Smartphone camera shootout: iPhone 4S vs. HTC One S


Though most current Android smartphones come with high-resolution cameras, most of these pale in comparison to the iPhone 4S’ 8-MP shooter Not only does the average Android camera take lower quality pictures than Apple’s handset, it also takes a lot longer to fire up and shoot. HTC's new One S phone promises to change all that by providing high-speed shots, an f/2.0 aperture 8-MP lens for improved picture quality, and powerful camera software that provides over a dozen filters, HDR mode and more.

To see which phone takes the best pictures and provides the best overall photo-taking experience, we grabbed an HTC One S and an iPhone 4S and used them to shoot the same subjects. The results may surprise you.
When we shot a photo of a stone relief on our office roof with both phones on auto mode, the iPhone 4S’s photo appeared just a bit sharper and more detailed. Considering that the stone was covered with late-afternoon shadows, the iPhone also captured more light, resulting in a brighter image.
Winner: iPhone
HDR Pictures

Both phones support high dynamic range (HDR) photography. HDR photos provide a greater degree of contrast between foreground and background objects by effectively light-metering them differently. So, with HDR enabled, a building should look just as bright and colorful as the blue sky behind it.
Unfortunately, after you shoot an HDR photo, you have to wait a good 3 to 4 seconds for it to process. So you’ll only want to use HDR mode for high-contrast situations where a foreground object is significantly lighter or darker than the scene behind it.


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