free to paid versions, the conclusion I reached is you pay for what you get.

As a journalist you may not have the time or luxury of recording a story and transferring it to your computer for editing – the story may need to be broadcast ASAP. So having a pro editor with the ability to upload quickly on your smartphone is the way to go.

But many of the free versions have annoying advertisements popping up or don’t have the power you need. While editing a major news project on one free version, a spinning poker wheel took over my screen and the entire project was lost. Aghhhhh!

So let’s spend five bucks on getting a hassle-free pro version.

Nine recommended features of a video editing app

1. Time line – so can instantly see all clips you have added
2. Colour and lighting correction – adjusting exposure is essential
3. Ability to change audio levels – not all voice levels are the same
4. Ability to import sound effects and additional music
5. Transitions and effects – even a simple fade in and fade makes it pro
6. Ability to add still photos – with adjustment for different photo sizes
7. Easy save as feature with HD output
8. Easy export to Dropbox, YouTube, etc.
9. No advertisements

For the iPhone


Pinnacle Studio is the best video editor since sliced bread. Here’s you can do with it:

  • quickly edit video, audio and photos on the go
  • arrange clips on the storyboard, make precise edits in the timeline
  • add high-quality transitions, effects and a soundtrack
  • choose 720p, 1080p, 2K* or 4K* output support
  • easily share your movie or export your project to Pinnacle Studio for Windows and continue editing with more advanced tools

Access content

• Work with any media on your device, including video, audio and photos
• Access media from Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive
• Capture video and photos from within the app
• Use the “Open In” feature to open compatible files from other apps
• Download iCloud media straight from the Pinnacle Studio library
• Transfer projects and media between devices using AirDrop

Edit with ease

• Quickly arrange clips in the Storyboard
• Make precise edits in the Timeline
• Trim frame by frame using the Dual Viewer Precision Trimmer*
• Easily replace one clip with another
• Includes 24, 25, 30 50* and 60fps* support for projects
• Full 64-bit support for 64 bit iOS devices
• Overlay help and all-new video tutorials get you started quickly
• Makes it easy to work on your project with intuitive gestures

Enhance with quality effects

• Use Montage templates to create multi-layer 3D animations
• Add professional-looking motion titles and graphics
• Create amazing Picture-in-Picture effects
• Pan and zoom on photos for high-impact slideshows
• Create slow motion/fast motion for video and audio (fully supports 120
and 240fps slo-mo videos)
• Help your story flow using 16 high-quality transitions

Create soundtracks

• Create soundtracks with three audio tracks
• Use your own audio or choose from the included sound effects
• Trim audio to any length, set levels, and fade audio in or out
• Use the voiceover feature to add documentary-style narration
• Adjust audio levels in real-time with the professional audio mixer
• Purchase additional audio from a selection of Triple Scoop Music tracks

Click to share

• Easily share your movies on Vimeo, YouTube and Facebook
• Export to cloud services such as Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive
• Export projects with media to Pinnacle Studio for Windows
• Enjoy professional 2K* and 4K* support on the latest devices and full
1080p support on any iPad or iPhone
• Export at 24, 25, 30, 50* or 60fps*
Video tutorials for Pinnacle Studio are available and the learning curve is easy.

pinnacle-screenshotWhat impressed me was the ability to adjust the sound levels.

Most people don’t bother adjusting sound, which can be a major problem with low-level sound recording – when you export the finished video to YouTube you can’t hear it.

You can purchase the pro version of Pinnacle Studio which has a bit more features that make editing a breeze, for around $15.00.


For Android phones

CyberLinks PowerDirector is the best Android video editing app, with powerful timeline video editing, free video effects, a photo video editor, slow motion and more. It also has voice over and action movie effects. It also allows you to produce movies in 4K.

Create video in slow motion, even if you’ve recorded at normal speed. The slow motion editor lets you change video speed to produce slow-mo video just like a GoPro.

Create effects

  • FX editing with drag & drop controls for video, images & audio
  • Add effects, adjust brightness, contrast and saturation
  • Rotate, flip, split or trim clips
  • Crop video
  • Change your videos music and add fading effects/voice over
  • Edit music volume
  • Photo video editor – Combine picture and video in one movie
  • Make photo and video collages with an audio track
  • Save completed videos to your device, or upload to YouTube, Facebook etc.
  • Export video in 720p, 1080p and 4K (higher res pro version only)
  • Share videos on socials

It costs about $5 to unlock the pro version – the free version stamps a watermark on your work. The extra features make the pro version worth the money.

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