Leaf area index (LAI) is a key biophysical parameter used to determine foliage cover and crop growth in environmental studies in order to assess crop yield. LAI estimates can be classified as direct or indirect methods. Direct methods are destructive, time consuming, and difficult to apply over large fields. Indirect methods are non-destructive and cost-effective due to its portability, accuracy and repeatability. In this study, we compare indirect LAI estimates acquired from two classical instruments such as LAI-2000 and digital cameras for hemispherical photography, with LAI estimates acquired with a smart app (PocketLAI) installed on a mobile smartphone. In this work it is shown that LAI estimates obtained with the classical instruments and with a smartphone are well correlated. Consequently, results presented in this work allow considering PocketLAI as a powerful alternative to the classical instruments for LAI monitoring during field campaigns. © 2015 IEEE.