It’s incredibly easy to edit photos directly from your smartphone, thanks to the potent combination of fast processing speeds and apps with plenty of useful features. Many of these apps are also free, with the option to unlock even more features through paying a fee, should you wish to dive in further.

Below you'll find the best free photo editing apps on iOS and Android to add amazing filters, tweak brightness levels, increase sharpness and shape any shot exactly how you want.

Whether it’s from one of the top camera phones, or a budget handset that pulls no punches, check out our collection of powerful contract and refurbished handsets, to help you get editing in no time with our top choices.

Snapseed

Available on iOSand Android

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Developed by Google, Snapseed strikes a balance between approachability for people new to mobile photo editing, and depth for experienced users.

Within ‘Tune Image’ you’ll find the tools to get started, such as adjusting contrast, exposure and cropping. These options are simple yet deep, helping you to tweak images easily. Where Snapseed really begins to shine however, is in its features that let you edit photos with more detail.

Curves’ is one such feature; an in-depth way to edit brightness and contrast levels. Like the name suggests, with ‘Curves’ you can adjust these settings along a line to tightly tune how your photo looks. ‘Selective’ then lets you edit specific parts of a photo; by pressing the + symbol and tapping on the area you want to edit, you can set control points to adjust brightness with just a finger-pinching action.

Snapseed is packed with these useful tools, and with numerous tutorials also included, beginners and experts can edit photos with ease, making it one of the best photo editing apps around.

VSCO

Available on iOS and Android

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VSCO is well-known among Instagram fans for its coveted filters (known as ‘presets’). The range available is incredibly diverse, running the gamut from subtle changes to the more standout filters. VSCO is also a social network, with private messaging features and a newsfeed where uploaded images can be shared with the community.

This is driven by what VSCO call a “creator-first philosophy”. You'll find the basic editing features to get the ball rolling, such as cropping, contrast tweaking and GIF adjustment tools. RAW capture and editing is supported too, making VSCO highly versatile for editing your content on-the-go.

Canva

Available on iOS and Android

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Something a little bit different, Canva is an online free platform that makes creating infographics, posters, social media banners and more, simple.

The app features many of the powerful editing tools found within the desktop side of the platform, enabling users to choose from specially-sized templates that range from Instagram Story Templates and Snapchat Geofilters, to Kindle Covers. Once you've chosen what you want, you can then pick from many editable designs or start one from scratch yourself.

Adding your own photos, text, logo and various design elements like borders can be done with a few quick taps, and in no time at all, you’ll have stunning designs for personal and professional use.

Foodie

Available on iOSand Android

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Taking snaps of food is something we’ve likely all done or seen on social media. Foodie takes this idea and runs with it, letting you capture and edit photos that showcase your meals in their best light.

Every feature of Foodie is specially designed for editing photos of our grub. More than 30 filters can be used to transform how it looks, such as Yum, BBQ and Chewy. Each filter is easy to use too, and this simplicity is exemplified in Foodie’s smart guide feature, which helps you take professional-quality photos from above.

Once you’re happy with your Foodie photos, these can then be shared across social networks including Instagram, and an app we highlighted earlier on, VSCO.

Ease-of-use is integral to how Foodie excels as one of the best photo editors for iOS and Android, and it does so with these simple but effective features that make it a breeze, whether you’re a photography expert or not.

Adobe Photoshop Express

Available on iOS and Android

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Adobe are a name synonymous with image editing, and they bring this expertise to their mobile app, Photoshop Express.

The beauty of Photoshop Express is that it distils down the best bits of desktop Photoshop into mobile form. With a few taps you have access to traditional tools such as brightness and contrast editing, combined with advanced features like red-eye correction, all from your smartphone.

Personalisation lies at the heart of Photoshop Express. Photos can be edited how you want, and then added into features like Pic Art and Meme Maker to create unique image compositions ready to be shared online.

Photos you want to edit can also be easily pulled from your Adobe Creative Cloud account (if you have one), giving you the ability to take images from desktop to mobile, and continue editing with the same powerful features.

InstaSize

Available on iOS and Android

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If you’re a regular uploader of images to social media, InstaSize is a must-have photo editor for Android and iPhone.

Whether you add images to Snapchat, Instagram or any other social media platform, InstaSize can crop your shots to fit exactly to that platform’s image size requirements, with no extra fiddling from yourself to get it to work. With each app having these distinctly different size limits, having InstaSize ready to upload based on each template is a game-changer.

Before uploading in InstaSize, you can also add filters from a detailed collection, or combine multiple photos into a collage, all from within the app’s editing suite. Having all of these tools in one place means there’s no jumping between apps to get your photos edited and uploaded successfully.

Lens Distortion

Available on iOSand Android

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For outdoor photographers, or anyone interested in experimenting with lighting, Lens Distortion is one of the best photo editing apps you can download.

Similarly to Photoshop, Lens Distortion works with layers to add depth to the photos you’re editing. Various layers of colour can be adjusted, for example by tweaking their contrast, to create truly unique images.

A hallmark of Lens Distortion’s editing arsenal is ‘Light Volume’. This tool enables you to add light rays to images, a technique that imbues them with further depth and can completely change the atmosphere of your photo gallery.

Showcase’ is a feature that will then show a before and after, so you can see the edits you’ve made before finalising.

Outdoor settings can be tricky to get the best light arrangement in for your compositions, but with Lens Distortion, you can produce great results that look professional standard.

Being able to edit images directly in the palm of your hand, is now possible thanks to these powerful yet accessible photo editing apps. When you’re looking to create exceptional TikTok videos , you can also achieve excellent results without the need for a PC.

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