iPhone XS : Beautygate Explained

Some #gate scenario comes out after every iPhone launch. This year it seems we have #beautygate that is widely speculated around this year. What’s it about ? And is it serious ?

Long story short, iPhone front camera softens and gives some kind of beautifying artificial effect to people’s face that seems kind of un-natural. Yes. Beautygate does exist. But is it a feature ? Why does Apple want to soften your face while for long Apple had some of the realistic front facing camera ?

It all comes to new image processing technique that apple has adopted this year. Compare the two images below. The left is taken using an iPhone X and one on the right is taken using an iPhone XS under similar lighting conditions.

Identify the difference ? Yes, the one on the right looks kind of more un-natural. It’s soft and brightened my facial colour giving it a beautifying effect to it and hence the #beautygate. But as i said before, its something Apple did intentionally. Look at the background to identify the change. Every time that you take an selfie with a brighter lighting at your back, you would end up with an image with a background that looks kind of blown out. And that’s exactly what Apple wanted to prevent this year. Look at the image taken on iPhone XS. The background is not blown out. To do this iPhone XS’s camera takes series of images taken with different exposure and merges them together. And as a result, iPhone XS camera has

  • Better and more aggressive noise reduction due to merging images at different exposures.
  • Softening of images giving it a “beautification” effect to it.

Its what Apple calls SmartHDR.

Simply, it eliminates blown out background giving more pleasant image to eye. Is it too artificial ? Maybe not. Buddy Jonathan over at TLD Today posted an image on instagram claiming that it was an image taken from an Pixel camera for which everyone commented, “Camera Champ” especially “#nobeautygate”.To everyone’s surprise, the image was actually taken using a iPhone XS camera and thus deceiving the whole world.(Video linked below) Yes, iPhone does softens image. But smartHDR might actually give some beautiful front camera images. It may not be as sharp as photos taken from a Pixel, but its not worse either.

Courtesy: Jonathan Morrison : Youtube

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