Tuesday, May 26, 2015

HTC One M9 Camera Fails In Tests

HTC One M9 Camera Fails In Tests: It's Worse Than A Three-Year-Old iPhone 4S

HTC has a problem, and it’s a problem it has had for some time now – failing sales. Even with Cher Wang replacing Peter Chou as leader of the company she founded, the firm has yet to find its feet. One of its biggest problems is that despite very competent hardware design, its phones are let down by a distinct lack of excitement. Its next biggest problem is the fussy UI design that comes from its Sense user interface. While the One M9 was an improvement over the M8, the difference was very slight but the new phone costs considerably more.
But HTC’s problems have worsened again with imaging experts DxOMark declaring its camera worse than the iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy S3 phones which are three and two-years-old respectively. That has to be seen as a problem for HTC, but first let’s take a look at some background to see how it ended up here.
HTC’s One M9 replaces the dual-camera of the M8, but with little quality increase
The big difference between the M8 and M9 was the camera, which HTC swapped from the dual sensor in the M8 to a higher megapixel version in the M9. HTC touted the dual-camera sensor as a huge advancement in cameraphones, but the truth was quite different. The 4-megapixel cameras just couldn’t keep pace with the sensors in every other camera.
And perhaps worse still, the advantages of the dual sensor were supposed to be that you could re-focus the shots after taking them, but this was so easily duplicated with a software solution that pretty much every phone with one sensor was able to do much the same process in software. And it was this that eventually led HTC to abandon the sensor and move to a 20-megapixel model. That sensor puts it close to phones like Sony’s Z3 20.7-megapixel model, and way in advance of other camera sensors, which tend to come in at around 16-megapixels. But, HTC also forgot one other thing that most other companies have included – stabilization. This is crucial in small, light phones which are easily moved and it plays a huge part in boosting the quality of images taken in poor light, allowing the phone to slow the shutter to allow in more light, while keeping the image free of shake and blur.
At 20-megapixels, this is one of the highest-specified cameras on a phone, but the results just don’t meet expectations
In their findings, the team at DxOMark said that in good light, everything was great – with good colour, detail and with the autofocus performing well. Sadly, in lower light conditions that all changes and everything becomes disappointing with them noting that colours are oversaturated and that there’s a loss of sharpness. They then give the HTC One M9 a camera score of 69.
In contrast, they rate the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge as having the best camera, scoring 86 while the Note 4 grabs second place with 83.The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus assume the third and fourth positions with 82 points. The M9 scores the same as Amazon’s Fire Phone, but is still beaten by phones like the Note 2, Galaxy S3 and LG’s G2.
Worst of all though, HTC only just manages to beat the result of the M8, which scored 68 when tested. That’s a massive problem for a phone costing nearly twice as much money, and with scant other features to sell itself on.
With the announcement that HTC is partnering with Valve for that company’s VR offering, called Vive, perhaps the company is looking for an exit from mobiles. It isn’t a diverse company in terms of investments, so it needs to do something to shore-up disappointing sales. Unsurprisingly though, the HTC Re camera was pretty much universally panned for below-average image quality, so the firm doesn’t have a great track-record outside of phones.
Whatever HTC’s longterm chances of survival are, the message from DxOMark is simple: don’t buy an HTC One M9 for the camera.

About the Author

Prejeesh Sreedharan

Author & Editor

I am a Biotechnologist very much interested in #SciTech (Science And Technology). I closely follow the developments in medical science and life science. I am also very enthusiast in the world of electronics, information technology and robotics. I always looks for ways to make complicated things simpler. And I always believes simplest thing is the most complicated ones.

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