New iPhone XS Re-images Owner Face for Striking Effect

Published September 30th, 2018 - 07:00 GMT
Porcelain doll face (Shutterstock)
Porcelain doll face (Shutterstock)

iPhone XS owners have uncovered a peculiar effect in Apple's latest high-end handset.

Some are reporting that the front-facing camera on the iPhone XS is making their faces appear strikingly smoother, with some claiming the photos look similar to edits applied in beauty apps like FaceTune.

The mysterious effect is also present in the iPhone XS Max, which has exactly the same front-facing camera as the iPhone XS.

So far, it's not completely clear what's behind the smoothing effect.

An Apple spokesman declined to comment.



But it's possible that it's a result of the iPhone XS and XS Max's upgraded camera, which includes noise-reducing features.

This removes some of the visual distortion present in high-resolution photos, such as graininess, by smoothing out certain elements in the photo, especially in darker conditions.

However, in doing so, some users say it produces an undesirable effect that leaves their face looking like a 'porcelain doll or plastic figurine,' said tech Youtuber Lewis Hilsenteger, who posted a video to his channel 'Unbox Therapy' describing the effect.

Hilsenteger even went as far as labeling it 'beautygate.'

'At first I was like, let me get to the bottom of this. This is probably some kind of processing thing that I can turn off,' Hilsenteger explained.

'I can just dive into the menus, like on other phones that have beauty modes. Like on Samsung, or Huawei, and so on. Maybe I can just toggle that down to zero.

'But of course there's no mention of beauty mode because Apple never admitted to doing any kind of beauty mode,' he added.

There's no evidence that Apple included any kind of beauty mode in the iPhone XS and XS Max selfie cameras, suggesting that it's more likely a result of the noise reduction features.

That said, typically noise reduction is limited to environments where there isn't as much light.

Turning off the iPhone's Smart HDR feature doesn't seem to help, either.

Smart HDR is a new feature included in the iPhone XS and XS Max camera that helps capture shadow details and bright highlights.

Several users, including Abdul Dremali, demonstrated that the effect still takes place in well-lit environments.

Dremali took the same photo using an iPhone X and an iPhone XS to show that the smoothing effect only occurred when he was using the latter of the two devices.

The smoothing effect is evident in a side-by-side comparison of the photos.

Dremali told Mail Online that Apple reached out to him yesterday and that the firm is 'working on' the issue.

Reddit users began highlighting the issue several days ago.

'iPhone XS is applying skin smoothing/beauty filter on the front facing camera without telling you and no way to disable it,' wrote Reddit user chemicalsam. 'This is not acceptable.'

The user went on to explain that turning Smart HDR off reduced some of the smoothing effects on photos taken using the back camera.

'After more thorough testing it seems that, at least on the back camera that turning off Smart HDR does seem to help a small amount,' Reddit user chemicalsam continued.

'But there is still quite a bit of smooth present. The front camera seems to not be affected by this setting change. I would strongly advice not using HDR right now until Apple fixes these issues.'


This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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