Lumia 920 Vs. HTC One Low Light Comparison

| February 26, 2013 | 60 Replies

920 one

I had a chance to pop by the HTC booth a while ago, where they were showing off their latest flagship; the HTC One with its fabled “UltraPixel”. I decided to try out the Lumia 920 besides it in a little dark booth they had set up; so watch the video below and judge the winner for yourself.

(sorry for the shaky cam, but I was free handing it as I mentioned in the video).

Once again like we saw in the Lumia 720 low light shootout the 920′s viewfinder is significantly darker before capturing the shot; since it relies on OIS rather than a larger aperture. I get goosebumps thinking of the results the 720 could achieve if it had a proper sensor (with or without OIS)-

If you missed it yesterday here’s a video of the 720 vs the 920 and Z10:


Category: Lumia, Nokia, Windows Phone

About the Author ()

Hey, my name's Ali- Currently a fifth (and final) year Dental Student from Chicago; studying in Jordan. I love all sorts of gadgets almost as much as I love my cookies! Be sure to follow my Twitter handle @AliQudsi and Subcribe to my Youtube for the latest videos - no pressure. Thanks.

Comments (60)

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  1. arts says:

    did you manage to snag the photos? i mean it really hard to tell when you dont have the file.

  2. PJ says:

    Is it even a competition? Grainy pictures like the One takes were achieved on phones a hundred years ago. The 920 is way better and even though it’s darker, it’s not a dark photo. And if you want, you can bump up the brightness in you photo editing software of choice without it becoming grainy and shitty like the HTCs photo.

  3. sinple says:

    how about taking the photos with flash in darkness?

    • Pathetic says:

      who the hell would take a picture without flash in the dark? are stupid or what ‘s wrong with this blog? It is like saying we will drive blindfolded. much blshit

      • PJ says:

        If you have a Lumia 920 then you’d understand why you would benefit from taking pictures without flash in dark environments.

        • arts says:

          During chinese new year firework celebrations the lumia 920 would have com in handy.

        • Pathetic says:

          I will not buy a 920 just for the camera -.- if WP was a good operating system, i already would have bought a 920 i have one question to all, how many times a day using the camera? how many times have you used the OIS?

          • mirco says:

            You can replace 920 with N8 or 808 and WP with Symbian and it would fit quite nicely …except the OIS which I have missed since the very first day I have owned a N8. Other than that, I switched from the N8 to the cheap 610 and never looked back.

          • Cheeze says:

            WP is not all about camera. Don’t just use that to make comparison. By the way, there is nothing wrong taking pictures without light in the dark. It’s all depends on your settings and environments.

          • Matt says:

            Windows Phone is the best mobile OS for sure. Give it a try; there’s a reason the best hardware company (Nokia) chose Microsoft.

      • Liju says:

        Using a flash in dark is helpful in some situations but there are instances where a flash won’t help or having flash on will result in a blown out picture.

      • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista says:

        Because pictures taken without a flash look so much better.

        If you are in dark and you want to capture the look and feel of the moment, it’s better to do that without the flash.

        It’s incredible how people want to use flash even when it’s clear that the moment is either ruined or flash can’t really be used to improve image quality.

        Those new apps for the iPhone clearly show that it’s possible to improve the image quality with some software only solutions. People who have not seen these apps don’t understand or even believe what can be done.

        I bet Nokia will get some of those apps converted to applications for Lumia. That’s because Nokia is finally starting to ship cheap phones that are cheap enough.

      • correct says:

        Get lost troll. Using flash will result in colours looking unnatural and brightness being way too high. Using no flash gives you natural-looking colours.

    • mirco says:

      Because none of the build-in flashs reaches further than a few meters. This might work for a group of people right in front of you but it won’t work for buildings. Plus, it will look artificial most of the times.

      • AreOut says:

        buildings can wait until tomorrow, people can not

        • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista says:

          Actually it’s quite possible that buildings can’t wait for the next day.

          Sometimes there are people in the same shot with those buildings. Not everyone takes only close ups.

          Good low light performance is something that’s very nice to have.

        • arts says:

          seriously? THIS reason again?

          • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista says:

            Actually I was thinking about this.

            Saying that you can always come back later to take that picture of that building illustrated very well the attitude some people have. They seem to have all the time and patience in the world.

            A normal human would want to take the picture when he or she sees that building. Flash can’t be used because of the distance so the picture is taken in low light. That’s when it’s quite handy to have the ability to take those low light pictures. No need to come back later.

            Now these Nokia fans who have all the time in the world see the building, try to take the picture by experimenting with ISO settings and if that doesn’t turn out to be a success, they come back the next day and take the picture in sunlight.

            I bet most people would like to be those normal ones just to save some time and effort.

            That Nokia fan may succeed taking the picture with a 808 if he or she happens to carry a tripod but that not something a normal person does.

            Someone with a 920 or iPhone with some additional app may just take the picture without additional trouble.

  4. says:

    The 920 picture is by far better. htc1 is not even in the same league.
    A better comparison would be the flagship high end htc1 against the cheap midrange lumia 720.

    Oh the shame htc would feel if its ultra pixel fails against the 720.

    • Deaconclgi says:

      I second that. Unfortunately, neither Nokia nor HTC will let their unreleased devices leave the booth to go to the competition’s booth for comparison. It’s a strictly bring your own device to compare environment.

      Now once both devices are commercially available, I am sure comparisons will follow and may the best camera win!

      Maybe Ali can bump shoulders with Elop to get him to walk a 720 over to the One booth. It would be a great win for Nokia if the 720 meets or exceeds the One’s highly touted camera at a fraction of the cost.

      • Aliqudsi says:

        I’ve actually chatted with the Nokia guys about it; might be able to give it a go tomorrow. *fingers crossed*
        As for now all the 720′s and 520′s are either tied down or attached by Yoyos to their crew member
        (Something to do with one of the bloggers running off with a prototype 808 last year and smoking windows phone with it :P )

  5. jackoo says:

    HTC one …baked potato camera

    next htc will have roasted potato camera :)))

  6. Ricardo says:

    Maybe HTC is trying to follow a good direction and innovating with de “Ultrapixels” but why the hell they provoked Nokia if they clearly knew that they were not ready to compete?

    THe new HTC one looks like an affordable device and the pixels technology may lead to a new bright future but, HTC, please don’t try to beat the master without being prepared.

  7. Chris W says:

    The HTC One looks like it has been taken with a flash. In my opinion the 920 picture looks much more natural and as pointed out in the video, far less grainy.
    The 920 wins that one in my opinion.

  8. dss says:

    Finally some inside info on the kernel … I don’t know why no one asked Nokia whats holding things up at MWC, but Symon Whitehorn from HTC kind of spoke out ..

    “The problem, according to Whitehorn, is down to the Windows Phone camera kernel, which restricts what can be done.”

    also on Phase 1:

    “”commendable effort”, but that Nokia “pay a penalty in physical size”,”

    Well.. considering the available sensor technology today, there is no other way to provide any real image quality improvements without using bigger sensors and optics. HTCs approach is a step in the right direction, but still far from what Nokia’s phase 1 can do..

    • viktor von d. says:

      the kernel doesn’t allow them implement the zoe feature. i don’t hink it has anything to do with the actual camera. anyways, what could they say, they just give an excuse for not bringing the same quality as nokia.

      as for nokia,they worked with microsoft when designing the camera plumbing for i imagine they cmade sure they can use whatever technology they want with wp

    • mirco says:

      He said “camera kernel” (like you quoted), so don’t use this as an argument against the OS kernel later.

      Anyway… it is hard to say what his single sentence really means.

      • dss says:

        Sure… do you think that the camera kernel is part of the OS ?

        It doesn’t matter, the fact is that they have an amazing technology already in mass production, and for some reason they haven’t been able to bring to the lumia line for 2 years, since they went in bed with MS a year before PV went public.

        Its a money maker, and if haven’t noticed, they really need everything they can get. Its also the only thing that can really differentiate them from all the rest.. unless you are into colorful back pannels..

        • mirco says:

          No, I don’t think that and I hope you also don’t want to claim that the camera software is part of the kernel. However, I know your tweaks to blame WinNT for PureView1 not being on WP yet. I still think they didn’t want to bring a reiteration of PureView1 yet (and just as I cannot claim you wrong you can’t claim me being wrong here). Also they might want to improve it. Just porting the same camera over to WP would leave a bit of aftertaste…

          For now, we don’t know what those possible limitations for HTC are. It is just one sentence of a guy who isn’t allowed to say everything. At the same time we have the statement of a Nokian guy saying that PureView1 is independent of the OS. You as a Nokia fan trust the HTC guy, I guess?

        • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista says:

          Let’s see. 808 was probably not a great seller.

          If the camera would be something that makes the phone to sell really well, 808 would have been selling well despite Symbian being terminated.

          But it wasn’t.

          So, why should Nokia put in some hardware when they don’t have the actual customers?

          Remember that Nokia lost most of the high end sales already in 2009 and 2010 and they really can’t sell high end phones that well. Because the customers are gone.

        • correct says:

          Maybe you need to stop with such assumptions and constant hate, and be realistic for once?

          How about the idea that Nokia would want to improve upon the 808 camera before releasing a WP device with that camera? Has that ever occurred to you? Why would they release the exact same camera unit as the 808? Where would the progress be?

      • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista says:

        What actually is a “camera kernel”? I know what is kernel and even what is kernal and wht it’s a kernal and not a kernel, but a camera kernel?

        • adam says:

          Never came across anything such as a camera kernel inside my graduate hardware/software optimization course. –which mainly dealt with various kernels/OS’s/HAL.

          It probably was a bad translation. In which he probably meant the entire kernel itself. -Which if you think about it, could be true in itself as WP is a closed system and MS doesn’t allow OEM’s to tinker with the source code.

          …Or he could be taking a dig a MS seeing that MS does not allow HTC to put a skin on WP like they did with WM back in the day. lol who knows?

          • dss says:

            Then you would know that WDM or WDF drivers are difficult to create for a non PCIe camera like this. This isn’t a logitech webcam.. : )

  9. anon2 says:

    The camera does its job, however I bought the 920 for other reasons – Beautiful screen (1080 is overkill imho), fast browser, rich recording, built in NFC, optical image stabilization (In video mode, this feature is worth its weight in gold), and finally, its durability.
    Whilst they may be faster (in terms of benchmarks), phones like the gs3/s4 and htc one cannot hold a candle to the Lumia 920 in terms of useability and features.

  10. alostorh10 says:

    I think the lumia 920 gives true and right color rather than the HTC which gives only bright color but not that much true with the real image.

  11. adecvat says:

    Lumia slightly better, but WP8 is awful. WP has no gamez and appz, worst OS ever.

  12. Shaoeb Hasan says:

    My Sony DSC W500 takes stunning photo on low light. :)

  13. Edinson says:


  14. noKing says:

    2013 is the camera battle for smartphone idiots. Lumia 920 along with pureview started it all and now people seems interested in smartphone with good camera inside. Nokia is the king when it comes to camera smatphone NUFFSAID

  15. Hey there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyhow, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back often!

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