How often do you use the front facing camera on your phone?Evan Selleck - Contributing Editor
Ah, the selfie. Certainly not a new concept by any means, there's little doubt that its popularity hasn't skyrocketed in the last couple of years. Our social media streams are full of them. Not too long ago it used to be food or drinks that were all the rage for our shared photos, but now the fad seems to be all about snapping a photo of one's self, sometimes with others crammed into the frame for good measure. The most retweeted image on Twitter was a selfie, snapped not too long ago.
I'm not against a selfie. I think they make more sense than taking photos of your food, anyway. But, I very rarely take any photos of myself, unless my daughters happen to be with me. (They love taking photos.) And, like I said above, the selfie isn't new at all. People have been taking pictures of themselves for a long time now -- just remember the days of MySpace. Now folks don't need bathroom mirrors.
I think that means we all win a little bit.
The introduction of the front facing camera meant that people no longer had to turn their phone around and use the camera on the back to snap a photo of themselves, or use those aforementioned mirrors in inappropriate ways. And, just like everything else in the mobile industry, the quality of our FFC has grown exponentially from its debut so many years ago. And they're only getting better, with rumors suggesting we could see phones with 5MP front facing cameras sooner, rather than later.
The camera on my phone is easily the most important part of my device. I take a lot more photos these days than I ever have before, so I need to have a camera that reproduces images I like to look at, and that are worth sharing. This could be why I don't take a lot of selfies, even when my daughters are within the camera's eye. While the quality of those specifically placed cameras has gotten better, they're still not as good as the camera on the other side of the device.
That's probably why Oppo's swivel camera on the N1, which was released at the end of the year in 2013, seemed like a good idea to me. Having the front facing camera actually be the main camera, instead of an extra piece of technology on the device, meant I didn't have to sacrifice image quality. Seems like a win-win to me. But the N1 may be the only phone we see with such a design for quite some time, as manufacturers are more than happy to include the main camera with its ridiculous amount of megapixels, and then "that other camera" on the front of the handset, which very rarely warrants any kind of special attention.
(The last time I remember a front facing camera getting any kind of special attention was from HTC and their Windows Phone 8X.)
The camera is my most important aspect on my phone, but I'm not sure I care much about the front facing option. Would I miss it if it were gone, though? I'm not sure. I do use the camera, just not as often as the one on the back of the handset, so I could very well miss the functionality if it were to ever disappear. I think I'd just rather have more swivel cameras, maybe.
How do you feel about the front facing camera on your device? Do you think it's good enough to use, or do you stick to the camera on the back of your phone? Let me know what you think.