Camera comparison: Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One, Sony Xperia Z, iPhone 5, Nokia Lumia 920 and Galaxy S III
Now it's time to take out the magnifying glass and examine some full-resolution photos. Naturally, smartphones with higher pixel counts have a much higher chance at faring well in this category. That's why it comes as no surprise that the Samsung Galaxy S4 is once again leading the pack. At 100% zoom, its outdoor photos look great, preserving plenty of fine details while introducing a minimum amount of digital noise.
The second prize goes to the Samsung Galaxy S III and the iPhone 5, which both capture plenty of details, while maintaining a tolerable amount of digital noise. Close behind them is the Nokia Lumia 920, which also fares well, but has a harder time capturing shady areas in detail.
Although it has a massive 13MP sensor, the Sony Xperia Z can't wow us with its photos as it softens details way too much while adding a strange purple halo near the edges of objects in the frame. Something tells us that the camera's software algorithms might be to blame for this. And for the HTC One, its photos may be usable indeed, but they lack the fine detail offered by its competitors at 100% zoom.
We must note that in real life, the advantage of having that extra detail in the frame will be of true benefit primarily to those who develop large prints from their photos or in case a user needs to crop a certain area of an image. That's why despite their inferior performance in the detail category, the Xperia Z and the One are still considered cameras that are good enough for most people's needs.