HTC One Google Play Edition at left (or top), regular HTC One at right (or bottom). Inside a brightly lit store. Zoom into the full-res images and you'll see that the regular One captured more detail on the box's texture.
So, all combined, it appears the loss of HTC's custom-tailored camera software does indeed have an effect on the phone's camera performance. The Play Edition's images aren't bad, by any means — but they're up against a high standard, and in many cases, they don't quite reach the level of what the regular One can do.
To see how the Galaxy S4 Play Edition compares — both to the One and to the regular Galaxy S4 model — check out its camera shootout in the links below.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.