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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.

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Jessica Dolcourt

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Asus ZenFone Selfie

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

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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.

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​​Huawei Mate S

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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