HTC ImageChip claims to be the new king of the hill in smartphone cameras (with samples)

HTC ImageChip claims to be the new king of the hill in smartphone cameras (with samples)
HTC has firmly decided to dispel with the notion that its smartphone cameras are not all they are cracked up to be by the marketing department, and has made a uniform Image Signal Processor (ISP) to use across the devices in its new One series of Android handsets.

The homebrew ISP is called HTC ImageChip, and somehow shuns the ISP integrated in the chipset, be it the Qualcomm or NVIDIA one, thus ensuring uniformity in the camera quality across the board. Don't ask us how they did it as the engineering details are murky at this point, but the features the new sensors provide are nothing short of breathtaking.

If only half of the marketing is true, then HTC might have a smartphone camera winner on its hands, in terms of ease of use, features and maybe quality, since we haven't seen samples yet, and the ones that leaked from prototypes were not that impressive, new ISP or not. Here are the full details of the new cameras in the HTC One X and One S:

  •  Superfast Capture - HTC One dramatically reduces the time it takes to capture those key moments. In just 0.7 seconds you're able to take a shot, and with a new superfast 0.2-seconds autofocus, continue to take nearly unlimited continuous shots simply by holding the shutter button.

  •  Good photos in adverse conditions - HTC One delivers dramatic enhancements in image capture quality even in adverse conditions such as low light, no light or with bright backlighting. The f/2.0 lens on the HTC One X and HTC One S offers best-in-class performance, capturing 40 percent more light than the f/2.4 lenses available on other high-end phones. HTC One also includes HDR, a market-leading technology, for taking great photos even when there are varying levels of brightness.

  •  Video Pic (Concurrent Video/Still Capture) - With Video Pic you capture a photo and shoot video at the same time.  Now, while you're shooting HD video, all you have to do is tap the shutter button and it snaps a high-resolution still photo while the video continues to shoot.  You are also able to capture a photo frame from a previously recorded video.

  •  Dropbox integrated with HTC Sense - HTC One gives you an easy way to save and share your photos and videos. HTC has integrated Dropbox into HTC Sense 4 enabling HTC One customers to get 25 gigabytes of free Dropbox space for two years. That's enough to keep more than 10,000 high-quality photos. Dropbox is also integrated throughout HTC Sense 4, so it's easy to edit, save and share your documents and other kinds of files. 

  •   Sharing your photos and more - HTC One gives you a new way to share your photos and videos. When you plug in HTC's wireless Media Link HD* accessory into your TV's HDMI port, you can easily share your photos, videos, or anything else on your phone with your friends, family or colleagues regardless of the television's brand as long as it has HDMI.

Sounds almost too good to be true, and the Dropbox upload is very intuitive as we testdrove ourselves the other day. The Media Link HD is also a nice touch, as it allows you to wirelessly communicate with any TV, not only ones of certain brand. 

The picture on the right is of the Media Link accessory, which will allow you to just swipe your phone's screen with three fingers and start streaming towards any TV with HDMI port, that has the Media Link thingy connected to it, no DLNA adjustments and shenanigans. Price and availability are yet to be determined. 

The good part is that you will also be available to use your phone for browsing, calling and all the usual features while streaming a movie to your TV, the bad part is that we don't know yet if this is going to be compatible only with HTC phones, sort of like the Apple TV puck.

All in all, commendable effort by HTC, now let's get the results from our hands-on treatments, hopefully we'll manage to share some samples with you and see who wins - marketing or reality.



1. Zayuh24

Posts: 149; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

Yeah, the One S will be my next phone on T-Mobile if the GS3 doesn't have an f/2.0 cam. Personally, I love Sammy's Galaxy line, but HTC is stepping up in the camera department to draw me in.

4. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

i would wait for the gsIII since im pretty sure the oneS is qhd

2. nb2six

Posts: 298; Member since: Apr 27, 2011

Why would they make the medialink to be compatible with phones other than HTC? Granted they could sell the accessory separately but by leaving it to only work with HTC phones it's a custom accessory that will be another great selling point for their handsets.

3. Jphones

Posts: 258; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Yeah HTC definitely steppin it up. All these new and previously unheard of features which I bet some other companies will try to copy and there for we'll see some lawsuits. Only area they need to step it up in is the battery. They do that best phone manufacture

5. simplyj

Posts: 406; Member since: Dec 23, 2009

Would like to see how this compares to the N8.. or whatever Nokia is about unveil tomorrow..

10. ivanprskalo

Posts: 124; Member since: Dec 09, 2010

haha, against 808??

6. DontHateOnS60

Posts: 872; Member since: Apr 20, 2009

Love the idea of capturing stills while shooting video footage. Too bad that HTC ruined the phone by not including a microSD slot. I wouldn't get this simply because of that, and the AT&T version is even worse. Give up my $200 formatted 64GB Sandisk card for this? Oh hell no.

11. ivanprskalo

Posts: 124; Member since: Dec 09, 2010

You have a good point there. I am also considering to get xperia S but it has no SD card slot! So that could drag me to any other phone that could have micro SD slot. I tought xperia P would have one, but sadly no :-) I won't give up on my 32GB card and to put money I give for it into garbage...

7. IgorEfremenko

Posts: 109; Member since: Nov 30, 2011

To say I'm disappointed with the quality is to say nothing...

8. rycx365

Posts: 37; Member since: Mar 18, 2011

What have they got to say about the pureview 808 :P

9. igorb81

Posts: 77; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

Being a photographer I am very picky when it comes to image quality down to pixel level... I am not too impressed to say the least. It may be one of the best to date in a smartphone in terms of features but these cameras still have to do a lot catch up to a decent DSLR. I would liket to see a decent sensor in phone to produce high quality image. I do realize that this will work probably for 95% of consumers out there who usually post images to Facebook or occasionally prints a 4x6 photo. Nokia still remains the king in "image quality" as far as I have seen. Look at it at the original size image and you will see the lack of detail in most camera phones to date.

12. preetmalhotra

Posts: 114; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

Close I clicked on the last image, thinking this might be noisefree like n8 or 808's, cuz "HTC ImageChip claims to be the new king of the hill in smartphone cameras (with samples)". But, sorry folks. The quality sucks. My N8(always) and Incredible S(sometimes) acquire better focus of the objects at night. #FAIL#

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