HTC ImageSense

One of our chief complaints about HTC devices -- OK, just about everybody's chief complaint about HTC devices -- used to be about the camera. While the smartphone hardware would be top-notch, and the design darn near a work of art, the cameras nearly seemed like an afterthought, and companies like Samsung quickly took over the top spot in that spec race.

That started to change in 2011 with the likes of the HTC MyTouch 4G Slide and the HTC Sensation 4G, which finally had good cameras. Maybe not quite the best available, but certainly leaps and bounds above what HTC had previously produced. The software improved as well, with more scenes and modes (panorama, finally!) available out of the box.

With the new crop of smartphones just announced at Mobile World Congress, HTC is putting it on record that it's serious about technology. How serious? It's developer its own processor for the camera side of things. HTC calls this new technology ImageSense, one of the three pillars of the new Sense 4.0.

Starting with the HTC One X, HTC has a whole new generation of camera tech that promises faster shutter speeds for near-instantaneous pictuers. You're able to snap a still image while shooting video. And probably most impressive (if a little nerdy) is that images are being shot in RAW format for greater processing flexibility on the device before given to you as a more user-friendly JPEG format. 


Reader comments

HTC goes all in on camera technology with its new ImageSense in HTC One X


It looks like the X quad core (Tegra 3) will ONLY be available in non-LTE versions. Blech. What is the point? Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T will all be LTE. That makes about as much sense as a non-swappable battery in a phone that doesn't have a huge battery.

Sorry, but a nice camera is just not going to make up for that. I am very disappointed now :(

It has a lithium polymer battery instead of a lithium ion battery. Massive difference. Forget the mah ratings. Polymer is significantly better than ion.

The ways in which polymer is better is that you can fit it into smaller spaces better (in different shapes), doesn't degrade the same way, and is much safer. Ion is capable of a higher capacity though, and given the context, I don't think the polymer will make much of a difference in battery life.

What's the big deal over taking picks while recording? That's built into ICS. Overall though, the camera seems like a big step in the right direction.

Erm, somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought all digital cameras shot in RAW before processing to JPG. If the RAW files are available to the end consumer via an option then that'll be pretty huge, but all image sensors output raw image data (hence the name) which is processed in-camera to reduce file size.

I think HTC is pulling some smoke & mirrors, or Phil is getting something confused. The camera captures in RAW before delivering a JPEG. No ****, HTC, I don't know of any CCD camera technology that captures natively in JPEG. The difference is that some cameras can save the enormous original RAW image to the media for the user to utilize. Most cameras just create the JPEG and dump the RAW original.

It would be amazing if the HTC One could be configured by software to save the RAW image for the user. You can still store a lot of images in the 9GB or whatever's left over from the internal memory.