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HTC One X and iPhone 4S cameras face off (photos)

HTC talks a big game when it comes to the camera on its new HTC One X, but how does it compare with the iPhone 4S?

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Brian Bennett

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Aloysius Low

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1 of 8 Aloysius Low/CNET Asia

HTC One X and iPhone 4S cameras face off (photos)

HTC's new flagship handset comes packing an 8-megapixel camera loaded with a backside-illuminated (BSI) sensor. The camera has also been tweaked to perform as fast as, or even faster, on Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) than the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
The company's CEO even took some potshots at Apple's iPhone 4S at its Mobile World Congress press conference, and made claims that the One X's camera is much better. Having gotten our hands on a review set, we decided to put this to the test.
Here's a sample shot of Jacqueline Seng's desk at our CNET Asia office. Note the warmer colors from the iPhone 4S.
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2 of 8 Aloysius Low/CNET Asia

HTC One X and iPhone 4S cameras face off (photos)

A closer look at a 100 percent crop, the One X appears sharper, but is "a bit noisier," according to the expert eyes of our resident camera reviewer Shawn Low.
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3 of 8 Aloysius Low/CNET Asia

HTC One X and iPhone 4S cameras face off (photos)

In our standard test shot, the iPhone 4S had a better exposure, more-natural colors, and seems better evenly illuminated across.
Caption by Aloysius Low and Shawn Low/CNET Asia
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4 of 8 Aloysius Low/CNET Asia

HTC One X and iPhone 4S cameras face off (photos)

On a 100 percent crop, the One X produces a sharper image but introduces some noise.
Caption by Aloysius Low and Shawn Low/CNET Asia
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5 of 8 Aloysius Low/CNET Asia

HTC One X and iPhone 4S cameras face off (photos)

In a lowlight test, both cameras seem to exhibit the same amount of noise, though we think that the One X produces a sharper image.
Caption by Aloysius Low and Shawn Low/CNET Asia
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6 of 8 Aloysius Low/CNET Asia

HTC One X and iPhone 4S cameras face off (photos)

HTC's One X has variable flash settings: the smartphone will automatically determine the amount of flash required for a shot, and in our tests, it seems that the One X provides a better fill. The flash of the iPhone 4S performs like a spotlight, which can be unflattering to your subject.
Caption by Aloysius Low and Shawn Low/CNET Asia
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7 of 8 Aloysius Low/CNET Asia

HTC One X and iPhone 4S cameras face off (photos)

HDR is where the One X really shines. While the exposure is more dramatic compared with the iPhone 4S' conservative exposure bracketing, we liked the final result. If you enjoy taking HDR shots, the HTC will probably better suit your needs.
Caption by Aloysius Low and Timothy Fernandez/CNET Asia
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8 of 8 Aloysius Low/CNET Asia

HTC One X and iPhone 4S cameras face off (photos)

For close-ups, the One X continues to show sharper images compared with the iPhone 4S' shots.
Overall, whether the One X or the iPhone 4S has a better camera boils down to individual preferences. The One X delivers sharper images at the expense of some noise, whereas the iPhone 4S delivers better colors and noise control.
Personally, the fast shutter speed and sharper images of the One X feel like the better option.

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