New camera technology regularly appears on smartphones, with each manufacturer struggling to outdo the others and trump the competition with innovation. High-end handsets are now widely expected to have at least an 8 megapixel camera, and Sony has recently pushed this figure as high as 13 megapixels for its recent flagships.
Two firms in particular are pushing the boundaries even further, getting creative rather than just increasing the megapixel count of their cameras. Nokia’s PureView technology made headlines when it was introduced on the 41 megapixel 808 last summer and has since appeared in the 8 megapixel Lumia 920.
Meanwhile, HTC has launched the HTC One, bucking that trend for high megapixel counts in favour of its UltraPixel sensor, a 4 megapixel camera which has a larger sensor and draws in more light than those on other handsets.
But which of these has captured the imagination of the smartphone-buying public? It seems that Nokia just about has the edge over HTC, according to figures gathered from a poll that’s been running on the Dialaphone blog.
HTC has definitely sparked interest, something that is especially impressive since the HTC One was only launched last week. The Taiwanese firm has made a bold move in incorporating a 4 megapixel camera into its flagship device, and despite the innovations it has clearly made with its camera tech (most notably the HTC Zoe feature), that figure is going to be hard to sell.
Even more attention grabbing than the technical side of the HTC One’s camera is the features that are included in its camera app. HTC Zoe, as it’s known, allows you to record short clips in place of photos and then combine the best parts of each frame to create the perfect image.
However, Nokia is the more favoured option amongst our repondents, with the firm’s forward-thinking PureView technology clearly having captured the imagination of many. The 808 PureView may not have been widely available but the camera technology that it introduced has become more accessible with the Lumia 920, a device which impressed us when we tested it.
Several people voiced their support for Nokia’s technology on the Dialaphone Facebook page, with Simon Tompkins stating: “It’s tried and true. The HTC UltraPixel has hardly been exposed to the public yet so we have no idea about its real performance. “
Michelle Bond was open minded about which camera she preferred, saying: “I’ve got the Nokia and think it’s okay but would love to try the HTC.”
Meanwhile, Robert Winterburn commented of his preference for HTC: “UltraPixel, but the PureView has its advantages.”
So Nokia may just have the jump on HTC but since the UltraPixel is very new this could change over time. Having used both types of camera technology we found that they perform incredibly well, especially in the low lighting conditions that are always a chore for smartphones.
Rumours persist about the full 41 megapixel version of the PureView camera making its way to a Lumia device at some point in the future, a move which could open up some incredible possibilities. However, HTC’s reasoning behind only using a 4 megapixel sensor in the HTC One is that the larger pixels would require even more processing power to create adequate results with an 8 megapixel camera.. Should this issue ever be resolved, the firm’s photographic technology could become even better.
Either way, it’s excellent to see manufacturers thinking outside of the box and doing more than just increasing the megapixel count of their devices. Mobile photography has come on leaps and bounds during the smartphone era and this is only set to improve even further in the future.