Technology can make a lot of things easier — including the process of making a music video. 

Over the past few years, more musicians have experimented with technology in their approach to making music videos. Some artists have reverted to using 16mm film and retro video cameras, while others have relied on the convenience of iMovie and their handheld smartphones. 

Harnessing the accessibility and versatile nature of smartphone cameras have allowed artists to break boundaries in redefining the visual language of music videos. From the intimate DIY aesthetics that it could add, to the more polished production value that some unique features bring forth, these music videos below showcase the raw energy and innovation of smartphone filmmaking. 

In this article, Billboard Philippines lists down our curated selection of music videos that push the boundaries of creativity only using a smartphone. Whether it’s through stunning cinematography, inventive editing techniques, or immersive storytelling, these music videos prove that all you need is a smartphone and a creative vision to make an impact in the world of music visuals.

“Lose You To Love Me” – Selena Gomez (iPhone 11 Pro)

Lose You To Love Me” made international waves for its catchy nature despite being a solemn pop track — which was accompanied by a stunning black and white music video that further amped up the melodrama of the song.

Directed by Sophie Muller, the video’s intimate and emotive scenes were captured using the iPhone 11 Pro’s advanced camera features, including its impressive low-light performance and cinematic stabilization. Both Gomez and Muller’s artistic vision was perfectly conveyed through the smartphone — which inspired a whole lot of aspiring artists to try and do the same with the accessibility and versatility of the iPhone’s features in producing a music video.

“Polaris” – December Avenue (Xiaomi 10T Pro)

It’s not a common phenomenon to witness Filipino artists filming music videos with a smartphone, so seeing December Avenue achieve such a significant feat is something that isn’t merely impressive, but also inspiring.

Pairing up with Xiaomi, the beloved band utilized the brand’s 10T Pro model to film the music video to their 2020 single “Polaris” with a full production set-up that played around with several of the smartphone’s features — including 8K video recordings, video clones, and a cyberpunk color filter among others. The end result is one that not only looked amazing but one that added depth and color to the visuals of the emotive track. 

“One Last Kiss” – Hikaru Utada (IPhone 12)

Hikaru Utada‘s “One Last Kiss” music video broke new ground by being filmed entirely with Apple’s iPhone 12, demonstrating the device’s cutting-edge capabilities in filmmaking. Conceptually, the video delved into themes of introspection and resilience, mirroring the song’s poignant lyrics.

Through a series of visually stunning shots, the video captured Utada’s emotional journey as they navigated through various surreal landscapes and symbolic imagery. The innovative approach not only allowed for a more intimate and authentic portrayal but also showcased the iPhone 12’s advanced camera features, including Dolby Vision HDR recording and improved low-light performance. This unexpected collaboration between Utada and Apple pushed the boundaries of music video production — emphasizing the creative potential of mobile filmmaking in delivering compelling and evocative visuals.

“The Weekend” – BIBI  (Samsung S21 Ultra)

BIBI, one of 88rising’s Korean stars, pushed the boundaries of music video production and technology with her 2021 single, “The Weekend,” filmed entirely using the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. 

Embracing cutting-edge technology, BIBI employed augmented reality (AR) outfits to create a visually stunning experience. By integrating AR into her wardrobe, she transformed the mundane into the extraordinary, allowing her to seamlessly transition between different looks and settings throughout the video. This groundbreaking approach not only showcased her artistic prowess, but also highlighted the versatility of the Galaxy S21 Ultra as a multi-dimensional filmmaking tool.

“Cannibal” – Marcus Mumford (iPhone)

When Marcus Mumford (of indie-folk group Mumford & Sons) released his first solo single “Cannibal”, he wanted to film a music video that accurately conveyed the vulnerability and emotional depth of his lyricism. 

So upon enlisting the help of renowned Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steven Spielberg, the duo worked on crafting a simple, handheld, yet powerful black-and-white one take music video that featured Mumford performing in an empty venue. Through various close-ups of the folk artist’s face and an expanded dolly shot that moves outwards to place emphasis on Mumford’s loneliness, it utilizes the iPhone as an effective tool that further amplifies the message of the emotional track.

“Mo-Eh-Yo” – Fujii Kaze (Google Pixel 6)

Japanese artist Fujii Kaze ingeniously crafted the music video for his track “Mo-Eh-Yo” using the innovative features of the Google Pixel 6. With its advanced camera capabilities, Kaze captured stunning visuals, seamlessly blending the mundane surroundings of his reality with his fantastical and artistic vision. 

Leveraging the Pixel 6’s AI-powered tools, he effortlessly edited and enhanced footage on the go, achieving a polished and professional look. From the vibrant cityscapes to tiny little puddles on the street, each frame radiates authenticity and creativity, reflecting the essence of his music. By harnessing the power of technology, Kaze has elevated the music video experience, inviting audiences into a captivating visual journey.

“Stupid Love” – Lady Gaga  (iPhone 11 Pro)

Lady Gaga‘s “Stupid Love” music video captivated audiences not only with its infectious beats but also with its stunning visuals — all captured using Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro. The device’s advanced camera system allowed for an astounding showcase of the intricate details of Gaga’s elaborate retro-futuristic costumes, highlighting every shimmer and sparkle with a remarkable level of clarity. 

Using the iPhone’s exceptional capabilities, director Daniel Askill was able to transport viewers to the vibrant and otherworldly landscape of Planet Chromatica for the first time, giving us viewers a sneak peek into the heart of Gaga’s imaginative universe. With its ability to seamlessly capture both the grandeur of the setting and the nuances of Gaga’s performance, the iPhone 11 Pro proved to be the perfect tool for bringing this electrifying music video to life.

“Split” – Niki  (Samsung S21 Ultra)

Niki revolutionized music video storytelling with her track “Split,” captured entirely using the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. Harnessing the device’s advanced features, Niki embarked on a journey of non-linear narrative exploration, visually mirroring the song’s themes of introspection and self-discovery. 

Through a series of fragmented scenes and emotive visuals, she intricately weaved together a captivating story that transcended traditional linear storytelling conventions. The Galaxy S21 Ultra’s dynamic range and superior low-light capabilities empowered Niki to effortlessly capture the essence of her music, bringing her vision to life with unparalleled clarity and depth to its settings — whether it was the car backseat or the indoor dining area of a fancy restaurant. 

“ETA” – NewJeans (iPhone 14 Pro)

What better way is there to showcase the frenetic energy to ETA’s cascading beats than on 60 FPS filmmaking?

Using the iPhone 14 Pro, NewJeans was able to accomplish a different type of K-pop music video –– focusing on a blend of storytelling, thematic imagery, and technological prowess to bring the pulsating electronic-dance track to life. Using the smartphone camera’s ultra HD camera, the music video captures various landscapes at full stability and clarifty, whether it’s shot at a packed summer pool party, low-light tunnel lighting, a dimly-lit gas station, and the rising sunset from the cliffs of Barcelona, Spain.

Adding novelty to it’s filmmaking style, director Shin Woo-seok added the iPhone’s FaceTime feature to add a more personal nature to the music video, almost as if it were like the group’s members were talking to a friend. With Apple’s signature ‘Action Mode’ on it’s models, Shin was also able to utilize the feature to capture each members’ intricate choreography with full stability –– removing any unwanted vibrations, shaking, and bumpiness from the final video. It’s a clever combination of filmmaking styles and technological feats, ultimately resulting in one of the most fun and kinetic K-pop music videos from the past few years.

“get him back!” – Olivia Rodrigo (iPhone 15 Pro)

It’s already been established that “get him back!” is one of the best tracks to come out of Olivia Rodrigo‘s stellar sophomore album, so of course it deserved an equally great music video to support it as the third official single off the album.

Luckily, director Jack Begert and Rodrigo were able to utilize Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro to give the track absolute justice –– utilizing 4K UHD video recordings with cinematic video stabilization to bring Rodrigo’s destructive tendencies to life. Whether it’s scenes of the beloved pop star making a sandwich in a kitchen, keying a parked car, or driving around a car with smashed windows together with several of her clones, the iPhone 15 Pro perfectly captures the frenetic energy of the track, bringing a larger than life quality to the impassioned vocal delivery of Rodrigo as she belts her heart out to the aggressive (if conflicted) lyricism to the track.

Ultimately, the music video to “get him back!” a delightful romp that makes perfect use of some clever video splicing techniques to (literally) multiply Rodrigo’s strong stage presence in nearly every frame, making it one of the most innovative and fun music videos to ever make use of the iPhone as it’s primary filmmaking tool. It further proves to its audience that these handheld devices we have carry a nearly limitless potential –– inspiring other artists to go out and find the same creative spirit to make full use of our smartphones.