Climbing Camelback with HTC One

There was plenty of news last week from Mobile World Congress about the new HTC One and the advancements we’ve made in our camera.  Of course, I couldn’t help but think “how can we put this new camera to the test.”  Since I was in Scottsdale, Arizona (USA) with Wyatt Lewin, a colleague on the HTC blogging team, I floated the idea of getting up early to climb Camelback Mountain and see what photos we could get at sunrise.  It was five o’clock in the morning when the alarm on my HTC One went off, interrupting another uneventful night of slumber.  At first I wondered if this was actually a good idea or perhaps I could hit snooze and “forget” we agreed to make the climb.  No way – I wanted to test this camera!

One of the first shots we took was of “Paradise Valley.”

Sunrise Over Paradise Valley

For this photo we used the Panorama scene and let the HTC One do all the work, stitching together the multiple photo’s taken into a single shot.  You can clearly see the sun peeking around the side of Camelback which blends into a light rain that was falling (in desert no less).

Wyatt Climbing Up Camelback

Wyatt Climbing Camelback

Of course, the journey was not over and there were many more sights to be seen in the desert.  So we continued onward and upward looking for other areas that might make cool photos — such as Wyatt trying to not fall backwards while free climbing one of the steepest sections; the one where they installed handrails to make the climb a bit easier.  Wyatt would have none of that!  I was a little worried he could fall, mainly because I was in his “fall line” and had little room to move :-).

Overall, it was a pretty good hike.  We only made it half way up before we returned to the car.  Wyatt will tell you I couldn’t make it and I will tell you Wyatt gave in.  I’m sure the truth is somewhere in between!

One thing that struck me about the hike was the ease of capturing the sights.  Only a few short years ago we would leave our houses for an activity like this and take along bags of equipment — our phone for communication, our camera for pictures, even a video camera for movies.  We still do. In fact, on this hike Wyatt and I still took all three along – they just happen to be on the same device!

The scenes were amazing and the pictures turned out great.  I will continue to test the camera on the phone and see what kind of photos an amateur like me can take.  In the meantime, here are a few more shots taken during our foray into the Arizona wilderness.  Let us know what you think.  Or check out even more amazing photos taken with an HTC One on our Facebook page.

We can’t wait until you get the chance to experience this amazing new camera.  Sign up today for more information about the new HTC One and when it will be available in your area.

Wyatt Surveys the Valley

Arizona Barrel Cactus

Wyatt Hiding in Small Cave

  • http://twitter.com/_LoneWolf_ Paul

    The photos on here are quite shabby looking I’m afraid :/ the panorama, while great zoomed out to show the whole scene, is just plain ugly up close at 100%. Is this the quality we can expect from the flagship HTC One X? I had high hopes for it and while I really enjoy using HTC phones if this is how the new camera performs I’m not sure if I can justify owning it. I do see that this article only says the HTC One…. One what? X? V? S?

    • Guest

      If i’m not wrong, they have the same camera

      • Five99mike

        Belive you are wrong as I’ve read in more the a few different reviews that they do have different cameras.

  • aNYthing6

    Uh…not really anything mind blowing. Is this the best the One series can do?

  • Michael Sheils

    Well I’ve just struck the HTC One X off my consideration list for my next phone if that’s the best your camera can manage.

    • Barton82

      Yeah, I did that when I learned there’s no microSD slot. The camera quality only reassures me in this decision.

    • http://www.jasondunn.com/ Jason Dunn

      It’s not. It can do much, much better. Check out some of the reviews from around the Web.

  • Not gonna happen

    Man, is that a 0.3 megapixel camera in your device? That’s awful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Micah-Madru/100001151887665 Micah Madru

    Well. After seeing these, the lack of a removable micro sd card, lackluster battery size, and not choosing either all capacitive (which I prefer) or all on screen buttons. I’m going to pass on this. Bad move HTC.

  • http://twitter.com/anakin78z Jens Zalzala

    I’d love to get more insight into why there is such a ‘blotchy’ quality to the pictures. I see this a lot in cell phone shots these days. Is it some weird bokeh? Some strange compression issue? What’s causing these shots to have virtually no detail? 
    P.S. they look great when not viewed at full res, so maybe that’s how they’re intended to be used, but it’s still very strange. 

    • a passerby

      I don’t think you know what “bokeh” means.

  • sgtguthrie

    I think my “Blunderbolt” actually takes better pictures! I must say my next phone will be a NEXUS, or Samsung galaxy s3. So unless you get the next nexus contract, you probably won’t be getting my money 😉

  • http://twitter.com/manozz Gundruk

    Oh man.. thanks for making me wait for SGS3. These pictures are terrible.

  • http://twitter.com/_LoneWolf_ Paul

    @twitter-15649834:disqus  it looks like massive compression coupled with a very poor lens. If you compress a JPG enough it looks very rough so that’s my top vote. Either way these are really poor considering the phone is supposed to have ImageSense to bring high quality imaging to HTC phones  :/

    • http://twitter.com/anakin78z Jens Zalzala

      I’m guessing the lens is the biggest culprit. I’m sure there are limits to what you can put on a cell phone, but I feel like it could be a lot better than that.

      • http://twitter.com/_LoneWolf_ Paul

         Yeah, at least when the case is as small as it is on the One series. The Nokia 808 is crazy but also quite bulky. Still, I wouldn’t mind added bulk for better battery and camera optics.

  • yoyoma

    Gnex master race here htc 1x sux

  • Stylinred

    to be fair guys it looks like they were taken with a shaking hand unlike the 808 i dont think they used tripods/harnesses 

    and i think some of the shots used the front facing camera instead, no?

  • http://twitter.com/_LoneWolf_ Paul

    OK I think a little bit slack needs to be given as these were apparently shot with pre-release software and using digital zoom… digital zoom…… I feel dirty even typing that. There are far better examples here https://plus.google.com/photos/105983594520322058171/albums/5714995804379530273 so it really makes me wonder what they were thinking posting these instead.

  • http://www.facebook.com/PauliACanty Pauli A Canty

    Erm,my HTC Amaze takes better pictures LOL

  • http://www.facebook.com/PauliACanty Pauli A Canty

    They REALLY should’ve posted better pictures & this is a major selling point for the phone?ROTFL #sad 😛 

  • http://blog.htc.com/ Larry Meadows

    Ahh – good catch.  we actually compressed the images for web to make load times better.  We are going through now to replace with full size images.

    • http://twitter.com/_LoneWolf_ Paul

       *waits patiently* I saw the photos at the MWC event so to see these really shocked me. If you’re worried about load times you could just put a warning up about the links to the full-sized images, I guarantee it’ll cause less gasps of shock  😉

    • http://beerpla.net Artem Russakovskii

       Good luck with that, they’re not going to get any better, the compression wasn’t the issue here.

    • Mike Hale

      so was that actually the pics or are we still waiting for the upload?  If this is the case, you made my decision to wait for a galaxy s3 SO much easier.

      • http://blog.htc.com/ Larry Meadows

         Hi Mike,

        I believe the best experience is for you to see and test the phone yourself.  We are taking the phone on the road to let users just like you see and test the phone yourself.  If you are interested, let me know so I can make sure you get the chance to see the HTC One and test it yourself.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000098433360 Bryan May

          Let me know if your in the Philadelphia PA area. I’d love to check out the build quality.

          • http://blog.htc.com/ Larry Meadows

             Will do Brian – if you get a chance, send me a note to Larry_meadows@htc.com.

    • Gordon Wilson

      Hey Larry, what are the chances of getting to try out the One X hands on sometime soon in the UK? I don’t want to be signing up to 24 months with a handset before I’ve held it! Cheers

  • Jason

    Hmmm… only thumbnails? did these pics get pulled?

    • http://beerpla.net Artem Russakovskii

      They did.

    • http://twitter.com/_LoneWolf_ Paul

       Yeah. They posted horribly compressed images that made my ancient Motorola SLVR look good up close. Apparently the uncompressed images will be uploaded soon ™.

  • http://twitter.com/crankmosh Doc Mosh

    if you want to take good pictures, buy a damn camera… like the camera on a phone really is that important… I can tell you though, the One battery life will be the main reason NOT to buy the phone… 

    • http://beerpla.net Artem Russakovskii

      It’s not important to you, I guess, but it’s damn important to me and plenty of other people.

      • http://twitter.com/crankmosh Doc Mosh

         so like I said, go buy a camera

    • http://twitter.com/_LoneWolf_ Paul

       Do you carry a camera with you everywhere? Does your camera allow you to send an image of something you saw to a friend just after taking it? There are good reasons to use a camera, I own a DSLR, but there are times where I wouldn’t have it with me and a quick snap using a decent phone camera is all I want. That’s all most people expect, not images so fantastic they can print them out for a billboard.

      As for battery life, you can’t really comment on that until it’s out there in widespread use. Judging based on a figure means nothing, remember the One X has the “Companion Core” for low power tasks to help battery life.

      • http://twitter.com/crankmosh Doc Mosh

         Oh great so I’ll get 4 hours instead of 3… I’m not judging anything, it’s simple math…  LTE + relatively small battery = barely usable battery time… just like all the other HTC phones…  the phone camera is more than “decent” enough for most purposes… I don’t know what you people complaining about the camera are really expecting… it’s a phone, camera second… buy a Nokia or something if you are that hard up for a phone camera

        • http://twitter.com/_LoneWolf_ Paul

          Not every country has LTE yet, I’m quite happy with HSPA+ here. I know how bad battery is with LTE on from seeing plenty of horror stories and honestly, I’d love at least 2000mAh, 2500mAh even if possible as a minimum for all phones but until all companies get off this “thinnest is best” craze that won’t happen.

          If you are seriously suggesting those full size images (since removed) are “decent” enough then I don’t know what to say. They might have looked ok at a vastly reduced size but that’s about it. No chance of cropping a full sized image and preserving detail when it’s lost in the original image.

          I already stated what I think most are expecting and that’s for a camera that can take photos that capture something quick while out and about and not look like it was taken with a 10 year old digital camera. I have an N95 and that’s only 5MP but still vastly better than these images looked. If I want really good photos I’d have my DSLR with me but as I said, I don’t carry that with me everywhere and even if I did I wouldn’t have the ability to upload or send images to someone almost instantly. Can they wait? Sure but that isn’t the point.

          Your gripe is based on past experience with batteries and I’ve had just as bad experiences (Desire HD owner here) but until I see full reviews I’m not going to judge fully. Suspect, yes, but neither of us can know yet.

  • Landof420

    I was at the Scottsdale event and the phone is very nice. I got to use the phone for a day and the camera is fantastic.


  • http://blog.htc.com/ Larry Meadows

    Thanks everyone – I was trying to get a quick post up about a cool trip Wyatt and I took while down in Arizona on business.  We are reviewing the full set of photos from all our events to give you MUCH better examples of what this new camera can do. 

    Thanks for the comment Landof420, It was great to meet in Arizona and happy to see you liked what you were able to see with the HTC One. 

    • http://twitter.com/_LoneWolf_ Paul

      Considering the imaging credentials of the phone I would have hoped for some checking of the full size images before they were posted. News of the images posted here (since removed but linked again above) is spreading and I highly doubt that’s what HTC want from the new One range :/

      Any news on those better examples? I’ve seen a few on Google+ and elsewhere but it seems some are clinging to this post to beat HTC up with.

      • http://blog.htc.com/ Larry Meadows

         Hi Paul, I have been reading through your comments and appreciate your candor.  We are going through photos today to provide more examples for you.  Another thought – we are on the road over the next few weeks specifically to let customers like yourself see and test the HTC One first-hand.  Perhaps we can arrange a time to meet and  so you can test the camera yourself.  Would you be interested? 

        • http://twitter.com/_LoneWolf_ Paul

           Possibly. It all depends on the location really. The one thing I rarely get to do is test a phone before I buy it so the opportunity would be very welcome.

          Apologies for the delay in replying.

          • http://blog.htc.com/ Larry Meadows

             Thanks Paul, send me an email (larry_meadows@htc.com) and let me know your contact information.  Look forward to meeting you.

          • http://twitter.com/_LoneWolf_ Paul

             Just sent an email now Larry. I appreciate this opportunity, seeing is believing so to speak! 🙂

  • Chris Adam

    Doh, all the social media sites are attacking these photo’s. Might want to insert uncompressed ones or remove them pretty soon if you want to illustrate one of the biggest selling points of the phone. I like seeing photos from amateurs as they will more likely resemble the photos that I take. 

  • guest

    really kids… you commentors can’t click on a provided link? Why don’t yall go over to the google+ or FB photos and go hate on those. 

  • Yousufkarrim

    II like the pictures, but i think my sensation would do the same…maybe if it had a 12 mp camera like all the other phones been released with Carl zeiss optics….it would have made the difference…why no SD card slot….I am very disappointei don’t know why HTC always does this….every time a new model is released they take out features…its best to leave every feature included and just keep adding more….what about infrared so that I can use my phone as an actual universal remote instead of just for my TV….

  • Hamdir

    i don’t understand how everyone is commenting on the photos, they are so tiny, where are the full resolution ones?

    • http://twitter.com/_LoneWolf_ Paul

       They removed the full resolution photos, we’re not just commenting on tiny thumbnails 🙂

  • facedown41

    Hire a professional photographer to use your phone to take these pics…because these are seriously lacking. My htc incredible takes better shots than this.

  • Hamdir

    i don’t see why this is taking time, articles are starting to pop online about this, clean this mess quickly! i’m seriously surprised you tweet a post about HTC One camera for such results, my old classic desire takes better photos than this 

  • adamgayle007

    Hey ,
    Visit Htc Page on fb for Real Resolution One X pics that are just awesome !!Thumbnail and Full-Resolutions are just like North and South poles  !!!

  • Some guy
  • MeantToBuyThisPhone
  • Hamdir

    all of those saying they won’t buy the One X anymore, are you kidding me? did you see an actual professional review yet? do you know if its taken by the One X or even a final version of it? why are you dismissing the first set of pictures? and finally any idiot can ruin a good photo even with an SLR its not the device fault, very big mistake by this blogger…its ridiculous 

    • MeantToBuyThisPhone

      Before I saw this pictures, I was 100% sure to get the device in the first day it’s available. However, after seeing these pictures, I can tell you I’m 100% sure not getting the device UNLESS I see a HUGE improvement in quality.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Micah-Madru/100001151887665 Micah Madru

       The fact that they don’t meet my battery (no removable battery and not large enough battery like the droid razr maxx to warrant a purchase) and storage (low storage amount and no micro sd card) were reasons for me enough to not want it. Now that these pictures surface. It’s kinda like hammering another nail in an already nailed coffin.

  • Aaron Echols

    Still doesn’t look any good. 🙂

  • BastardTittyWrinkle

    Know how I know you’re not a photographer?

  • Djordje Planincic

    With all due respect, these are by far the worst photos I’ve seen taken by an 8Mpix camera. While I understand this is probably a pre-release software, the detail is shockingly terrible. I believe even the final version won’t bring that big of an upgrade, and quite frankly, it would need a GIANT upgrade to be any good. Just an opinion, don’t bite my head off.

  • Giveitachance

    I think people are being a bit harsh on the hardware here. Deciding not to buy a clearly awesome device because some guy can’t take good photos, seems a little  ridiculous. Give him a Pro DSLR and the results would also be terrible for what the camera is capable of in the right hands. Photography is more about the person, than the hardware, and if you seriously expected it to magically turn all your photos into beautiful photographic masterpieces, then you’re never going to be happy with any camera, because no camera will ever do that.
    The fact that *digital zoom* was used, tells a pretty big story in it’s self. Who in their right mind would use digital zoom and expect a nice photo, unless they had no clue, and then you can’t expect much. You can see that image IMAG0022.jpg, for example, was shot while the person was still walking. In light like that, there is no way you’re going to get a sharp image while moving.
    Yes these photos are rubbish, but give it a change to be fairly compared to others on the market, before making a decision. There will no doubt be many comparison videos and articles up on the web as people get more hands on time.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/5DG2XU5D6E3VGOXKGRUT7LKN7M zxcvrulz

      there are..and they all support against one X, sorry pal

  • soapisclean

    Just wanted to post my opinions on these images. I saw a bunch of people here complaining and since I’m planning on getting the One X I was starting to get a little worried. 

    I downloaded the images from this blog and also a few of the iPhone 4s images that were getting praised in some forum on the net. All of the iPhone images were taken at either ISO 80 or ISO 64. In other words the lighting in each of those was perfect. While they looked great zoomed out.. there was still a lot of noise when you zoomed into them (understandable since it’s a phone camera).

    The images posted here are all taken at ISO 130 and over.. you can clearly see that it was close to sunset – one of the most challenging times to shoot due to high contrast and long shadows, and the camera compensated for that more or less. If you zoom into the noise grain, however, it is actually slightly lower than the iPhone’s camera at ISO 80! I think in ideal conditions HTC’s camera would give much better performance than the iPhone.

    Also just a message for the marketing department at HTC or whoever is there reading this. While sending a bunch of guys on a road-trip and taking images with the phone is a great, fun idea… the people that religiously follow tech and mobile space are a rabid bunch of fanatics and you must learn how to meet their expectations. Instead of showing off the phone camera spontaneously and candidly like you are doing right now, be a little more prepared with maybe an experienced shutterbug on your team, find conditions that will make the camera shine and only showcase those shots. While I myself am enjoying this grass-roots, quirky way of marketing your phone, your competition out there is a lot more polished when it comes to presentation, and like it or not, that’s what you have to compete with.

  • Mike Hale

    Here is my problem with everyone (not many) defending these pics saying “some guy didnt know how to take pics”  MOST OF US ARE NOT PROFESSIONALS. If this illustrates real world people taking real world pics, then guess what?  This is what most of our pics will look like.  you use a camera phone because you want a pic of something you are doing right then… not when the lighting is perect. Get real. These shots are crap and until i see these mythical “non compressed” images i will not be buying an HTC phone.

    • Giveitachance

      The thing is, no other phone would do it any better. If he had any other phone with him, they would have sucked just as much, so making your decision based on these photos makes no sense.

  • Ukscj

    great shots

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/5DG2XU5D6E3VGOXKGRUT7LKN7M zxcvrulz

    37000 rs for the one x. YOU are joking rite?? samsung wil blow HTC away.
    very dissapointing guys..
    i was waiting eagerly for this phone.
    Let down

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/5DG2XU5D6E3VGOXKGRUT7LKN7M zxcvrulz

    im a fan of HTC, i wanted one since i was in college.Did lay my hands one one wildfire S, was the happiest moment last year this time. was looking forward to the one X. dissapointed.