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Vivo S12 and S12 Pro promise studio-grade selfies thanks to color-changing LEDs

Vivo is a Chinese smartphone maker that puts camera innovation in the top echelons of its priority list. It gave us the world’s first phone with a pop-up selfie camera in 2018. Then it went overboard and launched a phone packing dual pop-up selfie snappers. Not one to take a rest, Vivo then fitted an optically stabilized 44-megapixel selfie camera on its V21 5G phone. And now, the company has put a pair of color-changing soft LED lights on the front to capture selfies that look studio lit.

Or at least that’s the goal.

vivo front camera selfie LED
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Now, a soft LED flash accompanying the front camera is nothing new to the smartphone industry. The idea was good, especially for a small group that is a little too enthusiastic about self-portraits. Perplexingly, the idea never got much traction in a social media-obsessed world. Now, Vivo’s V12 and V12 Pro are giving it another try, with an innovative twist this time around.

Bet your $1,000 iPhone can’t do that!

The trick here is that users can change the color of these soft, selfie-illuminating lights to capture the perfect selfie. Thanks to a certain magical tool called Google Translate, we were able to understand what the whole fuss is about from Vivo’s China website.

It appears that users can choose from four different lighting presets that vary based on the color and intensity of the soft LED flash. So, one can either go with bright illumination in really dark surroundings or opt for the sun-kissed bronzed look in their selfies. Here’s how dramatically (or not) it affects the looks:

Vivo S12 color changing LED flash
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Vivo’s online shop in China provides a bit more detail about these color-changing lights on the front, with one module flanking the camera notch on either side. Thanks to Google Translate (again), it appears that users can also freely adjust the color temperature between 3000K and 6000K.

In English, 3000K is warm white light, anything around 4000K is neutral white or cool white, and6000K is strong white daylight with just a tinge of blue. The idea is neat, and almost compels me to click a few dozen selfies with different LED flash temperatures to post on my non-existent Instagram account with a million followers.

The actual camera hardware is a heavy hitter, too. Vivo has armed the V12 Pro with a 50-megapixel main selfie shooter, sitting alongside an 8-megapixel wide-angle snapper. At the back is a massive 108-megapixel camera, paired with an 8-megapixel wide-angle shooter and a paltry 2-megapixel macro snapper. The phone is currently available in China, and might make it to a handful of Asian and European markets in the coming months. But it is extremely unlikely to ever grace American retail shelves.

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Nadeem Sarwar
Nadeem is a tech journalist who started reading about cool smartphone tech out of curiosity and soon started writing…
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