This feature needs to die ASAP

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
This feature needs to die ASAP
Among all the novel smartphone "trends", there's a minor feature that really, really grinds my gears. It's subjectively obnoxious, stupid, and I detest it with a passion. It's stock camera watermarks on photos, like the one you're seeing above.

These watermarks serve no practical purpose at all.

To my eyes, there's nothing uglier than a distasteful watermark sitting in the corner, informing you what camera system and phone were used to snap the masterpiece in question, like you're going to forget overnight. 

They are eyesores that detract from the artistic and photographic value of the image, its composition, and basically strip it away from any aesthetic merit whatsoever.

They are not copyright-protecting ones and generally can't be customized (with one exception), and it's clear as day that their main function is to stir up free marketing and PR for the manufacturer once users hopefully start sharing these on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, what have you.


I don't really remember when this feature took off, I suppose it was sometime in the past two years but has really taken off recently. I see it everywhere and every time I do, I "literally can't even", as millennials and sorority girls used to say back in the day. 

If you're using this feature and unironically sharing such images on social media, you better stop right now. If you're a manufacturer wondering if you should bake that functionality on their next Android device, please don't. 

Hall of shame


So, which ones are the wrongdoers in question? Three defendants, your Honor:

  • Xiaomi, which has camera watermarks enabled by default on its flagships. "Shot on Mi Mix dual camera", yeah, get lost. A handy switch in the settings of the camera app does away with this infuriating software quirk, but it's still bad to force this functionality on users by default:

  • Huawei, which doesn't have the watermark feature enabled by default. It's still utterly obnoxious and irritating and irks me at all the wrong spots:


  • OnePlus, which doesn't have the feature enabled by default and at least allows users to customize the bottom portion of the text. Another proof that weaponizing bad ideas is stupid:

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29 Comments

1. Feanor

Posts: 1346; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

The title of the article makes it sound like this is a stock Android feature but as we can see it is just a Chinese custom skin invention. One more addition to my long list of transgressions committed by Chinese OEMs on Android.

8. Feanor

Posts: 1346; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

...and corrected. Thanks guys.

2. ssallen

Posts: 175; Member since: Oct 06, 2017

Whatever, where was your distaste for narcissism for the last decade of "sent from my iPhone" crap? This at least makes some sense. If people take a stunning photo that shows off a phone's unique capabilities at least there is something to brag about. The retarded sent from my iPhone was just letting iUsers embarrass themselves.

3. sissy246

Posts: 7078; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Exactly There is no reason to have, Sent from my iphone either but, they wont rag on that because it is apple.

4. peter.k

Posts: 76; Member since: Jul 05, 2017

It's equally stupid, but this article is all about those pesky camera watermarks.

6. maherk

Posts: 6773; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

And that's their point, why not dedicate an article about this as well?

21. mrochester

Posts: 978; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

Because this is new behaviour and newsworthy whereas 'sent from my iPhone' is years old and isn't newsworthy?

23. perry1234

Posts: 643; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

Can the feature/irritant be turned off in the OP smartphones ?

27. ZombieHunter

Posts: 265; Member since: Oct 13, 2013

Yes, it can.... it's an option only... Not sure why we even are discussing this in an article... Amazing

25. apple-rulz

Posts: 2026; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Yes but that doesn’t matter to the Samsung/Android defense forces.

16. middlehead

Posts: 454; Member since: May 12, 2014

The "sent from" is to show recipients that you typed the email on your phone, so formatting and spelling may not be to your normal standard. Every Android I've used has it enabled too, this isn't one to rag on Apple for.

5. Victor.H

Posts: 1056; Member since: May 27, 2011

I guess it was conceived as a bit of a statement of pride by Apple in the beginning because the iPhone could send emails so easily and effortlessly, and nobody really expected that a phone could do that. These days that idea has clearly worn off and I think it is definitely not in great taste either. And here, the problem is that none of those phones that slap that nasty watermark really take pictures that look that great. I think Xiaomi even has this on its cheaper phones and many people don't even know how to disable that feature. Definitely not a great idea.

9. bucknassty

Posts: 1325; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

so... blackberrys and palms and windows mobile at the time couldn't send emails??? i though there was a famous microsoft guy that laughed at apple for not having a keyboard to write emails....

20. cmdacos

Posts: 4110; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Nope. Apple invented sending emails from a mobile device. You didn't know that?

12. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

"iPhone could send emails so easily and effortlessly, and nobody really expected that a phone could do that" Seriously? I was sending emails before the iPhone effortlessly and many of my friends did so too. What I don't like about the default email app of iPhone (and Samsung too) is the lack of HTML and images in signatures.

13. dimas

Posts: 3347; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

You saw kids wearing baseball caps with branding stickers intact? That's what chinese manufacturers want to do and for some weird reason, people agree with this fad.

17. middlehead

Posts: 454; Member since: May 12, 2014

No, the "sent from" is to show recipients that you typed the email on your phone, so formatting and spelling may not be to your normal standard. Every Android I've used has it enabled too, this isn't one to rag on Apple for.

22. bbycrts

Posts: 24; Member since: Nov 05, 2018

People still use Apple's stock email app?

26. apple-rulz

Posts: 2026; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

iPhone users tend to be happy, unlike you.

29. domfonusr

Posts: 1083; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

… and you're sooooo happy that you absolutely had to point out another's "unhappiness?" Wow! You MUST be super-happy, indeed!

7. markbyrn

Posts: 4; Member since: Jan 14, 2019

Glad you corrected the misleading title to remove Android; if you have a stock Android device, you won't have this option unless you get a 3rd party 'shot on' app which by the way, you could get on iOS as well. In fact, I think I'll start using it on my Pixel 3 and iPhone XS max just to trigger tech media pundits ;)

10. dimas

Posts: 3347; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Huawei started it and you can't remove it in it's first generation. I agree, this phone bragging appendix should die in 2019. I want to see your picture, not to know the phone you're using.

11. zackh121556

Posts: 132; Member since: Feb 01, 2012

actually, if you can edit the watermark...this is a good feature for photo professionals or food dudes.....imo

14. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

It would be nice to edit the watermark so it represents your website or Instagram tag

15. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Granted, OnePlus did have several "Shot on OnePlus" competitions so in that case, the option would make sense. But yeah, these options need to go.

18. bankkung

Posts: 10; Member since: Jun 04, 2015

I believed this was start when Huawei announced Huawei P9 (or maybe start in P10) when they try to promote Leica lens in their system.

19. redmd

Posts: 1926; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

These watermarks should die. They are a shameless plug to promote the phone to your audience. WHT?!

24. baldilocks

Posts: 1494; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one and they are all full of s**t.

28. ZombieHunter

Posts: 265; Member since: Oct 13, 2013

Uh, these watermarks can be easily turned off in the options (At least on the OP6). Why are we even discussing this? Stupid article about nothing. Slow news day?

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