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Best smartphones for taking selfies

Logo accompanies weekly column from CNET.com. (TNS)
Logo accompanies weekly column from CNET.com. (TNS) TNS

Such is the power of the selfie, slang for self-portraits that phone makers of every stripe now tussle for ways to make them look better. Here are four phones that excel at the selfie.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

CNET rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Outstanding)

The good: The 5.7-inch Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has a brilliant high-resolution screen and takes excellent outdoor shots on its 16-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization. Using the stylus is more convenient, and the battery charges very quickly.

The bad: Low light and indoor shots aren't as good as they should be. The Note 4 costs significantly more than some other phablets, like the LG G3.

The cost: $0.00 (with 2-year contract) to $685.99

The bottom line: The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will thrill anyone who loves a fast phone with a large screen, but it's best for compulsive scribblers willing to pay a lot for its winning stylus.

Samsung Galaxy S6

CNET rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Outstanding)

The good: The upscale Samsung Galaxy S6's smooth glass-and-matte-metal body, improved fingerprint reader, and convenient new camera shortcut key make the phone a stunner. Samsung's decluttered take on Android 5.0 brings the beauty inside, too.

The bad: Longtime fans will bristle at the Galaxy S6's non-removable battery and absent expandable storage. The phone has an intensely reflective backing and looks like the iPhone 6. Battery life, while good, falls short of last year's Galaxy.

The cost: $129.99 (with 2-year contract) to $584.99

The bottom line: Worldly looks and top-notch specs make the impressive, metal Samsung Galaxy S6 the Android phone to beat for 2015.

HTC One M8

CNET rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Outstanding)

The good: The HTC One M8's sumptuous aluminum body makes a beautiful background for this top-flight smartphone's brilliant 5-inch display. It runs on a powerful quad-core processor and Android KitKat, the stereo speakers deliver excellent sound, and the depth-sensing camera brings a ton of useful features.

The bad: The One M8's battery is not user-removable, making it harder to replace once the battery inevitably wears out. The phone's sealed chassis is not water-resistant, and the One M8's photos look less sharp than competitors'.

The cost: $0.00 (with 2-year contract) to $699.99

The bottom line: Elegant style, raw power, and sophisticated features make the HTC One M8 an excellent smartphone choice for anyone but the most exacting photographer.

LG G Flex 2

CNET rating: 4.0 stars out of 5 (Excellent)

The good: The LG G Flex 2 sports a uniquely immersive and comfortable arched design, a sharp 1080p display, the latest Snapdragon 810 processor and a scratch-resistant coating.

The bad: The device's camera takes muted photos, its battery capacity is smaller than its predecessor, and performance can be slow at times.

The cost: $0.00 (with 2-year contract) to $499.99

The bottom line: No longer just a daring experiment, the G Flex 2 finally has a killer screen and top-of-the-line processor.

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