Nearly everyone has a smartphone these days and while the camera on those phones are certainly never going to produce the quality of photos that you get with a digital camera, there are ways that you can improve the quality of pictures that you do take with your smartphone.
First of all, you should get into the habit of not overusing filters. Filters can be very beneficial in helping you to take better looking photos with your phone but they are often a bit overused. Instead of filtering every photo and using those borders and colors that are offered, just take the picture. Let the picture itself be what draws attention to it and not overly used borders of varying colors and themes. You can avoid the Instagram border look and simply share your photos directly through Twitter or Facebook.
Some smartphones do not offer much in the way of control over the shots that you take. If you are using the iPhone, you can pick up the Camera+ app from the App Store for just a buck or so. There are also tons of free downloads that are available for the iPhone that can help you to take better shots as well. Look at Smugmug Camera Awesome which is completely free and gives you about the same functions as those paid apps. If you have an Android smartphone, you can use Zoom Camera to give you a bit more control over the shots that you take. The apps add digital zoom which is not available on most smartphone cameras. They also give you much more control over the exposure and focus of your shots which will ultimately help you to take clearer and more vivid pictures.
When taking those shots, it is important that you slow down and take your time. Notice how much time you actually take to line up the shot and get it perfect before you snap it with your digital camera. Most of the time, people taking pictures with their phones simply snap the shots without giving much consideration to focus. If you are going for a quick shot fine, but take just a couple of seconds to really line up the shot and make sure that you are in focus before snapping. You can purchase a mini tripod and a bracket that will allow you to mount your phone to it if you are really serious about taking good shots with your smartphone camera.
You can even purchase adapters that will let you mount certain camera lenses directly to your smartphone which will give you nearly professional shots every time. While these adapters are going to cost a bit and you will need to ensure that you carry them with you at all times, they can be very helpful in getting those perfect shots from your phone. You can simply carry your digital camera with you at all times and ensure that you are ready for those picture moments as they come up but why bother using a smartphone with a camera if you are not going to learn to take great shots with it?