Reddit user and apparent HTC fan MSined made an interesting comparison while busting a myth along the way. He posted two photos comparing how the camera lenses of his almost 2 year-old HTC One X and two-weeks old HTC One (M8) are holding up after this time. The result, as you will see for yourself, is surprising.
Smartphones that have their camera lens flush with the body were (unofficially) considered to do a better job at protecting the glass from scratches than those with “camera bumps” protruding from their backs. That's because in the latter case, the smartphone should lay directly on the lens itself and the glass will get scratched easier, right? Um, no. The difference between the two HTC flagships' camera lenses is drastic, and you'd never guess which one's in better shape. It's the veteran One X's! On the other hand, the brand-new One M8's lens is scratched severely.
The Redditor claims that he didn't treat the two phones differently, and admits that his usage habits are not a prime example of smartphone care-keeping. But it's not like he did anything especially irresponsible - it's just that MSined "isn't a case person". He also noted that the One X's photo clearly shows that it was the plastic ring below the lens that took the damage, instead of the lens, as evident by the scratch marks and discoloration.
While "camera bumps" are not a desirable aesthetic, it seems they do a much better job of protecting the camera than flush lens. The comparison also shows that flush lens and non-scratchproof glass is a bad, bad combination. Unfortunately, installing a camera protector isn't an option for those desiring the purest photo quality, while other smartphone vendors are yet to follow Apple's example of securing the lens with a piece of tough sapphire crystal in the iPhone 5 and 5S.