5 Best Phones for Graphic Designers (Updated Reviews for 2023)

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra - front and back

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 2023 to help you choose a great phone before you go on to build your best office setup.

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.


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. An 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 OSs come with their pros and cons but you should stick with the one you are most familiar with to avoid a huge learning curve.


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 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 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.


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 more 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.

5 Best Phones for Graphic Designers in 2023

If you’re in a rush here’s the overall best phone for graphic designers from our list:

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra - front and back

SAMSUNG Galaxy S21 Ultra

With a beautiful 6.8″ AMOLED display, 108MP camera, and 12GB RAM the SAMSUNG Galaxy S21 Ultra takes the crown for being the best phone for designers 2023. Its 512GB storage is capable to hold all your digital art and graphic design work and the S-Pen compatibility makes it great for illustration work

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

1. SAMSUNG Galaxy S21 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra - front and back
Amazing AMOLED displayNo headphone jack
8K videoNo expandable storage
Fantastic camera with multiple featuresCharger not included
Long battery life 

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is the best phone for artists. It has a beautiful  6.8” AMOLED display with S pen compatibility which has been improved 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.

However, there are a few negatives

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 8K video features.

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

2. Apple iPhone 13

iPhone 13 front and back
Color rich bright displaySimilar design to iPhone 12
Long battery lifeNo home button or headphone jack
Powerful A15 processorCharger not included
Exceptional camera and picture quality 

The iPhone 13 is the best phone to use for graphic design 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. The 12MP 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.

3. SAMSUNG Galaxy S20 FE

Samsung Galaxy Phone for graphic designers front and back
Great display for graphic designingPoor sensor
Expandable storageLow-quality front camera
Excellent processorCharger 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 your 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 though 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 assets 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 turnoff but thankfully, it is expandable and something I would definitely recommend. The graphic design apps, images, vectors, and fonts will add up, and 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, face timing, and just generally placing it in your pocket can make the phone screen disappear and reappear multiple times without you interacting with it.

4. SAMSUNG Galaxy Note 10+

Galaxy Note 10 with stylus front and back
Ideal for digital artists and illustrationNo MicroSD card slot and headphone jack
Thin bezels 
High-quality S Pen stylus 

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is 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

Motorola Ace 5G front and back
Clean unbloated OSHeavy
Great budget phoneLow-quality plastic design
Long-lasting batteryAverage 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 everyday use it’ll get the job done.

Inside is a 5000mAh battery that 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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do Graphic Designers Use Smartphones?

Graphic designers can use smartphones to create simple and basic graphic designs. Some apps like Desygner and Canva might make the process easier but professional graphic design usually requires a capable PC or laptop.

As a graphic designer, you can use your phone to arrange and update your portfolio, retouch photos and quickly edit designs. If you have a tablet that connects to your phone like the Wacom Intuos or UGEE S640 you can even use your smartphone to draw and illustrate.

What Are Some Free Graphic Design Apps for Android?

Some great free graphic design apps for android are:

  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Canva
  • Ibis Paint X
  • Adobe Photoshop Fix
  • Clip Studio Paint
  • Behance

The above apps offer great versatility and functionality and provide an overall productive workflow of graphic designing on phone.

What is the Best Phone for Graphic Designers?

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is the best phone for designers. It has 512GB storage and 12GB RAM which is adequate storage for doing graphic design work. The 108MP camera will also enable you to take great photos which could be added to your designs.

What is the Best Phone for Digital Art?

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is the best phone for digital art 2023 thanks to its S-Pen stylus. The stylus is responsive and will offer you amazing functionality and smooth strokes helping you practice your digital art on it.

2 thoughts on “5 Best Phones for Graphic Designers (Updated Reviews for 2023)”

    1. The Samsung S6 is a very old phone and has Android version 5.0 on it. This means many graphic design apps like those from Adobe Creative Suite might not work on it. Even as a beginner I think you’ll be very limited with a Samsung S6 smartphone. However, you can check out my guide on doing graphic design on your phone here. In that article, I tell you about some graphic design apps that beginners can use to do graphic design on mobile, if your phone is compatible with those apps, then I don’t think you need to buy a new phone. If not, I’d suggest you either buy a newer model phone or if you can buy a computer for graphic designing

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