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Guide: Snapseed vs Polarr: Comparison and Review
It used to be one camera in the phone was a matter of pride and a chance to show off. Huawei recently launched a P20 Pro smartphone with three cameraphotos at the back and a selfie shooter. As the amount of firepower in smartphones increases, mobile photography just continues to push the envelope.
If you’ve worked with photography apps, you know that megapixels can be deceiving. It is possible to share better snaps, even with a budget smartphone cameraWith tons of photo editing apps in the market, users are spoiled for choice.
We’ve already talked about Snapseed which was developed by Google and is a favorite of GT readers.
Challenging is a newcomer called Polarr. It is gaining popularity due to the implementation of AI in image correction and editing.
Let’s see how Polarr fares against the Snapseed.back to menu ↑
1. Design and user interface
When you open Snapseed for the first time, you will notice that the interface is clean which is a big plus button to help you choose an image to edit.
After you select a photo, you will see more options such as Tools and Looks. Tools is where most of the magic happens. It’s like a drawer that contains all the photography tricks Snapseed has to offer.
Polarr takes a different approach. There are two workspaces to choose from: Express for beginners and Pro for advanced users. Once you determine your photography skill level, Polarr will walk you through the options and settings using a demo image.
That makes it easier to understand how the app works and where all the options are. You can also select which tools to keep or hide from the interface to customize it according to your needs.
Snapseed is powerful but does not offer a demo. You can find guides and tutorials in the menu. Since Snapseed is such a popular tool, there are plenty of them too guides available online.back to menu ↑
2. Common ground
For those who like to keep up, Snapseed offers 29 tools, while Polarr has 24 tools. Experienced photographers know that counting can be deceptive and it is above all the quality of the work done.
Snapseed has some good filters, but they look limited compared to those Polarr offerings. You get one like the 80s Negative, 90s Art Film or Polarr Japan that gave the bride (demo photo) a strange gradient effect. What caught my attention was the ability to add your own filter.
Snapseed’s Curves is a color editing tool for RGB tones (red, blue, green) matrix and lets you manipulate them. Polarr’s similar tool is called Colors, which features the Temperature, Tint, and Saturation options to adjust the photos.
While you can adjust both colors and tones to achieve exciting effects, the mechanism for that differs.
Those who want to upload the perfect selfie on Instagram are looking for retouching tools. Snapseed has a Healing tool that can ‘heal’ the spots and other spots in your selfie. While Polarr’s Spot Removal tool does the same.
A Face Tools option in Polarr automatically detects different parts of your face such as eyes, nose, and even teeth. This is where Polarr’s AI claim can be seen in action.
Snapseed has Brush and Glamor Glow tools to keep you looking chic. The Polarr uses AI to automatically fine-tune the photo and add a glow effect. Very useful for selfies. There are also many filters to choose from.
I found Polarr’s Face Tools to be much easier to use as it gave me more control to adjust different aspects of the face.
Regular photo editing tools such as crop, tone, text, resize, rotate, and frames are available for both and work the same way.back to menu ↑
3. Where they differ
We saw that both Polarr and Snapseed use their AI ability to spice up your selfies in different ways. Now let’s take a look at some of the main differences between the two and features which are simply missing.
One of the favorites of photographers around the world, Snapseed comes with support for RAW images via DNG format. Don’t look for the developer tool under the Tools panel. You will not find it there. It will only reveal itself when you open a DNG file.
Once it does, you can edit RAW files, which gives you more flexibility and better control. If you own a DSLR you can use Snapseed, but not Polarr. The RAW support is also not available in the pro version of Polarr.
Polarr has a tool called Liquify that allows you to add a water-like effect to the image. This was my first time with this particular effect and it made the image look cool.
Snapseed also offers an HDR tool that you can use to produce a range of luminances in the same photo. Basically, you play with the light here to reveal more depths in a photo by controlling the exposure.back to menu ↑
4. Pricing and Availability
This is where things change. Snapseed is free to download and there are no ads at all. Google was actually generous with the app and given the number of tools and options available. The support for RAW images is a community favorite.
Polarr is a powerful photo editing tool, but not completely free. Gradient, Brush, Denoise, Color, Overlays, and a bunch of filters that I really liked are hidden behind a $ 2.49 per month monthly plan.
On the plus side, while Snapseed is only available on iOS and Android, Polarr is a cross-platform app. You can use it on iOS, Android, macOS, Windows and even the browser of your choice. This is really cool and should help people including serious photographers who keep moving from one platform to another.back to menu ↑
The right choice
Snapseed and Polarr are both powerful tools and target different types of audiences. If you’re looking for an all-in-one free photo editor that can handle whatever you throw at it, Snapseed is a great choice.
If you want more filtering options, a growing community of users eager to create and submit their own filters, cross-platform compatibility, and can afford a subscription service, Polarr is the one for you.
If cross-platform isn’t a necessity and you only need one mobile photo editor, Snapseed is a beast like no other.
The next up: Have you heard of PicsArt? A powerful photo editor built for users looking for ready-made solutions. Read the guide below to see how it compares to Snapseed.back to menu ↑
Snapseed vs Polarr: Comparison and Review: benefits
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