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.
Official samples with the new HTC ImageChip
- 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.