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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: 521; Member since: 20 Aug 2012)


Yeah you're wrong.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:04 32

5. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; 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: 4888; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


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

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:13 19

10. AstronautJones (Posts: 303; 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, 10:17 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, 10:20

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 12

18. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; 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, 10:21 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, 10:21 24

20. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


iPhone 5C. :)

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:21 6

21. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4888; 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, 10:22 8

22. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4888; 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, 10:23 6

24. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; 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, 10:23 4

25. power_x (Posts: 264; Member since: 28 Aug 2013)


i smell a jealous fan
S4 is 1 micron
5S is 1.5 micron
deal with it

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:25 4

26. power_x (Posts: 264; 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, 10:25 2

27. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4888; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


It is a gimmick, HONESTLY how much better will games be on Apple's iPhone 5s compared to Samsung's Galaxy Note III. You WILL NOTICE NO DIFFERENCE, well except for screen size...

Gimmick DEFINITELY!!!

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:26 7

28. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


HTC One is 2 microns. Comment invalid. Thank you come again!

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:27 11

29. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; 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, 10:27 4

30. power_x (Posts: 264; Member since: 28 Aug 2013)


HTC One is 4MP only. Your comment is invalid , thanks for trying !

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:28 3

31. Ninetysix (Posts: 2504; 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, 10:28 1

32. power_x (Posts: 264; 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, 10:29 5

33. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Doesn't matter. Don't try to make an argument and turn the tables when it's not in your favor. :)

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:29 1

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


Wait till samsung announces it, you'll have all the details and support by then...oh wait...they have already hinted at doing that>> deal with progress of other companies..in other words "forward thinking".

Oh btw, while you are at it try not to be so one sided in your arguments. People still want a well built phone with fluid performance out of the box. Also, that much performance in a thin and 4 inch phone fits the bill for many.

If I have to criticize apple for something, it would be because of not introducing another iPhone with a bigger screen option.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:30 9

35. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I say 3 gigs of RAM. I win.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:30 5

36. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4888; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Ahead of it's time?!? Why? How will 64-bit make a real world difference in anything.

If Apple really wanted to turn heads they would make a new looking iPhone with a larger screen. How about 4.5 to 4.7 inches for a start.

Read my post 27, there will be no difference in gaming. It's just something they needed to say to justify the same BORING design.

That is the "simple equation".

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:31 2

37. power_x (Posts: 264; 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, 10:32 5

39. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I'm pro Apple, but the iPhone 5S is the biggest disappointment of 2013.

-Sent from my Mac

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 10:33 10

40. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


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

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