Why HTC's focus on selfies is a good thing

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| June 5, 2014


It’s hard to ignore the prominence of the self-proclaimed “selfie generation” that we have around us today. Ever since the early days of MySpace, or even Xanga if you want to go back that far, the trend of people taking their own profile picture has only grown. In fact, today it seems like a rarity to see a picture that isn’t taken by the outstretched arm of the main subject. When you’re in control of the camera, you’re in control of how others will perceive you. At least, that’s how I see it.


I’m pretty certain that’s how a lot of people see it. Selfies are annoying, particularly when you see somebody actually taking a selfie; it’s a rather vain looking gesture. Still, there’s another side of selfies that doesn’t get enough credit. It makes us feel good about ourselves. At least for me, when I see a photo of myself that’s taken by somebody else, I always think that I could have taken a more flattering photo. I could have positioned it better, angled it better, that kind of stuff. It gives me a sense of self worth when I look at pictures I take and feel like I did a good job. I like looking at myself and thinking, “Hey, you don’t look that bad.” For whatever reason, selfies give me that justice.


But taking a selfie using a digital camera, or even a smartphone, isn’t always an easy feat. Most of the time you’ll find that the good camera is on the back on the phone, while the front-facing camera is given very little attention due to the fact that none of these manufacturers seem to know just how important selfies are. Sure, you can turn your phone around and take a picture of yourself using your nice 13-megapixel shooter, but it’s a lot easier when you can see everything that’s going on in front of you with the front-facing camera. That’s why HTC gets some major props for putting in extra focus on the front-facing camera recently.


The HTC One (M8) debuted with the same 4-megapixel UltraPixel camera that was given to the original HTC One, but the front-facing camera was one thing that didn’t stay the same. Instead of making it the same 2 or 2.1-megapixel shooter that most flagships feature for a front-facing camera, the M8 made a bold choice by going with a 5-megapixel camera. Not only does this give a clearer image for people who are obsessed with taking selfies, but it also has a clearer image for video chatting as well.


We also have rumor that HTC is coming out with another phone that will help take “the ultimate selfie”, called the “HTC Eye”. Although this is just a rumor, it doesn’t seem too out of place for HTC to go for something like this given what they did with the front-facing camera on the M8. As silly as a phone that was made for taking “perfect selfies” might sound, it’s actually a pretty novel idea and I do think that it’s an idea that could sell very easily in today’s self-obsessed generation.


I think more manufacturers need to take how important selfies are these days into account. Another manufacturer that does a good job of this is Oppo with the N1. The rear-facing 13-megapixel camera is the front-facing camera, and vice versa, which I think is really cool.


I’m interested to see how HTC’s “Eye” device works out. Just because it seems like it would be a good idea doesn’t mean that it always will be, as we’ve seen with other phones that focused on pop culture - like the Facebook phones? Yeah, neither one of them panned out to work that well. So I guess we’ll just have to see.


Readers, what do you think about HTC’s focus on improving the front-facing camera? Is this a feature that interests you? Let us know!


Image via Cult of Android

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