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.

morrison beautygate image


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.

BeautyGate talk starts at around 3:00

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

aevan Avatar
37 months ago
Always liked Jonathan. And this is genius!
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ebok Avatar
37 months ago
after the video was posted these fandroids were deleting their 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.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
37 months ago
Commenters said that the images rivaled DSLR shots and that the Pixel 2 was still among the best smartphone cameras, based on the pictures … both images were not taken on a Pixel 2, but instead captured on an iPhone XS Max.

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:
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macduke Avatar
37 months ago
Fanboyism at it's finest. The truth is you can't really go wrong with the cameras of the flagship models on either side these days. There are subtle differences between them and most people won't even be able to spot the differences.

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.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Andres Cantu Avatar
37 months ago
Don’t understand why Android fans have so much hate for Apple fans. This just proves it.

Just use the devices you prefer, no need to bring people down for what devices they use.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ds6778 Avatar
37 months ago
Well when your smartphone is your identity......
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Flat 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature

Unreleased Apple Macs and Apple Watches Listed in Eurasian Database Ahead of Fall Product Launches

Monday August 2, 2021 9:34 am PDT by
Apple is preparing for a slew of fall product launches according to new filings that showed up today in the Eurasian Economic Commission database. There are listings for new Mac and Apple Watch models, all of which have previously unknown model identifiers that indicate that they're upcoming devices. There are six new Apple Watch identifiers, including A2473, A2474, A2475, A2476, A2477, and...
ifixit iphone12 mini

Apple to Make Space for Larger Batteries in iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks By Adopting Slimmer Peripheral Chips

Monday August 2, 2021 2:12 am PDT by
For future iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks, Apple plans to use smaller internal components in an effort to increase the size of the device's battery, according to DigiTimes. Image Credit: iFixit Specifically, Apple plans to "significantly increase the adoption" of IPDs or integrated passive devices for the peripheral chips in its products. These news chips will be slimmer in size and allow for...
Apple Watch 7 Unreleased Feature

Apple Watch Series 7 to Focus on One Major Upgrade

Wednesday August 4, 2021 2:12 am PDT by
The upcoming Apple Watch Series 7 will focus on one important feature in an attempt to tempt existing Apple Watch users that have an older device to upgrade, according to recent reports. Apple may skip adding new health sensors to this year's Apple Watch Series 7 in favor of improving the device's battery life. The company is said to be adopting new double-sided System in Package (SiP)...
magic keyboard touch id

Apple Makes Magic Keyboard With Touch ID Available for Separate Purchase

Tuesday August 3, 2021 5:22 am PDT by
Apple has made the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, which previously was only available with the purchase of the new 24-inch iMac, available for purchase individually for $149. Apple also retails the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID and a numeric keypad for $179. A standard Magic Keyboard without Touch ID or a numeric keypad is available for $99, and a new Magic Trackpad for $129. One major...
iPhone 13 Wi Fi 6E feature update

Wi-Fi 6E Explained: What It Could Mean for iPhone 13 and Beyond

Monday August 2, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 is widely expected to come with Wi-Fi 6E capabilities, and while it may seem rather nuanced to the average consumer, with only improved speeds and being "up to date" in the realm of Wi-Fi technology, it's actually a fairly significant improvement, laying the groundwork for much of what we know the future holds. To truly understand Wi-Fi 6E, MacRumors sat down for an exclusive...
applestoredown

Apple's Online Store Temporarily Down [Update: Back Up]

Tuesday August 3, 2021 4:01 pm PDT by
Apple's online Apple Store is down at the current time, and attempting to access it to make a purchase gives the standard "Be Right Back" message. Given that it's a Tuesday night/afternoon in the United States and we're not expecting any new products this week, it's likely that this is a temporary maintenance outage that is not related to a new product release. The Apple Store app is also...
themorningshowcarrell

Apple Decided Not to Buy Reese Witherspoon's 'Hello Sunshine' Media Company

Monday August 2, 2021 2:02 pm PDT by
Reese Witherspoon's media company "Hello Sunshine" recently courted various buyers, and while Apple was one of parties interested in buying Hello Sunshine, the Cupertino company did not end up going through with the purchase. Hello Sunshine was valued at around $900 million thanks to its involvement in popular series like The Morning Show," "Big Little Lies," and "Little Fires Everywhere,"...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Apple Brings China's Luxshare Precision into iPhone 13 Supply Chain to Meet Production Targets

Wednesday August 4, 2021 12:19 am PDT by
Apple is tapping more Chinese suppliers as it seeks to meet ambitious targets for iPhone 13 production, according to a new report by Nikkei Asia. Apple is set to produce between 90 million and 95 million iPhones through January, according to a previous Nikkei report, and China's Luxshare Precision Industry has won 3% of orders away from Taiwanese rivals Foxconn and Pegatron. Luxshare will...
mac pro new graphics

Apple Introduces New High-End Graphics Options for Mac Pro

Tuesday August 3, 2021 7:34 am PDT by
Apple today began offering new high-end graphics upgrade options for both the tower and rack versions of the Mac Pro desktop computer. This comes on the same day that Apple started selling the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID on a standalone basis. As noted by CNN Underscored's Jake Krol, the Mac Pro can now be configured with new AMD Radeon Pro W6800X, W6800X Duo, or W6900X graphics when...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...