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With more and more smartphones being released on a seemingly weekly basis, manufacturers and carrier partners are understandably looking for any and every way of differentiating their devices from the competition.

iPhone 4S Galaxy Nexus

One of those possible differentiators is the device’s camera. The latest iPhone, Apple’s iPhone 4S, features an 8 megapixel camera which is pretty much accepted as being one of, if not the best camera on a smartphone. It is arguable that one or two of Nokia’s handsets could give it a run for its money, but with nobody really buying those we’re not going to count them!

It may be universally known that more megapixels do not necessarily always equal better photos. With so much depending on the other components, not to mention the camera software itself, the spec race doesn’t really apply here.

Capture

One thing we are all guilty of though is forgetting that the vast majority of the smartphones on the market these days sport two cameras – one on the back for high quality shooting, and one on the front for video calling.

The front-facing cameras are usually of a considerably poorer quality than those on the back. Take the aforementioned iPhone 4S for example – its rear-facing camera is an 8 megapixel part, where the front one is just a VGA-capable camera.

The latest and greatest Android phone, Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus is the exception to the rule here, with the front-facing camera actually supporting 720p video, meaning it should outshine the iPhone when it comes to video calling.

Galaxy Nexus

With that in mind, Geek.com set about taking a couple of sample videos using an iPhone 4S, and the international version of Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus.

The end result, after a couple of play-throughs, is that the Galaxy Nexus pips it, but if you’re just doing video calls you may not really notice that much of a difference. That said, as screen resolutions increase, and the screens themselves continue to grow, a higher quality front-facing camera will become more and more of a necessity. But, then again, how many of us really actually use the front-facing camera these days, except for using it as a quick pocket mirror?

That is assuming anyone actually uses their smartphone for video calls – a fact we’re far from convinced about!

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