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Gear & Apps

HTC “Ultrapixels” Put to the Test

By Anthony Thurston on March 31st 2013


Back in February HTC announced the HTC One, their new top of the line smartphone. It featured android and everything you would expect from a top end smart phone, with one notable difference. The camera sensor was only 4MP, but it used larger 2.0uM pixels. HTC contended that these so called “Ultrapixels” could produce images of great quality and better low light performance (traditionally an issue for camera phones). recently did a thorough test to put these “Ultrapixels” to the test, pitting the HTC One’s 4MP camera against the Iphone 4s and its higher 8MP camera. The results have come back and according to DPreview the HTC One is great in Low Light and produces clean images with little to no noise. But the tradeoff is that your images have noticeably less detail than say the 8MP sensor on the Iphone 4S.


You can check out the full review over on

My Thoughts

I think that I am leaning towards the side of HTC on this one. Let’s think about how often there is optimal light when people use their phone cameras… If you and people you know are anything like me and my network of family and friends the answer is close to never. Even personally I am always trying to take pictures indoors or at night, times where cameras in phones are notoriously terrible.

I think that the low MP is fine, honestly I’m never going to get a print of anything I took from my phone. The low light and low noise images that this sensor puts out are pretty good. I think I would take the “Ultrapixels” over the standard pixels in this case.

What do you guys think? Do you guys really need 8MP+ from your phones, or would you trade some of that extra detail for better low light and better noise control? Let us know in a comment below. 

[via DPreview]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Andre Goulet

    And I’m leaning the other way. Rarely would my iPhone low-light shots be important, but the scenic shots and such that I grab while doing things where my DSLR isn’t welcome, like bike riding, are important to me.

    For low-light shots, I usually go out with a tripod and a DSLR.

    To each his own. Good to know the strengths and weaknesses to each approach so we can figure out what’s most appropriate for ourselves. I do like that the megapixel race seems to be dwindling down and the image quality race seems to be heating up.

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