HTC shied away from the megapixel wars, enlarging the pixel size instead of count, and equipped its so-called UltraPixel module with optical image stabilization tech, making it a formidable competitor to any flagship out there, despite the comparatively low megapixel number.

The Galaxy S III sports a run-of-the-mill 8 MP sensor, but has a very rich number of settings, color effects and scene modes for it that can be picked from the interface. Still, HTC meets those scene modes and color effects, and raises with HDR video capabilities, the Zoe collage software that automatically makes a special effects movie out of your footage, and a Fast HD 60 fps mode. HTC also places the stills and video shutter keys on one and the same screen, so you don't have to switch back and forth, eventually missing important moments.

Outdoors, in good lightning conditions, the Galaxy S III captures more detail than the HTC One's camera, and exhibits more natural-looking colors than the slightly warmer and more saturated tones from the One. HTC's handset white balance measurement is spot on, but it tends to overexpose brighter areas a tad.

In low-light conditions the HTC One also overexposes the bright areas, to the point of a halo effect around light sources, for instance, but the footage is way brighter and clearer than the one from the Galaxy S III, with the only caveat being the colors that are slightly warmer than they should be.

The handsets can shoot 1080p video with 30fps, and with the Galaxy S III you can frame the exact scene before starting to record, whereas on the HTC One the interface goes out of the way only after you play the record button. Footage from both phones is crisp and smooth, but the HTC One has a natural advantage with the optical image stabilization for a shake-free video, that is clear and visible in conditions when the S III barely registers anything. It also sports better sound track compared to the flat and distorted recordings from the S III.

HTC One Sample Video:

Samsung Galaxy S III Sample Video:

Last but not least, the continuous autofocus works like a charm on the HTC One, zipping quickly between the background and an object front and center of the lens. The only gripe we have with the One's video capture is that in low-light conditions its focus often wanders for a brief second before sharping it out again.


The pictures and video gallery can be split in two on the S III, with the folder structure on the left, and the current folder content on the right, making it easier to navigate. You also get picture editing built into the gallery interface directly, and the One has this feature, too.

HTC One has a traditional grid gallery, which just lists the pics and videos in tiled thumbnail format, and you can sift through them chronologically by pinching in and out instead of scrolling if you like.

The music player on the Galaxy S III might not dazzle with graphics, but is very functional, and lets you choose from different equalizer presets and sound modes directly from the player's UI. HTC's music app is with rather basic looks, too, but can be set to display album art, artist's photos and lyrics automatically during playback. HTC doesn't let you set equalizers, as you have the preinstalled Beats audio setup when you plug the headphones, or pump music out through the speakers.

The dual stereo speaker system at the front with built-in amplifier does a commendable job at pumping out sounds loud and clear, and it definitely sets the bar very high. The S III's sole speaker explicably sounds much wimpier and distorted in comparison.

Both handsets have excellent video players with a number of options, but the Galaxy S III has playback zoom, and supports more formats, like DivX/Xvid/MKV, out of the box, whereas you have to get a 3rd party player for the HTC One to run DivX, for instance.

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