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BLOG: HTC One Google Play Edition vs. the regular HTC One: Camera shootout!

JR Raphael | July 1, 2013
HTC took an unusual approach to smartphone imaging with its low-megapixel but low-light-friendly HTC One "UltraPixel" camera — and for the most part, the gamble paid off.

HTC One Google Play Edition at left (or top), regular HTC One at right (or bottom). A close call in this comparison with no clear winner.

HTC One Play Edition Camera (6) Regular HTC One Camera (6)

HTC One Google Play Edition at left (or top), regular HTC One at right (or bottom). Indoors with a combination of natural light and fixture-provided light. It's subtle, but to my eyes, the coloring is slightly warmer and more true to life in the regular One's image.

HTC One Play Edition Camera (7) Regular HTC One Camera (7)

HTC One Google Play Edition at left (or top), regular HTC One at right (or bottom). A dangerous gathering of minds — and another one that's too close to call.

HTC One Play Edition Camera (9) HTC One Play Edition Camera (9)

HTC One Google Play Edition at left (or top), regular HTC One at right (or bottom). Here's where the differences get particularly meaningful: Look at the low-light performance of the Play Edition One and the regular One in this dimly lit garage shot.

Both Galaxy S4 models, by the way, captured nothing in this same shot — so while the Play Edition One may not be at the same level as the regular One, it's still way ahead of the GS4 and Play Edition GS4 in low-light terrain.

HTC One Play Edition Camera (10) Regular HTC One Camera (10)

HTC One Google Play Edition at left (or top), regular HTC One at right (or bottom). Low-light test #2. The Play Edition One holds its own but can't hold a candle to the regular version of the device.

HTC One Play Edition Camera (13) Regular HTC One Camera (13)

HTC One Google Play Edition at left (or top), regular HTC One at right (or bottom). I beg of you — don't violate the damn city ordiance.

HTC One Play Edition Camera (15) Regular HTC One Camera (15)

HTC One Google Play Edition at left (or top), regular HTC One at right (or bottom). This one's interesting: At a glance, it appears the Play Edition captured a lighter-looking image — but when you look closely, you can see that it washed out the sky to a weird white color while the regular One picked up the realistic blue hues. Neither image is perfect, but I think the regular One has the better overall shot.

 

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