IPhone 4S vs HTC One X: Camera Comparison [UPDATED: Lowlight Shots]

I’m a huge iPhone fan (clearly, look what I do for a living) but I’m a firm believer in checking out the competition every once in a while. I got my hands on a One X a couple of days back, and throughout this week I’ll be doing various comparisons. Today, it’s cameras. In a couple more days I’ll be writing up my full comparison article.

I compared the 4S with the Nexus late last year, and the camera was a huge improvement on previous Android phones, but still under performed in lowlight conditions. Will the HTC One X be an improvement on Samsung’s flagship device? Both the 4S and the One X have 8MP snappers.

Crate 4SCrate 4S

Crate One XCrate One X

The most immediately noticeable difference is the aspect ratio. Since the displays have different proportions, the HTC One X’s widescreen will mean that any picture will be wider, and narrower than the iPhone’s.

Surprisingly, the HTC’s looks a little more washed out than the iPhone’s. (The complete opposite to my experience with the Nexus.) Sharpness is about on par, and photos do come out looking good on the One X.

Leaves 4SLeaves 4S

Leaves One XLeaves One X

Again, the One X’s shot produces a more washed out look. But, in terms of focus and depth of field, the close-up leaves definitely stand out more on the HTC’s shot.

Bark 4SBark 4S

Bark One XBark One X

Obviously, these images are smaller than the original image, to get a better appreciation for the full quality and size of the photos, head down to the gallery below, and click on whichever image you want to see. In terms of detail, sharpness and clarity, the HTC’s shooter copes much better than I expected. It’s a big improvement from past sensors.

Path 4SPath 4S

Path One XPath One X

One thing I have noticed, is that the HTC does appear to make colder colors like Green and Blue more vivid in certain images, but not others. It could well be that the white balance filter is set to make that the case.

In order to test the cameras fairly, I left all settings alone and left it all on auto. One thing I did enjoy about the One X was the number of customizations available. You can alter all sorts of settings. Unlike the iPhone, you’re not restricted in any department.

Bluebells 4SBluebells 4S

Bluebells One XBluebells One X

The daylight conditions were great (considering that it’s usually grey, wet and cold). It’s a bright, sunny, warm afternoon here, and yet somehow the HTC filters out any warmth and makes it seem a lot colder.

Sign 4SSign 4S

Sign One XSign One X

Indoors, close up:

Keyboard 4SKeyboard 4S

Keyboard One XKeyboard One X

One area that needs improvement on the One X is its focussing close up. Above you can see how much closer I could get with the iPhone, than with the HTC device. For day-to-day, average use, it won’t make a big difference, but if you want to get close in you will be frustrated by the One X.

[UPDATE: Some lowlight shots compared]

Street 4SStreet 4S

Street One XStreet One X

The HTC’s F2.0 28mm lens really copes well in dark conditions. In most of the images I took (not all of them are up here) the One X produced better shots in lowlight conditions, in terms of how much light there was getting through to the sensor. Really impressed.

LEDs 4sLEDs 4s

LEDs One XLEDs One X

Bannister 4SBannister 4S

Bannister One XBannister One X


If I’m completely honest, I’d be completely happy with either camera in daylight. Both produce great photos, considering that they’re phones. I do still prefer the iPhone for image quality and the end result. But, for having the ability to control much more in terms of filters, effects, exposure etc, the HTC is fantastic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *