The Phone To Use For Daily Vlogging

The Phone To Use For Daily Vlogging

I took a month to film on three different flagship phones and found the phone to use for daily vlogging. Thanks to my Patrons for making it possible! Help me make better videos at and then find me on the internet in all of the usual spots:

Get a copy of my book on how I got to Paris here:
Grab my guide to Paris here:
Grab my hat or some Gustave swag here:

Sign up for the newsletter here:
And read the ones that came before in the archive:

My gear list on Amazon (affiliate link fyi):

Follow me here:

Music by: LoFi Geek
Patron Producer: Isabelle Hacot

I tested out the Xiaomi Mi 10, Samsung Galaxy S20+, and iPhone 11 Pro over the course of three weeks to see which I preferred for daily vlogging. This isn’t a review of which phone is better, though there was a definite loser of the three, but more specifically which one would I rely on to be the backup camera in my pocket no matter where I go.

My name is Jay Swanson – I’m an American writer living in Paris on an artist visa and hoping to make the city of light my home base – at least for the foreseeable future. I write science-fiction and fantasy, vlogged daily for 3+ years, and love pizza a little too much.

Links below to Amazon are affiliate links – meaning if you click through them and buy something, I’ll get some pennies. Thanks! (The FTC wants me to tell you that up front)

How long have you lived in France? On and off for over two years.

What do you miss most about ho- NACHOS

You’re always talking about living on some ship. WHAT SHIP? – I made a “Draw My Life” video that explains a lot here:

Where are you from originally? – Pullman, Washington – a small university/agricultural town near Idaho (and yes, the potatoes are amazing).

What do you film with? – I’ve made a lot of changes recently, but I try to keep my gear list up to date if you want to see what I use and buy some for yourself:

What do you edit with? – Adobe Premiere – it’s pretty much all I’ve ever used since high school.

Aren’t you ever freaked out by leaving your camera behind to film yourself? – Yep. But not too badly – I tend to be careful when I do.

Why are you living in #Paris? – Because I’ve always wanted to; I feel at home here:

Do you speak French? – Oui.

Do you make money off YouTube? – Ha, sorta. I wish. It took me over 500 videos to make my first total $100 off adsense. I think it will slowly change, but VERY slowly.

I really enjoy your videos, how can I support you? – The easiest and best way to support me is through Patreon, where you can pitch in as little as $1/mo to help me make better videos:

I don’t trust this Patreon thing – can I just paypal you? – Here’s my ko-fi if that’s your thing (and coffee is your game):

But I want to send you something tangible! – I do have a wishlist on Amazon, though it’s a bit complicated with the international shipping situation. This is the US one:

And here’s the French wishlist:

Thanks for watching!


  1. ADAtrips on July 7, 2021 at 2:26 am

    I would consider the Samsung but I went with a iPhone as I had an Android and it had a major fail. I also use an iPad. I am able to use them both when editing for my Channel. 🌴🌴Aloha

  2. Nick Tankard on July 7, 2021 at 2:29 am

    It’s a weird time to review iPhones. The new iPhone is coming out in about 2 months(and will be presented in 1 month). I’m sure it will have better filming capabilities. A new Samsung is still about 6 months away.

  3. islandwitt1 on July 7, 2021 at 2:29 am

    Thank you for this video. I am at a point in my life where a phone change is due and one of my questions was video capability. I have an iPhone dinosaur 5c which is on its way out. I have been looking at the iPhone 11, I am an apple fan, but now the 12 is coming out so your comments help the comparison.
    I am converting a shuttle bus into a tiny house and have thought about videoing the process. Not sure if I would start a vlog channel, but to have them as a reference would be nice. Having watched LOTS of YouTube videos I was intimidated by what camera I would need, and would I be capable of using it. You make the phone camera idea “do-able”, thank you. Editing is a whole other bag of worms I’ll deal with later. But again thanks for this video.

  4. DAN CAR MEETS on July 7, 2021 at 2:30 am

    I always have a issue with camera shake when filming on my smartphone do you have any advice to fix this

  5. DAN DAVIES VLOGS on July 7, 2021 at 2:31 am

    im struggling to shoot stable vlogs on the galaxy s10

  6. Rebecca Adams on July 7, 2021 at 2:33 am

    All of my kids are Samsung devotees, either the Note or the Galaxy and yes, the note is a Galaxy. Every Note is a Galaxy but not every Galaxy is a Note. They use Windows PCs or laptops. I am an iPhone with iPad user and have opened neither my laptop nor PC since moving to the iPad. The iPad Pro does everything that my computers do only faster and smoother. The workflow between the two is seamless. If I were to use a computer with the iPad, maybe I would agree although Apple established the ability long before other cellphones. Editing videos on the iPad is actually fun to do.. But….I don’t make videos for a living, I don’t really do videos except for the occasional tribute. My initial interest in video editing was understanding the apps and the device’s capabilities when I first got it. Cameras are great, as you said. It may simply come down to your habits. I have to adjust husbands Android (LG for the camera) and I really dislike Android. It does a lot, but it does what they program. It is not as flexible (for me) when I want to try something new. But the kids, who live and breathe to the rhythm of their phones, agree with you. It’s your content that I care about and I have enjoyed the artistry of your most recent videos. I can’t wait to see how you use that when producing a topic that is heavy in the arts. No pressure. I appreciate the experiment and how you managed to incorporate your experiences in a series of videos so that we experienced it almost as if we were standing next to you. And THAT is the whole point.

  7. Truth Seekers Channel on July 7, 2021 at 2:35 am

    Really irritating the auto correction, is that the Samsung doing that?

  8. Qacc6 on July 7, 2021 at 2:37 am

    I’ve been using an iPhone (and an iPad) with my windows computer for years. The workflow are fine. I don’t feel you have to “convert to” the Apple ecosystem to use an iPhone.

  9. Jon petter on July 7, 2021 at 2:38 am


  10. duncan king on July 7, 2021 at 2:38 am

    Your phone holders are on wrong side

  11. Joseph Rodriguez on July 7, 2021 at 2:38 am

    Great video and great future ahead…….

  12. Pranit on July 7, 2021 at 2:40 am

    Your audio has remained constant in the videos. Can you tell which phone’s audio have you used? It will give the idea which has the best and reliable microphone.

  13. WiFi MONK on July 7, 2021 at 2:40 am

    You made the right choice!!!! Bravo.

  14. Kim Ball on July 7, 2021 at 2:40 am

    Loved the comparison and was a great fan of the Samsung from a viewing perspective. The colours got me! So glad to be a patron and have access to the map🤩 Thanks, Jay👍

  15. Jane Baker on July 7, 2021 at 2:41 am

    Golden September sunshine. I picked right.

  16. Debbie Hall on July 7, 2021 at 2:43 am

    Glad you found something you liked. I prefer the iPhone, just so much clearer, but I’m a viewer not the creator.

  17. SM Bawden on July 7, 2021 at 2:43 am


  18. John Maryn on July 7, 2021 at 2:44 am

    I’m an iPhone user. I hope that in your workflow and extensive use, you not only have good cases and screen protectors – but also accidental damage (AppleCare+ on an iPhone) for two years. The more you use a phone, the greater chance you’ll drop it. With AC+, an Apple screen repair is $29; replacement phone $99. Sure, AC+ is expensive but non-Applecare repairs are very expensive. I suspect each phone has a similar type plan. For me, the extra protection plans are a good investment. 2 years of protection. Loss and Theft would be higher-cost insurance. Thanks, Jay.enjoying your videos.

  19. Karen Tozer on July 7, 2021 at 2:47 am

    I think I’d guessed which one you’d chosen but nice to hear your feedback on each one xx

  20. Kelly T on July 7, 2021 at 2:47 am

    Do you always just use the regular camera app, or have you tried any of the 3rd party video apps? I’ve done a little of both, but not enough to do a real comparison.

  21. Parisísima on July 7, 2021 at 2:49 am

    The sweet satisfaction of being an early champion of your Samsung… 🙂

  22. MiriamAshleyStudio on July 7, 2021 at 2:50 am

    Yay! I enjoy all your footage……knowing the Samsung won just makes me happier inside. Probably because I thought the iPhone would beat it hands down. Guess I don’t mind being wrong 🙂 Thanks for the comparisons.

  23. Sacha Wise on July 7, 2021 at 2:50 am

    I needed to watch this!!! New vlogger here 🙋🏽‍♀️🇬🇧💫💯 I’ll be travelling and want to use my phone to vlog. How do you compare phone vlogging to camera vlogging, can I ask???

  24. hungrysoles on July 7, 2021 at 2:52 am

    Hi Jay. I’m not surprised that you chose the Samsung as your camera phone. I;ll have to keep that in mind when I have to get a new phone, My desktop computer died so now I’m using a laptop. I;m getting used to how it works so I should do fine in time. Your handlebar mustache came out fine. It gives you the look of a 19th Century artist which fits in well. So I guess you have to wax the ends to keep it that way My great-grandfather on my mother’s side had was quite fashionable since he was Italian. My great-grandfather had a beard for a time but he got rid of it since I suspect my great-grandmother didn’t like it. I grew one to bring it back after two generations. Now they are very fashionable, Can you wear a mask long enough before it becomes uncomfortable ? I don’t know how some people can wear masks for a long time. So I’m glad you came back and look forward to seeing your daily vlogs,
    Tom From Pittsburgh.

  25. mara6699 on July 7, 2021 at 2:53 am

    This is the video I’ve been waiting for! I’m glad that you found something that works!!

  26. betsey Kimbrell on July 7, 2021 at 2:53 am

    totally geeked out with this video …..<3 I am an APPLE girl all the way but the Samsung really had some nice cool tones and the lenses seem ti be awesome …however the Iphone12 is coming out soon and supposed to have an amazing upgrade in the camera from the iPhone 11Pro …sooooo at some point one has to make a decision for at least a year LOL …..Good luck with it ..good choice !

  27. Davi Regis on July 7, 2021 at 2:53 am

    Dude, such a great vlog!!! Watching and loving this from Brazil. Keep going.

  28. Dixie Rose on July 7, 2021 at 2:55 am

    That was a close one my friend! 😁 samsung wins again! 😄
    🏆 🏆 🏆
    Honestly don’t care what you film with as long as you film and I get to see you FIVE DAYS A WEEK ! 😂(which is a great idea btw, nice way to achieve balance.)

  29. ZippityDont on July 7, 2021 at 2:56 am

    Interesting comparison Jay. You chose what works for you. I’m an iPhone guy but don’t use my phone the way you do.

    For iPhone user’s info though, starting with iPhone 11 you can set the camera to open in the last mode used. You can also filter settings as well.
    Similarly, you can set the photos app to open in a “curated view” to your folder of choice – like Videos. Just a heads up.

    Otherwise, nice video 👍🏼

  30. Wendy Alexander on July 7, 2021 at 2:59 am

    Congrats on picking a work phone! I had a feeling you would go the Galaxy route – and yes, being a girl who drank the Apple kool-aid years ago, I could go on for an age about how awesome it is. But I also agree that given that you’re on PC for your workspace, the Samsung makes the most sense. The switchover would be financially very daunting since once you go Apple, you kind of want everything Apple. 😀😛

  31. Phoenix Bulaco on July 7, 2021 at 3:00 am

    The best video comparison ever 👌👌👌. Thank you for this one!!!

  32. Dayana Chaves on July 7, 2021 at 3:01 am

    That slow-mo though 👌🏼

  33. Barnaby on July 7, 2021 at 3:01 am

    I saw this coming, good choice. I thought Samsung would win out ultimately on workflow but I can understanding liking that 3x on the telephoto. Who knows what the iPhone 12 will bring on that front. Congrats.

  34. Alēm on July 7, 2021 at 3:01 am

    You gave away the winner in the beginning of the video when you talked about not wanting to make the conversion…I said oh shucks, iPhone didn’t make it lol 😆

  35. Dihelson Mendonca on July 7, 2021 at 3:03 am

    *I don´t like that zoom in and out every 10 seconds, every movement. Smartphones have that, like those 10 year old cameras.*

  36. Nora Fl on July 7, 2021 at 3:05 am

    I knew you were going to like Samsung, I am a Samsung Galaxy Note9 girl and love it …all my main devices are Samsung. The features aside from the camera are great once you discover them 😉. Great choice 👍

  37. mousecrazy1955 on July 7, 2021 at 3:05 am

    Lookin fly in that color shirt Jay! 🙂 Oh, and great choice in phone too.

  38. splam on July 7, 2021 at 3:05 am

    💡 iPhone Tips: You can set the camera to preserve the last mode rather than defaulting to photo. Settings > System Apps > Camera > Preserve Settings.
    You can swipe anywhere from the right edge to get to the camera from the lock screen, no need to tap on the icon. iPhone 12 will have a 3x telephoto. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  39. Niclas Heed on July 7, 2021 at 3:07 am

    Go Samsung go Samsung…what did I tell you🤣🤣🤣😎🥳

  40. Paul Turner on July 7, 2021 at 3:07 am

    Excellent video. Loved the explanations. Very good learning experience, Jay, for the novice. As an aside, the quality of what you produce continues to be the best. Very cool.

  41. Ivan Gorge Vlogs on July 7, 2021 at 3:10 am

    This is really helpful for me thank you very much!

  42. Trisha Daho on July 7, 2021 at 3:11 am

    I love my iPhone but I don’t make videos for a living. 😀

  43. Karin B on July 7, 2021 at 3:12 am

    I’m glad you settled on something that makes you happy! 😊

  44. Martin Shaves & Reviews on July 7, 2021 at 3:14 am

    Very nice comparison, and although I’m on the Apple camp, I agree that your telephoto images are amazing. You have a great photographic eye, and you need the best gear that can leverage that. As for switching gears to Apple in the future, I recommend you keep an eye on the upcoming Apple silicon Macs. Potentially there might be some really affordable options coming. In fact, some iPads are currently as or more powerful than some computers, so that’s something to consider. Who knows if we will see a full Apple Jay in the not so distant future. 😉

  45. steelheartofscotland on July 7, 2021 at 3:14 am

    I went with the 20 note Ultra and the samsung case is awesome and makes a big difference to holding the camera and not accidentally touching the screen.

  46. Kathleen H on July 7, 2021 at 3:17 am

    Jay, I loved this video!! Seriously, so much! I am especially happy you picked the Samsung. I liked the video the best and I agree the telephoto is amazing. I am an iphone person for years and all the fam is also so too hard for me to change at this point in time but given the opportunity I would jump on a Samsung phone. Thank you for your concise commentary. Always a pleasure to listen to you. Thank you!

  47. Whitney Holloway on July 7, 2021 at 3:18 am

    Wow, the extent of attention to detail in this video! Glad you were able to figure out what worked best for you ☺️

  48. Irene Lick on July 7, 2021 at 3:19 am

    Very very nice reviews, cos I’m really looking for a new phone, that can help me for my videos, I have Huawei now and Its good but mine it’s little old, so I’m looking that phone can back up for my coming videos.. That’s why so much thanks for this sharing Infos..

  49. Proud OFW on July 7, 2021 at 3:19 am

    Thanks for sharing
    Give some ideas for better vlogger soon..
    Watching here Ofw
    Doi Jones jhj channel 🔔🔔🔔🔔🔔

  50. tulipwindmill on July 7, 2021 at 3:21 am

    Yaay,I thought you would pick Samsung!