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The best smartphones for selfies

By Simon Thomas on 14th October 2014

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UPDATED: We live in a world where selfie is in the dictionary and as such no self-respecting smartphone manufacturer can afford to ignore people’s desire to take pictures of themselves. The biggest camera improvements still tend to be reserved for the main snapper on the back but there are an increasing number of phones with good front facing cameras, which make them ideal for selfie enthusiasts. These are the five best.

Oppo N1

Oppo N1
The Oppo N1 is perhaps the best phone there is for taking selfies. That’s not because of the quality of its front-facing camera, in fact it doesn’t even have a separate front-facing camera, what it does have though is a main camera which can swivel round to face the front.

It’s a clever idea and it’s not wasted as the Oppo N1 has a pretty decent snapper. It has a 13 megapixel sensor along with a dual-LED flash, which emits a softer light when positioned in the front-facing selfie mode.

It also includes a selection of scene modes such as ‘Portrait’ and ‘Night’ and there’s even a ‘Beautify’ mode which applies virtual makeup to facial features. All in all we wouldn’t say it’s one of the best cameras around but it’s certainly one of the best for selfies.

HTC Desire Eye

HTC Desire Eye - Best smartphone for selfies

HTC has gone and pushed the selfie boat out with the Desire Eye. This is a phone which not only has a 13 megapixel rear camera but also a 13 megapixel front-facing camera. So it should be as good for selfies as the Oppo N1.

That front-facing snapper has a dual-LED flash, an HDR mode and an autofocus, so it’s as well specced all round as the main camera.

Of course HTC has made the most of its powerful selfie camera by packing in some powerful selfie tools as well, such as split selfies, which let you take a photo of both you and the person you’re looking at by using both cameras at once.

All that and it’s a high-end phone to boot, but its plastic build and mid-range branding means it may well go on sale at a less than top tier price.

Nokia Lumia 735

Nokia Lumia 735

The Nokia Lumia 735 was actually billed as a selfie phone, so you know it’s going to be good. That said this is a mid-range option so it’s still not quite a match for some of the high-end selfie shooters, but if you’re on a budget it’s a strong choice.

With a 5 megapixel front-facing snapper it’s well equipped to take selfies. Its wide angle lens makes it great for group selfies too and the Lumia Selfie app adds various filters and editing tools, to make your shots look as good, or as ridiculous as you want.

There’s also a Lumia 730 which is every bit as good for selfies but a worse phone overall as it doesn’t support 4G.

Sony Xperia C3

Sony Xperia C3 Camera
Sony has so much confidence in the Xperia C3’s selfie-taking abilities that it’s the main thing it’s selling it on. The handset comes with a 5 megapixel front facing camera, complete with an LED flash. Not many smartphones have that many megapixels in their front cameras and even fewer have a flash, so that’s a good start.

Like the Oppo N1, the Xperia C3’s front-facing flash is designed to omit a soft, flattering light. The camera also has a wide-angle lens so you can fit more people into a shot and with the smile detection feature you don’t need to press a button to take a picture, just smile.

However if you want to use a button it has a hardware shutter button so there’s no need to jab at the screen to snap a photo.

 There’s also a selection of camera apps, some of which are designed with selfies in mind. For example there’s an ‘AR Effect’ mode, which can be used to add hats and other funny features to selfies and, perhaps more usefully, there’s a ‘Portrait retouch’ feature, which allows you to add makeup effects.

Huawei Ascend P7

Huawei Ascend P7

The Huawei Ascend P6 was arguably the first smartphone to embrace the selfie as it was the first to include a 5 megapixel front-facing camera and the company has gone one better with the Ascend P7, or should that be three better, as it has an 8 megapixel front-facing snapper.

 Before the HTC Desire Eye was announced this was the highest megapixel front-facing camera ever to grace a smartphone and it’s still the second highest. It’s also capable of some detailed, high quality photos, so you’d better cover up those spots and blemishes because they’ll be clear as day in anything this thing snaps.

 There’s no flash sadly, but it does have a ‘Face Beauty Mode’ which automatically removes wrinkles and imperfections.

HTC One M8

HTC One M8

HTC also recognises the importance of being able to take great selfies and so it’s equipped its mighty flagship, the HTC One M8, with a highly capable front-facing camera. At 5 megapixels it doesn’t give the Ascend P7 anything to worry about, but that’s still a higher count than most front-facing phone cameras have and, oddly, a higher megapixel count than even its main camera has.

It hasn’t stopped with mere megapixels though. Like the Sony Xperia C3 it has a wide-angle lens so you can easily fit multiple people in a shot and it has a countdown timer so you can get your pose right before the photo is taken.

Once you’ve snapped a photo there are a bunch of filters you can play with to change your skin tone or smooth imperfections.

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