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Best smartphones for selfies (pictures)

Strike a pose! These new and old smartphones have taken up the selfie trend with hardware and software with your best self-portraits in mind.

Jessica Dolcourt
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Thought Leadership, Speed Desk and How-To. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica led CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
Jessica Dolcourt
1 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET

Say cheese!

Editors' note: This story was originally published October 8, 2014 and updated most recently October 1, 2015.

Such is the power of the selfie -- slang for self-portrait -- that phone makers of every stripe now tussle for ways to make them look better. Here are some of the more valiant attempts, both new and old.

2 of 20 Sarah Tew/CNET

LG V10

Two front-facing cameras make the LG V10 one-of-a-kind. They provide regular selfies for just you and wide-angle selfies that can capture a group.

3 of 20 James Martin/CNET

iPhone 6S and 6S Plus

Letting in enough light to take a good photo is the front-facing camera's biggest problem. Apple tries to solve that in the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus by using the screen as a sort of flash.

4 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET

Motorola Moto X Pure Edition

A front-facing flash is the most photo-friendly addition to the Motorola Moto X Pure Edition, but this higher-end handset also boasts wide-angle selfies for you and your friends.

5 of 20 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Lenovo S1 Vibe

The first phone we've heard of to use two front-facing cameras, the Lenovo S1 Vibe also lets you attach a light-up bauble to illuminate dark spaces.

6 of 20 CNET

Asus ZenFone Selfie

Asus' ZenFone Selfie goes whole hog with a 13-megapixel front-facing camera and a dual LED flash.

7 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy S6

Just like the Note 4, the entire Samsung Galaxy S6 family (and the Note 5) will snap a self-portrait when you gesture or place your finger over the heart-rate monitor on the back. There's also a separate app you can download to take selfies from the rear camera.

8 of 20 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

​​Huawei Mate S

Like Samsung's marquee devices, a fingertip on the back of the Huawei Mate S triggers a shot.

9 of 20 Sarah Tew/CNET

Lenovo Vibe X2 Pro

The Vibe X2 Pro comes with a glowing flash accessory that helps brighten up your face. Just plug it into the phone's headphone jack, press the on button, wait 3 seconds, and say cheese for a better-lit photo.

10 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET

LG G Flex 2

Due to the popularity of selfie sticks, LG has integrated motion recognition in its G Flex 2 that allows the camera to sense whenever it's being lowered from on high by a stick or a raised arm. When it picks up on this movement, a preview of the last taken photo will immediately appear without the user having to manually check for him or herself.

11 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET

ZTE Grand X Max+

ZTE's Grand X Max+ has a 5-megapixel front-facing camera that also has an 88-degree wide-angle lens so you can fit more space into each frame.

12 of 20 James Martin/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

What's better than taking a selfie with the front-facing camera? Taking it with the 16-megapixel rear camera. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4's rear-cam selfie mode does a great job of guiding you through with beeps so you're not shooting blind. It also has a panorama mode for the 3.7-megapixel front cam, though it isn't nearly as good.

13 of 20 Aloysius Low/CNET

Oppo N1

The swiveling camera module at the top of the Oppo N1 is one of those innovations that makes you wonder why better-known vendors didn't do it before. This was the first time that dual-LED flash and a 13-megapixel camera came to selfies in any capacity. Sadly, the handset was limited to Asian markets.

14 of 20 Sony

Sony Xperia C3

The Sony Xperia C3 may be the first phone with a dedicated front-facing flash. Announced in July, its 5-megapixel camera has some tools to boost your looks, and you can take photos by double-tapping the back of the phone.

15 of 20 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

HTC Desire Eye

Prep your pupils. The HTC Desire Eye also sees a dedicated topside flash. Its 13-megapixel front-facing camera has slightly different lens specs than the phone's nearly identical rear-mounted shooter, possibly even better. Let the avalanche of selfies begin.

16 of 20 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

HTC Desire 820

While a 64-bit octa-core processor and 5.5-inch display are enough to perk your ears, it's the HTC Desire 820's 8-megapixel front-facing camera and special software tricks that'll get social shutterbugs buzzing.

17 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET

Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G

For a more affordable take on a similar frontal lens, Huawei's affordable Ascend Mate 2 4G also has a 5-megapixel front-facer with tools such as panorama.

18 of 20 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

HTC One M8, Mini 2

More 5-megapixel shooters find a home in the HTC One M8 and HTC One Mini 2. The latter is the more impressive appointment, since it's also the more midrange of the two phones.

19 of 20 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Huawei Ascend Mate 7

Huawei has been doing some work with 5-megapixel front-facing cameras, including that found in the Huawei Ascend Mate 7, an attractive phablet that takes some pretty darn good photos from the 13-megapixel rear camera as well.

20 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET

Nokia Lumia Selfie app

Similar to Samsung's Galaxy Note 4, Nokia has launched a new downloadable app, titled Nokia Selfie, that guides you to take photos from the rear camera. It's available for phones such as the Lumia 830730/735, and 530, and comes free in the app store.

You'd better believe that selfie-cams will continue to take off in a big way. In the meantime, check out our list of best smartphone cameras.

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