Front-facing flash: is this what our smartphone cameras needed all along?
When it comes to image quality from the front-facing cameras on our smartphones, our expectations are pretty low. For years now, front-facers have seemed like an afterthought for manufacturers, and we’ve learned not to hope for very much out of them – really, just that they’re there in the first place is all we can ask for. Sure, a few phones have bucked that trend, and new models like the HTC One (M8) really raise the bar, but they’re the exceptions that prove the rule; we’re still resigned to putting up with low-quality, grainy selfies. But what if there was a straightforward, easy way to fix that problem. With its new T2 HD, Lumigon in Denmark asks, “why not give the front-facer a flash?”
If you’ve ever played around with external lighting, you may have noticed what a difference in front-facer performance you can see with just a little extra illumination, and Lumigon is taking this idea and running with it, placing an LED flash next to the front-facing camera’s sensor, ready to help with both still shots and video chat.
We’ll admit: the idea of using a flash to enhance selfies doesn’t sound half bad, but we’re a little less enthusiastic about Lumigon’s belief that this will help with video chats in dark areas; won’t staring into a bright light quickly make it impossible to see whom you’re talking to on your phone’s display? Perhaps we need to try it out for ourselves.
Beyond the front-mounted flash, the T2 HD is a relatively high-end device, with a premium price tag to match. It’s made of steel and glass (and there’s also a real 24-carat gold special edition), is waterproof, has a 4.3-inch 720p display, and storage options go as high as 128GB. Even for the steel/32GB baseline model, you’re still looking at a price of 730 euros. Sales are set to begin next quarter.