Can You Edit Images on a $49 Tablet?

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To bring together my posts on mobile workflow and accessories on a budget, I thought I would try the full workflow on a $49/£49 Amazon Fire Tablet

The Set-up

I am going to use is Fuji Camera Remote to load the image via WiFi and my favourite mobile editing app Snapseed to make the actual edits. I had to install the Google Play Store on my Fire Tablet, neither Camera Remote or Snapseed is available on the Amazon App Store. But that’s really no big deal.

Fujifilm Camera Remote on the Google Play Store
This app may not be optimised for your device


Snapseed on the Google Play Store
50 Million Downloads can’t be wrong!

Getting the Image onto the Tablet

First things first, start up the camera and enable the WiFi feature.  Unlike on iOS you can just launch the Camera Remote app and let it discover the WiFi network, so much slicker than on my iPad.

That Was Easy! Onto the Edit

Opening up Snapseed we can easily select the image and import it.  This is what we will be working on.

The horizon is something less than horizontal, but I like the way the pink stands out from the rest of the image.  Let’s straighten it up and see if we can make the pink pop a little more.

Here we are in Snapseed, there are a ton of tools we can play with, so far the Fire Tablet is holding up pretty well.  We do seem to be hitting the battery pretty hard though.

The Rotate tool does a great job automatically finding the horizon and levelling it up.  I’ll take that with no further tweaks.

Next stop is the Tune Image tool.  I tried the Auto-adjust option and these are the adjustments it went with, pushing up the brightness and contrast with a minor tweak to the warmth.  It looks good on the Fire Tablet screen, so I decide to go with it.  I tried pushing the saturation a little but anything that pumped up the pink in the hat and gloves also changed her face.


The Portrait tool has some really nice features.  Here you can see it has detected her face and lightened it with the Face Spotlight feature.  I selected the closest Skin Tone and that helped keep it all looking natural.

The Portrait tool also does Skin Smoothing and Eye Clarity – I must try those out on a more conventional portrait.

There appears to be a blue plastic bag or something similar to the left of her shoulder.  Let’s try out the healing tool and see how well it can clean that up.  Here I’ve used pinch to zoom to get closer to the bag.

Well the bag has gone but the fix looks a little crude to me.  Perhaps I’m just not very good with this tool, but it definitely isn’t anyway near as smart as Adobe’s Content Aware Fill.  Let’s go with it anyway, it’s in the background so it shouldn’t stand out when we are back at 100%

To finish off I will add a vignette, darkening the edges of the frame should also help to make the pink pop out a little.

This is one of the great features of Snapseed.  Each of the individual edits can be reviewed, tweaked or removed.  Here I am looking at the Portrait edit, so the bag is back, the Healing edit hasn’t been applied yet.

The Result

What do think?  I think the Amazon Fire Tablet actually did a pretty good job.  The edit is subtle enough not to look over processed.  We managed to straighten the horizon and Alice certainly stands out more than in the original.  I’d call that a win for the budget tablet and free software.  The battery did take a beating, I was down almost 10% just from importing and editing one image.  The screen is also less refined than you might be used, it is not Retina and the colours are not super precise.  But it IS only $49.

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