Do you care for Portrait Mode when choosing a new phone?

Do you care for Portrait Mode when choosing a new phone?
It has been two years since we first saw Portrait Mode — Apple's iPhone 7 Plus used an actualy telephoto lens on its secondary camera and some intricate software algorithms to blur out the background and simulate an actual DSLR camera. Since then, everyone has joined in and we've seen Portrait Mode evolve through time, its kinks ironed out, its imperfections worked on.

It's still not perfect by all means, and it can still have some pretty obvious fail moments. With some manufacturers, it's more consistent, others are still catching up in bringing a convincing bokeh effect.

Of course, we rarely use Portrait Mode for actual portraits of people... Come on, admit it — it's there for cool dog and cat photos! As well as trying to take an impressive photo of everyday objects or the nature around the office.

Notably, Apple's iPhone XR doesn't have a telephoto lens, but it still offers a Portrait Mode. The catch is, you can't use it unless the phone detects a human face. Yep, since it doesn't have two cameras at the back, it doesn't rely solely on depth perception — it uses a face in order to get a rough idea of what should be in the foreground and what should be back. To top it off, it doesn't do a 2x zoom, instead going for a more wide-angle portrait effect.

Of course, with the iPhone XR being a full $250 cheaper than the iPhone XS, a lot of people might be considering it. This is a good time to ask yourself: "Do I really care about Portrait Mode all that much?". Well... do you?

Do you care about Portrait Mode when choosing a phone?

Yep, it's always great to have!
43.84%
Ehhh, I can live without it.
30.37%
Not at all, that gimmick is dead to me.
25.8%

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24 Comments

1. imlegitcusimthasht

Posts: 306; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

I've always had it and it has been my determined factor for picking between devices, but now I realized I almost never use it. Maybe I don't care for profession selfies much. I mean is there really any other good use for portrait mode? And no I'm not talking about bokeh for rear cam lens. That one is a must for people who love to keep people or objects in focus for sure. But if a camera lens has to go without it for a different type of camera lens like wide angle camera and the phone is a great phone, it's wirth losing the lens. But nowadays, we have AI for bokeh, so just a telephoto, amd a wide angle, and Google's AI for bokeh is good enough. But for portrait mode, thaf s**t is overated

2. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

If I need a bokeh effect, I rather use Photoshop for this.

3. iushnt

Posts: 3124; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

It’s much easier than using photoshop

15. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

Easier? Yes. Better? No!. With Lightroom or if you have Photoshop Filters for Bokeh, and even portrait modes, you have a far better range of control and you can apply the effect to the exact part of the picture. Everyone isnt looking for ease. Many people, like this guy who mentioned Photoshop, are looking for precision and quality. Also, reviews have shown that other than the Pixel and the Galaxy, most phones are terrible with these effects because the lens has a hard time with separation of objects in the shot. With Lighteoom or PS, you have far better control and percision. Something that wont be an issue with software on a desktop.

17. maherk

Posts: 6965; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Why do you always find the need to argue and put words in other people's mouth? Where did he say it's better for you to write your novel? He simply said it's easier, so argue that point instead!

20. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

Are you married? Because you seem to not know what and argument is. I didn't argue anything. First off I agreed that yes it is easier. I did say it's not better and it's a fact. It is a fact that Apple, Samsung and other professiona photographers and novices, touch-up photos taken with camera phones with Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. I simply added to the guys point that he rather do such effects with PS Stop being hateful blind and purposely ignorant to what I said. I didnt argue anything and I never even said he was wrong; because he wasn't The only person trying to start an argument is you, by trying to put words in my mouth.

21. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

Just like its easier to take your car to a carwash. But you can do a better job washing it yourself. Because like photoshop, you can take care of the spots that were missed. You're such a troublemaker and I didnt even do anything wrong.

24. iushnt

Posts: 3124; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

It depends on individual needs. For my need, my 7 plus’s potrait performance is good enough. I just don’t want any hassle to touch my PC for my photo works. While, I see my friends using a DSLR and Lightroom, I just find it easy to use my portrait mode which fulfills my need. I guess majority are like me, layman, lazy yet interested. However, Low-light potrait, indoor portrait performance is very poor in my phone.

23. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

A bokeh effect is hardly difficult. Sure an automated system is easier, but also more limited. When I do it myself, hair isn't an issue, which it is for most (if not all) of those automated ones. Not to mention I can have multiple layers for bokeh while automated only has one.

4. Cat97

Posts: 1934; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Selfies are dead anyway.

14. TechNeck

Posts: 656; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

This comment.. UGH so much mind power is eminating from it.

16. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

Really? Based on what fact? When was the last time you've been on Snapchat. Facebook and instagram? Its ok to not have knowledge. Totally different thing to simply ignore facts. Over a billion selfies are taken every year. How is that dead? I think your brain is dead though.

5. OneLove123

Posts: 1195; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

Nope, use it like 5 times the last 2 years

6. warrenellis93

Posts: 550; Member since: Jul 21, 2011

I prefer a wide angle lens

7. Vokilam

Posts: 1282; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

I’ve taken some photos of my family with portrait mode that look absolutely stunning. You have to look really closely to see that is not a real thing - but to anyone who don’t know - don’t know.

8. maherk

Posts: 6965; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

The number one factor that decided my purchase decision is camera quality and camera features, and portrait mode is one of them. I have 2 kids that I do my best to save their memories in the best way possible, and the more camera modes I have in my phone, the more I find myself taking pictures of them.

9. japkoslav

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

No, I don't care for portrait mode. This poll is pretty much useless because on almost any Android phone you can get Google Camera port.

10. hmd74

Posts: 540; Member since: Jan 31, 2013

We're paying 800$+ for flagships these days! With that price, EVERYTHING is a must have!

11. CellieCell

Posts: 151; Member since: Apr 14, 2010

I agree for the fact that everything is going up in price, I just wish it would do more! I'm surprised none of these manufacturers has partnered up with lytro. They've got something special that no phone manufacturer has for depth of field photography. https://m.dpreview.com/reviews/lytro

12. darkkjedii

Posts: 31323; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I love it on the Note 9, cause of the full screen view finder option.

19. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

And better resolution display where yo can actually see the quality of the photo that you took.

13. libra89

Posts: 2298; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Eh, nah. If the phone has it, I use it once to try it out and then I never use it again.

18. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

Based on my experience with taking photos at a recent wedding, even though some phone do a good job, I found that I ended up wasting time because I ended up having to take multiple shots, and even then the effects get terribly applied. It's actually better to take the highest quality photo you can, and bring the photo to a Mac or Windows PC with Lightroom or Photoshop. Because those filters are tools are better. You can apply the effect where you want it, with full precision and accuracy, which is where most phones fail. Sometimes what you see on your phone screen, especially on an iPhone, with lower resolution vs how the camera tool the shot; it may look great onscreen, but when on a bigger screen with higher resolution; you can see so many artifacts and where the camera blurs things that should be separated. If you take a shot at 1440p, but you display is 800p, then of course the shot will look great because it was taken at a high res and lowed fo match for screen res. But being that photo to a 4K display so you can see it at 1440p, and it looks like total garbage. Unless you use a real camera for this on a pro level, phones doing this is pure gimmicky.

22. obedchuni

Posts: 337; Member since: Jun 16, 2014

Portrait Mode is great on iphones, pixels and samsung.

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