marques brownlee

I’m Marques Brownlee (aka MKBHD) and I make tech videos on YouTube. AMA!

I review things. I explain things. I talk about things. Anything with an on button is game. You can check out what I do here:
I’m also a business student & Ultimate frisbee player.
My Nexus 6 review just went live, and I answered a LOT of questions over on r/Android.
Here I’ll answer questions about YouTube, tech, or anything else!
I’ll try to be here all day. Because Reddit is more important than class… right?

What class are you answering these questions in right now?

Corporate Finance

Have you ever been approached by Honey Nut Cheerios to advertise for them?

I wish. I actually approached General Mills last year just to give them a heads up about what was happening, and got a generic canned response.
“Thanks for using our products”

Do you ever root your phones, and what is the reasoning behind your decision?

I stopped rooting phones about a year ago, because all the things I’d root for are now included in these Android devices. Higher clock speeds, data backup, etc.

Do you safely remove your USB devices?

Every time, actually.

How do you get all the gadgets which you review? Do you buy them or are they sent out to you?

Most of the devices that show up on video are purchased by me. Occasionally that’s not realistic (or possible)… looking at you, Nexus 6… so manufacturers reach out and offer to send devices to get them on video.

Are you able to support yourself and actually make a living off of your YouTube videos?

Yep. Which is awesome and blows my mind constantly. As a student, though, I don’t have a lot of expenses. I buy food. I play a sport. But that’s about it.

Do you plan to stick with mainly phones and accessories or do you have any other fields you’d like to get into?

Anything with an on button is game.

I’m always wondering if you’re kind of a celebrity at your university. And has your fame ever helped you to pick up a girl?

Nope haha. Internet notoriety doesn’t get essays done either :/

Any tech product you would love to review, but is too expensive or pointless?


From your twitter account, “Fun fact: I’ve never accepted money to alter any video I’ve ever made in any way.”.
Can you name some companies that did offer you money? Is that common?

I won’t name any, but yeah it happens all the time. Check out almost any other channel doing videos consistently. There’s always sponsorships, interruptions, ad-reads, etc.
I don’t do those because I’m not a fan of watching them. My #1 goal is to make videos that I’d want to watch.

What are your plans or expectations once you graduate college? What is the state of MKBHD in five years? Will it always be just you, or will you expand?

Graduating will only open up more time for me to make videos & talk tech. I have 3 papers due in the next week, and I’m not even close to done with any of them.
I get asked a lot if I’ll “expand” or bring in more people, and that’s a tricky thing to change. I enjoy doing everything now, but there’s a pretty good chance I won’t be able to keep up with everything I want to cover forever.

What is your favourite keyboard?

Don’t hurt me for this. I love my Apple keyboard. It’s actually a Colorware model[1] , so it’s jet black with white letters.
I’ve tried mechanical keyboards (red and brown switches) but never stayed more than a few months. I just type (essays) way faster on the chicklet keys with barely any travel. Plus it’s super compact and I can move it off the desk when I need to shoot a video there.

What are your thoughts on Linus Tech Tips

Linus is the man. Met him at CES last year and we’ve been in touch since. He cranks out videos like no tomorrow, which is awesome.
He’s the only one that makes me honestly consider the merits of having a crew or partner working alongside to make videos.

Is there a Miss MKBHD?

My camera?

You shoot your vidoes in 4K these days. How big is one of these on average (size-wise)? How long does it take you to upload one?

I’m actually shooting in 6K, but yeah finishing in 4K means much larger video files. 6K raw at 8:1 compression from the RED Epic Dragon comes out to about 20MB per frame.
My Nexus 6 review, rendered out was just 8GB though.

How long did it take to upload and process the whole video?

Processing takes waaaaay longer than uploading ha.
Rendering can take 2-4 hours, depending on what VFX / plugins look like for that project.

What are you using for storage for all this? Do you keep all of your RAW footage, or just the rendered footage?

I have a 12TB Thunderbolt RAID for all the finished projects. I don’t keep any of the original files.

What does the “K” in MKBHD stands for?

My middle name 😛

What is the video you are most proud of?

Ooh, tough call. There are a few special ones, but I think the relatively “not-so-special” RX100 MKIII review is tops because it’s the first video I shot with my current camera, and I got a lot of interesting shots, and I think it unlocked a lot of creative stuff that I’ve been trying in videos since.
In terms of pure visuals? iPhone 6 Plus Review:

Would camera did you use before your C 100?

Canon’s 5D MKIII Canon 60D Canon t2i Sanyo Xacti CG10 HP Pavilion dv7t webcam

You started out reviewing things you happened to have or you bought for yourself. How and when did you decide to buy something just (or especially) to review it? How did your parents react to that, assuming you were still pretty young?

The thing is – I didn’t start out going out of my way to buy things to review. I bought things that I was going to use anyway, then decided to do a review on them after the fact.
It started with a laptop that I bought. I bought it for myself for school, then made about 40 videos on it!

What computer do you use now?

8-core Mac Pro.

What is the phone you’re currently using as your daily driver and what’s your all time favorite phone?

My “daily driver” is different every week, so not sure if it counts. I have a Nexus 6 in my right pocket and a Droid Turbo (review incoming) in my left.
I was asked for my favorite phone of ALL TIME the other day, and I went with the original Moto DROID. Something about its timing, with the ad campaign and the new OS… Exciting stuff! I’ll never forget that unboxing.

What are your career goals?

Make better videos. Short and sweet.

Where do you see the mobile computing world moving in the next 2-3 years?

Mobile has been making phones bigger and bigger over the past few years, and I think in the next 2-3 years that finally halts. Phones can’t get much bigger. We say this every year, but… for real this time.

With the recent releases of both Android 5.0 and iOS 8, what’s the one thing that Google still needs to introduce into Android to really “stick it” to iOS, and vice-versa?

Android: I want to see another graphics focus. Project Butter v2. iOS: I want to see widget on my homescreen. Is that too much to ask?

What car are you driving now and when are you going to get a Tesla?

Red Toyota. Red Tesla: In the works.

What’s preventing you from buying a Tesla? Affordability?

A place to charge it.

How did the unmistakable “Hey whatisup guys” intro become a thing?

Slow evolution, actually. I started by trying to have something to say near the beginning of every video that reminded people that I’d done other videos.
So it started with something much longer like “Hey what’s up guys, Marques Brownlee here back with another HD video”
That shortened over time :]

Will you be selling any merchandise or apparel? When can we buy one?

Yep by the end of 2014, a bunch of new stuff like that will be revealed. Including a site. Big things coming.

What is your typical workout for Ultimate Frisbee?

Legs legs legs. Leg speed. Foot speed. Cutting drills. Running laps. Squats, lunges. Vertical. Repeat.

Is OVERWERK your favorite producer?

Top 5 for sure. In no particular order:
Wolfgang Gartner Daft Punk OVERWERK Deadmau5

What are you planning to do with your degree after you gradute? Are you just going to continue making youtube videos and keep the degree on the side just in case?

I don’t have any plans with my degree when I graduate, but I know it’s something I’ll be glad to have in my back pocket. So yeah, more videos. But now with a degree. So dope.

Do you still recommend the Nexus 5?

Nexus 5 is an absolute steal right now.

What was the weirdest fan encounter you’ve had?

Alright so I went to an ultimate tournament with my college team a couple of weeks ago in another state. We’re having a team dinner at some random diner we found, and I’m checking Twitter as we wait for our food.
I see a tweet that says something like “Oh, I didn’t know you were on this campus. Cool.” from a name I don’t recognize. I assume it’s someone who saw me while we were playing Ultimate. Neat. I reply that he should’ve said hi.
I get a reply minutes later – “didn’t want to disturb you, seems like you’re with a big group”
Wait what? Now? Right now? Did this person just see me?
Long story short, 5 minutes later I’m shaking hands with this dude in the diner because he saw us walking in. Not even a weird encounter, just a weird way for it to happen haha

Does your family understand the magnitude of your success/popularity? How do they feel about it and are they as passionate about tech as you?

Yep, and they’re awesome and supportive of every step.

What do you usually keep in your backpack?

My laptop, 1 5-subject notebook, a couple folders and my Jaybird Bluebuds.

What laptop do you use?

13″ Retina Macbook Pro

What’s the biggest reason you prefer android over iOS?

Google service integration; Customizable UI

Any reason why you seem to prefer mac over PC?

Mostly UI preference at this point. I switched to see what it was like (while building a Hackintosh for a video project) and have gotten used to OSX since then.

Do you have any plans if the YouTube career ends?

The day YouTube ends is the day I start uploading my videos to… whatever is the next best thing. Vimeo?

What was the most disappointing gadget / piece of tech you have ever bought?

Most disappointing piece of tech I’ve ever bought? Geez. I don’t remember any because I’ve blocked them all out of my mind haha.

Ever been addicted to a game?

I am absolutely addicted to NBA 2K15.

What are some of the future innovations that we could expect from the smartphone industry apart from the obvious slimmer and larger phones. And, do you think modular phones will take off?

A huge part of me hopes it’s battery technology. Phones can stop getting so thin, thanks :]
I’m super pumped for modular smartphones and everything Project Ara is doing. Modular anything makes me excited.

You seem so non-biased. So, which is it, iOS, Android, or Windows Phone?

If I can only pick one, it’s stock Android 5.0.

What’s your favorite disc to throw?

Ultrastar. Classic. Never quite got used to the Innova, but I’m working on it.

How much editing time does it take to produce the high-quality videos you put up?

The average 8-minute review video, from the time I press the record button to the time the video is uploaded could take anywhere from 6 – 20 hours of work.
I’ve never actually timed it, but the workflow has certainly changed a lot over the years! Shooting RAW changed a lot.

Do you have a favorite dinner place in New York?

Katz’s Delicatessen in NYC is the bomb.

What do you think of OnePlus as a company now? I would also like your thoughts on the One vs. The Nexus 6.

Love the OnePlus One as a phone. Hate OnePlus as a company, unfortunately. Almost makes me hesitant to recommend the phone, but it’s so damn good.

What do you do with all those phones you review after you stop using them?

I’ll either sell or give away phones/devices that I don’t want to hold onto anymore.

What kind of music do you prefer?

I’ll listen to pretty much anything good, but I probably listen to more “electronic” music than anything else.

How is this getting more attention than most celebrities?


What watches do you wear/own?

Only smartwatches at this point haha

Do you also have normal shirts and not just athletic T-shirts?

Yeah, but I play ultimate way more often than I just sit around. So only a few haha

What degree are you currently on your way to receiving? Why that degree?

BS. I’m interested in business! Concentrations in marketing and information systems for kicks.

How do you feel about things like the notification LED and alarms no longer working in silent mode or the useless month overview in the Calendar redesign? Do you think that Google is losing its touch with its user-base?

Notification LED isn’t a huge deal for me. The lack of a non-vibrate mode is a big more of a big deal to me.
I actually personally really dislike the new Calendar redesign the most of any of the new changes.

How do you feel when tv programs use bits of your video without your Permission?

I don’t really mind it, since they’re not rebroadcasting the whole thing and they usually at least show my name somewhere.
I get more ticked by spammers reuploading entire videos and trying to monetize them.

Who is your role model if you had to pick one ? What are your thoughts on Elon Musk?

Can I pick Elon as a role model? That guy must be busy as hell.

Are you trying to go for the longest AMA of all time?

Should I? How long would that have to be? Haha