There are numerous new features to enjoy on the iPhone X, but perhaps the most noteworthy update is the 7-megapixel front-facing camera that supports Portrait Mode. Apple’s Portrait Mode utilizes Face ID technology to bring the foreground subject to focus while blurring or neutralizing the background, mimicking the bokeh effect achievable with high-end DSLR cameras. Not surprisingly, this feature has great potential if you are trying to elevate your selfie game to the next level.
Using Portrait Mode’s default Natural Light effect, the iPhone X’s front-facing camera can achieve photos comparable to those you might see in a high-end travel magazine. The effect brings the subject into sharp focus and makes the subject’s face pop against a defocused, decluttered background. The result is a crisp, professional-looking composition.
For a more informal, effortless look perfect for Instagram, we recommend trying the Studio Light effect. Under Studio Light, the subject is enveloped in a soft, warm glow. Against the blurred background, the highlighted subject appears brighter, giving the final composition a livelier, more playful aesthetic.
The new Stage Light and Stage Light Mono settings should also please Apple users in their quest for the perfect selfie. Applying the Stage Light effect separates out the subject of the photo and effectively voids out the surroundings. This allows the user to create a simple, uncluttered composition of a colorful subject juxtaposed against a black background. The Stage Light Mono has a similar outcome, but goes the extra step of capturing the subject in greyscale.
Our only complaint about the front-facing camera is that it still doesn’t fare too well when taking selfies in direct sunlight. When the light is too harsh and bright, the phone will actually issue a warning message informing the user that the conditions are not ideal for selfie-taking. In such situations, the resulting selfie is passable, but mediocre at best.