Notice anything unusual in this picture? (Besides the obvious, of course -- I didn't do a thing with my hair today.) That's right, the front-facing 1.3MP camera on the Sprint HTC Evo 4G records things backward, at the moment. (Our pal Andrew from Androinica broke the news in a much cooler test.)

As to if and when it'll be fixed, we caught up with HTC, which told us the following: "We are looking into whether this is strictly a software issue, if, and how soon it can be corrected." Let's hope it's sooner rather than later. I'm not getting any prettier up there.

There are 54 comments

Kedar says:


You didn't do a thing with your hair today.

Edit: When I get my Evo, I'll use the front facing camera to decode that message.

Edit2: I realized I can use my Pre's mirror. Boy am I going to miss that... I actually used it a lot.

Oh and picture doesn't work now. And also, is that 1.2 MP quality? That's good!

Gameboy70 says:

Hmm, actually, now that you mention it, an electronic mirror using the front camera would make a pretty useful free app. It could be a smash hit with the ladies.

Ecoteric says:

Clearly, this is the single easiest problem/issue to resolve with software mirroring. Think Photoshop.

kadield says:

The picture isn't working for me.

Yea picture = red x

Sorry. Back up.

qst4 says:

I don't know how big a deal this is going to be. But really? How could this phone be a week from launching and have such a glaring issue. I'm rooting for Android, but I won't be surprised if Apple's implementation is better. Apple is like Kobe (and I do dislike Kobe), if you come you better not be half steppin' and it looks like there's a whole lot of half steppin' goin' on in that picture. And no I'm talking about the ridiculous facial expression.

Ryan32 says:

What are you talking about? Apple screws stuff like this up all the time. Talk about fan boy garbage.

How about when Iphone allowed deleted e-mails to be retrieved/viewed? Or when they had an SMS hack bug. Or any other number of security issues, not to mention 3G and functionality issues.

The only thing i see "half-steppin" is your perspective.

benthe1 says:

First of all, I don't see any "glaring" issue so I'm not sure what you're talking about. Second, if you want to praise the iPhone, go somewhere else cause this is all about Android. Apple sucks and I will never buy an Apple product for the life of me. Anyway, EVO will rock the new iPhone's socks off.

qst4 says:

Both of you probably did not read my comment closely. I don't like Kobe and I definitely don't like apple. I have an N1 and a Pre, no intentions of getting any version of the iphone. I'm just pointing out a fact. If its that hard for you to deal with the fact that it IS VERY possible that apple's implementation might be better maybe you need to look in the mirror and ask yourself who's the real fanboy here. My point is this is going to be a feature that will eventually come to all smart phones. It would be nice to be able to say HTC and Android got it right first. Sorry if you were offended, where should I send the tissues to.

mritter88 says:

Macbooks take backwards pictures when you're using Photobooth (don't know about other apps).

qst4 says:

Maybe that's the standard then. Phil seemed to imply Google thought it was an error that needed to be corrected. "We are looking into whether this is strictly a software issue, if, and how soon it can be corrected." However, since we don't have the same issues on TVs or movies I don't see why it would be acceptable here.

JohnnyACE562 says:

Don't be mad @ Kobe for being great.


qst4 says:

That joker has hurt my feelings on too many occasions! But you gotta respect his game.

sqlguy33 says:

Is this really an issue. When I use the web cam on my laptop, it is a mirror image as well for my own screen, but correct for others.

jeffreytz says:

Guess we'll all be calling up to cancel our pre-orders.



itch808 says:

useless camera

jcmyers79 says:

Not "useless." Just bass ackwards.

McPlot says:

Then don't use the front 1.3meg pix on the front, use the 8meg pix on the back. And, it may be do to the little pic in the corner when you see yourself. People are used to seeing themselves in the mirror. So a mirror image I kind of understand. The question is, what does the other person see. If the mirror image, then no, not good. But not useless either.

dswatson83 says:

no, its probably not going to be a big deal, especially if they can fix it, maybe when we get the froyo update, but man, how did you not see that HTC. I'm an engineer and i'd be fired for something like that. Someone must feel like an a$$

ohboyscott says:

what a fail

hopefully they can fix in time

isn't this intentional? isights on macs are like this so it's more natural looking at yourself... you know like when you're in a mirror.

Ecoteric says:

Yeah I was thinking that this was a good thing! They should include the option for both views.

dswatson83 says:

on a side note, not that bad of an image for being in the dark. Looks better than my webcam. Might look quite good in the daytime

Chevalier says:

Am I the only one who got more excited to get the phone when I saw this? I look forward to messing with people by sending them backwards pictures.

da.bell says:

It's a feature :)

Okay, lets move along... How many days until this thing rolls out to the public??? :D LOL

robnaj says:

I hope that they can fix this with an upgrade.

MowDownJoe says:

Am I alone in that I can actually read that in spite of it being mirrored?

itch808 says:


Kids-"Rejoice! Pranks galore!"

Adult-"How useful is this thing going to be again?"

biggbrother2 says:

Seems with every phone there are the little bugs! Welcome to the Superphone Club EVO!

ARossetter says:

Hey Phil,

This is 100% intentional and not a bug (if you are looking at a "preview" from the front facing camera). The reason for this (and for all webcams to exhibit this behavior on the local side) is for ease of use.

Think about like looking into a mirror; when we raise our left hands, we expect the person staring back at us to also raise their left hand. Imagine how confused you'd get if the man in the mirror seemed to raise his right hand instead. This is why cameras designed to face a person project previews in this way. I'd bet if you placed a video call with the phone, the user on the other end would be able to read your text just fine.

Now, if you were using the front facing camera for the camera application (for taking pictures), then this is a bug. :)

I concur

mellisnj says:

Just saw this video on Qik from someone using a front facing camera. This issue is present there also. Was shot in Las Vegas and he is driving the vehicle. I'm sure this was not an intentional mirror image like web cams.

BTW this is definitely not me in the video.

JoeRnCT says:

Just open the Settings for the FF camera, tap "Mirror Mode" to un-check. Hold the phone in Landscape mode and text will look fine.

Comineeyeaha says:

I really don't see how this is a problem or a bug. The front facing camera is for video chatting. When you're looking at the image and need to move it is much easier for our brains to process a mirror image because that's what we've always looked at ourselves with. If anything I see it as a feature.

EyeCatcher says:

xD awesome picture !
but i think if qik is runinning normal, the software "only" needs to be fixed.
not a big deal for me ...
but its quite dark as somebody mentioned, thats quite nasty i think cause the pictures will be crap.

Umm, I hope everyone else isn't this retarded; why don't you all try reading the sign backwards? Hint...hint. I would say this is a big joke.

FeinP1118 says:

Phil, I think you're wonderful. You really make me laugh, which is really good in this day and age. :)

Smokeaire says:

That is funny. Thanks for the laugh, I needed that.

rufflez says:

You realize that a lot of webcams do this intentionally? My Macbook does this.

Rich Coralli says:

So funny ........ and annoying.

AnubisibunA says:

The camera can do some other stuff too... but guess you have not found the "Iron Man" feature yet : *(see below)*


#1 from above =
look at phil

#2 from above is too big - but also here [ ]

I think it's a bug though, as Phil seems more like an Aquaman kinda guy...

c3PreO says:

Great job AnubisibunA !!!

I only hope my Evo comes with the "Iron Man" feature. Not!

(it would really impress the ladies though)


dgalanter says:

I have a video phone that does the same thing, so that I can basically not be confused by what I see when I'm talking (signing in ASL) to people (you see yourself on a Video Phone for the deaf in the lower right corner) because we're used to seeing ourselves in mirror image. When someone I'm talking to sees me, the image is proper, however. So could this be for such use?

Qazme says:

Does this make anyone else giggle like a school girl....and 1.3MP that sucks....

mikebeam says:

A friend of mine at work has a LG flip phone and when you close it with camera on it does the same exact thing.

Morenicano says:

Man... No honorable mention for the tip or anything... Bummer! :(

jspidey says:

i seriously fail to see how this issue made it through testing and quality control...

cMARVEL360 says:

Funny thing is i was able to read that LOL!

c3PreO says:

suoiraleh yrev lla si sihT
yadirF txen ovE ym gnitteg llits m'I tuB

Decode with Evo front facing camera or use mirror

Ok, ok...I'll save you the trouble...

This is all very helarious
But I'm still getting my Evo next Friday


walterwood44 says:

I have seen two videos taken with the Evo front facing camera where the person was driving or sitting behind the wheel. It gave the impression that they were in the UK where they drive from the right side of the car. Strange.

BTW the webcams I have provide a correct orientation of the subject.

Also, I can't wait to get my backward-camera Evos next Friday!

xarophti says:

Phil, Androinica's test may have shown the camera's video fidelity, but your pic gets the point across in one glance!

a1locjaw says:

Iwonder if the app was written originally for use on a back facing camera with an add-on mirror appliance?

lolobabes says:

is this serious?!?!?! ahihihihi