How Important Are Front-Facing Cameras to You? [Poll]


It’s been a long time since the first Android device with a front-facing camera launched, and the phenomenon has since spread like wildfire. It’s one of the biggest marketing points for OEMs these days alongside a slew of other buzzwords. Hell, even I was sucked into the EVO 4G by its front-facing camera and I rarely, if ever, use it. There is a very small amount of people in my address book who have front-facing cameras on their phones, and only one or two of them actually use it. Those one or two people I rarely speak to in voice and in person, let alone on video.

If I were to switch to a phone without a front-facing camera, I wouldn’t even care. Sure, I’d lose the self-portrait ability that I tend to use from time to time for profile pictures on various social networks, but I could always do it the old fashioned way and turn my device around hoping that I got all of my ginormous head into the shot on the first try.

So are you like me? Are front-facing cameras valuable to your experience? I know there are people who actively video call, but even those who do, would you ever be willing to let go of a front-facing camera for a phone that has nearly everything else you’ve ever wanted? And for those who don’t use them now, was the front camera even a small factor in your purchase decision? Let’s hear it below.

[polldaddy poll=5203928]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. The idea is great but until they reach critical mass, it is a novelty

    1. Your right, it is merely a novelty that gets used seldom on any device. I wish they would make it optional and not force more hardware in to these devices. I personally prefer a lot more memory than a stupid camera. At least I will actually need and use the extra memory.(RAM n ROM)

      1. Judging by your other comments here, you probably have no life and no friends and thus, would have no use for a camera other than to take pics of your mutilated junk to post on crazyshit.com. But I’m sure you have a dedicated HD cam for that, eh nibble tits?

  2. I don’t know how I recently got sucked into buying another phone with a front facing camera! I never used it back in 2005 when I had my Nokia N95 8GB phone.

  3. quite surprised by these results so far in that I didnt think as many would say they used it. I only use mine for video conferencing and that’s because I work in that field and have an app for it. Previously I hardly ever used the front facing camera as I couldn’t get any decent use out of it.

  4. Do you think I want to see any ones face when I’m calling somebody? Fuck NO, I will never use it. I barely use my minutes as is, I prefer to text and if I need a quicker answer I will call quickly but to sit there and see someones ugly face on my beautiful device, fuck that shit. Just got an EVO 3D and I wish that damn camera can be removed.

    1. You don’t sound like an idiot. Not at all.

      Please leave this site and join your kind at Giz.

      1. I’m sorry everyone. I didn’t realise until it was too late. I fed the trolls!

  5. I can’t say I’ve used mine at all for calling. It’s been used for a few snaps but nothing important.

  6. We NEED Google Talk with video chat on more devices than just 2.3.4. Seriously Google?

    1. All we need are oems to give us 2.3.4 on our phones…

    2. I agree. I like to use Google Video chat to talk with my wife / kids when I am traveling for work.

    3. Yeah, he should’ve made this poll after both Gtalk with videochat and Hangout arrived on more Android phones. Right now, it’s pretty pointless.

  7. Wow, do we have any moderators here?

  8. I can see it having its place for certain situations … such as calling someone because they “have to see this” …. literally. But for normal conversations, I can not see video ever taking off. It will be more like MMS, only used for certain situations.

  9. This poll is bullshit, who takes pictures of themselves?

    1. Not the guy with the Pedobear profile, obviously. Would make it too easy for the police to identify you. lol

    2. You’ve never been on facebook before have you?

  10. If android had a decent universal video chat app like apple does with facetime or skype it would be muvh more important.

    1. Like Google Talk?

      1. Perhaps, if google talk worked on all androids. I cant even use official skype on my non rooted bolt, which my wife’s 3g iphone can.

      2. No, Google Talk is, technically, depreciated. Google has been working on a new HTML5 chat/audio/video API for some time now and I’ve been wondering where they were going to implement it and it seems that’s what we’ve got with Google+. Specifically the Huddle feature. Although I haven’t been able to try it.

  11. Obviously a child who can’t think of anything more creative to say.

  12. If GTalk or some other Android app was more widely spread then I could see me using it a lot more but there’s no point using is when you don’t even know if the other person has a front face camera too or whether they have the same application to even support the use.

  13. I don’t use it much, but if I buy a high-tech phone it BETTER have one.

  14. I think it’s cool to have, but until more people pick them up, it won’t get heavy use from most. It is nice for self portraits and a mirror, though.

    Also, what are you doing using a BlackBerry Playbook in the article picture?!

    1. Drats! Didn’t think anyone would notice. ;P Just the nicest picture I could find of a front-facing camera on ANY device to go along with this post.

  15. Frontfacing camera isn’t that important to me at the moment.
    But I have a feeling that it might become important later.
    Only time will tell

  16. In the entire time I’ve owned my iPad 2, I’ve used the front facing camera only to test it out so I could write about it. It’s not that I don’t want to use video chat, it’s just that front facing cameras are still too new and too little people who I would video chat with own devices with them.

  17. It’s a marketing scam. The device manufacturer’s trick us in to wanting this, so we feel we must have it. I only buy what i need.

  18. I think everyone should have one so everyone can all get along nicely and have vidchats whenever they like.

  19. As smartphones become more widely used and more manufacturers include front facing cameras, people will get used to video chat and demand it more over time. I think we will eventually see video chat almost everywhere. This could even increase the sale of web cams for PCs too. I can imagine a time when people on their phones will be video calling people on both phones and PCs regularly since it’s all done over the internet anyway. If products like Google TV take off, we will surely be video chatting on our TVs with other people on their phones because we’ll be logged into our accounts on all our devices. For example, if a friend sees me logged in and sends a video chat invite, they could be on their TV, PC, tablet or phone, and I could answer it on my TV, PC, tablet or phone depending on where I am. If the devices we are using have a screen, internet access and a camera, then it can be used for video chat.

  20. Now skype have video calls it is 1000% more useful as even normal non techies use skype video chat from their desktops

  21. Front facing cameras are not new. I’ve seem mass market candybar phones from Europe and Asia that had front facing cameras 6 years ago. They just never caught fire until Apple told us that to be cool you needed to be able to video call. Now it’s all, “Stop the presses! I’m not buying another cheap phone that doesn’t have a FFC!”

    Yeah, they’re a fun novelty, but even as a novelty they’re marginally useful unless all phones, regardless of manufacturer or OS, can video call each other. Imagine if iPhones could only place phone calls to other iPhones (assuming you can place a call without dropping it anyway). For Video Calling to really be useful, it has to be as universal as the voice network.

  22. I would use it on a tablet, probably not on a phone. That’s why I think they should skip the rear-facing camera in tabs and just up the front-cam for crisper video chatting.

  23. I haven’t actually had a front-facing camera, yet, so I can’t be sure.

    The polls on this website are frequently underwhelming in their range of choices. They are frequently too extreme, excluding anyone whose opinions of the subject are neutral.

  24. I think they should be on all tablets. More so than phones. Video chat is growing in popularity, and will only continue to do so once Google comes out with a decent, universal video chat app.

    It costs manufacturers all of what, a few buck to put one in? The new Archos tabs have them, as well as some amazing specs, and manage to keep the price very low. Its one of those things you may not need all the time, but you’ll eventually hate yourself for not getting a phone/tablet without one when you need it.

    1. Agreed. I have one on my Xoom, but there is no easy way to video chat with it. I had to do a Google search to find out how…how’s that for irony?? Come on Google, Crapple has you beat real bad on video chat, I hate to say it.

  25. I really like my Atrix, but my vision of using the front facing camera for video chats with my family using Google Talk while on the road was just that, a vision.

    1. That’s because we can’t use the damn camera for anything right now….

  26. sure, its useless, but when something uses it, im glad i have one.

  27. Last time I used a front facing camera for actual use as a “camera” was back in 2006, when I made a video call to my brother who was sitting next to me to see how it works. Worked decently. We never made a video call ever again.

  28. 2MP front facing of goodness

  29. We’ve had Video calling on 3G mobiles for years now, why have these so-called “Smart Phones” gone backwards?

  30. I don’t use my FF camera much, but I’d like that feature to be there. Better to have it than not :)

    But FF cams have potential for more than pics, don’t they have head tracking software to create 3D effects on the Ipad?

  31. Until 2.3.4 drops and google brings a unified video conferencing program the front facing cameras are a joke. Android has a multitude of video chat programs and they all have device compatibility issues. I can’t even hold a decent video chat with my g/f because every program out there either has poor quality, is not compatible with my phone or is not compatible with her phone. Google needs to stop pushing fragmentation in their offerings and just write a decent video chat program that works as a standard apk and not integrated so deep in the system no one can use it unless they have a nexus.

  32. I think there are a couple of factors that go into using video chat. 1) if you have kids, you tend to use it more. We use it to call the grandparents and other friends with kids. 2) If you have friends and family who live far away. Again, this is my situation and it lets us keep in touch on a more personal level. It’s not for everyone, but there are some good uses for it.

  33. I’d much rather have an extremely good “normal” camera, then two on the whole thing. Plus better battery life ;-)

  34. Lol doing a poll here is meaningless. I bet half of the people here don’t have friends to Tango, Fring, Skype video chat with. I use tango to see my gf occasionally.

  35. How important that camera is for me?
    Important enough to leave HTC (after 6 years of loyalty) for Samsung when they removed completely the front facing camera from ALL their models.
    Then there was the GalaxyS, which was the only Android phone available at that moment with a front facing camera.

    Here in Belgium, the cost of a Video Call (3G) costs the same as a normal voice call, so I use it quite regularly to videocall my wife and sometimes friends.

  36. I think as Video Chat becomes more commonplace AND the standards become universal and OS-independent (like voice calling) AND 3G/4G becomes more commonplace outside of urban areas, then it will become the must-have feature in the next few months/years.

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