HTC One giving you the full picture?

HTC One giving you the full picture?
As the launch of the flagship HTC handset the HTC One, the Taiwanese company have focussed on two unique aspects, the ultra-thin design coupled with a predominantly metallic chassis and secondly the unique concept of the Ultra-pixel camera.  The 4MP camera isn’t a typo, in their own words HTC have “taken themselves out of the pixel race” by creating the ultra-pixel.

htc one
For a long time, megapixels have been seen as a way of judging the quality of a camera and pictures and videos that it takes.  Some say figures never give the full story and with the imminent launch of the HTC One, it again raises the question of how important the number of megapixels actually is.

Quality vs. Quantity

In a nutshell the reason HTC’s camera 4MP competes with 13MP cameras are because an ultra pixel is larger than a mega pixel.  The smaller the pixel the more you will be able to “fit in” to a handset, but the lower the quality of pixel.  The main advantage of having an ultra pixel is its ability to capture more light; HTC claim that one ultra pixel will be able to capture 300% more light than one mega pixel - the bigger size a pixel is the more light it will be able to take in.  The disadvantage of the HTC One’s low pixel count is that the images are generally smaller.  As a result it may be harder to zoom in to the nth degree to find that spec of dirt on the wall or to print photos in high quality.


A zoetrope is an ancient toy that with a sequence of pictures that give the illusion of motion when spun around and is named after the Greek word for ‘life’.   When the zoetrope was invented in 1834 it moved still images into motion; one or two things have changed since then but the fundamental concept of bringing photos to life is more or less the same.  

The HTC One – like its high end competitors – is able to take still pictures whilst simultaneously recording videos.  So if you’re at a concert trying to record the set you can video part of it and then go back home and capture the moment by extracting a still photo from video.  

After all, as complexed as the cameras have become, videos are still made up of single frames.  But where it goes one step further than its rivals is where it creates a ‘Zoe’ clip.  This is created as soon as you open the camera mode, and will keep recordings for 3.6 seconds before you actually take the picture.  Or to put it another way it will capture 20 frames so you can devise the perfect picture by extracting and merging different parts of the image from different frames, so everyone’s smiling...

Another feature of Zoe is the montage feature will automatically make ‘highlights reels’ of your pictures and videos.  Video montages and highlights reels are made automatically by Zoe, adding preset music and different effects to your images.  It selects images according to the location (if you have geo tagging turned on) or by the date which you took them.   You can of course create more personalised montages and select your own pictures and your own music and a whole load of clever features that you can use like the anti-shine, skin smoothing, red-eye removal.

Overall the Ultrapixel and Zoe look like exceptional features for HTC’s flagship handset, but whether the company can persuade people that there’s more to a camera than its megapixel count remains to be seen.   Even if features such as Zoe aren’t your cup of tea, it’s hard not to be impressed by the performance of the HTC One camera in lowlight conditions.

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