Mar 08 AT 12:20 PM Nick Gray 51 Comments

Update: Second set of HTC One sample camera images fail to impress


It’s no secret that HTC is making a big deal about the HTC One and its image capture capabilities. If you watched HTC’s 45-minute unveiling of the HTC One at Mobile World Congress, it’s pretty clear that the new ImageSense technology and dedicated imaging chip inside all HTC One phones are the new features HTC is hoping will set their devices apart from the competition. Late last week we got to see HTC’s official sample picture captured by the HTC One, but now we’re getting a first look at real-world images taken by real people.

HTC’s Larry Meadows and Wyatt Lewin recently went for a sunrise hike up Camelback Mountain in Arizona and took the HTC One X along for the tip. While last week’s sample images were impressive, this second set of images from the HTC One are a little underwhelming. The color and vibrancy are gone and the detail in the images is missing.

one_x_pictures htc_one_x_sample_piictures (1) htc_one_x_sample_piictures (2) htc_one_x_sample_piictures (3) htc_one_x_sample_piictures (4) htc_one_x_sample_piictures (5) icecreamcones standupbass streetguitarist

Anyone planning to buy an HTC One phone may feel a little disappointed to see that images not taken by a professional photographer with the HTC One don’t look much better than pictures any of us could capture with our current Android phones. However, we urge you to keep in mind that the pictures were all taken in a pretty dark environment before sunrise and in a shadow of a mountain. We hope HTC releases a few more pictures that will give us a better representation of what the HTC One X can do in everyday situations.

What do you think of the second set of images taken with the HTC One?

Update: HTC has just pushed out another blog post talking about the HTC One camera which included more sample pictures taken with the phone by a professional photographer in Barcelona during Mobile World Congress. But since we all know that professionals take much better pictures than every day consumers, HTC took the phone out and let regular people (a couple XDA-Developers) use the phone for a few hours. According to them, the HTC One “makes my Nikon D80 at home look like trash.” High praise from two people who should have been smartphone owners for quite some time. Check out the video below.

Via: HTC Source

Source: HTC Blog

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. Nick joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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  • Fulaman

    You said last weeks sample images were impressive, maybe the settings aren’t set to max settings here? Thumbs down me if I’m wrong

    • Jorge Branco

      Maybe they’ve toned down the saturation a little from last week. tbh, they’re not too bad if the lighting was as bad as you say.

      But definitely a bad move from HTC to use such a difficult photo taking setting to ‘show off’ the camera

  • ben steel

    Wonder what image sensor they’re using….sounds like they might have gone to the discount bin, instead of using Omnivision or Sony…like the other guy.

  • spazby

    that’s disappointing…

  • Shad James

    Did you just do the one where people who do not know how to take good photos think it’s the equipment’s fault? This is one of the longest-standing jokes among photographers!

    • Fulaman

      My thoughts exactly

    • Dirge

      Quality-wise, the photos do not impress. That’s not including the lack of photography skills of the blogger(s).

      Remember, these are people who work for HTC. You would think they know what settings to use to get the best possible photo with their phone.

    • Nick Gray

      Not at all. I mentioned in the post that these are pictures take from every day users in every day type situations. Anyone who’s into photography knows how to make the best out of any situation. If it was me, i would have taken a few more shots and framed things a lot differently.

      But to be fair, I never share images on Facebook or Google+ without running them through Picasa or Lightroom to adjust a few things. It doesn’t matter hwo great a camera is since images taken with a DSLR even need a few tweaks before they are perfect.

  • bemymonkey

    Gah, that looks almost as bad as my HTC Desire. The HTC anti-noise filter strikes again!

  • dreamdoggy22

    Some of them seem to be a bit out of focus as well as lacking detail. These are very disappointing. I wonder if they manually chose the wrong settings, or the “auto” setting doesn’t work very well? I’m a bit surprised these photos were posted as sample images. Hopefully it’s a user error and not the hardware!

  • Runner50783

    I would criticize if it was possible to take better pictures with a point and shoot camera… I mean, you take a shaky shoot and you will blame the camera?, Not even my trusty G12 can’t escape this sort of issues with IS ON. So, bravo HTC, you got at least a decent camera on your phone, not an 808 by any means but better than average for sure.

    • bemymonkey

      Don’t look at the motion blur – look at the smearing from the noise filters. :(

  • Kevin

    Looks like fail

  • Nate

    I think that has much more to do with unattractive lighting conditions than poor image quality.

    • Nick Gray

      My thought exactly

  • swazedahustla

    So the pics from the people who work at HTC were impressive because they actually knew how to use the camera, but these pics aren’t because the random people don’t know how a phone camera works…..hmmmmmm

    Seems like common sense to me, yet this guy thought it was a breaking news story?? NEWSFLASH…most comsumers who have cameraphones don’t really know how to use them.

    • Xpeira Fever

      “Most people”, that’s quite a bold statement, maybe all the noobs don’t but don’t speak for a majority when it’s based on nothing more than your opinion.

      • swazedahustla

        Actually thats correct. I know quite a few people with cameraphones, and they always ask how to change the settings to get better pictures. So obviously my generalization is pretty spot on to my opinion.

        • Fulaman

          It’s possible your generalization could be correct, but you need more factual data, you can not just generalize by the select people you have met. The problem is that most phone cameras by default aren’t at max resolution or are not at “super-fine” quality out of the box. Not only that, some people don’t take pictures when their camera is focused.

          • J. Gibbs

            Thanks for further proving his point! Not just by saying that people don’t take photos when the camera is focused (i.e. they don’t know how to use their phones,) but also by making generalizations about phone cameras not being at max resolution or “super-fine” quality by default.

  • Nick Gray

    Due to the time of day and the fact that they were in the shadow of a mountain, these images should be classified as the worst possible pictures that you can take with the HTC One.

    • bemymonkey

      With the exception of… indoor pictures, pictures taken at night, pictures taken when out on the town (also at night)… HTC has a horrible track record when it comes to low light photography. I thought the One X might change that, but apparently I was horribly, horribly wrong…

      • Steven Holms

        Let’s wait until its launched and everyone can get their hands on one. Then we’ll compare and find out for sure. Their tech looks great on paper, and I’m sure we’ll see that it is much improved over most phones available.

    • Dirge

      Wasn’t one of the features they talked about being greatly improved, low lighting pictures?

      • Nick Gray

        Yes it was. The problem is that we don’t have any sample pictures from another phone to compare them to.

  • Xpeira Fever

    The pictures taken by HTC cameras have always been average at best, nothing has changed and I for one wouldn’t buy one of their phones.

    • Fulaman

      I have to disagree with you there (and I’m a Samsung owner I have a Galaxy S phone). The Camera on the Thunderbolt and mid 2011+ HTC phones have been pretty darn good.

  • sean leroy

    Had high hopes. What is the Android phone with the best camera, then?

  • Asad Rafi

    I seriously don’t think that smartphones are for taking photographs (high quality), if the image is good enough to satisfy, then it’s ENOUGH. If you are expecting such phone to take a shot like a DSLR, than you are a genius. Just grab a DSLR if you want to do photography.

    • sean leroy

      Well, obviously…but that’s not what I was asking. I didn’t ask, which phone has a camera on par with a DSLR…I asked which Android phone has the best camera?

      • Asad Rafi

        Sony Xperia series got nice camera i.e. Xperia Arc.

    • Sarah

      I don’t think anyone’s thinking that the HTC One will take shots like a DSLR, but they want something that can replace a point and shoot camera. I think this will be one of the best options and I plan on buying the HTC One when it comes to Sprint!

  • nh99

    Any camera can take crappy pictures (poor lighting, poor subject, poor cameraman.)

    We need some comparison shots with another camera (iPhone 4S or point and shot) and in different lighting conditions to get any value from these.

  • sunrise

    “Fail to impress?” They look fine to me.

    For the most part, a picture on a phone is a picture on a phone. It would probably look the same on an iPhone or even a one year old Android.

  • JoeyJoeJo

    I use a DSLR for “photography”, I use a P&S for snaps and I use my Desire for making calls because the camera is garbage.

    My hopes for my next phone in 2012 was that I could ditch the P&S and use a phone for snaps.

    Xperia S – lots of camera hype, disappointed in the shots so far
    One X – mega camera hype, one set of decent but these are disappointing real world so far
    Lets see where S3 goes but will need to see loads of real pics once they’re in the wild.

    Hopefully it’s things like user issues, settings, poor lighting, aggressive compression and dodgy filters that are the cause and not just poor hardware.

  • Nathan D.

    The pictures seem hard to look at since they are blurry, but it is in a dark environment so hopefully in a sunny day it will look ten times better if they release another set of pictures.

  • Pete Down Under

    We know any phone is not the bees knees as a camera but a handy tool to have as a standby.

    I have just emailed a picture I took of a mate’s old yacht restoration I took whilst visiting and the quality is more than sufficient for his eyes blown up on his laptop or to print a not too large photo.

    It is primarily a phone but the camera in my HTC Desire HD is a nice handy tool to have at hand when out and about without the DSLR>

  • jonathan morabito

    Re: “The color and vibrancy are gone”

    I am extremely pleased to see that this is the case, because it was jacked up to an unnatural and terrible-looking level on the first sample shots!

    I can’t stand unnatural color reproduction, whether it be on oversaturated AMOLEDs or in camera post-processing. Please give us a neutral screen and an accurate camera, and provide a “vibrant” mode for each if people like that sorta crap.

    • CW

      The “color and vibrancy are gone” because there is nothing colorful or vibrant about Camelback mountain. I know, I live there. I think the images are very promising, all things considered.

  • Shawn Clark

    Looks like either bad picture timing or inexperienced photographers if you ask me.

  • KC

    Smartphones are foremost, COMMUNICATION devices. Tho pics is one of its functions, like texting (chats, sms, email, etc.), quality pics are not tat important. It’s the OPEN support system/tools that the very foundation Android is built on.

    Needed are –
    1. expandable storage (microSD for pics, data and such, the easy xfer of data, pics, etc. w/o use of PCs or clouds)
    2. removable batteries (no compromise of data privacy and security, esp. when battery conked and sent in for repairs)
    3. replacing poor battery with new fast coming technologically advanced batteries in development)
    4. NFC
    5. more than 1GB RAM memory (to ensure sufficient capacities to handle future updates)
    6. good quality display
    7. fast/latest processors

    These are the very basic hardware specs for supporting a smartphone. Already HTC blew 1, 2, and 3 above. HTC and even Samsung (Google) Nexus failed us here.

    • thel0nerang3r

      I disagree with your premise. You mention that they are primarily communication devices, then you mention as text being secondary… isn’t text “communication.” I’ll assume that you mean “make phone calls.” Well, studies show that voice usage has been going down for a while, and text/email/social media (I would still call these communication function) have gone up. I don’t know what you mean by “open support.”
      1. Removable sd cards do not matter to everyone. It may matter to you, but it doesn’t look like the vast majority of people use them. I don’t have numbers to back up either side. So very much my opinion. Removable memory cards matter to a small group of people.
      2.How is not having a battery protect the privacy of your data when you send it for service? Does the company fixing your phone not have batteries that fit your phone? or the power adapter?
      3. To the best of my knowledge, replacement batteries tend to be the same as your OEM, except for extended batteries, that are larger. Also, how long do you keep your phone? Two years from now, the replacement batteries are going to be the same as what you have now. I guess, if you keep your phone for 5 years, batteries will be better, but will they make them for a 5 year old phone? I doubt it.
      6. If the primary function of a phone is “communication” aka phone calls, then the display doesn’t make much of a difference. For all other functions, then absolutely.
      7. Fast/latest processor, again, for a “communication” device??? You need a quad core CPU to make phone calls?

      • KC

        Yes, smartphones started off with expandable slot for microSD, and for the majority of the users, 8GB to16GB was sufficient. For those who store valuable data (pics, documents, contact list, secured data, etc.) on microSDs, find such microSD slots invaluable, We swap microSD often.

        And even if the battery or power supply is conked, we merely take out our microSd cd, and viola! slot it into another, and we’re off for the time being. The faulty device can then be sent in for a week or two, without much hassle.

        This is similar to desktop. Can the HDisk be or external thumbdrives, etc. be omitted?

        Even if you keep you device for 2 years or less, your old device is often sold off to some poor soul who will have to deal with your faulty embedded battery without any secure backups, if they do not have access to Clouds/Desktop services.

        Why should high premium prices be paid for devices which have no backups and such?

        As for communication, it’s not just speech, smses, texting, etc., It is the transfer of information/data between people, things, etc. Seeking info from the Internet, and storing valuable research data is “communication” of info.

    • Nick Gray

      I know i”ll probably get down voted for referencing the iPhone, but the popularity of Apple’s product completely disproves your long list. Yes, Android has a much larger market share, but Apple selling tens of millions of devices which have built in batteries, no expandable storage, and no NFC an no one seems to care.

      Yes, these are all things that may be on your list, but I can’t remember the last time I heard of a regular Android user who even purchased a new memory card to replace the 2gb card that comes with more Android phones.

  • CW

    Reading the comments, I can see that there’s a lot of phone geeks that don’t want their current phone to become outdated so quickly so they are really hoping (and pretending) that this phone will fail.

  • fox

    Let’s get real!!! Who the fuck buys a phone only for the camera. We all know that mobile phone can not compete with a dedicated camera…cmon people if you like it you buy it. Stop complaining about shitty things like “ouh you can’t remove the battery” “ouh the camera is so yeach” “oh, no, no micosd” STOP being a BITCH

    • Nick Gray

      I don’t think people buy a phone for one specific reason, but when you add up all the different features that are important to you, that’s what drives your purchasing decision. For those who love taking pictures, a good camera is probably very high on the priority list.

  • Moosa Mahsoom

    the new software may have toned downed the quality….

  • yankeesusa

    Doesn’t matter to me. I would still want buy the phone. I don’t buy a phone to shoot professional pictures. Its a plus if the phone can take good pictures in low light or moving pictures buy if it doesn’t as long as I get lte, great battery life, smooth os then im good.

  • Sarah

    I think this would be a good replacement for my point and shoot which I always seem to carry in my purse but never actually use.

  • kat

    I hate my HTC one camera, night time captures are awful , red, blurry waste of phone space!