Surviving with a phone without a selfie camera (kind of)

Conceit is the quagmire of sound judgment,” George Sand inscribed 200 years in the past. Mankind is egotistical by nature, and there’s nothing inherently mistaken with that. It’s part of a robust ego. We are able to talk about infatuation with ourselves and other borderline unhealthy behaviors, but the reality is that we adore ourselves. And that’s tolerable.

The forementioned excessively exaggerated introduction is presented here as an introduction to the smartphone selfie camera narrative. Skip the tedious history lesson. All that can be mentioned is that the principal selfie camera on a phone was formulated in Japan in May 1999, nearly 25 years ago, and since then it has turned into an essential fragment of our smartphone encounter.

It’s named a selfie camera for a motive. Incidentally, the etymology of the term itself is quite appealing. The primary use of the term “selfie” is ascribed to Nathan Hope, an Australian who became heavily inebriated at his 21st birthday and published a photograph of his stitched lip with the annotation “apologetic about the focus, it was a selfie.” It instantly acquired traction from that point, and now we’re engulfed in selfie images from our selfie cameras. So how about residing without one?

The Nubia Z60 Ultra and its obscured front vision

Now you see me, now you don’t! When it’s too bright around you, the Nubia will exhibit a very small sun over the selfie camera. Cute!

Disclaimer. By now, you’ve probably realized that it’s the Nubia Z60 Ultra I’m going to talk about, and yes, this phone theoretically has a selfie camera hidden under its display. But hang in there; I’ll demonstrate to you why residing with this phone equates to residing with a phone without a selfie camera altogether.

What’s the selfie quality on a phone with an under-display camera?

The abbreviated response is “poor.” It’s improving significantly, in contrast to the first prototypes from a few years ago, but it’s still almost useless. Let’s assess it from the conceit perspective. The only method to obtain a reasonably fine selfie image is to be in a uniformly lit, neither overly bright nor overly dim room. And this is a substantial prerequisite, given that you’re considered to seize the instant with the handy device you bring everywhere.


From barely functional to dreadful

As observable from the instances preceding, any lighting from behind renders the photograph appear terrible. There’s ghosting, blurring, odd rainbow flares (presumably due to the polarizing filter above the camera), severe overexposure, noise when it’s dark, and an absence of detail. I could continue. In conclusion, I finished up not using the front camera at all.

And into the bargain, this essay was implied to be designated “Residing with a phone with an edge-to-edge display,” but the expertise sort of shifted into this one here. Utilizing portrait mode out of doors may or may not culminate in producing decent enough selfies, but ultimately, there’s not a single front camera image from this phone I’m willing to post to my Facebook or Instagram.

Portrait mode makes things a little bit better

I can almost hear your thoughts now. “But the selfie camera is not only for selfies.” True, even though people mostly use the front camera to capture their beloved images of themselves, there are such things as video calls and meetings. Well, I should report that these are horrible on the Nubia Z60 Ultra as well. So, how’s life without a selfie camera?

Living without a (usable) selfie camera

Not awful, actually. During the period with this phone, the only time I missed being able to seize the instant was when I was with my acquaintances and loved ones. And this could effortlessly be resolved by requesting other individuals to snap photographs of you. You know, the vintage way, like carrying a point-and-shoot camera with you. I’m not saying it’s flawless, but it’s not a deterrent.

Video calls and video meetings are much more challenging, and if you want to present yourself in the best light to the other side, both figuratively and literally, this front camera won’t measure up. So, if you partake in plentiful videocalls, you need to wait until this technology matures. But is it truly valuable?

Is the edge-to-edge display worth sacrificing your conceit?

Okay, we’ve established already that it’s not about conceit, but it sounds so much more dramatic this way, right? What is it like to consume media and look at your everyday smartphone tasks on a phone with an edge-to-edge display? It’s very cool; there’s no doubt about it. The first couple of days, you get awed every time you look at the display. It’s an all-display phone!

But being human means being adaptive, and you quickly stop noticing it. I had the chance to compare this phone with a couple of Xperia models, and I much more like the Sony phones. Not only do they have a 21:9 display with no imperfections, but they also come with working selfie cameras. And the top and bottom bezels aren’t that much thicker. Are a couple of millimeters worth the trouble? No, not for me.

Final words (of warning)

Occasionally, the tech industry slips into peculiar obsessions. Glass phones, curved displays—the pursuit of edge-to-edge displays. I’m really not sure if we need to concentrate on those things when we can attempt to resolve our batteries, for example.

I’d rather have a smartphone with substantial bezels that can last for a week than a museum piece where hunderds of thousands of R&D dollars have been wasted to mask a selfie camera. But that might just be me. What about you?

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