The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max’s front-facing camera is stirring up a bit of a controversy among users who don’t like how their selfies are turning out. Strangely enough, they’re not mad because the handsets aren’t taking good photos. They’re mad because the phones are taking excessively good-looking snaps of their face, to the point where it looks like there’s a filter applied.
Several people have taken to sites like Reddit and MacRumors Forums to highlight this unusual issue. Many are dubbing this ‘BeautyGate,’ because of how the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max’s front snapper looks like it’s applying a beauty mode to images.
Beauty modes are very common in Android smartphones, allowing users to smoothen out their skin, magic away blemishes, apply a makeup-like blush effect, and even make their eyes change shape. Apple has kept away from these tricks so far, if only because there are plenty of apps out there which can do this if an iPhone owner wants it.
The key word here is “wants,” because there’s no way to turn the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max’s supposed beauty filter off. This has naturally annoyed a lot of owners, many of whom don’t want an air brush filter or less shadow in their photos.
YouTuber Unbox Therapy has even dedicated an entire video to this strange conspiracy theory. He posted an image of himself on Twitter and also took several snaps of his face on the iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone 6.
As you can see in the side-by-side comparison above, selfies on the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are noticeably warmer and smoother than the others. Even the beard is much lighter. He tried turning HDR on and off, but this didn’t make any difference.
iPhone XS BeautyGate Theories
Cult of Mac suggests that this beauty mode might actually be the result of better noise reduction tools in the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. Less noise may give rise to smoother skin. It’s possible Apple that went too aggressive with this. It hasn’t said anything official about the controversy yet.
Hopefully, Apple will pay attention to these complaints and release a software update to make selfies look normal again. Till then, you’ll just have to get used to looking better than you normally do in photos.