Let’s face facts: A lot of smartphone owners like to take selfies.
And smartphone makers hoping to appeal to the narcissist in all of us have started marketing selfie handsets -- smile, and say "cheese." Sony Corp. (NYSE:SNE) says its recently released Xperia C3, which features a 5-megapixel wide-angle front camera, is the “the world’s best selfie smartphone.” Not to be outdone, Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) is preparing to introduce its own Windows Phone 8.1 “selfie phone.”
Microsoft devices chief, Stephen Elop, shared details about two new phones, including a selfie codenamed Superman, at an internal company meeting this week, sources told the website Verge in an article published Tuesday. Microsoft's selfie phone will have a 5-megapixel forward-facing camera and a 4.7-inch display.
One big benefit of the push toward higher-quality front lens cameras is simple: Better photos because selfie-takers can easily see their own face, instead of snapping blindly with rear-facing cameras. The on-screen shutter button on most touch-screen devices makes taking selfies with a rear-facing camera cumbersome.
But it remains to be seen just how popular selfie phones will be with consumers. Dominant handset makers like Apple Inc., which produces the iPhone line, and Samsung Electronics Co., the world's biggest smartphone maker of the Galaxy, haven't said if they plan to make selfie phones.
In addition to its selfie phone, Microsoft also is developing a second handset, codenamed "Tesla," which it describes as an “affordable high-end phone” with a PureView Camera. The Windows Phone 8.1 device is expected to be the successor of the Nokia Lumia 720 smartphone, and marks a new effort by Microsoft to make PureView more affordable. Several purported images of the Tesla were recently leaked on the Chinese social media website Weibo. The device may be called the Nokia Lumia 830.