There are a lot of great mockup generators on the market. We reviewed the best ones earlier this year and SmartMockups came out as one of our favorites. To help you decide if this is the right option for you we’ve done an in depth SmartMockups review.
The SmartMockups review covers some of the key things you’re going to want to know about before you decide what to purchase. This includes obvious things like how much it costs – the most important factor – through to the user interface, functionality and of course the mockups you get access to.
Before we get into this review, we’re always on the lookout for useful software for our audience. When we find something we like then we try and setup a special offer, something like lifetime access or a steep reduction in price. We did this with SmartMockups last year. To get hold of similar offers head over to our homepage.
SmartMockups is a desktop app for Mac and PC. The app enables you to insert any kind of image you want into pre-made mockup templates. There are 20 types of product mockups grouped in three broad categories (digital, print and apparel – loosely translated as computers and phones, brochures and book and clothing).
The SmartMockups library currently has almost 800 designs. It’s continually being updated though. The mockups in the library are a mix of copyright free staged stock photos – think computer on desk in a room that looks like it was created by a stylish interior designer you wished was your partner – and isolated images.
To get started just choose the mockup you want to use. You then have two options; insert the image from your desktop or a website url for a quick screen capture. After previewing the image you can export the design in your preferred resolution.
The user flow is that simple. It also has a nice minimalist Apple style interface with extra functionality when you need it. This includes useful features like the ability to crop the image you’re uploading, mobile responsive screen captures for when you’re uploading an image to a mobile or tablet mockup.
As mentioned, you can export your finished graphic in four different resolutions (well, depending on the image used). The image quality ranges from super high print quality, roughly 4,000 pixels wide, through to slow Internet low quality, which is around 600 pixels wide.
What Makes it Different
There are a couple of things I find special about SmartMockups compared to the other mockup generators. Top of the list is the fact that the developers are constantly improving the software. This is not something you can take for granted from small software teams, which is why I want to highlight it.
Not only are they constantly rolling out updates to the platform, but they also accept user suggestions. You can do this through the Feedback Forum, which is accessible from the main menu. While this is hardly original, the fact that the developers review, respond and act on the suggestions is
Examples of recent developments to the software include the SmartMockups marketplace. This is a place where you can buy special mockups packs created by SmartMockup customers. It’s not clear if this microtransaction style marketplace will be successful, but it’s a nice concept.
Another unique feature of SmartMockups are the integrations with other design applications. SmartMockups have integrations with the drag and drop design platform Youzign, the prototyping tool Sketch and Photoshop. These integrations allow you to directly import your designs from these platforms without exiting SmartMockups.
What Are the Problems
SmartMockups is a great mockup generator, but it does have a few issues. For example, even though it is a desktop app you won’t be able to use SmartMockups without an Internet connection. On top of which, you will need to periodically update the app when new updates are pushed.
In all fairness neither of these issues is a dealbreaker. With the exception of Photoshop, none of the other mockup generators out there can be used without an Internet connection. Plus the updates are pretty quick. You’ll get a notification whenever you need to update the app and with a decent internet connection the whole thing will be over in less than a minute.
Unfortunately SmartMockups does not have any video mockup functionality and it is not a feature they plan to push with the software. If you’re looking for video mockup software you will have to go elsewhere (my recommendation is DropMock, which has a monthly subscription service).
SmartMockups recently changed its model from a pay once to a monthly recurring fee. Personally I think this is a mistake as a lot of people need a good mockup generator for their marketing, but don’t need it enough to pay every month for the service. Still…
You can use SmartMockups for free, which is nice (kind of like a tester). As a free user you get access to a reduced library of 200 product mockups. Unfortunately they’ve reduced the functionality of the app, so you can’t insert a website url for a quick screen capture in a mockup.
There are currently two premium plans; Premium and Team. The Premium Plan is a single user license. It costs $14 a month or $108 a year. The Team Plan costs $39 a month or $358 a year. For this you get 10 licenses. More importantly you get access to the full library of product mockups with no limits on the functionality.
SmartMockups Review: Final Verdict
I like SmartMockups. It’s a great product, easy to use and fulfills a simple function. Most importantly SmartMockups saves you time. With the app you can create an attractive product mockup in less than a minute, rather than the standard 30 using Photoshop.
If you’re only making the occasional product mockup then SmartMockups is not worth the price. On the other hand if you do need product mockups for your work then this is a ‘no brainer’ investment. The graphics look great and the tool saves you time. You can check out SmartMockups here.