How to improve the camera of an old smartphone

Phone cameraIf our phone has a few years on its shoulders, the photographic shots will hardly be up to the new smartphone models released on the market. This does not oblige us to have to buy a new phone every year just to have more and more beautiful photos full of details: with a few simple tricks we pose improve the camera of an old smartphone, so as to take more stable and beautiful photos, bringing us closer to the quality offered by the new phones on the market.In the following guide we will show you all the accessories and apps that we can use for Come improve a phone’s camera with a few years on his shoulders, so as to save some money and still get photos that are beautiful enough to share on Instagram or other social networks.

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Camera accessories

To improve the shots taken with an old phone, we can equip ourselves with accessories designed to improve the stability and definition of the lens on the rear camera, so as to be able to take significantly more beautiful shots than the basic settings. The best accessories we can buy for the phone camera are:

  • Rhodesy RT-01 Octopus Style Portable Tripod
  • 2 in 1 Adjustable Camera and Phone Tripod, Smartphone Stand
  • 10 in 1 Phone Kit 10X Telephoto Lens Kit
  • Selvim Kit Obbiettivi Smartphone
  • Phorsen 15 in 1 Universal Camera Lens Kit

Obviously we do not expect miracles, but by wisely using the new lenses and tripods we will be able to take much more stable photos, without shaking and with a high zoom level (without compromising the quality of the shot).

New camera apps

In addition to the accessories we can improve the results of the shots taken with the rear camera of the smartphone using new camera apps, thus obtaining new filters, new optimizations and new settings to adjust. The best alternative camera apps that we can install on Android phones and iPhones are:

  • Retrica (Android and iPhone): one of the best apps to take photos with original filters, so as to significantly improve the shot taken with any smartphone.
  • Open Camera (Android): open source camera app with many additional settings, to always take very beautiful shots even with phones with a few years on their shoulders.
  • Halide Mark II Camera Pro (iPhone): The best alternative to the iPhone Camera app, especially those older than the iPhone X.
  • ProCam X (Android): Professional camera app that can improve shots on all devices running Android 5.0 or later.
  • DSLR Camera Professional (Android): Another good professional camera app, with many controls borrowed directly from the world of SLRs.

To learn more we can read our guides Best camera apps for Android to take photos with your mobile e Best Camera App for iPhone.

Nuova Custom ROM Android

On some old Android phones the camera always takes bad photos even using the accessories and apps reported in the previous chapters. To try to improve the situation a little, we can change the operating system on the phone and focus on a Custom ROM like la LineageOS, which we can download for free from the official website.


With the new Custom ROM we will immediately have access to a new camera and, in most cases, to new drivers for the management of the phone’s lenses (able to improve the quality of the photos taken where possible). If we have never installed a Custom ROM before, please read our guides Install LineageOS, the best Android ROM, on your mobile e How to install an Android Custom ROM.

Tricks to always take beautiful photos

In addition to all the tips seen so far we can improve the shots of our old phone improving personal shooting skills, thus avoiding gross errors and following a few simple tricks of professional photographers. The best tips for taking beautiful photos are:

  • Light positioning: we always check that the light (Sun or artificial) is always positioned behind us or to the side, thus avoiding shooting images or subjects with the direct light source (we risk bad backlight effects and artifacts due to too much light).
  • Maximum stability: we use a tripod or lean against a wall or a tree while taking the photo, so as to always have maximum stability.
  • Let’s adjust basic settings: even if it may seem difficult, we always learn to adjust exposure, white balance and ISO values, so as to always obtain very good photographs even with old cameras.
  • Minimum compression, maximum quality: in the camera settings we always set the minimum compression for image files saved in JPG, so as to reduce artifacts and improve the quality of all shots.

On the same topic we can read our guide How to take better photos from smartphones.


Even if in the end it is always the photographer’s hand that makes the difference, if we have an old phone in our hands we can still take beautiful photos by applying one or more tricks seen in the previous chapters, without having to always buy a new phone. Obviously the new phones are much more equipped and offer stunning cameras, but the best shots may not necessarily be taken only from phones from 1000 € and up!

To learn more we can also read our guides Smartphones with the best camera of the moment and How to use the iPhone camera: tricks and useful functions.


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