Front camera and selfie: photographic comparison between the best high-end smartphones

Which smartphone has the best camera to take selfies? At Xataka the time has come to shed some light on this question and we start with the photographic confrontation between the best smartphones on the market within the high range.

Our comparison of secondary cameras and selfies reviews both the technical characteristics and technologies of the secondary cameras and the real performance they achieve in different situations in which someone usually uses the secondary camera to take a photo. Who will be the winner of our confrontation?

Finally substantial advances in the secondary chambers

You may buy a new smartphone reviewing the quality of its screen, processor, amount of RAM or the main camera, but with the increasing use of secondary cameras or selfies, manufacturers have been improving and providing better sensors and technologies to that element responsible for that, the memory we take of an encounter or trip, is better or worse.

Anywhere where a few years ago they asked you please to take a photo, today they are offended because you ask them to take it when they are in full "selfie"

Within the high-end reference range we find general megapixel rise, inclusion of LED-type flash and apertures that improve results even when light is scarce. On the most relevant level, it should be mentioned that it is as angular as possible and that its dynamic range allows photos in any situation.

Sony Xperia X Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge LG G5 Huawei P9 iPhone 6S Plus Lumia 950 XL HTC 10 Sensor resolution 13 MP 5 MP 8 MP 8 MP 5 MP 5 MP 5 MP Sensor size 1/3” -- -- -- -- -- -- Focal Dist 22 mm -- -- -- -- -- -- Opening f / 2.0 f / 1.7 f / 2.0 f / 2.4 f / 2.2 f / 2.4 Flash Not Virtual Virtual Virtual Virtual Not Virtual Stabilization Yes Not Not Not Not Not Yes Video recording 1080p -- -- -- 720p 1080p 1080p

Other elements to take into account when evaluating a secondary camera are the options of controls, in some cases identical to those of the main camera, the quality of the video in case we want to make video calls, and the shooting modes. That there is a varied timer is the minimum, but we can already take a selfie with the voice or a simple gesture of closing the hand.

Sony Xperia X Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge LG G5 Huawei P9 iPhone 6S Plus Lumia 950 XL HTC 10 Choose resolution Yes Yes No, just format Yes Not Not Yes HDR Yes Yes Yes Not Yes Not Yes Timer (sec) 0.5, 2 and 10 2.5 and 10 3 and 10 2.5 and 10 3 and 10 2, 5 and 10 2, 5 and 10 Manual controls Yes Not Not ISO and WB Not Yes Not Filters Only Beauty Yes Yes Yes Yes Not Only Beauty Activation Smile Voice / Gestures / Sensor Voice, Smile / Gestures Smile Not Not Not

Photographic comparison selfie cameras

As with main cameras, theory, specs, and theory is one thing. and the reality is sometimes quite different. That is why we have tested at street level the quality of each of the front or selfie cameras of the best smartphones of the year today so that you can judge for yourself which camera offers the result that you like the most, both for quality and Angular, because everyone may prefer something specific depending on the use or need of the secondary camera of their smartphone.

The first comparison is direct: indoor scene, controlled and sufficient light. Let's see the results in automatic mode in all cases:

Here we already appreciate a certain equality at maximum resolution, with the HTC deviating slightly from the correct white balance. Samsung and LG Sony allow us a more pronounced angle than the others.

But let's go to a 100% cut to see how close we can get to this selfie without it starting to be a disaster:

With such closeness, noise and processing is already more evident. Samsung is the one that seems to control noise the best, while Sony is the one that allows us the most detail due to the resolution of its sensor, which hardly gets any noise but exceeds processing. However, the more balanced shot seems to be on the LG G5's side.

It is time to take a selfie outdoors, and we face the secondary cameras of our smartphones to a shot with intense light and to another where a partial backlight enters the scene in which we apply the HDR mode in the terminals that gave us that option.

In the following samples, on the left is the image with automatic shooting and on the right the one we made with some backlight and the HDR mode of whoever allowed it.

And what happens when the light begins to be scarce and we want to take a selfie? Stabilization and openness then play a crucial role, and it is not a section that the main brands take great care for now, with a few exceptions that have been very clear in this test.

For this comparison, we made several photographs in an area with indirect light that made some terminals pass many difficulties such as the Lumia 950, the Huawei P9, the iPhone 6s Plus or even the Galaxy S7. If you have not seen the differences in performance of those low light sensors above, watch out for the 100% cut because it is quite clarifying.

Those who stood out best are precisely those who have been concerned with equipping their secondary cameras with good sensors and apertures. There is an outstanding camera, that of HTC, with Sony already far behind. But in any case, they shine between quite poor results.

We take the same image with the terminals that allow flash activation, which in all cases consists of taking advantage of a pulse of light from the backlight on the screen.

The most natural tone is achieved by both the iPhone 6S Plus and the HTC 10, which shows that when light is scarce, its selfie camera is surely the most outstanding. On the contrary, with enough light, LG, Samsung and Sony stand out somewhat from the others.

What value do you give to your smartphone's selfie camera? Is it worth it to pay as much attention in the high-end range as the main one?

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