Editing a simple reel on a phone vs. on a PC

In recent years I’ve noticed the rise of online influencers, or just regular people who edit videos on their phones. To me, a person who has dabbled in video editing since at least 12 years ago this was always peculiar since in those days video editing on a phone was not just difficult, but impossible. Now don’t get me wrong, I am very well aware of how much technology has advanced and what are the capabilities of modern devices, but still, something is missing there for me. I have edited a couple of simple videos on my phone and I always found the process tedious and a bit frustrating. The tools are difficult to use, there is a lack of features, and some basic stuff 1 is either very difficult or impossible.

So, why am I writing this? A couple of days ago I decided I wanted to turn my rollerblading ride into a reel. And since I have a “policy” for my Instagram account that everything on it must be taken and edited on a phone, I had to edit this reel on the phone. Also, I didn’t even want to take time to transfer the files to my PC and edit it there. It was just a short clip made for fun.

I used the built-in editor in Instagram since I haven’t used it, I’ve heard good things about it, and I wanted to check it out. It wasn’t that bad for basic cutting and adding music. But that’s mostly all you can do. Even matching video clips and cuts to the music was a bit tricky, which I find to be the case with all mobile video editors I’ve used. Anyway, I got something I was satisfied enough with.

But, after watching the video a little bit later, I noticed all the missed opportunities for a little bit more creative editing. Mostly to edit more to the music, and I don’t mean just cutting on the beat 2, but adding some effects that fit what is going on in the song. Some fades, speed ramping, and stuff like that, nothing too crazy.

So, naturally, I decided to edit it on my PC, just to see what can I get. Immediately I remembered why I don’t like editing on the phone. Navigating through the videos, changing their length, cutting, moving stuff around, everything is a million times easier on the PC.

I haven’t changed much from the original. The same basic structure is there, same clips, in the same order 3 with the same music. I think the end result is much better than the phone version, but you be the judge.

  1. like fading to black, fading down audio, keyframing position and scale of a clip

  2. which you could do on the phone too, albeit with some difficulty

  3. Except for the one extra one in the PC version. The funny thing is that I wanted to use that one in the phone version too, but I couldn’t be bothered to fit it in since I’ve already matched the end of the video to the beat so I didn’t want to mess up the timing for that. Which I think says a lot about editing on the phone.


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