Have you heard about the latest Apple-related scandal? No not the right to repair one, or the servers potentially infiltrated by the Chinese government one. I’m talking Beautygate!
A growing number of iPhone XS and XS Max users have noted that the cameras on these devices are aggressive in their skin smoothing, and one Twitter user even claims Apple acknowledged it was a bug — riiiiight. But on the Oppo Find X, skin smoothing is a feature and I can’t stop taking pictures using it.
Phones produced originally for the Chinese market, such as the Oppo Find X and the Meitu T8, typically offer selfie modes that are a little more... enhanced than phones typically released directly to the West. Beauty apps are significantly more popular in China than in the West, and according to The New Yorker there are beauty apps on over one billion phones, with the majority of those users in China.
Unless you’re reviewing a whole lot of phones, including many from China, you probably won’t notice these apps. But Gizmodo received a special Lamborghini edition of the very pretty Oppo Find X the other day and I started playing with it, mainly because I wanted to watch the camera pop out of the top of the phone like a Transformer.
Then I took a picture of myself with the selfie cam.
I am not a vain person, but super smooth me is a majestic cartoon variant of my normal visage with wide sparkling eyes, weird cheek and chin highlights, and supple pink lips.
I held the image of myself up for inspection by my peers and quickly found myself surrounded by people eager to be augmented like a Redbook covergirl.
The effect is not as severe on men, likely because most of the men at Gizmodo have at least a little facial hair and it knows to skirt around beards, moustaches and stubble. But that didn’t stop it from smoothing out foreheads and turning these robust fellas into the soft babies commenters frequently conclude they are.
But it isn’t just blurring — it also seems to apply Botox.
Our science editor, Rose Pastore, naturally felt the need to test her hypothesis that it would blur out any wrinkles, including those created by severe frowning, and senior reporter Bryan Menegus opted to add himself to the test pool, too.
But note how Rose’s eyes sparkle like the heroine in an anime. The app, besides smoothing the skin out, removing wrinkles, and making the lips pinker, also enlarges the eyes to the point that video editor Beth Elderkin and social media editor Emily Lipstein look as though they’re from another planet.
Yes, their eyes are positively luminescent, but they’re also not that large in real life, I swear! And their hair looks as though it was masked by a high school student learning Photoshop for the first time.
Even Gizmodo boss Kelly Bourdet found herself covered in a gauzy filter of Oppo Find X Portrait mode.
The only one who hasn’t been masked and smoothed and plumped is my roommate’s cat. Apparently Oppo finds him perfect just the way he is.