The Best Front-Facing Camera for the Best Selfie
They say that an artist is only as good as the tools he uses, so it stands to reason that if you consider yourself a selfie artist, you’d want to wield the best possible phone.
Currently, the iPhone, Google’s Pixel and the Samsung Galaxy are all dominating the smartphone market. They all have their own unique features but we’re not here to talk about those. We’re here to determine which has the highest-quality front-facing camera and for that, we need some specs.
At a quick glance, you might recognize the buzzword megapixel and focus your attention on the phone that boasts more. That would be a tie between the Samsung Galaxy and the Pixel, both with 8 MPs, but phones aren’t like digital cameras of yesteryear, and there are components that matter more than megapixels when it comes to how well your selfies are going to come out.
A lens controls the amount of light that passes through the sensor, making your pictures bright and clear. Aperture is the size of the lens opening and the bigger it is, the more light that will come in. On digital cameras, you can control the aperture to compensate for how light or dark your environment is, but this setting is not manually controlled on a smartphone. The f-number defines how large the aperture opening is. The larger the number, the smaller the opening. We know that’s backward, but it’s actually a measurement of the area being covered, so don’t concentrate on that. It’s easier to remember that it’s backward or just look at a handy chart like this one:
The smaller the aperture (f-number), the shallower the area of focus is. This means that a picture will have a fuzzier background and a sharper foreground which is usually what people want in a good selfie.
So if you look at the aperture for the smartphones in question, you’ll see three different numbers. The iPhone 7 Plus has an aperture of 2.2, the Samsung Galaxy S8 has 1.7, and the Pixel has 2.4.
We need to start drawing some conclusions, so what do these numbers say about the quality of the front-facing cameras?
Definitively, it would seem that the Galaxy S8 will take the best selfies in lower light, followed by the iPhone 7 Plus and then the Pixel. This is an important factor to keep in mind, but all the models have front flashes and other editing features to help combat low light. We took three low-light selfies to test this theory and it seems to hold up. The Galaxy S8 not only took a wider selfie, but it was brighter and clearer than the others.
It still comes down to preference and how many extra features you want in your front-facing camera. But we wanted to shed some light on the aperture feature and prove why looking at these smaller features can make the difference in your camera smartphone search.