The iPhone XS just came out last week, and people have already found some “problems” with the device. This time, it involves the selfie camera. It looks like the new iPhone is applying some sort of “skin smoothing” (Snapchat/FaceTune style) to selfies, and there’s no way to turn it off.
It all started when people started receiving their new iPhones. It’s hard to say who discovered it first, so we’re just going to share a few different stories. I’ll start with YouTuber Lewis Hilsenteger (Unbox Therapy), and his video that shows a selfie on an older iPhone vs. the new ones. Long version short, he took a selfie of himself, and noticed that his skin was a little odd looking. Basically, it looked like the phone was applying a “beauty” filter to his face. He says “It looks like I’m wearing foundation.”
Other new iPhone users have noticed the same thing. Reddit user gray_13 says “I am so frustrated with this camera. I look stupid in snaps. It looks like I’m using an air brush filter.” Another user, w_illiam_ilson, says “I just got my phone and love it, but when I opened the camera app to the front facing camera, my face looked like it had a Snapchat filter on it. My skin looks too smooth.” So yes, it appears that the new iPhone is smoothening users’ skin in selfies. Whether you like the feature or not, I think that you can probably agree that having the “option” to use it or not use it should be there.
However, some technical people started thinking about the problem, and came up with a possible reason as to why this happens. See, the new iPhones have a noise reduction capability. Not background noise, but noise in pictures. When you take a photo in lower-light situations, the image comes out “noisy,” or grainy. It looks like there’s dust or little specks of stuff in the picture. The new iPhone camera tries to reduce that noise but smoothing it out. That’s what gives the, at least according to the theory, skin-smoothing effect. Some unconfirmed reports say that Apple has noticed, and they’re working on a software patch.