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Poll of the Week: Who the hell shoots films with their smartphone?


Apparently Apple and Xiaomi recognize a need in smartphones that I apparently am short-sighted to see that it is a need. Video features have been a common theme throughout the initial launches in the tech fall. This begs the question: who films with their smartphone at all, and if they do, do they really use the built-in camera app to do so? Let’s get down to business with the poll of the week on NextPit.

Have you been following the Apple and Xiaomi product launches over the past few weeks? If not, let me give you a quick recap! Apple unveiled the iPhone 13 series, introducing an exciting video mode called “Cinematic Mode” along the way. A few days later, Xiaomi unveiled the 11T and 11T Pro, also placing a lot of emphasis on magical video features, which it has dubbed “Cinemagic”.

As nice as these features are to look at, there is one question on my mind: who actually films with their smartphone? I don’t mean recording short videos for friends on WhatsApp or followers on Instagram and TikTok. I mean elaborate videos using the integrated camera app, where the background has to be blurred or when you want a vertigo effect à la Alfred Hitchcock.

Do you film with your smartphone?

So let’s begin with the main question: do you shoot video with your smartphone? This means recordings that you consciously save as memories and that were taken with the camera app. If so, those recordings might benefit from the brand new video features from Apple and Xiaomi.

Personally, I take such videos for a less ‘fun’ reason, as I do so when reviewing new smartphones. But in our reviews, video features are generally something that we tend to neglect. Perhaps that will change if it turns out that the NextPit community consists of hobbyist filmmakers. But let’s not dwell any longer and look at the next question!

cinematic mode iphone hero
Cinematic Mode seems to have really high hardware requirements / © NextPit

Do you guys use the stock camera app?

When I was at scooter maker Unu’s place the other day for NextPit, I captured a quick story on Instagram. So while I am on the move, it’s much easier to capture a quick impression of places or products using the social media app’s built-in video feature. The same applies if you just want to capture a nice moment for the family group on WhatsApp, Telegram, or Snapchat. Here’s my follow-up question:

Last but not least, I’d like to add a quick opinion on the apparent importance of video features on smartphones. This theory will be tested next Monday. Of course, I’m interested in your opinion here as well.

Thesis: Video features as a demonstration of the smartphone’s performance

It’s possible that smartphone manufacturers aren’t even responding to a need with their new video features. Smartphone hardware is now so powerful that it can hardly be pushed to its limits in everyday use. At most, this is performed by mobile games or video functions. Apple’s new Cinematic Mode, for example, is so demanding that Apple cannot enable older iPhones with the feature due to insufficient processing muscle.

So my thesis is this: video features are a way for manufacturers to create a need for new devices, even though older models can still render most apps and mobile games smoothly. They legitimize the use of ever more powerful processors, larger memory options, and more gigabytes of RAM. Do you agree with me on this?

Now, “Shut up!” or however they say it in the movie business. I’m especially looking forward to your thoughts in the comments this week, and I’m almost hoping I’ve got my blinders on too much here. So see you on Monday at the latest, when we’ll be evaluating the results of this poll.


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