We live in a world where selfie is in the dictionary and as such no self-respecting smartphone manufacturer can afford to ignore people’s desire to take pictures of themselves and it’s with that in mind that we’ve curated this list of the best smartphone cameras for selfies.
This list includes a range of handsets from numerous manufacturers, which just serves to highlight how important these cameras are to smartphone makers, with everything from the brand new iPhone 7, to the OIS-packing HTC 10 and the massive megapixel count of the Sony Xperia X making the list – plus a number of other top selfie snappers for good measure.
If this was simply a list of the best overall smartphones the Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge would be at or near first place.
With the focus being on front-facing cameras it merely slinks into 8th, but is a deserving entry nonetheless, with a 5MP camera which punches above its weight, taking higher quality snaps than your average 5MP camera.
The rear camera meanwhile is one of the best around, with a 12MP lens and optical image stabilisation, but it’s in power, design, screen and battery life that the S7 Edge really impresses.
The phone can keep going for two days at a push, well beyond the lifespan of most handsets, and that’s with a massive 5.5-inch 2K display, that curves at both edges.
Along with the phone’s water resistant metal and glass shell that gives it a really eye-catching look, and with an octa-core processor there’s loads of power too.
The Honor 8, while not quite a budget handset, is impressively cheap for all the high-end features that it offers.
Starting, of course, with the selfie camera, which here is a generous 8MP one – a higher spec than some phones that cost £200 more.
This makes it capable of taking detailed shots which can withstand being stretched across a larger screen than the 5.2-inch expanse of your phone.
The rear camera is decent too. It’s a dual-lens 12MP offering, which can either shoot in colour or monochrome.
Rounding out the specs there’s an octa-core processor, 4GB of RAM, a fingerprint scanner and a premium metal and glass build, all for well under a flagship price.
The Huawei P9 has an 8MP selfie camera, which is a higher spec than many front-facing smartphone cameras and it’s more than capable of taking crisp shots.
But of course you’re getting far more than just a selfie camera here, in fact the Huawei P9 has three cameras – just like the Honor 8 – with two lenses on the back.
These are rated at 12MP and one of them is a monochrome lens, which can either be used on its own for true black and white shots, or combined with the other lens for brighter shots with improved contrast.
And the Huawei P9 is a real flagship, with a metal shell, a fingerprint scanner, a 1080p screen and an octa-core processor.
The LG G5 is an innovative and unusual flagship phone and while its selfie camera isn’t one of its most unusual aspects it is an accomplished one, with an 8MP sensor allowing for more detailed shots than many rivals, which often stick with 5MP cameras.
That alone would just about be enough to secure it a place on this list, but it’s a great phone in other ways too with an innovative modular system that allows you to add battery packs, camera grips, projectors and more to the handset.
Plus, as a flagship the LG G5 has no shortage of power, packing a Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM. It also has a super sharp 5.3-inch QHD screen, a metal shell and a powerful 16MP rear camera, plus an 8MP wide-angle one, so you can pick the perfect snapper for every shot.
The HTC 10 has the honour of being the first smartphone with optical image stabilisation in its front-facing camera, helping you take sharp shots even in low light.
But that’s not the only impressive thing about it, as the 5MP camera also has an f/1.8 aperture, which is fairly large and allows it to take in more light than many rivals, further helping its low light performance.
The HTC 10 is an impressive handset in other ways too, with a premium metal build, flagship specs, a 5.2-inch QHD screen and high-quality audio, which sounds great both through the built-in speakers and headphones.
The rear 12MP camera is pretty decent as well, with large Ultrapixels and fast shooting times. All in all, the HTC 10 is a top tier handset, but it’s especially impressive for selfie fans.
The iPhone 7 is sure to be remembered as one of the best phones of 2016, and while its selfie snapper isn’t the highlight of the handset it is a big improvement on the front-facing camera from the iPhone 6S – making it the best selfie camera yet to appear on an iPhone.
The lens is 7MP, up from just 5MP on the previous handset, and it’s capable of taking sharp, detailed images.
The camera is even fairly capable in low-light scenarios, thanks to a Retina flash (which is basically a fancy way of saying the screen lights up incredibly bright, in place of an LED flash).
The rest of the iPhone 7 feature-set is widely known but worth highlighting, with a supercharged quad-core processor at its heart, a slim metal body that’s water and dust resistant, a fingerprint scanner, a 12MP main camera and up to 256GB of storage, making for a seriously compelling handset.
The iPhone 7 Plus has the same impressive front-facing camera as the iPhone 7 – namely a 7MP snapper, capable of 1080p video recording and with a Retina flash for strong low-light performance.
So why does it beat the iPhone 7 in our list? Simply because as a complete package the iPhone 7 Plus is a better handset.
That starts with its larger and sharper 5.5-inch 1080 x 1920 screen, extends to its bigger (and longer-lasting) battery and ends at its impressive dual-lens rear camera, which allows the phone to take photos with 2x optical zoom.
In every other way this is the iPhone 7’s equal, complete with the same slim metal build, water-resistant properties and heaps of power.
Sony’s new Xperia X handset isn’t quite the Xperia Z6 replacement we’d hoped for, but with a price that undercuts flagships it doesn’t need to be and with a 13MP front-facing camera its selfie shooter is as accomplished as many handsets rear cameras. In fact, it's arguably the best selfie camera available.
Sony almost always pays attention to the snappers on its phones, so it’s no surprise that the main rear camera impresses too, with a 23MP sensor and phase detection autofocus, so you can focus and snap quickly.
Elsewhere there’s a middling hexa-core Snapdragon 650 processor backed up by a meaty 3GB of RAM, a 5.0-inch 1080p screen, a premium metal back and Hi-Res audio for music fans, making for a highly impressive mid-ranger with top-end selfie skills.
So there you have it. These are the eight best smartphones for selfies you can buy right now and they’re all strong handsets in other ways too.
From the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, which is a brilliant flagship but only just has the selfie skills to squeeze onto the list, through to the Honor 8, Huawei P9, LG G5, HTC 10, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, with the Sony Xperia X ranking as the very best smartphone for selfies. Any of these phones will serve you well, but the Xperia X is the one to opt for if selfies are your top priority, while the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge are our top recommendations for all-round performance and the Honor 8 is well worth considering if you’re on a slightly tighter budget.
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