Smartphones with good cameras for selfies


With the rise of social networks and selfies come smartphones with features designed to help with digital socializing including better front-facing cameras and a selfie app that automatically enhances your photos. Here are four picks.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

CNET rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Outstanding)

The good: The 5.7-inch Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has a brilliant high-resolution screen and takes excellent outdoor shots on its 16-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization. Using the stylus is more convenient, and the battery charges very quickly.

The bad: Low-light and indoor shots aren't as good as they should be. The Note 4 costs significantly more than some other phablets, like the LG G3.

The cost: $299.99 to $749.76

The bottom line: The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will thrill anyone who loves a fast phone with a large screen, but it's best for compulsive scribblers willing to pay a lot for its winning stylus. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4's rear-cam selfie mode does a great job guiding you with beeps so you can use the 16-megapixel rear camera and you're not shooting blind.

Huawei Ascend Mate 7

CNET rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 (Very good)

The good: The Huawei Ascend Mate 7 packs a huge battery that keeps going for ages, its screen is bright and bold, the camera is pretty decent and the fingerprint sensor actually works.

The bad: It's running on an old version of Android, Huawei's software tweaks make it clunky to use and loads of bloatware are installed as standard.

The cost: $859.99

The bottom line: Although its awkward software is a let down, the excellent battery life and big, bright screen help make the Huawei Ascend Mate 7 a decent choice for those of you looking for movies and games on the go. Plus, its 5-megapixel front-facing camera is above average for selfies.

HTC One Mini 2

CNET rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 (Very good)

The good: The HTC One Mini 2 is one of the best-looking compact phones around, thanks to its gorgeous metal body. Its screen is decent, its KitKat software is pleasant to use and its camera takes nicer shots than the flagship One M8.

The bad: Many of its key specs, including processing power and screen resolution, match those of the Motorola Moto G, which costs less than half the price of the Mini 2.

The cost: See manufacturer (available on Amazon for about $320-$415)

The bottom line: With its slick metal body, the HTC One Mini 2 is among the most luxurious compact phones around. HTC, however, has given it a set of specs that put it more alongside the dirt-cheap Moto G than the One M8. If style is of the utmost importance, it's worth checking out, and selfie fans will appreciate the 5-megapixel front-facing camera.

Nokia Lumia 530

CNET rating: 2.5 stars out of 5 (OK)

The good: The inexpensive Nokia Lumia 530 is equipped for HSPA+ speeds and can hold up to 128GB in external storage. It includes Microsoft's most current Windows Phone OS.

The bad: A surprisingly slippery body makes you a constant butterfingers, and typing is tough on the small screen. The fixed-focus camera won't take close-up shots.

The cost: $154.75

The bottom line: Since the specs are decidedly basic, its low price is the major reason to seek out the Nokia Lumia 530 — unless you're looking for a low-priced phone that uses the Nokia Selfie app that automatically enhances your photos and guides you in taking selfies with the rear camera.