HTC One X vs HTC One S
The HTC One X and One S both have an 8MP camera module with LED flash and proprietary HTC ImageChip DSP that powers it on their backs. The result is one of the fastest operations out there, with sub-second times to focus and take shots.
HTC's marketing also touts the f/2.0 aperture and backside illumination of the sensor, as well as the ability to take pictures while filming, and take up to 99 shots in rapid burst mode, then just pick the best and kill the rest. The camera interface is also laden with options like panorama, HDR, face and smile detection, group portrait and macro modes. A rich set of Instagram-style effects is easily accessible by tapping on a blue orb in the interface.
The resulting pictures and video are a mixed bag, though. One would think that since we have the HTC ImageChip camera module on both we have to get the same results, but it isn't so. The HTC One S takes slightly oversaturated photos with good contrast and amount of detail. The colors are colder in the case of the One X, and it has more accurate color representation with white balance a bit off in some shots.
Indoors both handsets had their video framerates drop to 22-23, but it doesn't affect fluidity that much. Pictures and video indoors from both handsets are very good, with a fair amount of noise only when the light was at its lowest. The LED flashes have intelligent distance metering, lowering the intensity of the flash when an object is too near, so it doesn't get overexposed, and in most shots this technology performs well.
When it comes to video, the One S camera films sharp images with oversaturated colors and good level of contrast and detail at 30fps. The 1080p video from the One X performs even better in terms of color accuracy, but video capture starts slower than with the One S, and the camera struggles to focus and skips frames too often, especially in the beginning, recording with the slightly less fluid 28fps outside.
Both phones feature the richer bass sound coming with their Beats Audio branding, but the results will, of course, vary, depending on the quality of the headsets plugged in – the handsets don't come with Beats unit in the box, but regular ones. The loudspeaker on the HTC One X sounds a tad better and stronger than the flatlining speaker on the HTC One S.
The video players work with everything thrown at them, including DivX/Xvid files out of the box, and up to 1080p definitions, so we could hardly ask for anything else on that front.