HTC One Review

June 3, 2013 | Mark Goldstein | |

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 4 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 1.5Mb.

The HTC One produced images of very good quality during the review period. This camera handled noise well, not becoming too obvious until the ISO 800, with even the fastest setting of of ISO 1600 being usable, a great performance for a small image sensor with such a high pixel count.

Chromatic aberrations were in evidence but were well-controlled, with some limited purple fringing effects appearing in high contrast situations. The images were sharp enough out of the camera and don't really require any further sharpening. Macro performance is respectable enough at 8cms, while the built-in flash is fine for fill-in use. The optical image stabilization system works well when hand-holding the camera at slower shutter speeds.

The camera can capture just enough light for some after-dark situations, without having to resort to using the flash, while the HDR mode successfully captures more detail in the highlight and shadow areas of both stills and video, albeit at the expense of fine detail in the image. The Sweep Panorama mode is easy to use and produces well-stitched results, while the wide range of creative effects are designed to appeal to the Instagram generation.


There are 5 ISO settings available on the HTC One. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso200.jpg

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso800.jpg

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)


Focal Length

The HTC One's lens offers a wide-angle focal length of 28mm in 35mm camera terms, as illustrated by this example:




Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are already quite processed and don't really benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

Chromatic Aberrations

The HTC One handled chromatic aberrations well during the review, with some purple fringing present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg


The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card), with a minimum focusing distance of 8cms. The second image is a 100% crop.


Macro (100% Crop)

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg


The flash settings on the HTC One are Auto, On and Off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off

Flash On

ISO 64 ISO 64


The HTC One's maximum shutter speed is 0.7 seconds in the Night scene mode. This shot was taken at 1/3rd second at ISO 797.


Night (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg


High Dynamic Range Optimiser (HDR) is HTC's solution for capturing more contrast than a single exposure can handle by combining two exposures into one image.



ISO 64 ISO 64

Sweep Panorama

The HTC One allows you to take panoramic images very easily by 'sweeping' with the camera. The camera does all the processing and stitching and even successfully compensates for moving subjects.

ISO 64
ISO 64

Special Effects

The HTC One offers an extensive range of 15 creative effects.



ISO 64 ISO 64



ISO 64 ISO 64



ISO 64 ISO 64



ISO 64 ISO 64



ISO 64 ISO 64



ISO 64 ISO 64



ISO 64 ISO 64



ISO 64 ISO 64