5 of the Best Smartphones for Live Streaming

5 of the Best Smartphones for Live Streaming

More people than ever are watching live streams on their mobile devices. Live streams offer a new way for to take part in an event or tournament, as they allow us to experience it without being there in person. Mobile live streaming, in particular, is of great interest to busy people who do not have the time to go to that event in person.

Your smartphone will have to offer the greatest audiovisual technology in order for you to get the best experience. Here are some of the top, mobile picks.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

A Samsung smartphone sits on a wooden table via Pexels

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge was released in 2016 as a successor to the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and Edge+ that released the year before. Unveiled at Mobile World Congress in February 2016, the phone instantly impressed MWC 2016 attendees and mobile industry critics who said that South Korean technology brand Samsung had done a strong job of improving on the S6 Edge.

The S7 Edge brought back features that the S6 had removed, including IP certification for water and dust resistance and it also offers expandable storage (microSD card support). But the selling feature of this phone – and what makes this handset ideal for live streaming – is its large 5.5 inch edge-to-edge display which offers a 560×1440 resolution with 535 pixels per inch.

According to a survey of over 1,000 professionals (including marketers, educators and more) conducted by Livestream in partnership with New York Magazine, 67% of respondents said that video quality is the most important factor when watching a livestream. With this in mind, the high-quality visuals offered by the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge makes it an ideal fit for those who love to watch live-streamed content.

81% of respondents also said that they watched more live streamed video in 2016 than they did in 2015. The applications of this technology are vast in 2018. For instance, the BBC streams the Glastonbury festival to mobiles (and desktops, and tablets) in real time for music fans. There are also interactive livestreams, in the form of the Twitch Plays series of “Twitch Experiments”, where viewers controlled the action in retro video games from a chat interface. Another interactive application is live blackjack and live roulette, two games offered on live casino platforms which allow the player to control the action through buttons on their screen, while a real dealer deals their cards or spins the roulette wheel for them. There’s also much to be said about the success of live streaming for marketing purposes on social media such as Facebook Live and YouTube. With all of these examples, getting the best experience while you’re on the go relies upon having a high-quality screen, which is another reason why the S7 Edge is such a strong pick.

Huawei Mate 8

The Huawei Mate 8 smartphone was first released by Chinese smartphone maker Huawei in November 2015, when the handset made its Chinese debut. After being shown off at Western tech event CES 2016, the Huawei Mate 8 launched globally in January 2016.

Since becoming available worldwide, the Mate 8 has impressed users in multiple regions. Not only is its design visually stunning and users appreciate the premium build (it comes in the colors of Champagne Gold and Moonlight Silver) but the technical specs of the phone are pretty impressive too. 

The phone is available with 3GB or 4GB of RAM and has an octa-core processor making it powerful to run plenty of apps in the background as you watch your video live streams. It also has a 6-inch display with that wide, high-quality screen letting you see the sweat glisten on athlete’s faces or appreciate the full atmosphere of the casino as you tune into that poker live stream.

The battery life of the Huawei Mate 8 is also up to 528 hours (in standby) which suggests that it will have plenty of power even when you’re tuning in to lengthy tournaments. Some professional poker tournaments can run for hours and in sports like soccer, where there is stoppage and injury time as well as a period of extra time and a penalty shoot out, your phone will need to be able to handle a significant amount of use without running out of battery, The Mate 8 is a good candidate if you often find yourself without a charge.

Moto Z

wo Motorola smartphones sit face down on a table via Pexels

In January 2014, it was announced that Lenovo had purchased the Motorola Mobility brand from Google for $2.91 billion. By October 2014, Lenovo confirmed that it had major plans for the mobile manufacturer. Lenovo is a Chinese technology company but it saw its purchase of Motorola as a way for it to enter the lucrative United States market.

The Motorola Moto Z (sometimes just referred to as the Moto Z) is a major part of this strategy, with the flagship phone first becoming available in June 2016. The smartphone’s selling point is the Moto Mods ecosystem which sees users attach magnetic attachments to the phone’s case. Some of these attachments include battery packs, projects, speakers, and more. These are all useful for livestream viewers who want to share the stream experience with their friends, gathering around for a specific event that they can all watch together.

The video streaming industry is growing – including live stream content – with United States revenue for video streaming services such as Hulu and Netflix growing by 29% to $5.1 billion in 2015. Businesses will see more reasons to become live stream videos as streaming behind the scenes footage, as well as hosted events, becomes the norm. As such, users will have plenty of reasons to use those Moto Mods so that everyone watch a live event.

For individual viewing, the Moto Z also offers a large, high-quality screen. Its display is 5.5 inches and offers video quality of 1440p, meaning that you can get a fantastic video experience even if you haven’t purchased the Moto Mod projector accessory.

Apple iPhone X

A person holds an iPhone X and a ballpoint pen via Pexels

The slogan for the iPhone X is “say hello to the future” and creator Apple has really tried to live up to this marketing phrase. The phone has been created to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone (X means 10 in Roman numerals) meaning that Apple has a reason to celebrate.

In terms of specs, the iPhone X offers a 5.8 inch OLED display that supports HDR (high-dynamic range) which keeps live streamed looking crisp and clear. The screen has also been lauded for how expansive it is, with the phone removing the traditional ‘home button’ that the iPhone is known for. Under the hood, the phone has 3GB of RAM and 64GB or 256GB of storage. 

The iPhone X offers several new features, including Face ID, a new authentication method that uses your face to unlock the phone and Animoji, which are animated emojis which use your facial expressions. But it also offers some core iPhone features, including fantastic user design that makes it incredibly easy to navigate and access all of your various apps.

And, speaking of apps, you’ll also have access to the Apple App Store which offers over 2.2 million apps as of March 2017. The App Store offers plenty of video live streaming apps, from gaming live stream platform Twitch to YouTube, you’ll be able to watch all sorts of live streamed content.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

The phones listed above are all fairly pricey. The iPhone X, for example, retails for around $1,000 meaning that it will be out of the price range of some smartphone users. So consider the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 smartphone, which is a decent, budget alternative for when you don’t have as much cash to spend on a fancy new piece of technology.

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 was first released in November 2015 by Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi. Xiaomi has 7% of the global smartphone market as of November 2017 (according to a report by analytics firm the International Data Corporation) with much of that rise attributable to the company’s resounding strength in the Chinese and Indian smartphone markets. Much of the company’s strength comes from its sale of quality smartphones at lower prices than its competitors and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is another example of this ethos. At some retailers, the phone can be purchased for $170, which is a decent price for a decent phone.

The standard version of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 offers 2GB of RAM with 16GB of storage, while the higher-powered version, which may be more suited to those who love their livestreams, offers 3GB of RAM with 32GB of storage. The extra RAM ensures that the smartphone can handle running other apps as you watch video livestreams, which is useful.

The handset also offers a 5.5 inch display that is 1080 x 1920 pixels, 16:9 ratio (~403 ppi density), with the large high-quality screen also making your livestreamed videos look sharp. The phone’s battery life has also been praised and it has fast battery charging too, which is helpful for those longer streams.  

Given that smartphones are so widely used, with smartphone usage currently sitting at 2.1 billion users in 2016 and expected to grow to 2.5 billion by 2019, much of this live streamed content will be catered specifically for mobile audiences. If you are one of those mobile live stream viewers – or if you would like to be – then the above list of smartphones is a very a good place to start. So load up that video on your mobile, sit back, relax, and enjoy the live show.