As a blogger, having a good camera on hand at all times is the difference between a good post, and an okay post. Lugging my DSLR around can get annoying, but everyone carries their phones with them now a days. With the ever increasing megapixels featured on our phone’s cameras it is only natural that many people embrace using their phones for quick, convenient, and nice looking photos.
Since I consider myself a lifestyle blogger, I am finding an increasing need to photograph not only my world, but myself as well. So I went on a journey to find a good selfie app.
The BestMe Selfie app came with a lot of positive reviews and millions of downloads.
The first few photos I took after downloading this app were simple photos around my house. There were a lot of filters to choose from, but the first draw back I noticed as that they lacked a real name for each filter. The filters were more or less numbered with names like SS4, B3, S9, etc. For me this made it a little difficult to remember which filters I was using or had already tried.
Just like any other website or app, the example images for each filter don’t seem to very accurately show you how the filter will look in real life. Of course, the example images use the filters in the best case scenario so using each filter for me was more of a guessing game of going through each filter to find which one looked best at the moment.
The next thing I noticed about this app was the hideous watermark at the bottom. Okay, I might sound a like a hypocrite here because all of my photography uses a watermark, but I really dislike camera and editing apps that feel the need to leave their watermark on my photos. I was disappointed and ready to uninstall the app, but then I went through the settings a bit more and discovered you could remove the watermark. Phew!
The more I took pictures around my house, the more I started to like this app. I enjoyed the cool tones of the filter used in the photos above and I loved how much it made Twyla’s eyes pop.
From the small screen on my phone, these photos looked really cute and simple which I loved. So it was time to try out different filters in different lights.
Taking pictures of objects seemed rather mediocre with this app. I do not feel like it particularly added or took any thing away from the pictures.
To me, it seemed like this app worked best when I was taking pictures of the little fur balls that inhabit my house. Sir Reginald became a new focal point for me.
I didn’t particularly like any of the filters for my dear black cat. It seemed to me that he either had to be in very bright light for me to capture enough details or the darkness of his fur mixed with these filters lead to black empty space.
I also found it a little difficult to control where the focus was on my camera with this app. Anyone who has used their phone camera may know, changing where your phone focuses can change the look of the photo entirely.
I liked the boosts in colours that the filters provided to otherwise boring pictures, like this image taken of roof tops and trees.
Okay, right, all of this is all well and good, but it is marketed as a selfie app. After all it’s called “BestMe”. Well, to be blunt, this is one of the worst selfie apps I have used. It seemed every filter either completely washed out my face or was far too heavily contrasted. No matter what light I used or what I did to make myself look nicer, these filters were just extremely unflattering. I could get much nicer, easier, quicker results from opening up Snapchat or just using my phone’s existing camera.
I also found it annoying that every time I closed the app I had to reselect the full screen option so that it would use the full width/height of my camera rather than a cropped version.
Also, upon opening the app you are greeted by an ad. Then after saving a photo, you are greeted by another ad. The images are not instantly saved so if you are trying to take pictures during an adventure or an event you might find yourself frustrated that you have to take a photo, click to save it, close the ad, then return the the camera screen before you can take another picture.
Honestly, I loved this app for the first few hours of using it, but the more I used it and tried to incorporate it into my day in the same way I would any other camera the less I liked it. The more I try to use it, the more frustrated with it I get.
The best images I got from this app, are the ones where I used very low powered filters. Or when I avoided filters all together.
The more artistic filters gave me these ugly grainy results or left the image with ugly artifacting and colour blobs.
So I began to look at this app as less of a camera and more of a photo editing tool.
Above is a simple selfie I took using my phone’s front facing camera. It’s not a very good photo, but I wanted to include a lot of different colours as well as skin tone for this experiment.
Below is the image after adding a filter using the BestMe Selfie app.
The image size was decreased, the quality of the image is greatly reduced, and there is more noise (grain) going on in the photo. Even just viewing the the two pictures side by side on my phone’s small screen I could see how much the app had degraded the edited image.
All in all, I would probably only give this app a 3 out of 10.
As an app that is marketed as being good for selfies, it completely fails. As an app for adding filters to your images in real time, it is okay at best. The only pictures I actually like that I took with this app are the first few I took of my dog. But all in all it’s just a matte filter with cool tones which can be easily done by any other program. Meaning that this app has nothing that makes it very unique. Realizing how much the app degrades the images was the nail in this app’s coffin.
I simply do not agree with the hype of this app and probably will not be using it again.