A few weeks ago, you may have read about the popular Meitu selfie image filter app that was discovered to be collecting user data. Today, the Chinese company launched a selfie-focused smartphone, the Meitu T8, that contains special software that uses artificial intelligence to make those images look better.
The phone has a 12MP front-facing dual-pixel camera, with features like optical image stabilization, auto-focus and support for the company’s noise-reducing technology. Meitu says the AI image software is exclusive to the T8. When you take a selfie with the front camera, the software automatically goes to work on the photo. It will handle things such as whitening your teeth, eliminating any skin flaws, and put on an appropriate filter. The final result should be similar to the before and after images you see below.
Of course, the Meitu T8, like its Android app, also collects data from its AI photo beautification software. Meitu insists this feature is not to sell data to others but to use “this big data and our AI technology with DSLR-like camera performance to create the most advanced selfie phone for our selfie-loving users.” Obviously, it’s your choice if you want to believe Meitu’s company line.
The phone itself has a hexagonal form factor which is, to be frank, pretty ugly at first glance. The 5.2-inch device also has a 1920 × 1080 resolution display, and runs Android 6.o Marshmallow with its own MEIOS3.5 skin that supports features like private home screens and photo albums. In addition, it has 4GB of RAM, 128GB of on-board storage, a 21MP rear camera and a 3,580mAh battery.
The phone comes in a variety of colors with some odd labels, like Magical Orange, Jazz gold, Dazzling Blue, and Diamond Grey. There’s even a limited edition Phantom Black color that the company said was co-designed by Hong Kong model and singer Angelababy. The Meitu T8 is priced at 3,300 Yuan (about $480). Aside from China, it will be sold in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
At the moment, there’s no word when or if the phone will be sold in the US and other markets. If it does come to the US, it will be interesting to see the reaction to consumers who will have to figure out if they really want the perfect selfie image at the expense of the phone collecting their user data. What do you think of the Meitu T8? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.