First came the selfie stick, allowing narcissistic cellphone owners to take pictures of themselves that appear as though they were taken by someone else. Now, a Taiwanese company has launched a new phone explicitly optimized for taking selfies. Fittingly, the device is even named the “Selfie.”
Computer and smartphone maker ASUS unveiled the latest model of its ZenFone line of Android devices at the Computex conference in Taipei on Monday. “I know I’m not the only narcissist in this room,” said ASUS design center director Jen Chuang as she introduced the ZenFone Selfie on stage at the conference.
The Selfie phone features cameras on both the front and back of the phone with a “beautification mode” designed to make people look better in their photos. “It makes my skin tone look more even, the lines softer—it’s like wearing digital makeup,” Chuang said.
“It’s like having a personal spotlight,” she continued, describing the benefits of the cameras’ “real tone” flash.
The device also sports a “selfie button” that can be easily pressed with an index finger, so people can click the shutter just as they might change the volume of their music. “Snapping selfies, adjusting the volume and retracing your steps feels as natural as your grip,” says ASUS’s description of the phone.
To activate “selfie mode,” users need only draw an “S” on the on the home screen of their phone. There is also “selfie panorama mode” for capturing more background in 140-degree selfie shots.
With phone attachments known as “selfie sticks” so popular that everyone from actor Leonardo DiCaprio to farmers in Uzbekistan are using the gadgets, it was probably only a matter of time til a smartphone maker created their own built-in version of the stick—which extends a selfie snapper’s reach to a normal photo-taking distance. The ZenFone Selfie’s answer to this is a revolving “swing” attachment that adds a few more inches between a selfie taker and the phone.
“When I take selfies, I wish I had a longer arm,” Chuang explained.
Perhaps ASUS’s most vain invention? The company is also offering a “MyView” cover for the phone that would hide the entire screen except for a small circular window for previewing selfie shots. The tagline for the accessory, as revealed in the Computex presentation: “Snap your selfie, view your beauty.”