iPhone XS users complain about selfie camera ‘beauty mode’

Some early iPhone XS adopters are accusing Apple of implementing a so-called “beauty mode” filter to the camera’s algorithms to smooth a subject’s skin. The complaints are popping up around the internet, not so much because the unknown feature apparently exists, but that it can’t be turned off.

As Business Insider has pointed out, dozens of commenters on Reddit and MacRumors forums are now talking about how their selfies look when taken with one of the new phones. Popular YouTuber Lewis Hilsenteger, known as Unbox Therapy, is also weighing in, saying his iPhone XS Max “is doing something weird.”

The 2018 iPhones include a new Smart HDR feature that Apple says brings “more highlight and shadow detail to your phones.” Many feel the feature makes them look too good in selfies.

Among the comments:

“I am so frustrated with this camera. I look stupid in snaps. It looks like I’m using an air brush filter,” Redditor gray_13 posted.

“I just got my phone and love it, but when I opened the camera app to the front facing camera, my face looked like it had a Snapchat filter on it. My skin looks too smooth,” w_illiam_ilson posted last week.

“It looks like I’m wearing foundation,” Hilsenteger observed in a video posted on Wednesday, after trying the camera with the HDR feature turned on and off. He called the phenomenon “beautygate.”

Beauty modes are popular, especially in Asia, and have become commonplace on other smartphones and through apps like Meitu or FaceTune. Each smooths out and brightens your skin, so you look a little more polished on social media.

Apple hasn’t responded to Business Insider’s request for comment. However, photographer Abdul Dremali told 9to5Mac that ‘Apple reached out to me yesterday and are working on this issue actively.’ His comparison shots are shown above.

If my iPhone XS Max makes me look better in selfies, so be it. However, Apple should clarify the process and consider making the feature optional.

What say you? Let us know in the comments below.