OPINION: Apple, you've disappointed me yet again.

When the new iPhone 15 rolled out, I decided it was time for an upgrade.

Being on the precipice of 25 years old, something recently shifted in me. Instead of continuing to stumble my way through life, I deeply desired to go inside my brain and give it a good thorough clean with a disinfectant wipe. I wanted to be anew. I wanted to be self-assured and responsible.

So I did just that. I lint-rolled my blazer, flipped over my mattress and then I did something I've never done before. 

I pre-ordered a phone case before I even got my new phone.

A new woman, right?

Turns out, this new me was short-lived, because happiness is fickle and being responsible is a burden that feels too heavy to carry. And it all came undone within the first few weeks of unboxing my new iPhone 15 because as soon as I did, there was a rather odd and recurring problem. 

I looked absolutely hideous in every single photo I took of myself. 

Watch: Just How Bad Is The iPhone Selfie Camera? Post continues after video. 

Video supplied.

Upon opening the camera application, I looked great. I'd snap a few photos – some with friends and others by myself – and lock my phone. 


By the time I went to look at them later, I noticed I appeared ... sharper. Less smooth. Grayer. 

Every selfie seemed to highlight my dark circles, hyperpigmentation and acne scars. Features I hadn't ever paid attention to before were now presented to me in perfect clarity.

But why? I looked pretty enough whilst taking the photos. My camera had told me so! And now it was showing me a different truth. A much harsher, older-looking one.

In photos with friends, we found the pictures taken to be duller. Image: Supplied.


The iPhone 15 camera is too skilled nowadays and, if I think about it, so were the 13 and the 14, too. So much so that I remember when content creators online confessed they were trading in their state-of-the-art devices to have their old iPhones back.

Sure, they might be slower and glitchier and a little less... trendy, but they do a better job of giving us what we want to see: a face we recognise.

I'm not the only one who thinks so. 

"I look ugly on the phone camera. I don’t know if I’m ugly? I like what I see [in the] mirror," read one post on Reddit. A commenter explained that their new device, an iPhone 13, had made them look like a "different person" and "20 years older".

Another called the camera a "travesty", writing they had to heavily edit their photographs "just to make the picture look how I look in real life".

This is really only a problem with the three latest models of the iPhone device, as each one has a 12-megapixel front-facing camera. Compare that to the iPhone 10, which only had seven megapixels.

On the surface – along with Apple's multitude of other features that apparently makes them the best phone camera system – these devices should only impress, really.

But if I'm being honest, I don't find upgrades like a 48MP main camera with pixel-binning technology, a telephoto lens or a faster night mode that exciting. Because I still look nothing like how I think I look in real life, or at the very least, similar to even how my back camera perceives me.


I understand that it's not healthy to find validation from the camera, but I think I speak for most people when I say I spend much longer scrolling through my phone's photo albums than I do staring at myself in the mirror.

Perhaps the old iPhone was just dishonest and meager, and therefore misled me into thinking I look like a completely different person. But this isn't the first time they've had a massive pushback about the quality of their cameras.

In 2018, the tech company was actually accused of making people look too good. The XR and XA models seemed to be artificially smoothing each photo taken in a scandal that later became known as "beautygate".

Apple later clarified that a software bug was behind these unusually hot photos, and shipped a fix. 

It's proven much too difficult to build a phone that's just right, it seems, and with the advancements in tech over the past few years, Apple refuse to go backwards.

For people that think like me – who happen to be in the millions, considering how many TikToks, Reddit posts and Q&A forums have been made about the unflattering selfie camera – this actually doesn't feel like progress at all.

Not in the slightest. Not one bit. 

Feature Image: Supplied.

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