The past few months have been good times for people who love pictures of themselves. First off, there was the iPhone 7 Plus which introduced a “portrait” mode in which the background blurred artistically when you took a picture. And now comes the Vivo V5 Plus which boasts a humdinger 20.0-megapixel camera in front, accompanied by another 8.0-megapixel one, to help it add a touch of “bokeh” to your selfies. Both phones, in essence, claimed to put you in sharp focus and blur everything else, courtesy their dual cameras.

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The question is: which does it better?

Well, we decided to compare the portrait mode of the iPhone 7 Plus with that of Selfie Bokeh mode of the Vivo V5 Plus. We took two snaps of our Editorial Mentor at his favorite Starbucks using the iPhone 7 Plus and then asked him to do the honors himself with the Vivo V5 Plus. Of course, it was impossible for us to get exactly similar shots from the two devices but you can see the results for yourselves.

The first thing we would like to point out is the importance of control – you actually have far more control over which area you want to blur out in the Vivo V5 Plus, whereas in the iPhone, the camera pretty much controls everything. Yes, we did like the fact that in the case of the iPhone, we kept being told how far to step back to get a good shot, but on the flip side, there were no real restrictions when we went for a bokeh selfie on the Vivo V5 Plus.

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Rich controls available on Vivo V5 Plus

The second thing is the whole process of taking the picture. With the iPhone, you are going to need a second person to take your picture, else you are going to have to struggle with getting the perfect portrait snap, while in the case of the Vivo V5 Plus, pretty much everything is in your control. You also get the option to add filters while taking a picture on the V5 Plus while the moment you switch to Portrait mode on the iPhone, the only thing you can change is a timer. In terms of sheer flexibility.

And then there is the most important thing of all – the results. In our own opinion, while the iPhone’s images seemed more realistic, there can be no denying that those of the Vivo V5 Plus scored in terms of sheer detail (that 20-megapixel sensor comes into play, we think) and also looking way more “pleasant.” The bokeh (or blurring the background) effect seems about the same on both devices, although we preferred the one on the V5 Plus, which seemed more realistic (the iPhone’s sometimes seemed a little software-driven and foggy). Yes, there will be purists who might complain about the V5 Plus’ images looking slightly more pink but then we don’t really think that a little pink complexion harmed anyone. Another crucial element in the V5 Plus’ selfie bokeh as compared to the portrait mode on the iPhone 7 Plus is the fact that in the V5 Plus’ shots, you can actually “move” the focus around after the shot is taken, something that is not possible with the snaps taken on the iPhone 7 Plus. Both Apple and Vivo give you a number of editing options once you have taken the snap, but we think that Vivo scores in terms of ease of use here.

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Vivo V5 Plus Sample 1
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iPhone 7 Plus Sample 1
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Vivo V5 Plus Sample 2
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iPhone 7 Plus Sample 2

So which one is better? Well, to be honest, we really think that it depends on the level of control you want over the image. The Vivo V5 Plus’ images might seem slightly more saturated but on the flip side also give you more detail and there are enough tools to tweak the image and even move the bokeh effect around if you wish. The iPhone 7 Plus’ portrait mode is like so many things in the iPhone, just brilliant at keeping things simple – you point the camera at the subject, follow the instructions about moving close or further away, hit the shutter and get the result, which in most cases is very good but cannot be changed much in terms of changing focus and moving bokeh.

But if you want much more from pictures of yourself and what’s more, want to do so yourself, we would recommend the Vivo V5 Plus. Ye Selfie Sultan indeed.

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