What makes a phone a selfie phone? The selfie-phone wars are raging, and quite vigorously so. But essentially, that has meant a trivial more than just a big Megapixel count for the front camera. Now that the selfie phones are raking in huge profits, manufacturers are getting serious about adding features that could help build up on your selfie experience.
And some of the ambitious selfie phones are indeed pushing the envelope with their front snappers. Let’s talk about selfie innovations that have worked rather well and also about those that are selfie phone staples at this point in time, but aren’t likely to make a huge difference to your selfie experience.
Innovative Selfie Features
AF, a feature which is often taken for granted when it comes to rear cameras is surprisingly missing on most selfie-first phones. The feature makes a world of difference to your selfie experience as was demonstrated by phones like Asus Zenfone Selfie and more recently by the Samsung Galaxy S8/ S8+.
Bokeh effect or selective focus
If not AF, selective AF in phones like Vibe S3 and Vivo V5 Plus is a great bargain. Both of these phones use dual cameras on the front and allow you to focus on selfie subjects even after shooting the image. You can use this to blur the backdrop and to make the objects in the foreground pop.
If you are a Selfie-enthusiast, you might often find yourself in a situation where you feel a need to fit more in each selfie frame. Oppo is addressing this urge with its dual camera setup on Oppo F3 Plus. Both the 16MP and 8MP front cameras on F3 Plus have fixed focus lens but together they can be used to shoot 8MP wide angle selfies or Groupfies. Other manufacturers are relying on a software mode where you can click panoramic selfies for wider frames (doesn’t work as well as the hardware implementation).
OIS for the front camera was first used on the HTC 10 which helps it click decent selfies even in low light. A wide aperture lens paired with OIS could indeed resolve perennial low-light selfie problem and we are steadily getting there. Samsung Galaxy S8 teardown reveals that the front camera has been designed to accommodate OIS system, but is still missing it. Which is to say, Samsung is very likely to add OIS to the front camera in its future flagships.
I am sure selfie aficionados have polarized opinion on this, but we are sure that a significant proportion value it as a must have. While an aggressive beautify mode can make your face all plastic, moderate and restrained beatification can indeed help you hide a few minor scars and blemishes rather subtly.
Other selfie staples
Of course, there are a few more staple selfie features that are often associated with selfie phones. For instance:
Be it a soft fill flash, screen flash, or an aggressive dual tone one – flashes are something you won’t actually use very often (or at all). Best selfies are shot in proper lighting and that front flash can only help so much.
HDR photography is a pleasure for the rear camera but doesn’t make much of a difference for the front shooter. Nevertheless, HDR selfies are here to stay and perhaps manufacturers will perfect them in the near future.
It’s often not easy to reach the shutter key when you are holding out your hand trying to compose that perfect selfie shot. That’s where gestures come in. You could say cheese to trigger shutter timer of simply smile. This is again a common and handy feature, but not everyone’s cup of tea.