Can’t decide which phone you like better? We try out the selfie-taking abilities of three major phones – HTC’s Butterfly 2, Apple’s iPhone 6 and the Oppo N1 Mini.
While setting up the #selfie test for these three smartphones, I varied as few factors as possible, by taking the pictures consecutively to get the same lighting, at the same arms length, while even (trying) to making the same face for each snap. I did not edit the pictures nor resize the photographs.
1. NATURAL LIGHT
These images were taken in front of a window with lots of light coming in, in the middle of the afternoon. I stood at a forty five degree angle to allow some definition on my face, and snapped away. To get natural light, simply stand in a sunny spot, and try to face the light as much as possible!
HTC Butterfly 2: You’ll notice that the widths for all the pictures are different; it makes it possible for you to see that the HTC has a narrower lens range.
You can see every single one of my zits and blemishes if you look carefully enough, especially on the HTC picture. That’s crazy high definition. The tradeoff for the image quality was that the light sensors seem to be the least sensitive out of the three, and the picture looks dark.
Apple iPhone 6: The Apple phone’s lens seems to have a different lens curvature because the subject appears to be larger, which makes my face appear so round! The picture is a lot wider too, which is great if you like taking #groupies (group selfies) and you need to fit five or six within the frame. The camera seems to also pick up yellow tones very well, as well as looking very highly defined.
Oppo N1 Mini: You can’t deny that the Oppo picture stands out. The colours are vibrant and it gave me a rosy hue, thanks to it’s automatic beauty mode. The Oppo N1 Mini’s 20 megapixel rotatable camera helps too – it’s flippable towards the front and the back, so you don’t ever have to deal with a front camera with fewer megapixels than the back camera, ever. The flippable camera also has another little quirk; the angle of camera can be tilted further downwards to accentuate your jawline, to create that ideal and believable “V”-shape face. On most phones, you’ll have to hold the device at a higher angle to replicate this effect.
These “backlight” shots are where it gets a little tricky since the lighting is far from ideal. I had to switch up some angles so I could “capture the light”, even with my back against the light source. However, do bear in mind that all these cameras are performing way better than the average front camera. My bought-from-Thailand iMobile phone will not even adjust to different light settings. So hold your judgement!
HTC Butterfly 2: The camera still does take a nice high quality picture, though it is still a little dark, and requires some tapping around to find a good focus spot. It’s nothing that a good filter can’t fix though! The camera also holds its ground against the ‘light leaks’, which sound worse than it actually is. Light leaks actually refer to when light is able to penetrate cracks and gaps in the body of the camera, producing a hazy and ethereal effect.
Apple iPhone 6: It look a little maneuvering to get the picture into decent focus and lighting. The Apple front camera works for backlit pictures, but only if you include a good balance of yourself and the background for the picture to look good. It also becomes very liberal with the light leak effect, which will look divine in a French boudoir, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Oppo N1 Mini: The pupil-enlarging beauty function seems to work in overdrive for some reason, as my exaggerated eyes look almost bug-eyed scary. But the rest of the picture is really just great. The colours are vivid and my face looks extra defined, with no light leaks unless you tap a different focus point.
3. LOW LIGHT
For the low light shots I stood in a dark room with zero backlighting, and I only had one small lamp a meter away from my front, from a high angle on a ceiling. The effect would be similar to the lighting if you were in a club, minus the colourful flashing strobe lights.
HTC Butterfly 2: Surprisingly, the colours seem to show up the best in the HTC picture, though my hair melted off into the dark abyss.
Apple iPhone 6: The Apple front camera fared well in the low light challenge. It had the best exposure, though the picture became grainy and that lowered the overall quality of the photo.
Oppo N1 Mini: I laughed when I first saw this picture on my computer screen. My face didn’t show up at all when I was taking it with the phone (in fact I didn’t even bother making a smiley face) but when blown up on a computer, you can tell that the Oppo N1 Mini camera still managed to take a very dark, very under exposed but highly defined image.
I have to say that the best #selfies really came from the Oppo N1 Mini. From the beginning, it already had an edge over its contenders, thanks to its reversible camera. It scored the highest for clarity, colour and definition. The automatic beauty mode helped as well, if you were looking to enhance your brow game while creating doll-like eyes and a narrowed chin. Taking a picture with an Oppo N1 Mini feels almost akin to taking pictures with those old-school neoprint sticker machine ‒ except without the stickers.
I can’t help but be a bit disappointed at the HTC front cam’s lackluster performance. Even though it wasn’t advertised as a selfie camera, it was one of the newest models and I urge HTC to up their front camera game to stay relevant. The back camera still works great for those Instagram-worthy food shots though!
The Apple phone really impressed me with its light sensitivity. I can’t tell for sure if Apple phones have an automatic function to up photo brightness, but I’ll still give it a thumbs up!
Have you tried any of these other phones? Do you think you have a phone that will beat the selfies here? Tell us in the comment section or tweet us at @herworldsg!
The HTC Butterfly 2, price unavailable, is available in all major electronic carrier stores. For more information about the HTC Butterfly 2, visit http://www.htc.com/sea/
The Apple iPhone 6, $988, is available in all major Apple electronic carriers. For more information about the Apple iPhone 6, visit apple.com.sg
The Oppo N1 mini, $549, is available in selected electronic carriers. For more information about the Oppo N1 Mini, visit http://www.oppomobile.com.sg/index.php