The best photo filter apps for the Samsung GALAXY S4

The best photo filter apps for the Samsung GALAXY S4
The best photo filter apps for the Samsung GALAXY S4

1. Instagram

Free – get it here

The big daddy. You can't go wrong with Instagram's retro-tinged photo filters – they hide a multitude of photographical faux pas.

Either take photos directly through the app or use the Samsung GALAXY S4's camera interface to capture your shot, then crop and apply a filter after the fact.

S4 photo apps

Capture the moment, then age it 40 year's with Instagram's retro filters

The fact that Instagram is also a social network that links directly to Facebook means that sharing your snaps with the world couldn't be easier. Plus, the app is completely free.

S4 photo apps

An intimidating battalion of effects on Pixlr Express

2. Pixlr Express

Free – get it here

Pixlr Express is like Instagram on steroids; it's just as free and gives you a host of vintage-style filters to apply, but also comes with so much more.

Don't like the lighting of your shot? Pixlr Express lets you tweak it by applying dramatic lighting effects like coloured shades and fades. If you want to draw the viewer's attention to a certain element of the shot, use focal blur to concentrate the eye.

A dizzying array of effects is available, but once you've worked out your favourites you can save your most flattering overlays. These stay in the app's favourites section for easy filter application on the fly.

S4 photo apps

Take photos through the app or import them from your gallery

3. Cymera

Free – get it here

We're sure all your friends are beautiful – but could they be more beautiful?

Cymera reckons so, and it's got the smarts to make it happen. Simply take a portrait of your nearest and dearest then apply makeup, new hairstyles and stickers and borders to the photo after the fact. Hours of fun.

When you're not busy prettifying your pals, you can add filters to your snaps, make collages of several pictures and write notes on your photos using the app's various paintbrushes. All for free.

S4 photo apps

Fool your friends into thinking you're an artist with Cartoon Camera

4. Cartoon Camera

Free – get it here (or 99p for the ad-free version)

Real life is okay, we suppose, but haven't you ever wished you could live in Springfield or Bedrock or one of those primary-coloured, soft-edged cartoon lands?

If so, Cartoon Camera is the photo app for you and your Samsung GALAXY S4. It takes your harsh real world photos and transforms them into works of cartoon art – choose from bright colours to dark strokes to pencil sketch effects and beyond. There's a free version with ads, or you can shell out 99p for the ad-free app.

S4 photo apps

Low tech meets hi-tech in Paper Camera

5. Paper Camera

£1.19 – Buy it here

If a full on cartoon world isn't your thing, you might want to download the rather more understated Paper Camera.

With a variety of effects ranging from a noir-ish comic book style to the more serious pencil sketch, you can apply the filters as you click or after the fact by choosing any image from your GALAXY S4's gallery.

Each of the filters lets you tweak the contrast and brightness as well as specifying how hard you want the lines to be. Yours for just £1.19.

S4 photo apps

Modern fun with a vintage feel

6. Polamatic

65p – buy it here

Polaroid cameras may be dead and gone but their spirit lives on in Polamatic, the official Polaroid app. Shoot photos with your Samsung GALAXY S4 and then turn them into washed-out, nostalgia-tinged Polaroids.

There are a variety of effects and colour options to keep things spicy and you can write captions on the border just like you used to on real Polaroids. Once you're happy with your shots, save them to your GALAXY S4's gallery or share them instantly on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Tumblr. It'll set you back just 65p.

S4 photo apps

Drawing lines all over your photos will tell the app what you want to focus on

7. AfterFocus

Free – get it here (or pro edition available to buy for £1.11)

If you want your GALAXY S4 photos to look like they were shot on a professional-grade DSLR, you could do worse than to use AfterFocus.