An early look at the HTC 10's photographic capabilities
After years of ho-hum cameras, HTC's newly-announced 2016 flagship, the HTC 10, promises a significant bump in photographic capabilities. There's a new 12-megapixel "UltraPixel 2" camera around the back, paired with dual-tone flash and laser autofocus, behind an f/1.8 lens. And with large 1.55-micron pixel paired and optical image stabilization (OIS), the rear camera should be better than ever at night photography — a major differentiator in mobile photography right now. Around the front, HTC brings us the first selfie camera with OIS, with a stabilized 5-megapixel sensor, also behind an f/1.8 lens.
Our full review of the HTC 10 is on the way soon, with much more on the phone's photographic capabilities and its redesigned camera app. In the meantime, we invite you to see for yourself — continue below for a handful of photos and video shot on the HTC 10.
Indoor, mixed lighting
The HTC 10 generally does well in indoor conditions with mixed lighting — and even darker, more challenging indoor scenes. Colors are generally accurate and images on the whole look good, if a little soft when viewed up close. As a general trend, we're seeing the phone bump up its ISO more aggressively than rivals like Samsung's Galaxy S7, and as a result you'll see occasional chroma noise in darker areas of indoor shots.
The HTC 10 has no trouble capturing outdoor environments, as you'd expect from a high-end phone camera. Again, photos appear a bit softer than rival shooters from Samsung and LG, though colors are more lifelike — less oversaturated — and also less aggressively sharpened. Auto HDR mode does a good job of identifying when it needs to step in, though HDR processing does seem to lose some fine detail.
In all but the darkest conditions, the HTC 10's OIS-equipped selfie camera does a decent job of capturing your mug, and anything in the immediate vicinity. Like the rear camera, colors are accurate, and there's no aggressive sharpening or over-saturation. Focus isn't always pin-sharp, however.
Hyperlapse and slow-mo
These video samples show Hyperlapse and slow-motion mode from the HTC 10's rear camera, both at 720p resolution.
With an f/1.8 lens, the HTC 10 performs well in macro mode, capturing pronounced bokeh effects while keeping the subject in sharp focus. We've noticed the camera can have a little difficulty focusing on closer subjects, even with the help of its laser autofocus. (For sure, Samsung's Galaxy S7 is far quicker to focus on macro subjects.) We can't argue with any of the end results, though.
OIS combined with large pixels on the sensor really shine through in night shots, where the HTC 10 captures more accurate-looking pics than the Galaxy S7, which tends to give them a yellowish hue. Again, because HTC's camera is fairly ISO-happy, you'll see some grain and chroma noise when you examine these up-close.
You can download the original files for all of these images via Google Photos. Just hit the overflow menu (three dots) at the top of the screen, then select "Download all."