iPhone 5 vs HTC One: Camera shootout

iPhone 5 vs HTC One: Camera shootout

Side by side, shot for shot, we put the iPhone 5 up against the HTC One to see which camera phone reigns supreme!

It's become a cliché for a reason -- the best camera is the one you have with you, and for the vast majority of us, that's the iPhone 5. It is, as Apple will happily tell you, the most "popular" camera in the world. Over the last few months, however, other manufacturers have really been stepping up their optics as well. The one who has taken the biggest risks, and made the biggest gamble, is the HTC One. Instead of going for more megapixels, they went for more microns. Like Apple, they put sensor quality ahead of quantity, but took it to another level entirely. If camera quality is one of the most important criteria when considering which phone you buy, that raises the question -- iPhone vs. HTC One, which takes the best photos?

iMore's own Leanna Lofte has done a complete iPhone 5 camera review, and Alex Dobie from Android Central has done a similar HTC One review, but what happens when we put them head to head? Each camera will have its own strengths and weaknesses, but for most people, most of the time, which will let them capture the moments that really matter? Let's find out!

Camera specifications: iPhone 5 vs HTC One

The iPhone 5 has an 8 MP (2448x3264) iSight camera with an f/2.4 aperture on a 1/3.2-inch sensor with a pixel size of 1.4 micrometers. The HTC One has a 4 MP (1520x2688) camera with an f/2.0 aperture but that allows them to go to a pixel size of 2 micrometers on the same 1/3.2-inch sensor.

That means that while the HTC One may not have as many raw megapixels as the iPhone 5, its UltraPixels are larger and should allow for better light sensitivity, particularly in low light situations. The HTC One's wider, f/2.0 aperture also helps with getting light to the sensor, as does its optical image stabilization (OIS). If it sounds like HTC spent a lot of time and technology on tackling low light photography, that's because they did.

The downside to all this is that gathering light takes time, which not only means a longer picture taking process, but a greater opportunity for motion blur when it comes to shooting moving targets. Also, while the lower megapixel count means bigger microns, it also means the algorithms that handle sharpening and noise reduction have less data to work with. Everything is a trade off.

Tech specs are one thing. What really matters is how all of this technology translates into real-world pictures.

General photography: iPhone 5 vs HTC One

All the photos below were taken with the same lighting conditions, at the same time. The iPhone 5 photos are all on the left, and the HTC One photos are all on the right (with the exception of the wide panoramas).

Overall, in most cases, the color depth and saturation of the iPhone 5 seems to be better. The only time the HTC One really bests the iPhone 5 is when bright light or artificial lighting comes into play. Where the iPhone 5 photos can get blown out, the HTC One does a better job of balancing the light correctly.

Indoor lighting seems to cause a bit of a yellowish or blueish hue in photos taken with the iPhone 5 while the HTC One again does a better job of handling white balance on its own.

In most general everyday photos though, the color depth of the iPhone 5 wins out over the HTC One. The photos below of trees and flowers show the vast color difference between the two.

Capturing motion: iPhone 5 vs HTC One

Both cameras did well at capturing motion during the day. Night was a different story, and both cameras suffered. HTC has done a lot of work to get better low-light in their cameras, but there's a long way still to go, especially when it comes to capturing motion.

In the photo of the flag below, there was a significant amount of wind blowing and both the iPhone 5 and HTC One did a good job at capturing it regardless of its position or motion. The same was true of the bike photo. As long as there is plenty of light, motion photos shouldn't be too much of an issue. They're by no means made for capturing action sports, but for everyday actions in well lit areas, they're fine.

The HTC One images did come out rather dark compared to the iPhone 5's in some instances where I would have guessed the opposite would have been true.

(Thank you to Darren Stocky of Crown Point, IN for helping us out with the bike shots!)

Low light: iPhone 5 vs HTC One

Low light photography is one area that the iPhone has always suffered. Considering the HTC One boasts 2 microns, optical image stabilization (OIS), and an f/2.0 aperture, I expected it to be able to gather more light and produce better images. Turns out, my expectations were exceeded. It blew the iPhone 5 away.

In this last photo, I decided to enable flash on both devices and see what the difference would be. The HTC One did a nice job of focusing and enhancing the image using the flash while the iPhone 5 blew out the image and couldn't quite decide what to focus on.

Panorama photography: iPhone 5 vs HTC One

Panoramas, or the ability to take multiple photos and stitch them together, is a popular feature now widely available on most smartphones. Overall, both the iPhone 5 and HTC One handles them well. Once again, the one thing that did surprise me was how dark the panoramic shots were with the HTC One. If anyone has an explanation for the HTC camera producing such dark images under well lit conditions, let me know in the comments.

Here are two samples from the iPhone 5:

And here are two samples are from the HTC One:

If you take a lot of panoramas, you will most likely prefer the results of the iPhone 5.

The bottom line

Both cameras produced stellar images, yet excelled in different areas. The iPhone 5 does much better when it comes to handling color depth, tone, and saturation. The HTC One leaves the iPhone in the (noisy, noisy) dust when it comes to capturing low light, relatively stationary images.

Apple has been focusing on the iPhone camera for years now, and it's really paid off when it comes to everyday photography. Competitors like HTC, however, are really nailing areas like low light. Hopefully Apple follows their lead, and the lead of Nokia, and starts adding features like optical image stabilization (OIS) and f/2.0 apertures or wider. I'll seldom if ever need to take a poster-sized photo with my phone, so the current megapixel counts are fine. Continue on with the better sensors, better image processing, and better low-light technologies.

That's what I'd love to see in the iPhone 5s.

Allyson Kazmucha

Editor for iMore, Potter pundit, and the ninja in your iOS

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There are 73 comments. Add yours.

Tradet says:

Great comparison! However, that last HTC panorama picture is actually the same one as the one above, taken with an iPhone 5.

Allyson Kazmucha says:

Nice catch, I embedded the wrong photo, fixed, thanks!

zdn1042 says:

I still prefer the iPhone 5's camera over HTC One.

weztimonial says:

iPhone 5. And I rarely take photos at night, or even use the flash.

Divinus FiliuS says:

That's cuz you've accepted long ago they don't work during night. And you probably don't go out at nite.

Derrick4Real says:

But all the fun shit happens at night. :)

brendonsled says:

Why does the one seem so dark in each photo?
The white balance seems to be off

doc31 says:

I'm not sure yet if it was white balance issue or contrast issue. I'm lending towards contrast.
It's easily corrected w/ auto correction an app like snapseed. I don't mind doing corrections but I realize its better to have the best image straight out the camera. The latest update to the EU model seems to correct this. I would like to see another side by side after the update

Allyson Kazmucha says:

Contrast definitely. Indoors the One almost always had better white balance for me than the iPhone 5.

Jeeverz says:

This is probably the best comparison I have seen between the HTC One and the iPhone 5. It is much for thorough and precise, than most other reviews out there. I would really like to see a comparison that included the Lumia 920 and the Galaxy S4,

dazr87 says:

does the HTC One have the latest update installed? supposed to fix some camera issues, maybe thats why they were a little dark? however i'm not too sure. For some reason my HTC One camera seems to work when it wants. sometimes will take great photos, then other times, really bad, unfocused, blurry, dark pictures and I have the latest update, but even before it was the same. Anyone know what im doing wrong? lol

Allyson Kazmucha says:

It was up to date to the most current software version.

frhoward says:

The update only applies to the UK for now. It has not made it to the states unless you have a custom Rom on the phone. And after the update the camera is drastically improved.

coggster says:

The update was for the UK only because the US version shipped with the update in it already.

frhoward says:

Actually the new update is 1.29.... but all US "carrier" variants are still on 1.27..... The update has not been approved as of yet. They cant shipped the phones with the new update without getting prior carrier approval first hence the reason they are still on 1.27. The unlocked versions are another story.

dazr87 says:

ah ok. I'm in Australia and my phone is bought outright and not from a carrier, so its unlocked. I'm running 1.29, but still the camera doesnt seem to have improved much for me... i wonder if mine is faulty :-/

BlaqkAudio says:

Really nice comparison. Although the One has some excellent lowlight capability, I'm surprised at how dull the daytime photos look.

jaren parker says:

No doubt the iPhone has a good camera. It is praised for its "popping colors" though that comes at a price. I feel most iusers won't admit to the sheer over saturation which has always plagued iphones. Just look at the picture of the iMac and iPhone, the left looks like yellow teeth with the right (htc one) looks how the iPhone should be. I'm not an apple owner but I know you guys aren't gonna tell me that your phone looks like watery Piss. just because the colors are stronger in stand out more than the picture in comparison does it mean that that's better. It's not natural. Maybe its just poor white balance, even then someone should start acknowledging that.

Allyson Kazmucha says:

I acknowledge it. I even did in this article. Indoor lighting causes the iPhone's white balance to freak out. Outdoor in natural light, it's fine. I'd agree w/ that statement and I don't think anyone is arguing that point, at least I'm not.

Quoting myself from above:

"Indoor lighting seems to cause a bit of a yellowish or blueish hue in photos taken with the iPhone 5 while the HTC One again does a better job of handling white balance on its own."

bstringy says:

What I'm getting from this: the HTC One is a better tool for capturing images while the iPhone can often take better snapshots*. What I mean is, exposure, white balance and focus can be immediately adjusted to significantly change the above examples. The problem with snapshot comparisons is that the non-scientific nature of the test leads to non-scientific results. For an in-the-field, impromptu test, what would better serve the reader is a group of 10 shots of each scene taken with each camera. We don't need them all displayed at once, but having them available to download would show that results can change dramatically from one shot to the next. The problem then for the author is deciding which shot to post as the best example (first shot? best shot? average shot?).

*snapshot = no camera adjustments, just point and click.

Allyson Kazmucha says:

This is exactly what I did. For 99.9% of the photos I took, I took only one photo. Only time I took more was when there was a variable enter the shot or the wind blew throwing off the shot. The point is that this is a comparison showing which camera captures the best image in real world use.

This was not meant to be scientific, it was meant to represent real world use . People do not take 10 photos of the same thing and choose the best, that's not practical. There were no camera adjustments either, natively in camera with stock settings on both.

bstringy says:

First, I appreciate that you have taken the time to compare the two cameras and publish the results. No easy task. As for pracicality... no, it isn't practical to take 10 shots, except when performing a test or producing samples for a comparison to be published and advertised as a shootout. This is not the first test I've seen done this way, so no surprise. The result of a single-shot test, however is more meaningful to the person performing the test than the reader. If someone else with you attempted the same photos, the results would be different, would you agree? My point about the HTC One is that it 'can' produce better images and for the person looking for a better tool for photography (housed inside a smartphone), it will serve them better. As for everyone else, we don't really know. They would just have to try. That is, unless they could look at an adequate sampling and make a reasonable conclusion. Maybe I've been reading dpreview.com for too long. Thanks again for the images.

Divinus FiliuS says:

Autofocus is there so you can try once more because it takes a few to get the focus and iso right, you shouldnt review cameras, holly siht ure lazy.

mcmillan27 says:

Based on what I see here, I see better exposure latitude in the iPhone 5 in most cases. A lot of the differences in these results have to do with how the phone processes the images and I think Apple does a better job.
Going forward, I don't think Apple needs larger sensors, they just need to work on better low light quality and maybe improve the metering so it gets better at higher contrast situations.
I'd like to see the histograms for all these images.

Allyson Kazmucha says:

Agreed. I did notice the one hang up a bit when processing an image with lots of color data. That's where the processing differs.

scaramanga89 says:

I think that the One photos have far better detail and much more realistic colours. Apple has overblown the colours in their photos for ages now, it looks nice, but it doesn't look like the actual thing you're photographing. Look at the resolved detail in the outdoor shots of the plants, the One is miles ahead - same with the park bench. I am looking at my Apple keyboard and mouse and the colours from the One photo matches what it actually is, not what the iPhone shows. Only one winner there to my eye.

I would like to add that I use a Nexus 4 and the camera is total bollocks, so I am being objective.

graider2 says:

totally agree with you here. take the first picture for example. at first glance, I thought the iphone5 shot was better looking because it was brighter and more colorful. but i looked at it carefully and the one appeared to have sharper/clearer picture albeit a bit dark. the htc one picture appeared to be more realistic as well because in real life at sunrise/sunset, the actual scene wouldn't be as bright as the pic in the iphone5 suggest.

etnpnys says:

I read this article by FIRST looking at the pictures and choosing a favorite so that I didn't know which one was which (left or right). With the exception of the houseplant and the vibrant flowers in daytime, the picture on the right looks better every single time. The pix on the left almost all have some weird sepia tone to them - I mean, look at the silver/gray iMac. It's clearly got a brownish tone to it.

Then, I find out that the one on the right is the HTC One and I don't know why I'm surprised to find that the comments here at iMore all somehow think that the crazy washed out photos on the left are better. Seriously?

jaren parker says:

I didn't the exact same thing.

Allyson Kazmucha says:

I don't think they're better nor was that my conclusion. They both have their strengths and weaknesses and could learn something from each other in my opinion.

etnpnys says:

...and I agree with *you*. The other commenters here is more where I was aiming...

GeniusUnleashed says:

Allyson, you said this: "The iPhone 5 does much better when it comes to handling color depth, tone, and saturation." Not to be rude, but that statement is just wrong. The iPhone in these photos is horrible at handling those three things. The tone and color depth are very pronounced and pushed, not a good thing at all, especially when most people now use simple over lay apps that do that after the fact. When you have a pic with pushed color tones and saturation, it doesn't leave any options in post. The saturation is horrible, totally over saturated. I have a 4S and I'm a photographer and this is the first time I'm seeing just how good the One is. The pics are producing consistent even tones and a solid neutral saturation which is what photographers need to be able to work with in post. Outside of that one plant shot with the yellow flowers, HTC hands down beat the iPhone in every single situation. I know a lot of people say they are photographers, here's my work: www.msullivanphoto.com, if you think my work is crap than you can totally disregard everything I just said :P

Allyson Kazmucha says:

Your work is amazing. Congrats.

I think a lot of that may be subjective. Maybe they look a little better to me and i prefer the colors the iPhone 5 produces, maybe I prefer over-saturated. That's why i posted lots of photos. I have my opinion but at the end of the day, it's what you guys prefer, which is what you should buy. ;)

GeniusUnleashed says:

Preference is great! But as a tech blog, I come to you guys for technical reviews and comparisons. Someone saying they think a blue hyundai is better than a red ferrari because they prefer the color blue and four doors doesn't make it a better machine. I commented because over saturation and blown out details are bad. From a photographer's standpoint it's very hard (sometimes impossible) to fix in post. Once a detail is lost, it's can't be brought back, ever. For a lot of people, their phone is their only camera. I WANT people to take the best photos they can because it propels photographic technology into a wonderful new generation of possibilities.

Divinus FiliuS says:

Nonononono, ure here to promote iPhone. You get paid for that. Ughhh I'm outa here, I'm so mad!

GeniusUnleashed says:

Oh, and thanks for the compliment!!! :)

Janis Vaivars says:

I cannot agree more with BilboTeabagins.

Couple things I can add though. When shooting in auto mode, particularly with phones, the results may vary significantly between shots. In this case, it is also important to talk about the focus point in each picture, which the author, Allyson, does not. Focusing on different things changes the exposure drastically and focusing 'roughly' on the middle of the image does not cut it. The size of the focus points are different on each phone and maybe in one case you catch one or two more yellow flowers into that point and it changes the tone completely compared to the other phones camera. Hence, you may think you're making the same pictures, but you're actually not. Apart from roughly 2 examples, the exposure, tone and saturation is much better on the HTC One in these pictures, and saying that saturation is good is just plain wrong. That's just a preference. In reality any photographer would claim the opposite. And I'm not only talking about indoor shots here. There are several outdoor shots where the iPhone still produces unrealistic hue. Hence the claims made in this article just do not go together with the actual results of the photos.

scaramanga89 says:

I honestly don't see a lot of strengths to the iphone photos. Unless over-saturation and a lack of detail are strengths.

graider2 says:

this is so true. i'm not an expert in photography. so at first glance, i thought the one on the left was better. after close inspection, I do have to agree the one on the right are sharper and more realistic.

jaren parker says:

my apologies I skipped right over that part. You really did cover all aspects of the features on this device is great article.

Does the iphone 5 have adjustable white balance features for different environments such is fluorescent , incandescent, sunny or cloudy?

mcmillan27 says:

No adjustable white balance features in the native iPhone camera but some camera apps like ProCamera and Camera+ have the ability to lock the white balance. Say you have a shot of a bride in an outdoor setting. You move the phone around while watching the bride's gown on the screen and once it looks the shade of white you like, or, if it's the skin tone you're after, once her face looks the tone you like, you tap the white balance lock button, compose your shot and snap. I've had pretty good luck with this feature in the two apps I mentioned.

Kedge says:

Hi Allyson, may I know what's the software version that the HTC One is running when these shots were taken?

Dredd67 says:

"The iPhone 5 does much better when it comes to handling color depth, tone, and saturation"

You're kidding, right ?

I don't want to sound harsh but when the comparison was possible (implying photos correctly exposed...) the HTC One was way ahead in terms of color fidelity and contrast. This is very good material to postprocess from. The iPhone 5 takes good pictures but the grain, the so-so microcontrasts and the oversaturation don't make it shine at all here.

The One gives overall better pictures, true photographs (well at least closer), the iPhone 5 gives pictures for the masses, but hopefully without reaching the ridiculousness of other manufactures who just throw candys at our faces and expect us to mix them with pixels.

Anton Zuykov says:

"the HTC One was way ahead in terms of color fidelity and contrast. This is very good material to postprocess from"

(coughing)
post-processing what? 8 bit-jpg's from either One or 5S?
Really?
You must be kidding...
probably better just to CONVERT them into 1-bit pngs and postprocess from that.

cj100570 says:

So the takeaway is that the iPhone 5 camera is a better all around camera but the One camera is best if you're a vampire that can only come out at night to take pics....

Technosticrati says:

Someone mentioned that the iPhone automatically uses a photo enhancer to spit out images. If true, it would be interesting to see the ONE's pics after using the onboard enhance feature that is an option but not forced on the image as with the iPhone.

Elessar.cm says:

Very good (and unbiased) comparison. Thanks!

SCjRqrQCnBQ19QoYCtdl says:

Based on what I have seen, the HTC One can take better pics than the iPhone. However, it takes more work. I think the iPhone has better metering which give you more consistent results. The HTC is very sensitive to where you focus/meter. If you focus on a lighter area than average in the picture, your shot will be dark. If you focus on a darker area, you shot will be over exposed. This is a bit of a problem, as sometimes you don't have an option of choosing the ideal spot.

However, once a proper exposure is achieved with the One, it is far superior. iPhone does overly boost color saturation and contrast. Many people see this as better, but for those that are more serious in photography see this as a weakness. A neutral exposure is better as it takes to adjustments better.

Additionally,the HTC One is far superior in low light and has some nifty software tools that the iPhone lacks.

So, hopefully HTC can improve on the exposure metering (as well as dynamic range) with updates.

In the end though, they are only phone cameras so it is best not to be too concerned as the results will never match most point and shoots.

graider2 says:

I think you are spot on with your assessement. I do prefer the pleasing image of the iphone5 over the htc one outdoor and it seems as apple tune the iphone 5 image processing software very well (almost perfect). However, I think the HTC one issue is easily fix with some software tweak because it does seems like the HTC have better sensor/hardware but lacking software refinement in the image processing department.

The night shot just prove my point about the hardware on the htc one is superior to the iphone5. it's like comparing a 5 years old point and shoot to the current point and shoot. there isn't a comparison in the night shot in my opinion. all camera phone now a day can take good picture outdoor, they all surfer indoor except for htc one and 920.

Great review btw Imore.

mayconvert says:

I think the way you did the comparison was fair. over-all I would give the win to the iphone 5.
However, I do agree that the picture of the Mac, HTC gets the aluminum Way more correct and isn't yellowed like the iPhone 5.
I Can tell you what I am curious about... the iphone has nearly no settings other than HDR.
Are there settings for the HTC that could correct most or all of these flaws prior to taking the picture?

Derrick4Real says:

i'd give it to HTC One by quite a margin. but low light performance makes it a clear winner for me. Plus the outdoor pics are less yellow on the htc one and seem clearer on the htc one.

coggster says:

Nice comparison. It does make me even more pleased the HTC One will be replacing my iPhone 5. I take more photos where the benefits shown by the One in the review will be of benefit to me. I might have to do my own comparison when it gets here :)

dv220s says:

I thought the One has a 1/3" sensor. Not 1/3.2". It's the same size as the 920 not the iphone.

Allyson Kazmucha says:

Not what the specifications said. Most places I looked said 1/3.2" as well.

dv220s says:

Htc's official global website says this. http://www.htc.com/www/smartphones/htc-one/#specs
I found it under the camera section (where it should be).

richard451 says:

Anandtech also lists it as 1/3"

TTrub says:

Good, unbiased review. It's clear that both cameras have their strengths and weaknesses. Of course, it's worth mentioning that the iPhone is at the end of its life cycle and the One is a very recent launch. And each rev of the iPhone camera has been a significant step over the previous version. So in a few months it would be fun to see a new shootout.

tonypittman says:

Good review. I actually own both of these phones, and I think the picture quality is only a small part of the equation. For me, the HTC's camera software is the real difference maker. Burst mode, Zoe, Highlights, etc... These features are what make me pick up the HTC One first if I'm going to take some pictures. Otherwise, I prefer the iPhone and iOS for just about everything else.

igeorgetaylor says:

I do have to say that the HTC One's Low light performance is very good! Hardly any noise! iPhones' rather shocking tbh!
Great comparison though :)

SCjRqrQCnBQ19QoYCtdl says:

From the article opening - "The downside to all this is that gathering light takes time, which not only means a longer picture taking process, but a greater opportunity for motion blur when it comes to shooting moving targets..."

This is just not remotely correct.

The larger aperture on the HTC One in fact lets in more light faster and therefore allows higher shutter speeds at the same ISO. This makes capturing movement easier.

OIS on the other hand allows a steadier sensor which allows slower shutter speeds without blur from camera movement. (Although subject movement is subject to blur - but the other option is not getting a picture at all, and not all subjects move.)

These features make for a more versatile device. There is no trade-off with these features. They are just better.

skinja99 says:

What is the point of doing an image comparison if the full size photos are not posted?

Did I miss something? Are there links to the actual full size photo files?

thanks

moedin says:

Exactly I have a huge problem with how this was presented. I came here because I am growing unsatisfied with my GS3 (I bought into the Samsung ad machine and I am not going to use their stuff ever again.) and wanted to get a comparison between the two devices I am looking to swap to. Everyone I know told me to grab the iPhone for photos, it's the best. The images from the iphone 5 are cropped larger than the HTC One and you can see that the photos were not taken from the same spot or zooms were used, or something... they don't look apples to apples. This article was a waste of time and frankly makes iMore look like every other pathetic Apple based fan/support/"news" outlet that will do anything to slander the competition. I came in with a bias, sure, but I was hoping to be approached with fact and result based opinion. Not skewed photos and iPhone is better everything subjective opinion. Further to the point of why I arrived and not helping me make a decision because it's not evenly displayed.

Hung Luc says:

Agreed. Yes, I thought it treated the One unfairly due to the smaller size pictures as presented compared to the iPhone 5. This should be apples-to-apples comparison if you want to be objective and fair to both parties.

Divinus FiliuS says:

I won't have it, 700 other professional reviews demonstrate how toyish iPhone camera is compared to the Ones', Especially during day in color depth and incredibly acurate reproduction vs anything else. And at night it sets a whole new standard. It is too evident you've heavily enhanced iPhone pictures to come close to Ones' for the sake of propaganda and are deceiving your fanbase. I'm repulsed, feel cheated, and I'd slap you for it.

Rich Dawson says:

I guess its really true that HTC One camera performs well even on low light conditions. The iPhone 5 might have won in this area but overall, the HTC One is better especially on the price department. Here's a great review http://www.squidoo.com/htc-one-review-and-best-prices

jrsolis says:

Is it just me that thinks this piece is a little biased. I prefer most of the shots from the HTC One over the iPhone 5's.

travistruestory says:

Opinion-piece boys n girls as are every review site. Enough whining.

If anything it isn't a fair comparison given the iPhone 5 has been out since Sept, 2012 where as the HTC One is a month old. Pay more attention to the next-gen iPhone Vs. HTC One cam caparison review.

PatrickJM says:

Disclaimer: I'm not from either camp in this article (Lumia 920 owner) but I was curious on this comparison and how both would fare. I think that the iPhone5 and HTC One are both wonderful pieces of technology so I like to keep up on news for all fronts. With that said I couldn't sit by without voicing my opinion shot by shot.

First shot of the light tower. I disagree that the iPhone has better color saturation or depth in any of the pictures. Look at the colors in the sunset. Honestly would you rather look at the beautiful sunset or the marks on the concrete? I think the darker HTC pic is better, shows more color saturation where you want it, the blue sky and the reds on the horizon.

Colorful cobblestone road. Toss up. I don't really like either.

Pic of Mac products: HTC One has better white balance which is really all that this picture is about. The whites are clean on the HTC and yellow from the iPhone

Pic outside looking down sidewalk at the street lamp. Again the yellow hue from the iPhone makes everything look dirty. The HTC One is more natural.

Side of building with flowering tree and fish bowl. Toss up.

All of the nature and flower pictures in my opinion look better from the HTC because the colors aren't blown out of proportion. The ones from the iPhone don't look natural like the HTC. They look more like the TV sets at Best Buy with all of the color saturation cranked way up to make the pictures "eye catching". I like natural looking pictures better.

As an explanation for the darker panoramic pics I would have to refer to what I learned taking photography in college. Most of the time you are better off taking pictures slightly under exposed versus over exposed. The reason for this is that once a picture is blown out and over exposed you can't get the information back. There is no detail in the whites. If a picture is slightly underexposed you can easily make a correction if needed to lighten it. But if you darken an overexposed picture it just looks like a darkened over exposed picture.

In my opinion most of the daytime pictures are great from both phones, but I like almost every one from the HTC better than the iPhone just SLIGHTLY more. I would like to see what others have said though and pit the newest from all manufacturers up this fall. Nokia, Apple, HTC, and Samsung. I think they will have some great stuff this fall.

RobAndrew says:

Good comparison with features as well as pics. iPhone 5 is better than HTC One based on the camera and other features.
http://www.elantechnologies.com

Suheil85 says:

I just traded in my galaxy s4 for the new HTC one, and I'm not that so"wowed" by the camera. It's decent but not great. I also imhave an iphone5 which I enjoy more cuz it's easier to point and shoot. I really loved your comparison though and it wasn't in your face kind of thing. It was modest and intelligent which I haven't seen on a mobile review before. Good job and thank you!

Ersen Asper says:

when ur taking photos at low light htc one , when ur taking photos at good light condutions or suny days iphone 5 :)) but exactly im taking night photos with my proffesional canon. htc one's night performance better but this isnt mean its better. im sure phone sacrifices image quality for taking this photos. u can see this sacrifice htc one's photos on good light condutions too.