Lightroom vs. Snapseed: Which One Is Best in 2024?

When it comes to editing photos on your mobile device, two of the most popular apps are Adobe Lightroom and Snapseed. But, which one is best in 2024? You can call this Lightroom vs. Snapseed or Adobe vs. Google. Both apps have gained a large following and offer a range of features to enhance your photos. We can debate the whole day on a comparison of Lightroom and Snapseed. But which one is the right choice for you? In this article, we will compare Lightroom and Snapseed in various aspects to help you make an informed decision.

Lightroom vs Snapseed. Lets Know the differences between Lightroom and snapseeed and find out which one is best in 2023

What Is Adobe Lightroom?

Lightroom is a famous product of Adobe. Initially, there was only Photoshop available which was used for photo editing and graphic designing. But Adobe realized in 2007, that there is a need for another application/software that is dedicated to photographers only and where images can be edited more easily with a user-friendly interface. So, Adobe introduced Lightroom in the market. There are different variants of Lightroom available such as Lightroom Classic, Lightroom CC, or simply Adobe Lightroom. Now Lightroom is available on Mobile, Mac, and Windows.

What Is Snapseed?

Nik Software released Snapseed back in 2011 for iPad only. Then, one year later Google introduced it for Android also. Now it is available on both Android and IOS just like Lightroom. But Snapseed is not available on Desktop and Windows, unlike Lightroom which is available on that platform as well.

The most unique thing about Snapseed is that it is completely free of cost. It is easier to use than Lightroom and is highly recommended for beginners. Let’s dive into the comparison of Lightroom and Snapseed in detail.

Comparison table:

AspectAdobe LightroomSnapseed
Purpose and Target AudienceProfessional-grade photo editing softwareUser-friendly mobile photo editing app
User InterfaceLittle tricky with advanced toolsUser-friendly with gesture-based controls
Editing ToolsAdvanced tools for precise editing
Color Grading
HSL Tool
Dehaze Tool
Selective editing
Basic to intermediate tools for quick edits
Text Tool
Selective Editing
Portrait Head Pose 
Expand Tool
WorkflowNon-destructive supports RAW editingNon-destructive, mobile-focused editing
PlatformsWindows, macOS, iOS, AndroidiOS, Android
IntegrationAdobe Creative Cloud ecosystemGoogle Photos integration
PriceSubscription-based, free mobile versionFree to download and use
Organizational FeaturesAdvanced Image OrganizationLimited organizational tools
Export OptionsRange of export formats and sizesBasic export options
Retouching and Healing ToolsAdvanced healing and retouching toolsBasic retouching and healing tools
Filters and PresetsExtensive preset. Numerous presets availableLess presets but more control over presets
Selective EditingLess control than Lightroom but freely availableLess control than Lightroom but freely availble
Advanced EditingPrecise color grading, HSL panel, advanced retouchingPortrait and Lens Blur tools
Compatibility with RAW FilesFully supports RAW editingLimited RAW handling on some devices
Ease of UseSteeper learning curveuser-friendly and easy-to-use
External Plugin CompatibilitySupports external pluginsLimited access to external plugins
PerformanceMore resource-intensive (desktop version)Mobile-friendly performance

Let’s dive into the comparison of Lightroom and Snapseed in detail.


Lightroom vs. Snapseed: User Interface and Experience

Snapseed takes a simpler approach with a user-friendly interface suitable for beginners and mobile users. It has a somewhat minimal and less complex UI. As soon as you open Snapseed, you just have to:

1. Click on the + icon to import the image.

2. Then 3 Tabs will be displayed at the bottom, Styles, Tools, and Export.

3. All these tabs contain a set of buttons, each doing a specific thing. If you want to brighten your picture, just tap the brightness button and slide it up. It’s really quick and easy, perfect for people who are new to editing or just want to make simple improvements.


On the other hand, Lightroom Interface is somewhat complex and a little tricky to use. Lightroom has more tools and all are arranged at the bottom. It has different sections, like the “Library” where you organize, and the “Develop” where you make changes. Each section has its own tools. For instance, in the “Develop” section, you can easily adjust things like brightness and colors. The interface offers a multitude of sliders, panels, and options for precise adjustments. It’s great if you want to make detailed changes to your photos.


Winner: Snapseed is the winner because it has a more minimal user-friendly Interface as compared to Lightroom. When I was a beginner in photo editing, I loved Snapseed because of it’s eas-to-use interface.

Lightroom vs. Snapseed: Editing Capabilities

There is a huge difference between the tools and editing capabilities of both Lightroom and Snapseed. Let us find it out in detail.

Text Tool:

The text tool is another standout feature of Snapseed. Using Snapseed, you can add text to your image and style it as you want. You simply have to select Text Tool to add text. Now if you want to make it stylish, select Brush Tool and style it manually by erasing some parts of an image.

Winner: Snapseed

Portrait And Head Pose::

If you capture more portraits and don’t want to do extra hard work in Lightroom, you can use the easy-to-use Portrait feature in Snapseed. I usually adjust my eyes’ brightness, smooth my skin, and focus brightness on my skin using this amazing Portrait Tool. This magic tool works on AI technology that eases the work and makes it quick.

Another tool is the Head Pose tool in Snapseed. You can adjust your cute smile, your eye shape, the pose of your head, and many more. using this amazing tool. This tool also works on AI-based technology.  

Winner: Snapseed

Expand Tool:

Expand Tool is the standout feature of Snapseed. If your image is small and you want to post it on Instagram, you can simply add a white border around your image to make it Instagram post size compatible. Moreover, if you have a plain area in your image and you want to expand it, you can simply use its magic tool to expand it and Snapseed will do this job very smoothly.

Winner: Snapseed

Selective Editing:

Selective editing is available on both Snapseed and Lightroom but Snapseed has some limitations.

Snapseed selective editing tool is completely free and easier to use than Lightroom selective editing tool. If you are a beginner and don’t want to go into technicalities, Snapseed is good for selective editing. In Snapseed, you can use the “Selective” tool. You tap on the subject’s face to place a control point. Then, you adjust the brightness slider upward. This brightens only the face, making it stand out more. The background stays the same, ensuring your subject remains the center of attention.

Selective editing is available on a premium version of Lightroom. You can use the radial filter, adjustment brush, or gradient filter to selectively edit your photo. Lightroom offers more control but again, only professional photographers can use it properly. 

Winner: Match tied as Snapseed selective editing is free while Lightroom selective editing provides more control.


Sharpness is found in Snapseed but it is on the next level in Lightroom. By using the Masking Tool along with sharpness, we can selectively adjust the sharpness of specific parts of an image.

Winner: Lightroom

Dehaze tool:

The Dehaze tool is one of my favorite tools. It is also found in Lightroom only. Whenever I see sky or landscape in my image, I adjust the Dehaze Tool to add more clarity. 

Winner: Lightroom

HSL Tool:

The HSL tool is a unique feature of Lightroom that is missing in Snapseed. When you click the HSL tool, you can adjust Hue, Saturation, and Luminance individually with sliders. You have 8 basic color options here. For example, if you have green grass in your image and you just want to adjust the sharpness or brightness of that green color only, you can do it on the Lightroom HSL tool easily. 

HSL tool in Lightroom

Winner: Lightroom

Color Grading:

Color Grading is a tool to adjust colors and play with color schemes to make your image more attractive. 

Lightroom is far far beyond in the case of Color Grading. When you open color grading, you can adjust Highlights, Shadows, and mid-tones. There is a circular shape color-adjusting icon and you can apply color whatever color you can imagine on that color spectrum. 

color grading difference in Lightroom and snapseed

Winner: Lightroom

Lightroom vs. Snapseed: Presets

Presets are pre-made adjustments that can be applied to your photos with just a single click. They can save you a lot of time and effort, providing a quick way to achieve a desired look. Both Lightroom and Snapseed offer preset functionality, but they differ in terms of variety and customization.

Lightroom provides a wide range of built-in presets, categorized into different styles such as portrait, landscape, and black and white. These presets can be further customized to suit your specific editing needs. Additionally, Lightroom allows you to import and use third-party presets, expanding your options even further. This makes it a great choice for photographers who are looking for a vast collection of presets.

On the other hand, Snapseed offers a more limited selection of presets compared to Lightroom. While it may not have as many options, Snapseed allows for more precise customization of each preset. You can adjust the intensity of individual adjustments within a preset, giving you more control over the final result. This can be particularly beneficial for those who prefer a more hands-on approach to editing their photos.

Winner: Lightroom

Lightroom vs. Snapseed: Ease Of Use

Another important factor to consider when choosing a photo editing app is its ease of use. After all, you want an app that allows you to edit your photos quickly and efficiently.

Lightroom app offers a range of editing tools and adjustments, organized in a logical manner. It also provides helpful tutorials and tips to assist you in getting the most out of the app. However, as Lightroom offers more advanced editing capabilities, it may have a steeper learning curve for beginners compared to Snapseed.

Snapseed, on the other hand, boasts a user-friendly interface that is simple to navigate. The app features a swipe-based editing system, allowing you to quickly make adjustments by swiping left or right on your screen. Snapseed also offers a range of automatic editing tools, which can be a time-saver for those who prefer a more hands-off approach. Overall, Snapseed is known for its user-friendly interface and accessibility, making it a great choice for beginners or those who want to edit photos on the go.

Winner: Snapseed

Lightroom vs. Snapseed: File Type

When it comes to file types, both Lightroom and Snapseed offer a variety of options, ensuring compatibility with different devices and platforms.

Lightroom supports a wide range of file types, including RAW files, JPEGs, and TIFFs. This versatility is a major advantage for professional photographers who often work with RAW files and require the highest level of flexibility and control in their editing process. Lightroom also allows you to export your edited images in various file formats, giving you the freedom to choose the most suitable format for your needs.

Snapseed, on the other hand, primarily focuses on JPEG file editing. While it does offer some support for RAW files, its functionality is more limited compared to Lightroom. Snapseed is best suited for quick editing and sharing of JPEG images, making it a popular choice among smartphone photographers and social media enthusiasts.

Winner: Lightroom

Lightroom vs. Snapseed: Pricing

One of the key considerations when choosing a photo editing app is its pricing structure. Just like we are comparing many aspects between Lightroom and Snapseed, let’s compare the pricing options of Lightroom and Snapseed.

Lightroom is available through a subscription model as part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography plan. This plan includes not only Lightroom for mobile but also Lightroom for desktop and Photoshop. The pricing starts at $9.99 per month, which may be a commitment for those who only require photo editing on their mobile devices. However, the subscription provides access to the full suite of Adobe’s professional editing tools, making it a valuable investment for photographers. Check the latest prices of Adobe Lightroom in 2024 in our separate article.

Adobe Lightroom and Snapseed pricinf differences

In contrast, Snapseed is completely free to download and use. There are no subscription fees or limitations on the number of edits you can make. This makes it an attractive choice for casual users or those who are on a tight budget. While Snapseed may not offer the same extensive editing capabilities as Lightroom, it still offers a range of powerful tools to enhance your photos.

Winner: Snapseed

Pros And Cons of Adobe Lightroom:


  • Advanced editing capabilities
  • Professional-grade tools
  • Non-destructive editing
  • Advanced image organization
  • Seamless Adobe ecosystem integration


  • Subscription cost
  • Subscription cost
  • Heavier system requirements (desktop version)
  • Requires Adobe Creative Cloud subscription

Pros And Cons Of Snapseed:


  • User-friendly interface
  • Quick and easy editing
  • Non-destructive editing
  • Free to download and use
  • Gesture-based controls make it user-friendly and easy to use


  • Limited compared to desktop software
  • May lack advanced features
  • Mobile-based (might not suit all users)
  • Not as powerful for complex edits
  • May not sync with other editing workflows


In conclusion, despite many differences between Lightroom and Snapseed, both are excellent photo editing apps and each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

  • If you are a professional or avid photographer seeking extensive editing capabilities, a vast selection of presets, and compatibility with RAW files, Lightroom is the app for you.
  • On the other hand, if you are a beginner or prefer a user-friendly interface, quick and easy editing tools, and budget-friendly options, Snapseed is a perfect choice.

Personally,  I use 60% Lightroom and 40% Snapseed. Ultimately, the choice between Lightroom and Snapseed depends on your specific preferences, needs, and level of expertise. You may also consider trying out both apps to see which one suits your editing style and workflow the best. Happy editing!


Can I use Snapseed in place of Lightroom?

Snapseed is user-friendly and can be used for normal photo editing. However, for advanced and professional editing, Snapseed can’t replace Lightroom.

Which software is better for beginners, Lightroom or Snapseed?

Snapseed is highly recommended for beginners as it is easy to use and has a friendly interface.

Which is the top photo editing app?

It completely depends on your taste and preference. Rating-wise, Adobe Photoshop Express, VSCO, and Snapseed are top-rated photo editing apps.

Is Snapseed free?

Yes, Snapseed is completely free of cost.

Can I use Snapseed on PC?

No, Snapseed is only available on Mobile, whether it’s Android or iOS.

Which software is recommended for Mobile editing?

Snapseed is highly recommended for Mobile editing as it has a mobile-friendly interface.

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