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What is a 0.5 selfie and how can you create one?

Join the 0.5 selfie fun!
By
December 16, 2023
Pixel 7 Pro selfie with rear camera through viewfinder edited
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

Are you following the latest trends on social media? A new one has arrived. Maybe you’ve noticed some interesting selfies lately, showing odd proportions like long arms, more prominent foreheads, and what may seem like overall distorted perspectives. We’re here to tell you all about what is a 0.5 selfie and how to create your very own.

What is a 0.5 selfie?

A 0.5 selfie is pronounced as a “point five selfie” and is simply a photo shot with an ultrawide angle camera. Such ultrawide angle lenses have curved glass, allowing images to cover a wider visibility. As a result, the image will be morphed, extending and changing the look of how things look, especially closer to the edges. This is why 0.5 selfies usually show super long arms; these are commonly along the photo’s edges. This effect is similar to what a fisheye lens does, but undertoned.

These 0.5 selfies are usually found on what could be considered Gen Z social networks heavily focused on imagery. You’ll more often see them on TikTok and Instagram, for example. The 0.5 selfie tendency has gone so far that even celebrities, influencers, models, and other public figures are starting to adopt it. These include Rina Lipa, Zoe Nazarian, Mia Regan, Maxim Magnus, and Magda Kaczmarska. You can see some of these images above.

How to take a 0.5 selfie

motorola razr plus cover screen camera preview
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Are you ready to join the masses and create your own 0.5 selfies? It’s actually pretty simple; you just need to have the right tools.

Requirements

Luckily, there is only one real requirement to take a 0.5 selfie. You will need an ultrawide angle camera on your smartphone. It is very rare to find these on selfie cameras, but they’re ubiquitous in rear phone camera systems.

Generally speaking, an ultrawide angle lens will have a field of view of 90 degrees or higher. However, most modern smartphones with ultrawide angle cameras feature about a 120-degree field of view, or something along those numbers.

Popular devices with an ultrawide angle camera include the iPhone 15 series, the Samsung Galaxy S23 series, the Google Pixel 8 line-up, the Motorola Razr Plus, the OnePlus 11, and many others. You can always check your phone specifications to see if your device has an ultrawide angle camera.

Editor’s note: We formulated these instructions using a Google Pixel 7 Pro running Android 14. Some menus may look different, depending on your device and software version.

How to shoot a 0.5 selfie:

  1. Launch the Camera app.
  2. Switch to the 0.5 mode. This may show up as 0.5x on some phones. If you don’t see it, just go to the mode with the smallest number possible.
  3. Turn the phone around and shoot the photo.

Because most phones don’t have ultrawide cameras in the front, you will likely need to use the rear cameras. This means you won’t be able to see the screen. That is, of course, unless you have a foldable device with an external screen. Otherwise, you just kinda have to “wing it” and use an alternative method to trigger the shutter and take the photo.

Most phones support pressing either of the volume buttons to do this. You can also set a timer, but we know some phones lock the focus when you start the timer. This means you may end up with a blurry image if you start the timer, extend your arm, and wait for the image to shoot. We’ve already experienced this with the Xiaomi 13, for example.

You can also try using a remote shutter release, if you’re willing to spend a bit on such an accessory. Luckily, these tend to be pretty cheap. You can take a look at our favorite option in our list of the best smartphone photography accessories.

Why are 0.5 selfies so popular?

There are many reasons why something like 0.5 selfies can become a fad or tendency. For starters, 0.5 selfies have become very popular among famous personalities on social media. Of course, this will trigger imitation by followers.

Additionally, ultrawide angle cameras are relatively new in smartphone photography, and they started becoming a common feature in mobile devices only some years ago. For example, the first iPhone to come with an ultrawide angle camera lens was the iPhone 11 in 2017. And because few photography enthusiasts buy dedicated cameras with ultrawide angle lenses, this was likely a whole new discovery to many users.

0.5 selfies show a new perspective people weren’t used to. The Gen Z community can suddenly experience new angles, show more in an image, play with interesting looks, etc. This can make selfies more exciting.

There’s also a more technical reason to like 0.5 selfies. We all know rear-facing cameras tend to be much better than front-facing ones. Many prefer turning the phone around to shoot an image with the main cameras. Getting an image framed can be tricky if you can’t see the screen, but if you use a wider angle it’s much simpler to get everything in the frame. Shooting blind using an ultrawide angle lens is just easier.


FAQs

To shoot a 0.5 selfie, you will need a phone with an ultrawide camera. Luckily, these are very common these days. We can’t give you a comprehensive list of devices, just because there are so many. All you have to do to verify is look at your specific phone specs, though. If you can’t find them, we recommend using a third-party website like GSMArena.com.

It is very rare to find devices with an ultrawide angle front-facing camera. Some include the OnePlus Nord, Pixel 7a, and Pixel 7 series. This is changing with foldable phones, though, as you can easily use the rear cameras as front-facing cameras with them.

The only way to shoot a 0.5 selfie without an ultrawide angle camera on your smartphone is to get an ultrawide angle lens add-on for smartphones. This will go over your regular phone camera and modify how the image looks.