EXCLUSIVE: here's why the HTC One 2014 has two cameras

11 March, 2014
The HTC One successor will have two cameras and thanks to a Telstra brochure now we know why.

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  • ERIK

how about a flash on the front for guys like me who don't want help......

  • 2717

MF, 12 Mar 2014Dude! We are debating about Ultrapixel (a.k.a. pixel size) being... moreGreat ... But don't u remember who made the first Palm held device ..... I don't think it was Nokia or apple .it was htc, who made that... So did these companies make the 1 st touch phone not actually rite .... So they must have made the first 4g phone then .. NO again ...so who copied it in iPhone 5 ... Did they make any of this ... So where r ur innovators .... I think SENSE is something that apple , Nokia ,have been trying to replicate all their life so ...... U know the rest

  • born jamaican

AnonD-244092, 14 Mar 2014I fell for the ultrapixel hype the last time. The good doesn't ... morethen what you are getting

  • AnonD-244092

I fell for the ultrapixel hype the last time. The good doesn't out way the bad on the HTC One...and I, for one, won't be suckered into buying another of their devices.

But, good try, HTC. Good try.

  • MF

Anonymous, 13 Mar 2014Fair enough the 1020 on the face of it should be capable of prod... moreOh, the 1020 does have image editing software, and a pretty good one too. As for difficulty focusing, I had no such issue except if lighting is really bad and you are pointing the focus on low-contrast areas. I'd put it down to user error even if it's a Nokia rep. Just do some simple search for sample images from the 1020, you will find plenty of examples of good zoomed in pictures. The 1020 can take good macros, but it requires you to utilize the zoom.

I find it very curious your previous statement that the HTC One takes better pictures than the 1020. The consensus seems to be that the One barely keeps up with the 920, iPhones, Galaxy S4, etc. The 1020 is known to be in a class of its own there's simply no comparison. You mentioned lowlight, this is one area the 1020 at 5mp mode will totally destroy the One. Each pixel is more than 300% bigger than the 'ultrapixel'.

  • Anonymous

MF, 13 Mar 2014You work in a phone shop, you should know that the 1020 is not f... moreFair enough the 1020 on the face of it should be capable of producing a superb picture. I think the only way this argument can be resolved is by looking at the whole process of producing a photo on the phone. To actually take a photo on the 1020 is a bit of a chore due to the nature of the software that backs the camera. In term of Editing software (which i know isnt down to the camera but stil an important part of the process) is more or less non existant. and to be honest the capability of the ZOOM on the 1020. Our nokia rep placed Stickers around the shop for us to zoom into and show us the definition and she couldnt even get it remotely focused on the text. Was a touch emarassing for them. I think the only thing to conclude is that people are looking for different things in the phones and that one argument is no more correct than the other. If you ask 90% of the general public they actually dont care what the numbers are. If the pictures look good on facebook they are not fussed, as someone that uses a Canon EOS 70D (DSLR for those who dont know) i really cant compare any camera phone to that. However one thing i use alot is the Macro and i can say without any hesitation that the Lumia is incapable of producing a proper Macro image.

  • MF

Anonymous, 12 Mar 2014It is absurd to be having this argument. The HTC One's camera is... moreYou work in a phone shop, you should know that the 1020 is not for making large prints. The high res image is for zooming and subsequent reframing, but by default the camera captures a 5MP image which has good details with far lower noise. Nokia has been doing "ultrapixels" wayyyy before HTC's PR department comes into the picture.

  • Dhawal

so it won't be having a fingerprint scanner???

  • Anonymous

It is absurd to be having this argument. The HTC One's camera is an impressive bit of engineering. Now in response to @mf - I work in a phone shop and deal with benchmark phones on a daily basis. To try and claim that the 1020 is capable of a definition even remotely close to the HTC is a gross mistake. The Nokia 1020 is superb a photographing objects that you would like to print onto a billboard sized canvas......because we all do that? Iconfess that as a HTC one owner I am possibly a touch biased on the subject but the results are not hard to ascertain. If you want size and a big number to tell your friends about then the Nokia or Z1 is the phone for you. If you want quality and definition in all lights then there is really only one choice - HTC one. And to compare it to cameras of yesteryear is pointleas. Although I do agree with one thing and that's would be that the term Innovation has been a little misused in this exchange. HTC are innovators though just not with this tech the term I would use would be re-innovators and they have made very good use of what was already available to them.

  • MF

Anonym, 12 Mar 2014Although I did not look deeply into the context I can reinstate ... moreDude! We are debating about Ultrapixel (a.k.a. pixel size) being an innovation. Nothing more nothing less. Clearly you felt that a discussion about pixel size is a losing argument, hence you felt it necessary to bring in OIS, BSI, image processing (and what else, ZOE perhaps??) as one gigantic package to beat up on a camera from 6 years ago. Sure, I grant you that HTC One has made some progress since N95 and iPhone 4. But "progress" is not the same thing as "innovation". I think you misunderstood the meaning of innovation.

You cited OIS, BSI, modern image processing etc as evidence of HTC being innovative, implying that HTC is the first to be doing all these and everyone else is merely copying it. Of course that cannot be further from the truth. HTC has NEVER been an innovator, it is merely a "replicator" (euphemism intended).

Nokia introduced OIS with the 920. Bam(!), HTC belatedly copied (edit: innovates). Nokia introduced a 41MP sensor with supersampling to 5MP to create very large super-pixels. Bam(!), HTC rushed to create an 4MP sensor with a pixel size which is still far smaller compared to the Nokia's supersampled 5MP. Nokia introduced Rich Recording microphones. Bam(!), HTC cleverly took advantage of a supplier's mistake to use Nokia's components in its phone.

Even Apple could not escape HTC's evil clutches. After launching the champagne gold iPhone 5S. Bam(!), HTC rushed to "innovate" with a gold version. Fingerprint sensor, no problem, bam(!) HTC innovates again!

Some clueless fanboy will then piece together all these things - OIS, BSI - then compare it to cameras from 5-6 years ago and say "See! Innovation!".

Back to pixel size - some quantitative figures just FYI.

* Image Sensor: N95 is 44% larger
* Pixel size: N95 is 15% larger
* Pixel count: N95 has 25% more

But of course, HTC "innovates" with OIS, BSI, Rich Recording, Zoe, Gold color, fingerprint scanner.

  • AnonD-242927

LPam, 11 Mar 2014You and six other people want this feature. That's about it. D... more@LPam "You and six other people want this feature. That's about it. Don't expect to see it. It's irrelevant to the vast majority of users."

What feature are you talking about? The removable MicroSD cards? If so, you are misguided. The HTC one garnered amazingly positive reviews - but was always criticised for not offering this function as it went against Google's gameplan of everyone using cloud storage rather than local storage. That's fine if you live in a well connected city with a quality network, but if you live in an area with poor coverage, that just aint gonna work - you can't stream your video/photo/music without a network connection.
I read many comments in threads like this when the One was launched saying how the absence of this MicroSd support was the 'dealbreaker' - consequently Samsung sold far more S4s than they might have done.
It's great that HTC have listened and re-introduced it.

  • AnonD-242927

Anonym, 12 Mar 2014Although I did not look deeply into the context I can reinstate ... moreThank you @Anonym (in reply to @MF).
I couldn't have put it better.
I concede that @MF was totally correct about earlier generation phones using even larger pixel sizes. Though my experience of the Symbian O/s was pretty dire.
The HTC One innovation is using the larger pixels (totally bucking the trend for ever MORE pixels in rival phonecams) in combination with their image stabilisation system and their software.
Whether it worked or not - the jury is still out and it seems people are pretty divided, though mainly those who don't like the IDEA of it and have never actually used one. In my experience they take above average photographs and are more capable in more challenging lighting conditions that many other phonecams available today.

  • M

Can the htc one 2 hold a 64gb or larger sd card

  • Anonym

MF, 12 Mar 2014You need to read through the earlier exchanges I had with BSRob ... moreAlthough I did not look deeply into the context I can reinstate where you went wrong with your line of thought right there.

The examples you point out didn't use those pixel sizes by choice, they did because that was the best available for the technology at the time.

Meanwhile things have evolved and picture quality improved even whilst going for increasingly smaller pixel sizes.

At this moment in time, using a larger pixel size with the latest back-lit sensor, optical mechanisms and image processing is A CHOICE -- not a byproduct of technological limitations.

Regardless of the success of results, making that choice at this time (where it's well established that more and smaller mega-pixels are perceived as universally better solution) is a real "counter movement" -- an innovation for the time, not a regression, since it is using all the latest technological breakthroughs of the field in order to IMPROVE the results not regress.

In short: I understand you may not like it (neither it's results). You can even go as far as calling it a "failed tech", in the sense it may have not yelled the expected results.
But there is no denying the choice of employing the latest back-lit sensor technology, coupled with the latest phone OIS, plus the latest image processing circuits, all that with a sensor that aims to achieve improved light sensibility and better range (by increasing the pixel size against all that is now norm) is, by any definition, INNOVATION.

  • MF

Anonym, 12 Mar 2014As far as I am aware, neither of those phones with large pixel c... moreYou need to read through the earlier exchanges I had with BSRob to understand the context. The original claim by BSRob that started this: "ultra pixel... is the very definition of innovation."

Within this context, we are (very specifically) discussing the use of sensors with low pixel count, and large pixel size. The claim is that this is an "innovative" idea. My reply is that, the history of cameraphones is, literally, filled with sensors that have low pixel count and large pixel size. I offered the N95 and old iPhone as examples.

Calling HTC's Ultrapixel concept an "innovation" betrays an ignorance of the history of mobile photography. It is as though you've never paid attention to cameraphones until you've watched that HTC One ad and fallen in love with it. With limited knowledge and heart of a fanboy, you thought that HTC was so brilliant to "invent" such a revolutionary concept.

The reality is that HTC simply regressed to an old (but discarded) technology that was used in cameraphones 5-6 years ago.

In short, "Ultrapixel" is a branding exercise masquerading as a technological innovation. I can agree it is a marketing innovation. Most of the hard work is done by the PR Department and branding team rather than any genuine contributions from the engineering team.

  • Anonym

AnonD-218622, 12 Mar 2014If I could upload a photo, I'd show you how awesome my zl takes ... moreWhat you need to understand is the huge difference between "making awesome photos" (which I don't doubt) and "being like a DSLR" (which is plain stupid, since you lack all the large optical groups and fine-tweaking that comes with it).

  • Anonym

MF, 12 Mar 2014You want specific examples? Fine... N95, launched in 2007. I... moreAs far as I am aware, neither of those phones with large pixel cameras had BSI sensors (which is coupled with OIS and the last generation of image processing).

You got too carried away with just pixel size that forgotten about all the other advances that were made meanwhile (which allowed the current "many megapixles" cameras that have such small pixels to look as great as they do).

HTC brought the best of the those two worlds, you had to be a fool to miss it.

  • AnonD-218622

If I could upload a photo, I'd show you how awesome my zl takes pics... Almost like a dslr

  • HTC Fan

I love the HTC One and will probably continue to upgrade. BUT... the camera in the current model is the worst on the market. Seriously their pixel count gamble has not worked. I hope this new unit fixes that.

  • AnonD-110191

Alex, 11 Mar 2014Come on guys. If you want a good photo, buy a DSLR. There is no ... moreWell i do agree that DSLR cameras are top class if you want best picture. You cant write off some of the smartphones out there. Nokia 1020 for example and even the Z1. I have a Z1 and I take loads of pics. Print them and comes out great. One thing i will admit though is that you need REALLY good lighting to get the best out of these phones, but still. Some of these phones have come a long way compared to how they did those years back. Dont write off the top end smartphone cameras cause they do a very good job and yes i do know DSLR cameras are still on top, but like the phones i mentioned... they closing that gap and quite quickly i might ad.