Somewhere along the line, the not so humble smartphone has become everyone’s preferred point and shoot camera as well. OEM’s are coming up with gimmicks, that are actually proving rather effective in terms of producing great images with their devices in all sorts of conditions.
Nokia with it’s OIS and Pureview tech has of course been lauded in terms of Windows Phone devices, and some would say that HTC’s attempt to do something similar with the HTC One, is a direct response to that tech. Whilst HTC’s WP8 devices launched with a fairly rudimentary camera, not a lot of bells and whistles, the HTC Titan II had a 16 megapixel camera and a fair bit of adjustment.
So while the HTC One’s camera is powered by a lot of exclusive HTC technology, [read a white paper about it here] The proof is really in the pudding [or images as it were].
Basically, the best test I could think of was to take out the HTC One and the HTC 8X, and reset the cameras to their defaults, and do the best I could to duplicate shots from both phones. So no edits, no effects, just the camera as it would be out of the box for the average user.
All the images from the One are first, or on the left as presented on the page, and of course are 4 ultra pixel resolution, compared to the 8X’s 6 mega pixel default. Click on any of the images to see full size in a new browser window.
I think the main complaint I’ve heard about the One’s camera is that it doesn’t really perform in full daylight conditions, but is made for indoor, low light functionality. I cannot say that I have been finding that.
In some cases the colour and detail actually seems better, but I would put that down to all the work that HTC has done on the internals, image chips and processing software that they have built into the One. In a lot of ways, it is not really a direct comparison between mobile OS’s, but a combination of hardware and software that is producing the results.
While the OEM’s feel the need to one up each other in terms of features like the camera in their phones, the consumer wins either way, OS or device maker, when the results keep improving like this.