A few years ago, the word “selfie” was still one of those teenagers’ expressions that the others couldn’t understand. However, in 2013 it was declared the Oxford Dictionaries’ word for that year and selfies slowly turned into a profitable business.
It’s not even a narcissistic thing to do anymore since everyone begun to get used to it nowadays. Whenever there is no one around to take a photo for you, there is no need to go ask that total stranger at the bar – you can just turn the display around with one click and take the picture yourself.
And since #me now became the third most popular tag to use on Instagram, with over 184 million pictures using it, it is obviously a must for smartphones to adapt to this trend. This is why some of the most well-known mobile companies in the world already made their move in terms of selfie-suitable devices.
Before we take a look at our list of the best Selfie smartphones, you need to know a few important things. A perfect selfie phone should be thin, as it makes it very comfortable to hold in one hand, need not have high resolution camera (or high megapixel count), but it’d be great if it can have a wide angle lens and face detection. Another thing to look for is the speed at which the camera opens, which make a huge difference for those who take a lot of selfies. And finally, look for selfie specific modes in the camera app.
The iPhone 5S is not that new, as it was launched in September 2013, but that doesn’t stop it to be amongst the best Selfie phones. This one has a primary 8 MP camera with dual-tone flash, but the frontal one is not very high in terms of resolution – only 1.2 MP. However, we should not jump to conclusions too quickly as the latter is one of the few secondary cameras to come with face detection and allowing users to use FaceTime via Wi-Fi.
Being very good in terms of optics technology and sensors, this is one of the few smartphone camera that can very easily replace your usual camera. It is very good for taking other kinds of photos, too, but it’s especially great for selfies, thanks to the wide variety of available apps. Frontback, Samba and Pic Collage are just a few examples of iOS apps you could use.
In case you’re not convinced yet, you’ll sure be happy to learn that the iPhone 5S’s camera now supports slo-mo videos. Some of its other interesting features are the TouchID sensor that can read your fingerprint and the user-friendly camera interface filled with options to choose from.
Make no mistake about this. The Oppo N1 is possibly the first phone built for selfies. You get a front facing camera that is as good as a superb main camera, that’s because you can swivel around the rear camera to easily take a selfie!
The 13MP camera comes with dual-LED flash and is capable of taking amazing pictures. The O-touch mechanism on the back of the phone also means you can take pictures by tapping the phone on the back – so convenient for taking selfies, isn’t it? Also, the phone comes with a small Bluetooth accessory that serves as a remote of sorts and lets you take pictures from a distance without touching the phone.
If you are not a fan of big phones, you can check out the Oppo N1 mini, which brings in all the good features of N1, but with a smaller screen (and lower cost).
Nokia Lumia 1020
The Nokia Lumia 1020 definitely has the most impressive camera of all smartphones – coming with 41 MP, 6 different lenses, digital zoom, as well as access to the Pro Camera app. The latter lets you manually control the camera to take amazing pictures. You can also switch to the Smart mode in order to add extra effects to your captures.
However, the frontal camera is also just a 1.2 MP one, but that doesn’t bring its efficacy down. You can still take amazing full HD videos and use Vyclone to share shots you took with your friends. The same app also lets your friends make edits and suggestions for more creative photos. Also, check out this guide from Nokia on how to take the perfect selfie.
The phone was released in July 2013, and it didn’t take long to become one of the most appreciated smartphones in the world. The only cons we could identify were the slow shot-to-shot time, the lower amount of available apps on this OS and the fact that it is, of course, a pretty expensive device.
Samsung Galaxy S5
Released in February 2013, the Samsung Galaxy S5 is another renown smartphone that comes with a great camera. Its rear one is a 13 MP camera, while the front-facing one is a bit better than the last two we previously mentioned. It is a 2 MP camera that can take more luminous pictures with richer colors.
Apart from that, the frontal camera can also take 1080p videos and is specially designed for dual video calls. For photos, as well as videos, you have the HDR (Rich Tone) that turns your captures into more vivid and brighter ones whenever a subject is blurry or shaded.
If you’re planning to capture action, there is no need to worry because the Galaxy S5 comes with Fast Auto Focus. Also, if you’d like the focus to be switched from the entire scenery to only one part, Selective Focus can help you blur the background while you accentuate the main subject.
You may also be aware that this device is water resistant so you can use it without a problem to shoot your latest water park adventures. If you’re worried about your selfies being discovered by others, private mode browsing lets you look at all other pictures except for these ones as they will be locked. The only complaint we could come up with is the price – this is indeed another expensive model.
Gionee Elife E7 mini
The Gionee Elife E7 mini borrows the rotating camera concept from the Oppo N1. It comes with a single 13 MegaPixel camera which can swivel around if you want to take selfies. As we have seen on the Gionee Elife E7, the rear shooter is quite a beast when taking photos in brightly lit conditions, so having the ability to use it to take selfies should please a lot of people.
The Gionee Elife E7 runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean with the company’s custom Amigo 2.0 UI layer on top, much like its predecessor. It features a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920) OGS (One-Glass-Solution) IPS display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. Sadly, it’s not available in US and few European countries as yet.
HTC One M8 and One Mini 2
The HTC One M8 has a 5 megapixels camera in the front and a 4 megapixels one placed on the back, while its main focus is on the sensor technology it uses rather than the resolution. What makes it an amazing phone for taking selfies is the quality of the image – it gives you amazing, colorful images even when there is not much light in the room. It allows you to remove blurriness from a picture you’ve already taken. With uFocus, it’s easy to bring objects into focus and take panoramic photos. In addition to that, the M8 even has a special button for “Selfie”, the same as it has one for “Dual Capture” and “Pan 360”.
Another reason why I would consider the HTC One is the fact that it’s ergonomic and has a very attractive look. At the same time, the large screen makes it easier to catch more of the scenery at once. On the negative side, though, it is known to only take good selfies, but not as good other types of pictures.
Also consider it’s little brother, the HTC One mini 2, which also comes with the 5MP shooter on the front, touted as the best selfie camera by the Taiwanese giant. The device also includes “auto Touch Up software” for “unforgettable selfies”.
Sony Xperia Z2
Thanks to the Bionz image-processing software from Xperia Z2, taking selfies became quite an easy thing to do. You can remove blurriness, take photos and videos in low light situations and even shoot action on the beach since this is a waterproof device.
It comes with a 20 MP camera in the back while the front-facing one is an impressive 2.2 MP camera that can also shoot 4K video. Both camera benefit from high quality sensor technology, while the rear one is also equipped with geo-tagging, HDR, panorama and face detection.
Released in April 2014 to follow the Xperia Z1, this Android phone quickly became popular for having the best Sony camera of all similar smartphones. On the negative side, although it has digital stabilization, there is no optical stabilization for the images. Some customers also mentioned that the interface takes a long time to load.
Huawei Ascend P7
You probably know the Huawei Ascend P6, but its improved version is about to be released soon. Sources say the most possible launch date will be around July 2014, and this is announced to probably take the place of most selfie phones we talked about.
It will come with a 13 MP rear camera which is not any big surprise yet, but the impressive part of it is the front-facing one that will be an 8 MP camera. While most other smartphones only have a 2.2 MP frontal camera at best, this one is going to make selfies even more exciting.
Specialists also mentioned that both cameras will come with geo-tagging, touch focus and autofocus, while many applications will be available for you to use. With the help of these ones together with the amazing capacity of the 8 MP camera, it won’t be too difficult to take great shots and personalize them with some more effects.
In addition to its cameras, the Huawei Ascend P7 will also have 16 GB of internal memory space, and there will also be a slot for the microSD card. It will run on Android although the version is still unspecified, and the 2500 mAh battery will allow users to take advantage of this smartphone for a long time without having to recharge it.