Camera phones? Naah, selfie phones!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015 Science

The mercurial rise of the smartphones

The camera optics in smartphones is becoming increasingly important. First, the race was about the megapixel count on the rear camera. The front-facing camera wasn't a priority as it was merely used for video calls or it acted as a mirror for many.
This, however, has changed. Selifes captured from mobile cameras are dominating the social networking sites, and have forced handset makers to work on the front-facing camera too.

This secondary camera on the phone has now gained importance and has become a Selfies camera. While some Indian handset manufacturers have come up with Selfies camera on the phone, players such as Sony, Nokia and HTC have also joined the league.

Sony Xperia C3

A PROselfie smartphone by Sony, though a latecomer to the selfie party, it is sure to jump the queue. Sony's first 5MP front-facer with a 25mm wide-angle lens and one of the few to offer a LED flash on the front, taking selfie photography to the next level.

As a midrange package, the Sony Xperia C3 looks nearly spot-on. The 5.5" IPS display of 720p resolution is enhanced by the Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2, while the Snapdragon 400 chipset with four Cortex-A7s clocked at 1.2GHZ and 1GB of RAM must've been an easy pick. The Xperia C3 comes in two flavors: one with LTE connectivity and a dual-SIM version that's said to have dual-call support, still quite a rare option.

Talking about the primary camera C3 surely did some negations with the crowd, considering a midrange Xperia, C3 has the 8MP ExmorRS BSI sensor paired with an powerful LED flash.

Best Buy: Rs 17,990

Micromax Canvas Knight

The Canvas Knight A350 kicks it up a notch in terms of aesthetics and design. Like everything from Micromax, the Knight is all about cramming in the best specs and getting it under Rs 20,000. For the specification junkie out there, the Knight is like a, well, knight in shining armour. The catch that caught our eye was the secondary camera, a 8MP sensor built to snap some great selfies. But if u are thinking about the traditional use, video recording you will be disappointed. Video recording is limited to 720p.

The primary camera is 16MP with a sensor from OmniVision coupled with the M8 Largan Lens manages to captures some pretty impressive pictures, both indoors and out. The focus speed is quick and time taken to capture is under two seconds. We were particularly impressed by the quality of the pictures taken indoors under ambient lighting. You get to play with some effects like GIF animation, 3D Panorama and Remove object, all of which work well.

In short the Canvas is a go buy phone for selfie fanatics with an Indian notch.

Best Buy: Rs 7,990

Oppo N1

The Oppo went big on its latest flagship. With the rotating camera module and ample space below the screen for the capacitive buttons, the Oppo N1 is taller than devices of similar screen size like the Nokia Lumia 1520 and the HTC One Max.

The camera has a 1/3.06" CMOS sensor with 13MP resolution. The lens has a bright F/2.0 aperture and 6 lenses - Oppo says this is the first Android camera with a 6-lens design. More importantly it matches the Nokia Lumia 1020, which also has a 6-element lens - the WP cameraphone has the recognizable ZEISS brand name, but its aperture is F/2.2.

The interface has two control sidebars in the viewfinder, the right one holding the still and video buttons and gallery shortcut, while the left one is for settings, flash and scene selection. The standard way off accessing recently snapped photos is here too - a left swipe - is available and you can swipe up to delete photos from there.

The N1 gives one of the best picture qualities yet it fails to be a better video capturing device.

But if you believe that a flip could make your phone a selfie machine, yes this will catch many eyes.

Best Buy: Rs 28,999


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