- Selfie smartphones are all over the place. They are on your TV, billboards, YouTube ads, website ads, newspapers and so on.
- Some phones may have good enough front camera, but aren't marketed as selfie phones.
- The front camera is the only aspect that matters to you as a smartphone user?
Phone companies are using front cameras as a great push to sell their smartphones. Though a great front shooter doesn’t harm, you shouldn’t be compromising on the performance, longevity and other aspects of a smartphone when you are shelling out over Rs 20,000. Here’s a low down on the latest selife champs.
Selfie smartphones are all over the place. They are on your TV, billboards, YouTube ads, website ads, newspaper front pages and almost every place where a company can plant its ad. But do they make for great smartphones?
We tried the latest Oppo F3 and its bigger sibling the Oppo F3 Plus. Both come with a dual selfie camera similar to what you will find on the rear of iPhone 7 Plus. That is, two sensors fitted with two different lenses, one usual and one wide angle, so that you may switch to accommodate more people. The cameras are great (16MP+8MP), despite the distortion of the wide-angle counterpart as if you’re peeping in a concave mirror.
But they aren’t anything you will be willing to sacrifice your phone’s experience for. We may not compare Oppo F3 with the iPhone SE, though at the same price, it exceeds way beyond in every aspect, except probably the front camera and expandable storage. Or the OnePlus 3T, which can blow the pants off the Oppo F3 Plus any day.
Because from the very build to the interface and even the rear camera, there are phones half the price that can beat it effortlessly. The Redmi Note 4 and the Moto G5 Plus for example run on a much faster Snapdragon 625 processor and have real metal body chassis. The G5 Plus in particular has an amazing rear camera and stock Android which is cleaner, faster and well, look more Android than the Color OS 3.0.
The Vivo V5s launched last month has a similar story. Though it doesn’t have a dual front camera, but flaunts a 20-megapixel Sony sensor at front with LED flash. But like the Oppo phones, it does have a dated interface that looks like a close mock-up of the Apple’s iOS, a lower-end MT6750 chip and a rear camera that has a very choppy auto focus.
The Gionee A1 is a little less of a bummer though. At around Rs 17,000, it offers Full HD AMOLED display, a slightly better chipset and a 1.12 micro meter 13MP rear camera that is almost as good as the 16MP shooter at front. It is built out of solid metal, unlike the other two that use plastic inserts and give a very filmsy feel.
Battery backup on the Gionee A1 is also nice. That can be said as it would last a day on intensive usage. With Android 7.0 OS, expandable 64 GB storage and chunky built, it seems to be the best selfie phone in the category.
Now there are other smartphones that may have a good enough front camera which can be compared with “selfie” phones, as mentioned above. But they aren’t marketed as such and you may never know how good they are unless you explore the internet before making a buying decision. You should.
But coming back to the first question, do the selfie smartphones make for great phones? Probably for people who think they want their phone to have the best front camera ever put on a phone. Because that is the only comparable aspect of most “selfie” phones; talk design, display or under the hood hardware and kaboom-the bubble bursts. A simple way to measure the utility of a selfie phone is to find out the last time you fired your phone’s front camera? And were you disappointed?
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:41 PM IST