14/03/2012 10:33 GMT | Updated 14/05/2012 06:12 BST

BlackBerry Photography Apps Reviewed

PhotoCard, InstaPhoto and Fast Photo Editor Free reviewed

Date published: 03/14/2012

So you don't have an iPhone. That doesn't mean you should be left out of the Hipstamatic crowd.

Photo-editing apps are being developed thick and fast for BlackBerry, meaning you'll soon be BBM-ing, tweeting and generally showing off your latest shots with all sorts of fancy filters before you know it.

Question is - are any of them worth paying for? Will they cause your phone to grind to a halt, leaving nothing but that flashing red light woefully unattended to?

Huffington Post UK Tech tried and tested three photo-editing suites on a BlackBerry Bold 9900, and here's what happened.




File size: 352 KB

The premise is simple with PhotoCard. Indeed, one could say it does what it says on the tin - it takes your photos and creates them into a digital 'card'. It's slightly disappointing in that it places the small amount of text you create on top of the image, rather than next to it or in a postcard form, which is really restrictive as to which photos you use.

Furthermore, the text, while available in a range of fonts and sizes, remains steadfastedly in white. Otherwise, the filters you get are pretty good for a free app: as well as sepia, greyscale, and rainbow, the more vogue filters like vignette/focus, lomo and soft lens are available.

Where PhotoCard really embodies the nature of a real postcard is in its ability to be sent to those of your affections - presuming you're spreading the love, of course. Your 'cards' can be sent via Twitter, Facebook, and BBM. You can also upload the image and share your link or email it.

Verdict? The text options really let PhotoCard down. It's a fun little app, but better used as a poor man's Instagram than a messaging service.

Fast Photo Editor Free

Ice Cold Apps

Free - you can pay to upgrade to the Premium version

File size: 384 KB

The interface on Fast Photo Editor Free is really nice and simplistic - you choose a photo, and it fills your screen. On top, choose from eight options allowing you to rotate, change contrast and brightness, resize, crop and recolour, before deciding whether to send or save.

It's refreshingly easy, but once you select an option, the impact made by your choice is negligible. Once you select an option, say, brightness, you're presented with + and - buttons. These take forever to load, which kind of negates the positives of being able to change your picture by small amounts.

The crop tool works really well with the touchscreen BlackBerry Bold 9900, but takes a little getting used to with the trackpad. Furthermore, in comparison to PhotoCard, the filter choice is disappointing.

It's quite evident that Fast Photo Editor Free is a demonstration of what choice you can get if you upgrade to the premium version, however, despite what it's name may suggest, I doubt it will ever be that fast. There's just only so much fine editing you can do on a phone.


Smarter Apps


File size: 8184 KB

Hurrah! The famed Instagram experience for BlackBerry. How does it scrub up? Surprisingly well, actually.

Upon opening, you're greeted with two options - your own gallery, which you create out of photos you've edited yourself, and the latest shots which have been shared on Twitter. It's all very minimalist, in that the most crucial part of the app - selecting a photo to edit - is relegated to a small icon in the top right hand corner of the screen. This does, however, take you straight to your camera album, unlike the previous two apps which clumsily lead you through the coding of your BB system.

Once you've selected a photo, it's a quick crop and zoom before you're presented with 25 filter options, varying from the tasteful to the novelty. The speed these load at is hugely variable, which is annoying, but the subsequent rendering takes just a few seconds.

InstaPhoto brings up a clean share box when you go to save, allowing you to tweet, post to Facebook or Tumblr.

It's not without tedious loading times, and that file size probably will make it more likely to be deleted off my phone in the future, but for quick, simple hipster-ing of photos, InstaPhoto may have just made the BlackBerry a little cooler.

Have a look at some of the shots we took below.