Which one of the pictures above is the better? One was taken by an expensive top of the line camera with Optical Image Stabilization and advanced algorithms, and the other by a decidedly mid-range handset.
I personally find the bottom one, taken by the Nokia Lumia 720, more vibrant and detailed, and unfortunately another demonstration that the camera on the HTC One, which took the first picture, is far from what HTC has cracked it up to be.
Even when we look at low light pictures, meant to be the forte of the camera, the results are not as good as one would expect.
The reference picture to the right (taken with a Nokia 808 Pureview) shows how dark the space is, and the first picture, taken by the HTC One, does an admirable job of lighting up the scene, but seemingly at the expense of any detail in the shot.
A close look at the second picture from the Nokia Lumia 720 shows the picture to be much less soft, and that detail has been preserved much better.
You can actually make out the numbers on the label in the Nokia picture, but no amount of zooming can add more detail to the HTC One’s 4 megapixel picture.
NokiaRevolutions, who did the test, notes:
It is really surprising that a mid range Lumia 720 can beat the HTC flagship device on this camera test. Getting a high end smartphone nowadays is really expensive but the Lumia 720 offers most of the high-end smartphone features that you don’t have to pay for more. Lumia 720 is solid but lighter and sexier. Plus you can get a very capable camera which is almost similar to the 920 minus the OIS. Truly, the Lumia 720 is a true value for the money.
See many more pictures comparing the two cameras at NokiaRevolutions here.