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IFA trend: the selfie phone

Forget recording video in ultra-high resolution or seamless integration with smart home appliances, one of the standout trends of this year's IFA has been smartphone-makers' focus on helping consumers capture the perfect selfie.

gadgets Updated: Sep 06, 2014 11:56 IST

Forget recording video in ultra-high resolution or seamless integration with smart home appliances, one of the standout trends of this year's IFA has been smartphone-makers' focus on helping consumers capture the perfect selfie.

The smartphone self-portrait is becoming almost as ubiquitous as the devices themselves, and 2014 could well be remembered as the year that manufacturers started paying as much attention to their phone's front-facing camera capabilities as they traditionally do to the one on the rear.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Photo: AFP

Even the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 flagship phablet, one of the most important products to launch at this year's event as it sets the precedent for all phablets that will follow in 2015, was revealed to have special selfie features.

The device's front-facing camera boasts 3.7-megapixels and a very fast aperture to mitigate shakes that come from holding the handset at arms' length. But it also has an ultra-wide-angle setting for snapping group shots or for making sure as much of the landmark behind is also in the frame.

Microsoft has gone one better with its latest handset, the Lumia 730. Marketing the device as the ultimate phone for capturing professional selfies, it has a 5-megapixel front-facing camera with an equally wide angle of view but it takes things to another level with a dedicated selfie app.

Lumia 730. Photo: AFP

It will add a host of special effects to images captured with either the front or rear camera and also has a suite of editing tools powerful enough to whiten individual teeth or widen half-closed eyes. There's even an audible sensor for when you want to use the rear-facing camera. The phone can track your face and will beep faster and faster as you get closer to the center of the frame and then will snap the shot.

HTC also has a reputation for trying to do something different and often better with its camera functions, and at the IFA it unveiled the Desire 820 which, like the Lumia, is really a mid-range handset albeit one with a premium front-facing camera -- a massive 8 megapixel shooter. It also has a very roomy 5.5-inch screen to make snapping yourself and your friends simple.

HTC Desire 820. Photo: AFP