With the launch of the iPhone X came Animoji, Apple's AR-powered animated emoji. Playful, entertaining and an amazing example of what Apple's TrueDepth camera is capable of, it's no surprise it was a well-loved feature from the moment it launched.
Now, there's a new animated emoji on the block - Samsung's AR Emoji which debuted alongside the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. And while they might appear similar at first glance, there's certainly a few major differences between the two. Want to learn more? We take a look at how the two measure up.
Available on: iPhone X
Animoji will be available on any forthcoming iPhone that uses the TruthDepth camera system, however to date this can only be found on the premium iPhone X. Apple's 3D recognition feature, TruthDepth maps out a user's facial features and tracks more than 50 muscle movements including your eyes, jaw, lips and brows. This makes it even easier for Animoji to mimic even the subtlest expressions - just scan your face and get ready to take on emoji form.
There are now 16 different Animoji characters to choose from, including the four newest releases with iOS 11.3: a lion, a bear, a dragon and a skull.
Animoji are easy to create, accessible directly from Messages. You can record videos for up to 10 seconds, or send stickers to contacts. Want to save your masterpiece? You can - it'll download to your Camera Roll as a .mov file.
Create an Animoji
How do you create your own Animoji? Just launch the Messages app, start a new conversation or tap an existing one, and tap the Apps icon.
From here, tap the monkey emoji and choose your favourite Animoji. Whether you go for the unicorn, chicken, rabbit or something else, the process is always the same.
Next up, look at your iPhone and position your face inside the frame on the screen. Are you ready? Hit record (the red circle) and go wild - talk, lip sync to your favourite song or just make a silly face as your emoji character. Once you're done, press stop (the red square).
View your Animoji masterpiece by hitting replay, delete it and re-record by tapping the bin icon or switch characters by choosing another from the left-hand side. Happy? Send your Animoji recording to friends and family for a whole new level of interaction.
Samsung's AR Emoji
Available on: Samsung S9 and S9+
Launched with the flagship Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, AR Emoji is the tech giant's step into the animated emoji world.
It works by intelligently collecting facial data from a selfie taken by the front-facing camera, mapping out key points of your face such as your eyes, nose and mouth. The software built inside the S9 and S9 Plus will then create your own animated emoji, mimicking not only your face shape but your skin tone, eye colour and hair too. If something doesn't seem 100% right, you can edit your AR emoji afterwards.
To use AR Emoji, you'll need to set things up first as it's a little more personal. However, if you like you can choose a pre-set emoji. Samsung currently offer three: a rabbit, a cat and a blue bear-like character.
Disney fans will also be thrilled to hear the recent addition of Mickey and Minnie Mouse to AR Emoji, and there are plenty more Disney friends expected in the future.
Unlike Animoji, AR Emojis can be any length - there's no limit. However, the longer you record the larger the file can be, and AR Emoji do eat into those MB. Stickers are also available - just open up a message to one of your contacts, select the sticker button and browse the animations available.
Using AR Emoji
AR Emoji requires a little more time to set up, but once you've done it your very own emoji will be stored for future use. Just pen up the Camera app, switch over to the front-facing camera and tap AR Emoji.
Next, tap the face symbol and choose Create Emoji. You'll be asked to centre your head in the viewfinder and to remove glasses if you have them.
Smile and follow the steps. Choose your gender and then get ready, Samsung is going to create your AR emoji for you. You'll see your digitised self miraculously appear in front of you, so you can go ahead and customise it. If you'd like, you can also add facial hair and clothing.
Once your AR Emoji is ready, you can record using the front-facing camera. Save your favourites and then share with friends via messages, on social media and even over email.
AR Emoji or Animoji?
But which is better, we hear you ask - AR Emoji or Animoji? If we're honest - they're probably not the main deciding factor when choosing between the two handsets, but both are an excellent example of innovative new tech, and they're both terrific fun.
If you opt for the iPhone X, you'll be able to bring the dog, chicken or even the iconic poo emoji to life, thanks to TrueDepth technology. Known for being incredibly detailed, you can capture even the smallest movements.
Love the sound of having a customisable animated emoji that resembles you? Galaxy S9 owners will discover the personable AR Emoji, and won't be limited to 10 second videos either.