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How to take hands-free selfies with your smartphone

motorola razr 2019 selfie
© Motorola

We've all been there. You take the smartphone in your hand, stretch out your arm very far, and want to squeeze you and all your friends into the picture. But as soon as you are all positioned, the next problem arises. How do you reach the shutter button? Most people choose the rather cumbersome method of reaching out to the shutter button using the other hand while delicately handing the phone to ensure that it doesn't fall. In this article, you will learn about the many easier ways of clicking hands-free selfies.

Let's dive straight in!


Hands-free selfies with Huawei

Huawei smartphones offer numerous options to shoot selfies and also photos with the main camera without physically pressing the shutter button. In the camera settings (gear symbol in the upper right corner), you will find ...

  • Photo with a smile: Smile while looking at the camera, and the photo is automatically clicked
  • Audio control - You can talk loudly, looking at the camera or "Say Cheese," and the shutter is triggered.

We noticed that the smile and speech recognition works well and triggers reliably on our Huawei P30 Pro. Huawei also used to feature a hand gesture to trigger selfies - but that option seems to have been removed of late. In case you have a Huawei smartphone, you might want to try these options. 

My Postselfie
The selfie camera on Huawei smartphones can be used hands-free in many ways. / © NextPit

Hands-free selfies with Samsung

You will find similar options on Samsung smartphones. On these smartphones, the voice control algorithm can even distinguish between photo and video, so it will directly trigger a video recording if you want it to. If you trigger your selfies with the palm gesture, the Samsung smartphone will wait another two seconds. You can drag your hand out of the image area into the frame to trigger the shot.

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Samsung offers similar hands-free features to trigger selfies. / © NextPit

What is missing from the Samsung handsets, however, is the smile recognition feature. Instead, it offers two additional options: on the Galaxy-S and Note devices, you can use the heart rate monitor on the back as the trigger. And with all devices, you can place an additional release button anywhere on the screen. Maybe you can find a position where you can hold your smartphone securely while pressing the trigger button.

One-hand selfies on all smartphones

In case your smartphone does not feature clever software tricks like the ones mentioned above, you still have other options. Almost all manufacturers, for example, have configured the volume buttons as physical trigger buttons. On some devices, you can even configure one side to record photos and the other side to record videos. Do note that you might have to turn this feature on from within camera settings for it to work. 



Smartphones from all manufacturers also offer a timer function for the shutter release. With this feature, all you need to do is select a timer option and then press the button and then have two or five seconds to position the camera for the perfect selfie. With group selfies, it is advisable to go for a longer countdown so that everyone in the group can be ready before the shutter triggers.

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Timer options on Samsung (left) or Huawei (right) make selfies only slightly easier. / © NextPit

Selfie accessories

Selfie sticks were the in-thing back in 2014. Their functionality was largely based on the ability of smartphones to use the volume buttons as triggers. These selfie-sticks were simply plugged into the USB-port of smartphones, and when you hit the shutter key on the stick, it triggered a volume up/down command to the smartphone, thereby triggering a selfie.

You know the catch to this story: New smartphones no longer have a 3.5mm jack. Selfie-Sticks of this design are consequently electronic waste. Thankfully selfie sticks have evolved with time, and now there are several models that offer Bluetooth connectivity to trigger selfies.


The drone shown above never became a reality, but the problems with selfies shown in the video remain. If you want to get even more out of your smartphone photos, you might want to take a look at our corresponding article:

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Eric Ferrari-Herrmann

Eric Ferrari-Herrmann
Senior Editor

Eric has been with AndroidPIT since 2014. He’s writing articles and reviews for the German website. Topics are mostly privacy and new technology but there's also the occasional piece on environmental sustainability.

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  • 7
    RowanRosh Dec 30, 2020 Link to comment

    Good article

  • 3
    Rob Oct 22, 2020 Link to comment

    I use my fitness band shutter button.

  • 4
    cheelen Feb 23, 2020 Link to comment

    I use timer sometimes.

  • marco sarli 39
    marco sarli
    • Admin
    Feb 14, 2020 Link to comment

    I do not take selfies but good to know

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