(Pocket-lint) - Once the word 'selfie' made it into the dictionary it was clearly a popular way of snapping photos. Now social media is littered with selfies. Seeing the poor quality of the vast majority of selfies, thanks to weak front-facing cameras, manufacturers have started to upgrade them.
If nothing else, better front-facing cameras do make for more efficient facial recognition for unlocking with Android's security feature.
Sony announced its Xperia X3 front-facing selfie camera with an LED flash recently, but it's not the first to put the focus on selfies.
Sony Xperia C3
The Sony Xperia C3 is all about selfies, even when out in a poorly lit situation. Those folk that take selfies aren't too worried about drawing attention to themselves so the LED flash going off on their face shouldn't have a downside.
Hopefully Sony has used its camera smarts to make sure the flash, going off that close to the subject, doesn't just leave a white blob of a face. With a 5-megapixel wide-angle PROselfie camera, as it’s called, the image processing should have plenty of quality to work with. We'll reserve judgement on just how good this is until its released. But it's going to be a step up from the usual 2-megapixel camera offerings for sure. If all else fails there's an 8-megapixel snapper on the rear.
The Sony Xperia C3 will also come with a 5.5-inch 1280 x 720 display, 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB storage onboard. It will arrive running Android 4.4 KitKat and be powered by a 2,500mah battery and 4G connectivity.
HTC One (M8) and HTC One Mini 2
The HTC One (M8) was one of the first smartphones to come with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. In fact this camera is called the Selfie cam in the One Mini 2's menu.
The M8 Selfie cam, also found on the One Mini 2, isn't just about a higher megapixel count though as it also adds greater functionality too. The camera features an automatic Touch Up function which adjusts the lighting and skin tone for the most natural look. Beyond that there are options to thin a face, blur for clearer looking skin and enhance eye size. Users can also set a countdown timer if needs be.
READ: HTC One (M8) review
Huawei Ascend P7
The Huawei Ascend P7 features a whopping 8-megapixel front-facing camera with a flash. That's as high a resolution as a lot of smartphones offer as their main camera on the rear.
The front-facing camera also features a panoramic mode which allows the user to capture themselves in a wide photo of a scene. This is done by stitching together a series of photos taken along a horizontal perspective. This has led to Huawei coining the term "groufie" or "group selfies". In our review we found the quality to be great but the panoramic mode to be a bit hit and miss when it comes to stitching photos together accurately.
READ: Huawei Ascend P7 review
Acer Liquid E3
Acer was one of the first to put an LED flash on the front of a smartphone for selfies. While it did this and also made sure it was an f/2.8 lens it didn't upgrade the megapixels leaving it at the 2-megapixel mark. While it'll be better than most on the market it's a step down from some selfie-focused offerings.
There's also the AcerRapid button which can be used for the the front-facing camera specifically. A long press of the button will unlock the phone, launch the camera and take a picture. Acer also says the autofocus is super-fast making the selfie snapping experience fast enough to catch any facial expression you need to share with the world.
LG may not have bumped up the megapixels much on its front-facing camera but it's added the very clever gesture activation feature. The 2.1-megapixel selfie camera is able to recognise users making a fist so that, from a distance, the camera knows to snap a photo.
The G3 also features the beauty face slider found on most modern smartphones now. That means you can up the blur on your face, effectively, so you look better – according to the makers.
READ: LG G3 review