HTC One M8 and iPhone 5s

Facts is facts: The HTC One M8 camera remains a controversial subject, with its 4-megapixel "Ultrapixel" camera. It's a different sort of shooter, aiming to let in more light and adding some interesting post-processing features, at the expense of total resolution. So how's it stand up to other current top-ranked smartphone cameras? Our sister site iMore put the M8 up against the iPhone 5s to do exactly that. As for the results? Well. ... [iMore]


Reader comments

Camera shootout: HTC One M8 vs. the iPhone 5s!


I'd rather have cheap plastic that is replaceable and won't dent than a phone released IN 2014 with such a crappy camera.

Oh look, the iPhone tied or won everything except Depth of Field.

Imagine the depth of my surprise.

I agree... when I took pics of the stuff on my desk (side by side 5s and M8), I opened the images up on my screen and forced co workers to choose the pic they liked best.. they all choose the M8. I didnt take 20 pics, but i feel like, based on what i have taken in the past with my 5s and what i am seeing with side by side shots.. that review is a bit biased. Only thing iphone wins is the benefit from increased MP count.

So wait - you took a handful of pictures of stuff on your desk. All in the same or similar lighting situation, similar distances, etc... and based on that you feel this sample of many more pictures taken in many more situations outside and inside is biased?

If HTC had made sure there was no doubt and no debate that it's camera was better then iMore would have no reason to do this comparison. They knew they could win this battle so they took it. HTC should've put a better camera in the M8, plain & simple.

Yah man Idk what the hell they were thinking. My htc one x camera takes really good pic. And that was over 2 years ago. M9 it will be.. There fucktard ultrapexil really, really suck big fucking time.. Can't believe this shyt

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Lol its like saying what has the better build quality, s5 or m8? You already know the answer

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HTC is stubborn. I'm glad they brought back SD card support but the weak camera was a major complaint. Megapixels aren't everything but there is such thing as too few..

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HTC screws up again. They just don't get it. Nobody wants a gimmicky camera, they want one that works well and consistently.

Yuuuup that's exactly it. That's why I switched to an iPhone after many Android years. Just wanted to try something that was solid and consistent. Loved my old M7, but this 5s is doing really well and I have no regrets. Camera is exceptional, I was hoping HTC would do better this time around.

HTC sucks! What were they thinking not putting a dslr camera on the device.... Oh well, at least it has so very much more going for it!


The camera is fine, if you don't own the new HTC ONE (M8) then you shouldn't be getting upset about it at all.

It's a great phone, end of conversation.

Posted from my HTC ONE (M8)

I'm really considering the One. The thing I liked most when fiddling with it was it's really fluid and snappy software.

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Agree! 100%. I mostly take pics of my wife and two sons. This camera takes better close up photos then my wifes 5s. She asks me to use my phone when we're taking pics of the kids. Haters will be haters though. I say ℉_¢k em.

Posted via My Sexy M8(mate)

Heard That. And agree 100%. Go and try it first OUTSIDE of just the store and then form an opinion. I think it does just fine for my purpose.

iPhone is the clear winner in my mind. The HTC photos are generally dissapointing. They seems to suffer from poor brightness balance and incorrect color reproduction (see the teal sky in many of the photos).

The Android manufacturer that can put out a solid (iPhone level) camera on this year's model will probably be my next pick for a device maker.

And I have a s4 so I'm not biased at all. Iphone has the upper hand in build, software, etc. S4 has the screen and camera.

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I'd like to see the same tests conducted by someone who doesn't favor Apple. While I understand the cameras limitations, I still feel that there is bias in the comparisons.

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So what if I told you that Ally bought that phone with her own money? That's her M8, on her AT&T line. There is absolutely no bias so get over it.

She also knows more than a thing or two about photography, and the pictures would have been the exact same pictures if it'd been posted here and not on iMore.

No need to be rude. That's great that she did and I respect it. I'm more so looking at a site that seems to revolve around Apple products comparing them to other products. Maybe I'm silly for assuming some level of bias exists. I'm not making some of personal attack on her credibility.

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If you assume the article is junk based on the fact that it comes from an Apple oriented site, then what are you doing here on an Android oriented site? Surely everything here must be biased junk too - or is it somehow ok for it to be junk if it shares your own bias?

Thank you for stepping in and defending this write up, Richard. I was hyped and have been waiting to buy this phone since all the rumors started months ago. Started with the OG EVO and have the EVO 4G LTE now and loved them both but WHY did they have to dance around with a clearly inferior camera? Damn! I want this phone bad but I've got a little guy just starting to walk and I'd like to be able to quickly snap photos without pulling out the Nikon. Frustrating so I'll wait until next year I suppose... Excellent article from imore.

I didn't feel any bias either.. It just proved that a lot of ppl were right about the camera not being great. HTC is stubborn.

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I actually did decide to keep this phone, on another line. I love it actually. The screen is gorgeous. Sense 6 is a HUGE improvement over the last iteration. The camera just isn't what I wanted it to be. I'm pretty sure the photos show that, no?

Sense 6 is such an improvement! I can't help but wonder how much more awesome the phone could have been had HTC just stepped up the camera a little bit. Leaving it alone with the 4 "UltraPixel" was a dissapointment for sure. It could have been amazing! Thanks for the comparisons.

Posted via Android Central App

I messed with the M8 at Verizon, and I agree the camera system is lame, especially for a 2014 flagship phone. If I dropped $600 on a brand new phone that took photos like that, I would probably be defensive too.

I thought it was a fair review but, with the exception of UFocus, there was no mention of the added features available with the M8 (such as Zoe, dedicated Selfie mode with a 5MP front camera, Pan360, etc.). Obviously you wanted to be able to test head to head so you tested most of the things they had in common but it's the added extras that might sway someone in one direction or another (how about HDR mode and filters available with the front camera). I think they should be judged as a whole rather than cherry picking a handful of tests and declaring a winner.

I think she covered what most people will be using these phones for other than "selfies" (hate that word). Some people will dive into the features of each phone and I'm sure a book could be written if you wanted to compare every damn feature but she did an excellent job comparing commonly taken photos. Be an Android fanboy (I am) but open your eyes a little.

I hate that word as well but they seem to be extremely popular. iOS has always had better cameras than virtually every Android phone and when they weren't better they were pretty much even. Cameras are just something that most Android manufacturers haven't quite figured out yet. I am an Android fan but I will give credit where it's due. That being said, I rarely ever take pictures so the camera is the least of my concerns when it comes to a phone. My current phone is the N5 and I remember all the bad press the camera on that thing got when it came out, I think it's just fine. All I said was that when comparing cameras I think software and features should be considered as well.

The surprising thing is that the sensors Apple have used mostly come from manufacturers who not only also make Android phones, but full blown cameras too, unlike Apple.

Bear in mind the first two iPhones had fixed focus, 2MP cameras that were roundly laughed at even at the time... it's amazing how far they've come.

No need to defend yourself Allyson. Great comparison - it was absolutely fair as with everything at Mobile Nations across the board. I think some people think that because other sites have biases that no Apple/Android/WP blogger is even capable of giving the other side a fair shot. Which you did. In fact, looking at some of the photos, I think you were sometimes too generous to the HTC One.

But back to the real story: the HTC One's camera is a complete deal breaker.

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Got to agree with you here. I thought the exact same about the m7. Mobile Nations does a great job at unbiased journalism, unlike some other mobile tech sites. There may be a hint of personal bias or preference, but I don't think any of these guys let it affect their work because its their name and credibility on the line. The 5s has a great point and shoot camera for a phone. Plain as day.

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Phew, Its a good thing I don't buy phones based on their cameras.
Literally everything other than the camera matters to me. I can't tell the difference between the photos unless you put them side by side and say "look".

Posted via Android Central App from my Moto X

Haha same here man, not a camera junkie but camera really does matter because when anyone buys an expensive smartphone, he\she does want everything to be perfect especially camera......

When you really run shit, you don't have to talk about it....

I'm a huge fan of the HTC One line but my god why did they stick with the same 4MP Ultrapixel camera? It just boggles the mind. An 8MP Ultrapixel camera would have been fantastic. Is that so hard to develop? I'd love to hear HTC's reasoning behind this dumb move.

Worst camera comparison ever. EPIC FAIL!
This tested canned out of the box settings. This test was about the firmware and not the camera.
I'm a photographer and no way would I test everything on auto with no adjustments.
Clearly not a comparison done or written by someone that should be reviewing a camera.

I see your point. However, most people are not professional photographers. They want to get decent pictures without having to screw around with settings for 5 minutes before taking a picture of their kids running through the yard or blowing out candles on a birthday cake.

This. Exactly. I didn't do this comparison for a photographer. I did it for the average consumer looking to make a decision if camera quality is important for them.

As with most comments utilising the phrase "EPIC FAIL!" this comment is a complete fail. The review actually does get into some of the manual adjustments available on the HTC, such as setting different ISO for low light etc, and still the iPhone (with its all-auto-only settings) outperforms it overall. I'm a photographer and people who start sentences with the phrase "I'm a photographer" as if that means something important make me cringe - this was a fair review of two snapshot cameras used as snapshot cameras should be used and the results speak for themselves.

More people should be taking about the battery life on the m8, it's excellent! Recently got 6 :30 screen on time with 1 day and 10 hours use

Posted via Android Central App

I generally try to be unbiased and fair when it comes to smart phone preferences. I have an iPhone 5S but have recommended Android phones to friends based on their needs. I personally like both Android and iOS to the point where I wish I had two devices, one of each OS, so I could swap depending on the mood (I could make it happen, but I have better things to allocate my funds to right now).

In any case, I do agree that the iPhone's camera performs better. It's unfortunate HTC didn't put a better camera in the M8. Ultrapixel technology is great in theory, but it hasn't turned out the best results in practice, which is really a shame. I like to take pictures, but not to the point where I want to carry an additional device to do it, so I prefer for my phone to have the best camera possible. It's for this reason that, while I am an HTC fan, I may unfortunately pass on the M8 when my upgrade comes around in March. I'll have to see how it is once I can try it out in person.

Also, I've never been a fan of iMore. iMore's bias shows pretty clearly even in its headlines and to me, doing so is in poor taste and not a good showing of journalistic integrity. I know some items are opinion, but this was a NEWS post, not an opinion column.

iMore headline: Google announces Android Wear, their pre-iWatch wrist-play
Appleinsider headline: With Android Wear, Google fires first shot in hardware war against Apple

The iMore article has plenty of comments blasting the headline, but I personally believe Appleinsider did a better job covering it in general with far less bias. Makes for a better read. Nothing wrong with having a preference, but ignoring or belittling what the other sides have to offer is generally bad form if you ask me. iMore's headline almost comes off as being snobby and calling out Google as the "me too" party when that isn't really true. I enjoy AndroidCentral, but your sister iSite isn't cutting it for me.

However, I do agree with iMore's conclusion in this case, I just don't agree with how they write and title their articles all the time (this comparison article was fine though especially since it offered comparisons and evidence). I will say HTC comes close and should be fine for the average user, but for gadget enthusiasts, probably not.

Ive seen other comparisons from real users on G+ that are the exact opposite of this. The M8 wins on everything but resolution.

HTC are well known for launching with poor cameras, that improve massively with new firmwares. I guess there could be a variation between them depending on country or network.

The first line of the story got the whole thing wrong "The iPhone 5s and the HTC One M8 arguably have two of the best smartphone cameras on the market". The M8 has arguably one of the two best smartphone cameras? M8 owners don't even say that LOL

I understand that cameras can be the deciding factor for some folks, but it really doesn't matter to me. In fact, the camera is the last thing I consider when choosing smartphones.

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*sigh....But hey, at least you get to feel that premium body as you snap those pics, right?....right..?
Geez, Imagine a comparison with the S4 Vs. The M8...much less the S5...?
And no I don't think the article was completely biased towards iPhone. I honestly couldn't disagree with a single point.

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Let's try not to change the subject here. This camera sucks. It is not a matter of HTC "dropping the ball" - it is a matter of HTC refusing to do better. I believe this product was completely rushed and not thought out properly. HTC thought the design alone could save this phone, but in actuality, it can't. Without a good camera, and with a near universal bashing of this camera online, most users on the fence between the One and GS5, iPhone, and/or Lumia are certainly not going to pick HTC. Of course, HTC wants us to believe that they don't care - that they are satisfied with poor revenue and fleeing personnel, but things do not look good on their end.

This side by side proves: anyone who is buying the One thinking they are getting a flagship camera can't complain when their photos end up blurry and they can't zoom in without completely distorting a photo.

Posted via Android Central App

I'm an Android veteran and chose to buy the HTC One m8 despite the camera not because of it. I was on the fence a bit but once I started to play around with it I was hooked. No other Android phone is better built and no other Android phone has a smoother experience IMO. That being said if you need to have a top notch camera on your smartphone I agree you need to go elsewhere because the M8 is not for you.

Posted via Android Central App

Aside from the low MP count, the thing I didn't like about the M7 One's camera was the really wide angle focal length compared to the traditional field of view of most mobile cameras, great for landscapes but not so great for everything else. Looks like the M8 camera shares that same ultra wide angle.

Posted via Android Central App

I honestly like some of the pictures from both cameras in this comparison. Overall, the iPhone wins, but this frequent HTC camera debate just seems like nitpicking to me. Then again, I was satisfied with the camera on my flip phone years ago, and things have clearly come a long way since then.

Maybe it's because I'm younger without kids, and use smartphone cameras the way most of you likely hate (selfies, Instagram, Twitter, in dim club settings, etc.), but I'm happy with the pictures I take. And I'll rely on photographers with the proper equipment for important events when I want perfect shots.

Posted via AC App on HTC One

Guys.....Honestly don't get hung up on the 4 megapixel thing. I am very much into photography and I can guarantee you that the M8 takes great photos. I have also sent some photos taken on this device to my 47 inch tv and they blow up great! Megapixels aren't everything :)

I really don't think anyone is hung up on the the 4 megapixel thing - and you're not exactly the first person to point out that megapixels aren't everything either. It's 2014, people understand this. Truthfully, I was expecting great things from HTC's "ultrapixel" setup because on paper it makes a lot of sense - smartphone sensors are miniscule and less crowding of the pixels should help there. But, in reality, what they've done doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Neither the M7 or M8 have the really significant low light advantage that I'd expect, and the tradeoff in other situations is just too high.

Truly, I think 4MP really is too low. Clearly there are limits and there are good reasons why the iPhone has stuck at 8MP for the last three generations - it's proving to be a better compromise.

Sorry but A LOT of reviews lately have been downgrading the phone because it's camera has 4megapixel's so unfortunately it does seem that lots of people still judge quality by the amount of megapixel's. I'm clearly not saying everyone thinks this, and I'm quite aware what year it is thanks. I suppose Its what you want to use it for, but for everyday snapshots of the kids etc its perferct as long as you dont want to blow the pics too big. The iPhone 5/5s camera is better but not much. Smartphone cameras are never going to be good in low light.

I don't have a problem with the camera on my M8. If you want a professional picture buy a professional camera.

The M8 blows that shitty iPhone away in every other aspect anyway. Love mine.

Posted via Android Central App

The HTC one M8 camera isn't actually to bad. Put it up against a Nokia though lol. We all know who wins in the camera war :)

Posted via Android Central App

My biggest complaint with ultra pixel technology is that highlights get over blown a lot. I love how fast it snaps photos and the low light performance but when I heard rumors they would do an ultra pixel and a high res day light camera I thought that was genius. Sadly they didn't go that route though.

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I don't agree with all her conclusions, thinking two she gave to the iPhone were actually a tie. Clearly the iPhone won on a few and the HTC One won on a few. Yet overall, I think they are about equal (and different). But that is just my opinion after looking carefully at all her samples.

First and foremost we have to remember that these devices are touted as smartphones not smart cameras. They should be able to deliver call reliability, solid data connections, and solid email connectivity. That being said, in the socially connected instant world we now live in, a phone camera that can snap a quick decent quality picture without a lot of fussing around is also a must have. Apple knows this and so does Samsung.
Every Samsung phone I've owned has consistently taken better, faster pics in all lighting conditions than my Wife's HTC's. There's things that Samsung does with the OS that bug me but camera performance isn't one of them.

I'm going to move away from Samsung for my next device and I do have to admit that the camera performance is going to be an important factor when making my choice.

I have to LOL because I remember a few years back when if your phone couldn't run Angry Birds, everyone said it was no good. Now everyone is doing the same with cameras. If it doesn't do this or that, your phone is no good and the manufacturer dropped the ball.

I wonder what the next big gripe will be...

Posted via Android Central App

Funny how only the camera was compared... Maybe they could do speakers, screen resolution, options on customizations, or price on similar storage size next. But somehow I doubt it.

P.S. I own an iPhone 5s

Just because the iPhone camera is better than the One's, doesn't mean it's camera is terrible. Yeah, it could be better. But overall I think its more than adequate. And after you add in all of the extra modes and features the One has, it's actually quite enticing. My M8 arrives tomorrow, so I'll be able to put it through the paces and see if it performs. Remember folks, smart phones aren't supposed to have DSLR quality photos. As long as the pictures are good enough to share, then it's all good. If you want more, get a real camera.

Posted via Android Central App

The 5s takes far superior pictures than any other camera on a smartphone I've used. Now, we do have a demo of a Galaxy S5 at our store and holy hell that camera is gorgeous.

I think my gs4 takes better pictures than my wife's iPhone 5s. I think that the gs5 is going to be even better. Especially with the new flash. And 4k video will be sweet. of course I'll want to upgrade the TV next.

Posted via Android Central App and some kind of Android device!

Just had to say that looking at the side by side picture, the 5s really looks tiny. The OS really looks dated compared to the M8. Even TW on my S3 looks newer and less cartoonish.
Posted via Android Central App

Did any of you own the M7 ? I know its 4mp.. but the pictures i have on my HDD from that phone are the ones that really stand out when i look at them. The iphone pics look washed out next to them. I know its a low MP count... but I honestly prefer the M7 pics over the iPhone 5s even. And the M8 should be better than the M7 right ?

I had the M7, then I got the iPhone 5s, now I have an M8. IMO HTC and Apple are making the best phones, and both have great cameras but I prefer my M8.

I had a Nokia Lumia 1020 before my M8 and I can honestly say I enjoy using the M8 camera a LOT More that I did the Lumia. The Lumia's overall picture quality was better but it was nearly impossible to take sharp shots of my kids indoors, it was that slow!!! The M8 is absolutely rapid, and for snap shots of the family its perfect! The only slight com plaint is that is doesn't deal with bright light very well, but not many phone cameras do!!.....And, forget the megapixel's, look at the sensor size!