iPhone XS aggressive “beauty filter” might just be a bug

JC Torres - Sep 30, 2018, 11:40pm CDT
iPhone XS aggressive “beauty filter” might just be a bug

Apple has made a lot of concessions lately to woo the Chinese market, still considered the biggest and fastest-growing smartphone market, with India a very close second. Its latest change is dual SIM support in the iPhone XS, after years of ignoring trends and market demand. Now it seems it’s delivering another popular Chinese market feature in the iPhone XS, one that heavily modifies selfies to make users almost look like they had a face lift.

The complaints and outcries started on Reddit and has, unsurprisingly, resulted in not a few comical comments. At the heart of it all are reports that show how the iPhone XS front camera results in blurred and creamy selfies, described by some as very bad Photoshopping or heavy-handed beauty filters. Considering such effects are actually all the rage in China, is this an intentional Apple feature?

Apparently not. It would perhaps have been if the results were more consistent. Some, however, complain about getting an almost unnatural skin tone. Insider sources are saying that Apple is looking into these complaints, suggesting something’s not working as intended.

That something could simply be the new combination that Apple is using in the iPhone XS. This year’s iPhones combines a new neural engine in the A12 with a custom image signal processor (ISP), topped with AI-based facial analysis and Smart HDR. At part of that chain could be the culprit to this beautiful mess.

Amusingly, some Redditors do bring up the culture that seems to prefer artificial beauty over accuracy. Chinese OEMs, in particular, take pride in their “Beauty Face” features that nowadays can even shave off a few centimeters off your face. Unfortunately, there is no option to turn this off and there will unlikely be one in the iPhone XS’ future.


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