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HTC launches One M8 with new 'Duo Camera'

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In addition to a 4MP imaging sensor, the HTC One M8 comes with a secondary sensor that captures depth information which allows for bokeh and refocusing effects. 

HTC has launched their new flagship model, the HTC One M8, at simultaneous events in London and New York City today. As we've come to know through various leaks the new device's headline feature is its Duo Camera. In addition to a 4MP "Ultra Pixel" sensor, the HTC One M8 comes with a secondary image sensor that captures depth information which allows for the application of bokeh effects to your images.  There is also a refocus feature that lets you select the focus point in an image after it has been taken, similar to a Lytro light field camera.

Other manufacturers, such as Samsung, Nokia and Sony have opted for software solutions to achieve similar results. We'll have to wait until we hold a sample in our hands before we can judge if HTC's investment into a hardware solution was a good one. HTC also says the camera API will be opened up to developers, so it'll be interesting to see what third party app makers can do with the new camera technology.

The stereo front speakers come with 25% larger audio chambers for more volume.
The One M8 is also available in silver.

In their presentation HTC put a lot of emphasis on the new model's metal body. The original One's polycarbonate edges have been eliminated and the One M8 comes with a hull that is 90% metal. The edges are more rounded than before and the brushed hairline texture on the metal surfaces makes for a very attractive looking device. 

There are a bunch of new software features as well. HTC's UI, Sense 6, includes a new version of Blinkfeed that lets you create keyword-based custom feeds and connects with Foursquare and your Fitbit. 

On the imaging side of things, Image Match finds all photos of a specific person on your phone and can create an album of them. The ZOE feature now has dynamic beatmapping, which synchronizes music video footage and you'll also be able to share your ZOE movies via a dedicated cloud service in the near future. 

The brushed metal surfaces give the new device a premium look.
The One M8's edges are more rounded than on the predecessor.

The One M8 also adds a set of gesture controls. You can answer a call by holding the ringing phone up to your ear and there are dedicated gestures to go straight to Blinkfeed, the widget panel or the last app you have used. 

The Boom Sound stereo front speakers on the One M8 offer 25% larger audio chambers and a multi-band amp for increased dynamic range, reduced distortion and more volume. A large 2600 mAh battery in combination with a new power saver mode promises a 40% better battery life than the original One, or up to two weeks in stand-by mode.

The HTC One M8 will be available through select U.S. and Canadian carriers from today and will come to more than 230 carriers in over 100 countries in April. For those users who prefer a pure Android experience, a Google Play version will be made available in the nearer future. We'll have a closer look at the new Duo Camera and start work on our full camera review as soon as HTC sends us a sample.

Key Photographic/Video Specification:

  • 4MP 1/3-inch CMOS sensor, 2.0 um pixel pitch
  • F2.0 aperture
  • 28mm equivalent focal length
  • 1080p video
  • Slow-motion video
  • 5MP, F2.0 front camera

Other Specifications:

  • 2.3 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-Core CPU
  • Android 4.4 with HTC Sense 6
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16 or 32GB storage
  • microSD card up to 128GB
  • 5.0-inch, 1080p display (441 ppi)
  • 2600 mAh battery

  

Comments

Total comments: 47
Lukemynick
By Lukemynick (6 months ago)

Connect, I am looking forward to your review of the new HTC One.
Would you do a review for the HTC Desire 816 as well, since for a mid-ranger it has a 13-mp cam?
Thanks!

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (6 months ago)

I am expecting the One any day and will get onto the review as soon as I hold it in my hands. Can't promise a review of the Desire as we have various devices of higher review priority but we'll definitely have a look at it if there is time.

0 upvotes
Raintitan
By Raintitan (6 months ago)

Here is a sample shot using the depth camera for bokeh:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/96228372@N06/13429916573/

R

0 upvotes
Raintitan
By Raintitan (6 months ago)

I've had the new HTC One M8 for a day now and I've been hitting the camera pretty hard.
Here is an absolutely candid verdict: It is pretty much the same as the previous M7 camera. Very little difference.
When there isn't much dynamic range in a shot it works pretty well, but when there is it can only capture a subset so it looks either underexposed or overexposed....unless you can pick a focal/exposure point that happens to be neutral.
I love the phone and I give it a 9/10. A better camera would push that to perfect, but I am just not willing to give up sense, the build quality and other aspects for the S5 or Z2.
If you want to know about the M8 camera, look at the M7 (last HTC One) reviews as it is about the same. The camera UI is nice and manual controls even include manual focus.
Finally, the 3D stuff is clever and fun. It can create bokeh in the right shots but it is more novelty than invaluable in it's implementation.

R

0 upvotes
badi
By badi (6 months ago)

well... disappointing at the highest level (the camera i mean) ...
I've searched a bit for samples that show the "bokeh" tool in action, and it's just horrible to tell the least. The edges detection is so poor, that the effect looks just like you made a "quick dirty selection" with some auto-lasso tool in PS, and apply some blur (which doesn't even look good) ...

0 upvotes
badi
By badi (6 months ago)

here is a link to what is said to be "a good example" ... just look at the edges of the tree in the foreground, and the edges of the car...

http://www.gsmarena.com/showpic.php3?sImg=reviewsimg/htc-one-m8/camera/gsmarena_008.jpg&idReview=1062&idPage=8

1 upvote
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (6 months ago)

it's not perfect but at-least a step in right direction.

1 upvote
kwengca
By kwengca (6 months ago)

ehhh... I would say this is a step in the wrong direction. Fake bokeh effects really?

2 upvotes
duartix
By duartix (6 months ago)

I believe the problem is two fold:

HW - the depth camera clearly has very low resolution. I'd bet it's about 150x100 if not less.

SW - the focus software tries to interpolate the depth edges, but does it in a completely basic and brute way (simple tiling). This is where HTC can improve and one way to do it would be to combined it with contrast information (edge detection) from the image captured by the main camera.
Lets just hope they think of it...

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Raintitan
By Raintitan (6 months ago)

Yes, this is correct (I have the phone). You can manually select but then it isn't special.

If a shot clearly has foreground and background items it works pretty good but consider it a nice to have novelty.

This camera is ok. Not great, unless you use ZOE for action and child/pet shots and then it is awesome.

0 upvotes
slncezgsi
By slncezgsi (6 months ago)

Are you guys series that you want more than 4 Mpix from those tiny sensors? What use is 10+ Mpix image that looks like garbage (noise, clipping, colour depth) on pixel level? Already at 4 Mpix this sensor has only 2 um pixel pitch. I am just wondering ...

The lack of OIS is a bummer, no question about that.

3 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (6 months ago)

The question is do the HTC's 4MP look better than the 13MP on other devices? For the original One the answer to that question was no.

7 upvotes
refillable
By refillable (6 months ago)

In terms of Details, Of course Not, as they are keeping the same camera hardware. But for online sharing compared to the 13, 16 and 20MP they look similar. This information is gathered through my research from Phone Arena and gsmarena. Btw are you planning on your very own review? :). Thx.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (6 months ago)

I already did a review of the original One last year. The M8 should be on its way to me right now and hopefully I can start the review next week.

0 upvotes
duartix
By duartix (6 months ago)

This is a great example on how a company can let a interesting concept totally dominate and backfire on a basic feature.

Because of the auxiliary depth camera, HTC managed to:

* remove IS from the main camera probably because they haven't sourced a depth camera with stabilization.

* keep resolution at a nearly unacceptable minimum, because the resolution on the depth camera is pretty dismall and it can't keep up with the resolution and stereo separation from the main camera (check this example: http://www.gsmarena.com/showpic.php3?sImg=reviewsimg/htc-one-m8/camera/gsmarena_002.jpg&idReview=1062&idPage=8 )

They would probably have better luck featuring two better resolution cameras and doing the focus tricks by stacking in software.

Right now, either they come up with some killer app that uses the depth camera (like a sound radar for blind people, or a 360 wrap around panorama modeler, etc) or it will be a half baked effect that no one will use outside of Facebook.

3 upvotes
sportyaccordy
By sportyaccordy (6 months ago)

2 sensors and 4 megapixels isn't enough....

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (6 months ago)

Guys, GSM Arena have published their detailed review: http://www.gsmarena.com/htc_one_m8-review-1062.php

As usual, their camera review is very thorough: http://www.gsmarena.com/htc_one_m8-review-1062p8.php

In a nutshell, they aren't really happy with the new camera, particularly because of the loss of OIS.

Phone Arena has also a review with extensive info on the camera: http://www.phonearena.com/reviews/HTC-One-M8-Review_id3619

0 upvotes
MAKfoto
By MAKfoto (6 months ago)

Liked the old HTC One very much but was hoping for a 3000+ mah battery in this new phone.
Will be a tossup in Sony Z2 or this one.

1 upvote
Alexis D
By Alexis D (6 months ago)

Really nice phone but there is a fatal flaw. FATAL!

So stubborn, using that failed 4 "uber" pixel camera again!

Companies that do not listen to consumers die. This is just like Nokia when it continued to stick with Symbian when nobody wanted that OS, and then with Windows to make sure the suicide worked.

The great Beats audio performance will not save it, just like the great camera on Nokia cameras did not save it. You can't have fatal flaws, no matter how great some other features are. HTC will probably never catch up to the top players again.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Stollen1234
By Stollen1234 (6 months ago)

i agree with you..but : "The great Beats audio performance" lol beats are garbage..

1 upvote
Greenville
By Greenville (6 months ago)

"The great Beats audio performance will not save it, just like the great camera on Nokia cameras did not save it. "

Which is good because the phone does not have Beats Audio. Beats and HTC went their separate way last year.

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Daniel L
By Daniel L (6 months ago)

Yawn, made my first mistake switching from iphone to the last HTC one M7.... it looks good on paper but dumb in every ways.

This one looks just as dumb.

0 upvotes
Greg Henry
By Greg Henry (6 months ago)

Having already seen sample images taken with it, I'd have to pass. And it's a shame - they say HTC is hurting and a lot rides on this phone, so for them to have pretty much gone the route of the old phone's camera is a risk I think their company is going to regret.

They'd added the new secondary camera to achieve certain post-picture effects which are interesting for sure. But the standard day-to-day shots are just like the last phone... still 4 megapixel, lacking fine detail, blown out in some cases, and just sort of "bleh" compared to other newer offerings from Samsung, Apple, etc.

I might have actually updated to this phone myself had it not been for this camera. I don't think many people expect DSLR quality on a phone, but when you have an updated model you do expect it to be better than the one it replaces without replying on special effects to distract from the obvious.

1 upvote
badi
By badi (6 months ago)

"They'd added the new secondary camera to achieve certain post-picture effects which are interesting for sure."

well.... from the samples i've seen this effects DO NOT work ok (especially the bokeh one) ... so... I would say:

They'd added a secondary camera to try to achieve certain effects and they failed. They now have a poor camera and a secondary camera with no use (except the extra cost)...

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Sowande
By Sowande (6 months ago)

Why are all of the sample photos taken by these HTC phones so fuzzy and blown out?

0 upvotes
photogeek
By photogeek (6 months ago)

$700 Android phone with crappy camera? Pass.

2 upvotes
rodrigojordy
By rodrigojordy (6 months ago)

Crappy camera??? Read this: http://www.htc.com/www/zoe/ and learrn more about the Ultrapixel technology and don't let the high density of megapixels deceive you more.

Or continue with your Samsung, Sony and Apple really crappy cameras.

2 upvotes
Stollen1234
By Stollen1234 (6 months ago)

WTF

0 upvotes
mgrum
By mgrum (6 months ago)

rodrigojordy - that link is marketing bull**** at it's absolute finest. Apparently smaller pixels cause underexposed photos!

1 upvote
rodrigojordy
By rodrigojordy (6 months ago)

But the pixels are bigger, not smaller...

0 upvotes
Fearless_Photog
By Fearless_Photog (5 months ago)

Ultrapixels is a buzzword with no actual meaning, the sensor is 4 megapixels, which means 4 million pixels, and they're still much smaller than the megapixels on actual high end camera sensors. Also, years of DSLR reviews and testing have shown that there really isn't a disadvantage to more megapixels on the same size sensor if all other factors are equal, overall sensor size is going to determine low light performance, not pixel size. See: D4/D600/D800, all have about the same low light performance despite different megapixel counts, the D800 with the most pixels has the most resolving power and the most dynamic range.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Sirandar
By Sirandar (6 months ago)

Whats this ..... A HTC phone with microSD??????

Hallelujah ....... HTC exists as a phone company again for me.

I am sooo happy as HTCs were may fav phones before they pulled the plug on microSD.

Thanks HTC

2 upvotes
Greenville
By Greenville (6 months ago)

HTC learned their lesson. The Asia version of the M7 had a microSD card slot. I guess HTC figured they would follow Google's lead and leave it of the NA model.

I personally believe that if the M7 had a microSD card slot it would have been the best selling phone in 2013. I do know the lack of microSD card support cost them at least 3 phone sales in my family.

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (6 months ago)

".. which allows for the application of bokeh effects to your images. "

You surely mean "shallower DOF".

This is an interesting development.

DPR, please make a short review of the feature!

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (6 months ago)

we will do as soon as we get a sample in our hands.

1 upvote
duartix
By duartix (6 months ago)

GSMArena has done it, and believe me, it's not pretty...
Clearly the depth camera has a dismal resolution:
http://www.gsmarena.com/showpic.php3?sImg=reviewsimg/htc-one-m8/camera/gsmarena_002.jpg&idReview=1062&idPage=8

1 upvote
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (5 months ago)

doesn't look great, it appears the 4MP main sensor is the same as in the original One and Mini which is not good news. But we'll do a proper dpreview review and then make a judgement. I am hoping to receive the device tomorrow.

0 upvotes
hajiaru
By hajiaru (6 months ago)

htc makes the best smart phones Propaganda makes iwh,re look good

0 upvotes
DavidsfotosDotCom
By DavidsfotosDotCom (6 months ago)

So is it a 8mp camera?

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (6 months ago)

no, output is 4MP, same as HTC One 2013.

0 upvotes
Scott12345
By Scott12345 (6 months ago)

Using a second lens to capture depth information to map back depth of field and other possibilities.... could be the biggest innovation in cameras since the invention of the CCD.

1 upvote
thx1138
By thx1138 (6 months ago)

Except for the the fact it's an old idea and has been used for a long time in the field of depth estimation. It's called depth from stereo and is basically how our own visual system works.

2 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (6 months ago)

might not be a new idea but this is the first time it's being applied in a consumer camera.

3 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (6 months ago)

Doesn't make it it more amazing. We've had twin lens cameras from the likes of Fuji and Panasonic. Now they were after a 3D effect but HTC is using it for a depth map. Once you have a depth map you can do all sorts of cool things. The holy grail is to be able to create a depth map for video applications.

0 upvotes
probert500
By probert500 (6 months ago)

Gee -@tx… - you have very high standards -perhaps htc could embed human eyes into the phone - then what - you'd go: meh - eyes are for suckas.

0 upvotes
Jan Toude
By Jan Toude (6 months ago)

HTC One M8 preview with three sample photos:
http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=2&hl=en&ie=UTF8&prev=_t&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=ru&tl=en&u=http://hi-tech.mail.ru/review/misc/HTC_One_M8-prev.html

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (6 months ago)

And GSM Arena have also published their detailed review: http://www.gsmarena.com/htc_one_m8-review-1062.php

As usual, their camera review is very thorough: http://www.gsmarena.com/htc_one_m8-review-1062p8.php

In a nutshell, they aren't really happy with the new camera, particularly because of the loss of OIS.

Phone Arena has also a review with extensive info on the camera: http://www.phonearena.com/reviews/HTC-One-M8-Review_id3619

0 upvotes
Total comments: 47
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