Getting the Most Out of Your Phone this Christmas

Getting the Most Out of Your Phone this Christmas

From perfectly curated Christmas playlists to holiday-themed Instagram filters, there's so much to discover on your device during December.

Get into the festive spirit with your smartphone with our top picks below.

Taking the perfect Christmas photo

With such great specs on the latest smartphones, you won't need a professional camera to take a high-quality group photo at Christmas. It can be difficult squeezing everyone in however, but we have plenty of tips to help you take the perfect shot.

Getting to grips with your camera's timer is a must if you want everyone in the picture and nobody left behind the camera. This can usually be found easily by opening the camera app. For iPhone, just press the arrow at the top of the camera screen and a menu will appear at the bottom. Tap on the icon that looks like a clock to turn the timer on. Androids, meanwhile, can all differ. Samsung users, for example, just need to select the Settings icon, click on Timer and switch it on. You'll be able to select how long the countdown is - we recommend 10 seconds, so you have as much time as possible to get into position.


You'll want to set the scene first as well, to make sure the location you're using - be it the fireplace, Christmas tree or even outdoors - is well lit. If things seem a little dark, turn on Night Mode if your handset offers it, as it'll deliver better results than switching on your camera's flash. In darker locations, or for photos with fairy lights, we recommend increasing your ISO and lowering your camera's aperture if possible. This will let more light in, resulting in a natural, more vibrant picture.

After you've taken the perfect Christmas photo, it's easy to make a few adjustments on your handset. Photo editing apps like Snapseed and Adobe Lightroom will enable you to adjust things like exposure, contrast, saturation and much more in detail, while apps like VSCO help you to add a wide range of filters in just a few taps.

Spotify playlists to stream this Christmas

Whether you switch on the Christmas tunes as soon as December 1st hits, or you're looking for jingles to keep everyone in the family happy on the 25th, Spotify has it covered. There's an endless supply of playlists curated by Spotify, on top of thousands of user-generated playlists to explore.

To save you some time, we've picked out some of the best. Remember to hit 'Like' on the playlist when you're browsing so you can quickly find it later.

Christmas Classics
If you like keeping things traditional, search for Christmas Classics. From Jingle Bell Rock and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas to Frank Sinatra's Let It Snow And Bing Crosby's I'll Be Home For Christmas – this playlist has it all.


Christmas Pop
Justin Bieber, Kelly Clarkson, Ariana Grande, Britney Spears and plenty more pop stars from the past three decades feature on Spotify's Christmas Pop playlist. Upbeat and acceptable to stream even at the start of December, it's jam-packed with modern favourites.

Acoustic Christmas
Made for folk and country music lovers, or anyone after something a bit different, make sure you give Acoustic Christmas a listen. Wonderfully relaxing, you'll find original festive music like Christmas With You by Megan Davies, as well as reimagined songs like Little Drummer Boy by Eddie Berman and Silent Night adapted by Handsome and Gretyl here.

Don't forget, to stream Spotify from your phone to a TV or smart speaker Google Home, you'll need to make sure all your devices are using the same Wi-Fi connection. Once that's sorted, just open the Spotify app and click on the 'Connect to a device' button at the bottom.

Top-rated Christmas Instagram filters

Add a seasonal touch to your next Instagram live video, or have some fun on Stories with our favourite Christmas Instagram filters. To find them, open Instagram and swipe right, tap on an existing filter, hit the arrow at the bottom of the screen and select 'Browse effects'.


Simply searching 'Christmas' will pull up loads of options, but our family-friendly top picks include 'Santa Christmas' by user @mixaill_s for a realistic Santa beard and hat, 'Christmas Deer' by @rechcamila if you're looking for some reindeer ears and an added falling snowflake effect or 'Mini Froz ft. Olaf' by @melukasi. A Disney-themed Frozen filter, this works with your rear camera, and enables you to insert tiny dancing versions of Olaf, Elsa, Anna and Kristoff into your videos.

Must-have Christmas apps

Whether you own an iPhone or an Android, there are loads of apps out there to help you get into the Christmas spirit.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas is perfect for fans of the grumpy green character, and a guaranteed hit with younger audiences. Experience an animated version of the classic, with a narrator, music and sound effects bringing the story to life. It's a great way for children to practice reading while they’re off school too - they won't even realise they're learning.


Games like Heads Up and Charades! are also a guaranteed source of family fun on Christmas or Boxing Day. Angry Birds Seasons, meanwhile, promises hours of winter-themed fun for solo players, while Christmas Sweeper 3 takes inspiration from Candy Crush with a festive twist. Match up gingerbread men, Christmas trees and Christmas ornaments to earn points.

In fact, we have an entire blog dedicated to some of the best Christmas apps out there, so if you're after even more inspiration why not take a look here?

And if you're thinking of upgrading your current handset this Christmas, you can find great deals right here at