Shifting Focus: HTC One sheds megapixels to improve picture quality

Written by Pranay Parab | New Delhi | Updated: Apr 14 2013, 17:37pm hrs
HTC
HTC One sheds megapixels to improve picture quality.

Ever since Nokia introduced a 41-megapixel sensor on the 808 Pureview, several other manufacturers have introduced phones with great cameras. Apple iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy Note II, Nokia Lumia 920 and Sony Xperia Z have some of the best cameras in the market. While other manufacturers have tried to improve both the sensor and the pixel count, HTC has gone the other way. Megapixels are often marketing gimmicks, and many cameras with high megapixel counts take poor pictures. HTC said it has dropped out of the megapixel race and launched the HTC One. While the phones camera is just four megapixels, the company says the sensor is bigger, allowing for better low-light photography and reduced noise.

Design

The phones body is made of one solid block of aluminium and is as well-designed as the iPhone 5. Once you hold the HTC Ones metal body, plastic phones will no longer seem appealing. The display, at 468 pixels per inch, is excellent. The colours are crisp and the display brings out detail in high-resolution pictures and videos. The power button is tough to reach at the top, but it has an integrated infrared blaster, so you can use the phone as a remote for your TV .

Camera

The HTC One takes lesser time to shoot pictures since the camera doesnt have to produce a large image on a small sensor. This also improves picture quality. To put things into context, a four-megapixel picture is big enough to cover an A4 sheet. Most social networks compress pictures to smaller sizes, which means most users will not lose out because of the reduced megapixel count.

The camera performs well in normal light and better in low light. Sometimes, the noise reduction feature makes images a tad too soft. Otherwise, there were no complaints with the camera. This is among the best

phone cameras for low light photography, nearly as good as Nokia Lumia 920 and 808 Pureview.

Software

HTC has made several improvements to the software, the best of which is Blinkfeed. It gathers news from various sources and displays them in tiles on the home screen, along with your Facebook and Twitter feeds. Some users, though, might find it annoying to look at news every time they press the home button. This can be rectified by changing the default home screen.

Another important feature is the HTC Zoe. It captures three seconds of video and six pictures when you press the shutter button. This is useful for motion photography or when the perfect picture depends on the timing of your shot. If you keep clicking in Zoe mode, the gallery will be clogged with many frames of the same picture. So make sure you shift to normal mode when Zoe isnt needed. Zoe also makes a short video clip from your album. You can choose the pictures, videos and music, and the app makes a 30-second clip that you can share with your friends. Users will find it better to share this clip as opposed to an entire album of pictures.

Overall, the phone performs very well, with no lags or software issues. The hardware is top-notch, but there are a couple of minor problems with the phone. Prolonged usage of the camera drains the battery quite fast. The battery lasted about a day under medium usage, which involved browsing, clicking pictures, and watching a few videos. But constantly using it in Zoe mode reduced battery life. The phone takes approximately three-and-a-half hours to charge. Price: Rs 42,900.