Since the release of the new iPhone XS and XS Max, users have discovered overly-smoothed skin in selfies shot with the front-facing camera. Essentially, photos taken with the front camera appear to have a beauty filter applied. There is no documentation or setting for such a feature on the new iPhone models.
The same 7MP front camera is present in both phones, along with the Smart HDR feature. While turning the Smart HDR setting “off” reduces the effect somewhat, it appears to be auto-applied whenever the front camera detects the presence of a face. You can see a walk-through of the issue in the video from Unbox Therapy above.
While camera manufacturers have certainly applied their own internal processing flavors to their cameras, I haven’t seen anything this aggressive in a camera that you aren’t able to turn off. Frankly, this likely boils down to the desire to sell more phones to users who think the iPhone has a better camera than other models. I’m sure many people who take a selfie with a phone that makes them look prettier by default are going to want that phone over one that captures a “clean” photo of their face.
[via Mac Rumors]