Following the launch of the iPhone XS and XS Max, owners began pointing out that the selfies captured on the new devices appear to apply a sort of smooth effect on the user's skin in certain lighting scenarios. This was quickly dubbed "BeautyGate," with some users accusing Apple of building the new iPhone models with an internal "beauty filter" for better-looking selfies that aren't 100% honest.
In an effort to combat the BeautyGate claims, YouTuber Jonathan Morrison posted a series of selfies on Instagram and Twitter over the weekend. In captions, Morrison said these were captured on the Google Pixel 2's Portrait Mode, and asked his fans their thoughts on how the images came out, particularly if they were better than the iPhone XS.
Commenters said that the images rivaled DSLR shots and that the Pixel 2 was still among the best smartphone cameras, based on the pictures. Some even commended Google for producing high-quality selfies without the need for having a so-called make-up effect, and argued that the Pixel 2 had the best Portrait Mode of any smartphone.
After all of this, Morrison on Sunday revealed that both images were not taken on a Pixel 2, but instead captured on an iPhone XS Max.
So I just wanted it to be a little bit of a lesson out there: don't let a preconceived notion or headline skew your judgement. Because clearly, everyone who thought that it was a Pixel automatically assumed it was much better than the iPhone, when in fact that was the same iPhone XS Max that apparently had all of the BeautyGate problems.
Still, Morrison explains that there is something happening on the front-facing cameras of the iPhone XS and XS Max, but it's not a beauty filter. Apple's latest smartphones take multiple pictures at varying exposure levels, requiring noise reduction that creates a smoothing effect over the entire image, not just on skin tones.
Halide went into detail on the issue in a blog post last week:
The iPhone XS merges exposures and reduces the brightness of the bright areas and reduces the darkness of the shadows. The detail remains, but we can perceive it as less sharp because it lost local contrast. In the photo above, the skin looks smoother simply because the light isn’t as harsh.
Observant people noticed it isn’t just skin that’s affected. Coarse textures and particularly anything in the dark— from cats to wood grain— get a smoother look. This is noise reduction at work. iPhone XS has more aggressive noise reduction than previous iPhones.
It's unclear if Apple will choose to decrease the amount of noise reduction on the front-facing cameras of the iPhone XS and XS Max as a result of the user complaints.
Top Rated Comments
absolutely hilarious. the hate for apple or even how far these losers go because you use a certain phone is astonishing. they need to get a damn life.
This is the best thing I've read in a while. Will we see many Android users jump ship to get that DSLR quality? :rolleyes:
When I make a smartphone purchase I first consider privacy, then security, then consider the design/ease of using the operating system, then the speed of the hardware, and then the design of the device itself. It is my opinion that Apple leads in all of the categories that matter most to me, therefore I buy Apple hardware. It also integrates directly into macOS, which I use to make money every day. There are other devices out there that might have longer battery life, or faster LTE, but those aren't things that matter to me. My iPhone battery lasts well over a day, and using a content blocker most web pages load within a second or two.
Just use the devices you prefer, no need to bring people down for what devices they use.