Studio prints a 46" canvas from an HTC One photo, rendering the megapixel war moot

Despite that they are the easiest way for the average consumer to weigh one camera before the other, megapixels count should come last in determining the quality of the picture, yet manufacturers are going on the beaten path, increasing the number of megapixels that looks good in specs, but rarely produces much substance, especially in smartphones.

HTC One bucked the trend with the UltraPixel camera, which technically is just 4MP, but the pixels themselves are much larger, capturing more light in than the tinier dots that are in higher-res phone cameras, and that's a pretty important part of the equation. The upside of large resolutions, though, is said to be the ability to print the pictures huge.

Spitting Images, though, who deal with printing professionally, used a museum-grade canvas in their HTC One camera review to prove that even a 4MP unit can end up with stunning prints. They took a panoramic photo with the phone, smoothed it over a bit, and printed it on 46"x8" tableau, achieving the breathtaking result you see above from just 5.5MB of panorama file size, proving the megapixel ever more pointless.

Related phones

  • Display 4.7" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 4 MP / 2.1 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, Quad-core, 1700 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 2300 mAh(18h 3G talk time)



1. Smart

Posts: 76; Member since: Aug 20, 2011

That is one cool picture from one cool phone......

13. sharks

Posts: 236; Member since: Feb 16, 2013

Too many people think that having more MP is always better, but the HTC One is clearly a product very well designed with incredible technology in its 4MP camera! This article adds even more weight behind the One and why you need to get it. It's simply the best smartphone of 2013.

28. Retro-touch unregistered

I don't believe marketing lies when people have thoroughly tested the pics it produces and I can clearly see through evidence that its not as good as they'd like me to believe Check that source and compare the photos, seeing is believing

37. Jack58221

Posts: 157; Member since: Feb 23, 2013

as they said in closing " the HTC One was not expected to win" and they made sure of that. first group of pics were zoomed way in to the point of being able to count pixels in the One's pics. if you zoomed in on the gs4 you would be able to see inconsistencies in their pixels to. HDR pictures have to go to the One. all the others were even IMO. So I will ignore the "bias opinions and twisted views" of gsmarena and go with the "marketing lies".

51. smutty.puppet

Posts: 24; Member since: Apr 24, 2013

so you dident know that gsmarena means samarena?!! realy?

34. lhtbinh1909

Posts: 94; Member since: Apr 02, 2013

you should read the real source at AndroidCentral's forum, the owner did some photoshop before printed it

44. lallolu

Posts: 732; Member since: Sep 18, 2012

You are soo right. Whatever HTC or fanboys may say, 4MP is little. 8MP would have cut it.

2. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

Wow! This ONE is awesome!

40. mafiaprinc3

Posts: 585; Member since: May 07, 2012

nah it aint!

3. mr.techdude

Posts: 571; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

The HTC one is arguably the best smartphone of 2013 and its camera is damn good, I have had a play around with it from my mates and its spectacular, while on the other hand the galaxy s4 is a great smartphone but didn't give me the wow factor like the HTC one. This is how consumers and experts see the galaxy line: Galaxy s= alright to Galaxy s2= amazing to Galaxy s3= Samsung FTW to galaxy s4= will let it pass. My opinion and many consumers and techsperts

19. g2a5b0e unregistered

If most consumers have decided they "will let it (S4) pass", then why is it the fastest selling model yet? 10 million sold in a month. It took the S3 50 days to reach that mark. Clearly, your synopsis is incorrect.

23. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

But that's the same logic Apple uses. The iPhone 4S was a disappointment, eh? How many dozens of millions did it sell? That didn't make it the best phone though, just the best marketed.

26. g2a5b0e unregistered

Clearly, the best phone will almost be a matter of opinion. I happen to think the S4 is better than the One & not just simply because it sells better. And while I'm not an Apple fan, clearly the 4S was not a disappointment to all the people that bought it & still buy it today. But anyway, we're off topic, so I'll drop it, but we're all entitled to opinions. That's why freedom is so great.

27. mr.techdude

Posts: 571; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

Thank you roldefol for elaborating as what I said, g2a5b0e I never said the s4 was terrible its just like how apple had there iphones such as 3gs to 4 was a massive leap killing off competition then the 4s came with siri was like great but the 5 was eeehhh, how much did the iPhone 5 sell? Truck loads. And I'm not talking about consumers who get brainwashed and don't know what the hell the specs is on a particular smartphone as long as there is apple or Samsung even HTC logo on it its the best, no not them. Real consumers who know what there expecting from a smartphone and not concentrating on the brand itself.

4. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

I've always found the megapixel war pointless. The 5 MP unit in the iPhone 4 was routinely trouncing 8 MP cameras in numerous Android phones that cheaped out on sensor quality in favor of quantity. Now we see clearly that it's not the size of your megapixels, it's how you use them. 4 MP Ultrapixel, 8.7 MP Pureview, 13 MP Galaxy. All highly capable. The numbers war is over, the quality war rages on.

7. WHoyton1

Posts: 1635; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

galaxy is 13 mp but doesnt matter.....

8. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

Edited. :] I fully expect Samsung to push it to 16 in the S5, as they are in the S4 Zoom. Maybe it's the right move for them, but I prefer the work HTC and Nokia are doing.

9. darkskoliro

Posts: 1092; Member since: May 07, 2012

I found the megapixel war useless since the introduction of those cybershot cameras by sony quite a few years ago. It was 16mp but the image quality make me puke, plus in those days dual cores were JUST released, plus there were no ssds so opening those photos took forever...and heaps of space on the measly 512mb card

16. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

The old cybershot models were even better, sure the new ones have higher megapixels but the results were terrible and couldn't even compare to the earlier models. I agree with you

20. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

My dad upgraded from a perfectly good 6 MP Nikon to a 12 MP Canon Powershot. I could not understand this. All it meant for him (as a family photographer who prints nothing larger than an 8x10) was bigger files, but he was sold on the higher megapixel count.


Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

Obviously, he's not too bright.

30. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

He bought two Samsung Brightsides (PA rated 2 out of 10). Nuff said. Bright guy, but useless when it comes to tech. God help me if he gets sold a smartphone.


Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

OMG, you have my sympathy!!! I was going to switch my second line to voice only (instead of just disconnecting it) just last month for my Mom. A Verizon Customer Service rep' emailed me the two models with touch displays (because that's what she wants is a touch display - her GS2 got fried by a defective wall outlet) but, when I saw the specs (and PA rating) on that Brightside I went ahead with the disconnect order. They should rename the Brightside "The Dumside"!!

35. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

I could forgive the unresponsive touchscreen. I could even forgive the horrible pixelation. But it doesn't even have decent audio quality! Calls sound very muffled on my end. It's like they made a nice keyboard and then just layered all their worst reject parts on top of it. Thanks Samsung!


Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

Dude, based on the specs alone, I completely dismissed it; I got my Mom a DROID 3 ($80 bucks on CL) that I'm hacking to T-Mo (since her line is active until Feb '14 and she only pays $5 for the line and $15 for International Calling). She just wants a decent size screen and likes the simplicity of Android with Direct Dial widgets and the large number dial pad - she's 72 (and, she HATED the LG GS70 flip phone my sister got her - HATED IT!!)


Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

To an extent I agree with you but, must also affirm the fact that size does matter because there's no way that 8 (or 4) can give me the same satisfaction as a whopping 13. But just to play devil's advocate, just yesterday I was with a friend here in New York City at a local Radio Shack where she was upgrading from an EVO to a Galaxy Note 2; I know it's hard to believe I have friends on Sprint. Never mind she gets crappy data connections but, that besides the point and I apologize for my digression. Anywhoot, she asked the perplexing question: well doesn't the Note 2 also have an 8MP camera just like the EVO?? (Her, debate was Galaxy Note 2 over Galaxy S 4 -why? I explained to her (in layman's terms), yes but the Galaxy Note 2's has a much better sensor than the EVO and that there really is no comparison - Note 2 is way superior. As far as Galaxy S4 vs Note 2, yes S4 has a better sensor but, for her it's only going to mean higher file sizes. So, she got the Note 2; she also considered the iPhone 5 (yeah, iHave friends with I phones too) but, then she realized that she'd have to walk around with a desktop to "sync" it and have to spend a lot of time at Starbucks (for the free Wi-Fi). BTW, Radio Shack: ★SanDisk 64GB MicroSD - $49.99 ★20% off any accessory with new phone purchase ★$10 Coupon for next purchase with new phone purchase (Not sure how long this goes on, we were in there yesterday - MicroSD should be good for the current Sale Week, though)!!

31. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

Thank you for that egregious advert. "there's no way that 8 (or 4) can give me the same satisfaction as a whopping 13" Care to elaborate? Is that photo quality satisfaction, or numerical bragging rights satisfaction? Phone manufacturers are in the business of putting out quality product, not stroking your ego.

47. TheBitterrTruth unregistered

and what bout 41mp Pureview? :D

5. Diego!

Posts: 867; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

Nice pic! I hope they do the same with Samsung Galaxy S 4, Sony Xperia Z, Nokia Lumia 920/5/8 and they share it with us, so we can see which phone captures more and better details with their pixels/ultrapixels.

6. darkskoliro

Posts: 1092; Member since: May 07, 2012

Well there you go :)

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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