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Apple vs the world: just how big are the 1.5-micron pixels on the iPhone 5s' camera

Apple vs the world: just how big are the 1.5-micron pixels on the iPhone 5s' camera

With the initial buzz around Apple's iPhone 5s introduction gone, things are finally settling in place, and everyone has had some time to soak everything that transpired right in. 


The unusual, hardware-focused, presentation that Tim Cook and Co decided is more appropriate than the traditional Apple announcement, typically based more around software features than anything else, had us a little surprised. But whether Apple simply had a lot to say on the harwdare side, or its simply trying to beat its Android archrival at its own game, is something we'll have to wait for the next batch of announcements to properly gauge.


So, Apple, at least for now, wants to go down the hardware path, and we'll oblige and follow. A lot has been said about the new iPhones and the iPhone 5s in particular – a fingerprint sensor, the world's first 64-bit chip in a smartphone, and an even better camera, of course. And while we're itching to get our hands on Apple's new flagship and specifically -- its camera, there are some parts of the iPhone 5s' shooter that we can analyze without actually having the unit in hand. One such part, in particular, has been firmly lodged into our subconsciousness ever since Apple's September 10 presentation, and that's the claim that the bigger 1.5-micron pixels on the iPhone 5s' sensor are “much larger than most competitive phones”, whose camera modules, Apple says, offer just 1.0 to 1.1-micron pixels. Naturally, the first thing we thought of when we heard that, was the HTC One's UltraPixel camera, with its giant (for a smartphone) 2-micron pixels – significantly larger than the iPhone 5s' own pixels. So we decided its time to do a little digging.


Phone

Pixel size

1. HTC One

2.0μ

2. iPhone 5s

1.5μ

3. iPhone 5

1.4μ

3. Motorola Moto X

1.4μ

3. Nokia 808 Pureview

1.4μ

4. Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom

1.34μ

5. Sony Xperia Z1

1.17μ

6. Nokia Lumia 1020

1.12μ

6. Samsung Galaxy S4

1.12μ


It turns out, that we are both in agreement with Apple's statement, and not. First, while the camera unit on the iPhone 5s does, indeed, feature a pixel size second only to the HTC One's, as you can see, most competitors aren't actually very far behind. What's more, while the undeniable ability of larger pixels to capture more light, resulting in better overall pictures is not to be ignored, we do hope this doesn't simply become the next new “thing” with cameras. This is because, as the HTC One's camera has proven over and over – while large pixels have their role to play, they hardly hardly exhaust the multitude of other variables that affect the quality of your pictures.

132 Comments
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posted on 13 Sep 2013, 09:55 10

1. ihatesmartphone (unregistered)


Another marketing gimmick from Apple.
But anyway...
Some goes to Samsung and other manufacturers.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 09:59 10

4. bigstrudel (Posts: 518; Member since: 20 Aug 2012)


Yeah you're wrong.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:04 32

5. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8614; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Lol how? Every new feature of the iPhone 5S is a marketing gimmick, especially the 64-bit processor.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:07 37

6. rawbow (Posts: 428; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


speaking of gimmicks..tell us how 8 cores run your laggy droid?

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:11 41

8. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4184; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Ok how's your battery life on your iToy 5? lol

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:17 1

15. Sauce (unregistered)


Stop being so butthurt. Direct and aggresive comments like that do no good. Just ignore the guy.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:21 6

21. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4184; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Guy if you know me from anything, then you would know I give it the same way it comes out. I come to have fun here, NOT to get all serious.

I like to ruffle feathers.

I think the only one "butthurt" here is you my good man. lol

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:20

17. rawbow (Posts: 428; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


last i checked, toys were made of plasic genius LMAO!!

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:21 24

20. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8614; Member since: 14 May 2012)


iPhone 5C. :)

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:22 8

22. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4184; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Ohh like the iToy 5c right? Cmon man.....

You need to try a bit harder. lol

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:34 5

41. rawbow (Posts: 428; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


5c aint flagship buddy.
I don't even have to try, Samsung is the only android manufacturer that sucks in design and UI....that too big time.
So before you start pointing fingers...try looking in the mirror. Also, android gives a lot of options but it has become like a junkyard and will continue to degrade into that.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:48 10

53. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8614; Member since: 14 May 2012)


80% global marketshare and 1+ billion activations says otherwise.

"last i checked, toys were made of plasic genius LMAO!!"

>iPhone 5C

You might want to try a little harder.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:56 2

60. rawbow (Posts: 428; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


so what, 1 billion people also don't listen to heavy metal!

Does it satisfy you that so many people condone your choice...lame

Also, Samsung has an android phone at every buck...we were comparing flagships and sorry sales doesn't bother me coz i get none of their profits lol

So, "again" last i checked 5C is not flagship and while all Samsung flagships are. I'd advise them to customize their phone's design before they brag android customization rights.........

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 11:03 11

65. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8614; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Samsung having a device for every price range has got them where in the mobile world? No. 1?

I thought we were comparing iPhone 5S features to features found in all Android phone models. Good thing you stopped there, because you would have lost.

iPhone 5C is their "mid-range" now, with a $549 price tag lol. You mentioned plastic, I mentioned iPhone 5C. Doesn't have to be a flagship to join on this discussion. So tell me again how many people put cases on their cellphones, which hides the design completely?

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 11:47

78. rawbow (Posts: 428; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


it's an article on 5S *facepalm*

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 12:10 3

82. rockblock123 (Posts: 20; Member since: 07 Sep 2013)


appears u did the facepalm

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 14:12 7

96. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8614; Member since: 14 May 2012)


But you deliberately mentioned Samsung with your first comment.

Pot, meet kettle.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 17:17

104. rawbow (Posts: 428; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


"speaking of gimmicks..tell us how 8 cores run your laggy droid?"

this was my first comment ...funny you should get to the conclusion of Samsung....:D kinda proves my point.

while you are busy introducing two non living things (typical sign of over customised OS) please keep a tab on your hatred for Apple.

It's oozing stupidity now

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 17:58 6

107. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8614; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Name all the octa-core chips on the market besides the Exynos 5410. Take your time.

You're oozing stupidity. Just stop before you embarrass yourself even more.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 13:08 6

91. willard12 (Posts: 818; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)


Aluminum costs 40 cents per pound. There's a reason why it is usually used to hold soft drinks. The S4 costs more in parts to make than the iphone 5. So lets not jump all over the premium coke-can feel of some flagships versus the polycarbonate of the majority of others. Design was, is , and will always be a matter of your own personal, individual, and most humble opinion.

posted on 15 Sep 2013, 00:18

127. c.hack (Posts: 514; Member since: 09 Dec 2009)


That 80% market share is mostly junk droid in China and India that can't even access the the Google Play Store. 80% droid junk is still junk.

posted on 16 Sep 2013, 20:32

131. Long1 (banned) (Posts: 399; Member since: 18 May 2013)


Not true. Even shameles lie.
Most of this 80% are Galaxy S and Galaxy Note line (plus Active lately) Check it out. (Even S3 was the phone of year 2012 .)
All of them high end phones with higher production price than the tin-can iPhones,

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 11:45

75. Googler (Posts: 813; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)


I wonder if iFans would have so much hatred for the other Android OEMs if they were going toe to toe with Apple like Samsung is.

I'm guessing they would, but you all need to get over it. Apple isn't going to make SS going away and SS isn't going to make Apple go away. Both companies have far too much money to just disappear like some would like them to.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 12:46 9

89. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4184; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Ok Apple has been the same since the Apple iPhone 4. So Apple could become relevant they "borrowed" a lot from Android to make iOS 7.

Apple is the same BORING design recycled from THEIR "junkyard" for 4 years now. Samsung does new things like start a new category , the phablet & make an effort to make their phones look different, NOT like Apple's SAME design 4 years strong.

So really you need to slow your roll because an Apple iPhone literally is a Samsung phone at its heart. Just like a Lexus is a Toyota at heart.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 16:25

101. -box- (Posts: 3820; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


To be accurate, Dell beat Samsung to the "phablet" category with the Streak 5, though Samsung came up with the name (or it came about with the launch of the Note 1 with the "Phone? Tablet? Both." tagline)

posted on 16 Sep 2013, 20:48

132. Long1 (banned) (Posts: 399; Member since: 18 May 2013)


Dell didn't beat Samsung with Dell Streak. Dell Streak was just the pioneer going to 5"
And please stop with this "phablet category" BS. The iMedia inveted this ugly nonsense name. Samsung didn't came up with this BS name
GS4 is 5" likeDell Streak. Right.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 17:18

105. rawbow (Posts: 428; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


you do realise that you may have typed the word "Apple" more than any other word in this website.

You secretly have an Apple heart man . Peace :P

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 17:59 1

108. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8614; Member since: 14 May 2012)


realize*

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 13:44 1

95. hung2900 (Posts: 804; Member since: 02 Mar 2012)


It is not a flagship but still more expensive than some other flagships in some areas

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 19:27 2

109. theaztech (Posts: 49; Member since: 13 Sep 2013)


okay youre stating that the 5c isnt flagship yet it has the exact same specs as the current iphone 5....Yet i bet youre willing to say the iPhone 5 is a flagship phone. Another person who is blind by ignorace.

And dont start with the "its plastic therefore it isnt flagship", since when is the materials come in to play? Last i checked a flagship phones has the best available hardware. Something Apple hasnt put in its phones since 2007. Lets face it buddy, Apple stopped being top dog after the iphone 4. Even Blu has phones with better hardware then the iPhones.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 11:19 4

68. artealis (Posts: 98; Member since: 15 Dec 2010)


ohh iphone 5C is made from titanium?? last time i checked it is plastic, an undeniable plastic johny ive should said it.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 12:41 6

88. timepilot84 (Posts: 85; Member since: 16 Aug 2012)


Last I checked, beer cans were made of aluminum, genius LMAO!!

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 20:11

112. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)


Go as way you iTroll™

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:28 3

31. Ninetysix (Posts: 1659; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


Battery is awesome. Thank you. How's yours?

http://blog.gsmarena.com/lg-g2-battery-tests-are-done-here-are-the-results/

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:33 10

40. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8614; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Come on Ninetysix, we all know Droid MAXX has the biggest battery on the market.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:38 2

42. Ninetysix (Posts: 1659; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


How's the Droid MAXX sales working for them?

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:41 8

49. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8614; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Given that the DROID line are the hottest selling phones next to the iPhone, I'd say pretty good. Time can only tell.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:13 19

10. AstronautJones (Posts: 270; Member since: 01 Aug 2012)


Laggy? Have you even seen the multitasking features of the Note 3.?
Lets see the iPhone do that at all, let alone doing it without lag.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:13 6

11. Sauce (unregistered)


Ouch. LOL

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:21 12

18. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8614; Member since: 14 May 2012)


My S3 running LiquidSmooth feels like it's running 8 cores thank you very much. :')

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:43 9

50. jacko1977 (Posts: 394; Member since: 11 Feb 2012)


i got 8 cores in my s4 and not a single bit of lag the ijunk 5 i had for 2 months lagged more

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 11:39 8

72. taikucing (unregistered)


laggy droid? lol even a phone with cheap dual core mediatek is not laggy today with custom ROM. Where do you live? In a cave?

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 16:02 3

100. Shatter (Posts: 2030; Member since: 29 May 2013)


Theres actually not any 8 core android devices and none of the quad core phones with 2gb of ram experience lag.

posted on 14 Sep 2013, 01:37 1

121. batman888 (Posts: 37; Member since: 06 Dec 2012)


suck balls

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:21 3

19. THE.DARK.KNIGHT (banned) (Posts: 269; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)


See zdnets article on apples 64 bit processor. You will know that it's definitely not a gimmick.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:23 6

24. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8614; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I'm not going to spend time looking for an article. Please tell me, what is the benefit of having a 64-bit processor on an iPhone 5S?

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:25 4

26. power_x (Posts: 235; Member since: 28 Aug 2013)


does any android phone has a 64-bit processor ?
no , that makes the 5S ahead of its time
it is a simple equation

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:27 11

29. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8614; Member since: 14 May 2012)


It's USELESS to put a 64-bit processor on a iPhone. Please do some research and get informed.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:28 1

32. power_x (Posts: 235; Member since: 28 Aug 2013)


so what do you say about samsung putting it in their future products ?
S Gimmick

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:30 9

35. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8614; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I say 3 gigs of RAM. I win.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:31 2

37. power_x (Posts: 235; Member since: 28 Aug 2013)


I say Touch ID .
and since everybody complain about the scanner on the Atrix , dont bother mentioning it

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:39 8

45. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8614; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I say SD card slot.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:41 4

48. power_x (Posts: 235; Member since: 28 Aug 2013)


I say more LTE bands than any smartphone
I say Aluminium design

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:45 8

52. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8614; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I say high quality 24bit-192KHz audio.

Have fun rocking that iPhone with scratches, scuffs and dents everywhere.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:52 3

57. power_x (Posts: 235; Member since: 28 Aug 2013)


I say no Malware apps
I say TrueTone flash

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:58 7

63. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8614; Member since: 14 May 2012)


http://www.phonearena.com/news/Researchers-tricked-Apple-into-approving-an-app-loaded-with-malware_id46518

I say Sony Z1.

posted on 14 Sep 2013, 04:17

123. Trex95 (Posts: 553; Member since: 03 Mar 2013)


That what i thought before. But Z1 it's great phone but the camera got beating by PV 808.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 11:32 3

71. Napalm_3nema (Posts: 1129; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)


Unfortunately, for you at least, you are the one who needs informed, as do most of the trolls on here, including the PA "writer" who sent out the trolling article the other day. Addressable RAM is far from the only advantage for 64-bit processing.

64-bit is useful in mobile for future proofing. Minor, but not insignificant.

64-bit has more usable registers, and wider 64-bit data paths, meaning that heavy calculations are done much more easily. Audio/video encoding and decoding and encryption all run faster with less overhead. Not only that, it isn't just about how much physical memory the CPU addresses, but it also addresses more virtual memory. The A7 will also have double the 128-bit registers of anything else on the market. These things all speed up every day processes. Sounds useless, doesn't it?

64-bit OSes are usually more secure, and can utilize much more complex security and encryption protocols. ARMv8 is no exception, and it provides better native encrypt and decrypt than ARMv7.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 20:31

114. sniper1087 (Posts: 378; Member since: 31 Dec 2011)


claps, very knowledgeable *tips my hat to you my friend*, and I agree reason 100%.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 11:41 1

74. taikucing (unregistered)


yeah, 64-bit is useless unless we have 4 GB RAM. Even many apps in PC are still 32-bit.

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