The High Tech Society

PhoTone Photo Editing App Review

PhoTone Photo Editing App Review

PhoTone is a premium photo editing app that utilizes split tonings to create more complex blending for filters and effects. The app includes a variety of filters divided into four modes including ProTone, MonoTone, ColorTone, and Effects, and each offers a variety of different photo looks. However, at $2.99-$1.19 depending where you shop, it’s priced high enough that most of us want to know if it’s worth it before investing the money.

This review of PhoTone will take a look at the effects, what you can do with them, the pros and cons of the app, as well as how PhoTone compares to other free photo editing apps like Instagram and Facebook filters, or Photoshop’s free app.

What is PhoTone?

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PhoTone is a photo editing app that consists of a series of filters, and nothing more. If you’re hoping to edit lighting, contrast, or other details manually, you’ll definitely be severely disappointed. If you’re looking for filters to add on to your collection for photo editing, it has everything you could need, with a current selection of about 60 filters, which PhoTone claims to intend to grow.

PhoTone’s Filters & Effect

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Photo Credit: Brandy Cross &

PhoTone’s filters and effects are divided into 4 categories.

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Vintage Filter

MonoTone – MonoTone contains 15 of the most sophisticated collection of monotone filters I’ve used. While great for almost anything you could want in black and white, most people don’t really use black and white, so again, this has a limited audience. Technically, not all of these filters are completely monotone, as many contain purple and blue tones. You get Normal, Platinum, Royal, Contrast, Hi-Key, Cold, Sepia, Cooper, Cold Tea, Warm&Soft, Magenta, Vignette, Vig&Warm, Pro Noise, and Violet Noise.

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These are primarily made for selfies, Left to right, top to bottom, MonoTone cold, ProTone Bright, ProTone Sun Kiss, No Filter for comparison (filter is more visible in the background with two subjects in photo) Photo Credit: Brandy Cross

ProTone – ProTone is one of the better collections of selfie filters I’ve seen because it includes tone filters not just stylistic filters. These are great for evening out skin tone, changing the lighting, and even making it look like you have a tan, which is great if you want to get artistic with presentation. Most of them very clearly make adjustments to spots or ruddy areas on the face as well, which is great if you want to even out your skin tone. However, the filters also work on photos of mundane objects, mostly changing the light. You get filters including Bright, Light Warm, Faded Colors, Accent, Contrast, Deep, Cold Contrast, Pro Balance, Sun Kiss, Cold, Amber, Capuchino, Saturated, Almandine, Easy Touch, Softener, Film, and Soft Grain.

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ColorTone – Color Tone is definitely the least practical selection of filters here because it puts an overlay of color gradients over the photo. This is great if you want to be artistic, but most don’t  really improve the photo at all. However, you can overlay a variety of light color washes, which usually cover half the photo, and have fun with changing the look and feel of an image. These filters are great for party shots, group photos, and even photos of nature that you want to give a little twist. You get Tender, Warming, Hot, Cold Green, Warm Violet, BlueBurn, Yellow Green, Cold Violet, Warm, Pastel, Vibrance, Pinky, Red Green, Acid, and Spectro.

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Sunshine Effect

Effects – The effects section is actually fairly cool because you can add some realistic nature effects like snow, sunshine, and sun dappling. Some perform better than others, and they all have small flaws, but it’s fairly cool and can allow you to be very creative with photos. For example, you can add rain to photos and it looks realistic, but you can’t make yourself look wet. The snow effect didnt’ really work on most of my photos but it does on some, the sunshine effect didn’t work that well either because it’s usually too bright with the existing light, but I was able to create dappling and sun spots very well on several photos. Some of the effects like the blur options are not that usable in most cases, but are nice to have if you want to blur out part of your photo. You get effects including Vintage, Rero, Old Photo, Grunge, Sun Rays, Lens Flare, Rain, Snow, Money FX, Wall Paint, Pencil, Bokeh, H Blur, V Blur, and Irish.

A Review of PhoTone

PhoTone is a great app that provides a variety of different filters that all seem to be made mainly for skin tones. While some of them, especially the light effects, do look great with my image shots, most of the filters are definitely made for selfies and photos of people. That’s not a bad thing, considering that 2015 was just named the year of the Selfie, and 2016 will probably shape up to be the same, but it does mean the app is intended for a specific audience.

One thing that I really did not like about the app is that you cannot adjust the intensity of the filter. If you try a filter on Photoshop’s free app, you can easily adjust the intensity to make the filter more or less prominent. This is great, because you don’t always want a filter to be obvious. It will always be obvious with PhoTone unless you’re using a low-light image, or the lighting works with the filter.

Is It Worth It?

If you enjoy taking selfies, want specific looks, and don’t mind washing your face out, or prefer to, then PhoTone is a great app that will allow you to create a variety of different looks. If you’re looking for natural filters and effects to use on landscape, food, and normal photos, PhoTone isn’t really it. However, it does have a very nice selection of filters that well out does the free selections from Facebook and Instagram, as well as Photoshop’s free options, but definitely isn’t for everyone. If you already use a lot of filters, and mostly want to expand your collection and options, PhoTone is definitely worth the money. If you’re looking for a comprehensive photo editing app, you’re still better off with PS Express or similar.