Spatial Resolution

We'll start by measuring the rear facing camera's ability to resolve fine details by shooting at an ISO12233 test target. For now we'll be looking at horizontal and vertical resolution using the sagittal and tangential lines in the upper right of the center of the test chart:


ISO12233 captured by One mini 2

The One mini 2 should show a clear advantage here compared to the One (M7/8) and original One mini as its 13MP sensor should be able to resolve finer details than any of its predecessors or more expensive siblings.

The gallery below has links to the original chart captures for all of the phones compared in this review:


In the sagittal crop, the One mini 2 doesn't show signs of aliasing until beyond the 14 mark (units of line pairs per image height). By 16 line pairs per image height we see more aliasing and beyond that things get worse. As the camera attempts to resolve finer and finer details it becomes more challenging to properly separate the white and black lines, which is why we get aliasing (swapping of the two colors). The M8 in this case is an absolute mess. There's aliasing beginning just after 10 line pairs per image height, and it's impossible to determine separation between the two lines after the 12 mark.

I think the LG G2 is a great comparison as it can be found at a similar price point to the mini 2 and it also has a 13MP camera sensor. The difference in quality is substantial. On the G2 we don't see aliasing until closer to the 18 marker. Even the Moto X's 10MP camera as well as the iPhone 5c's 8MP camera. As much as the One mini 2 is able to resolve finer details compared to the One thanks to its 13MP rear sensor, it's possible to deliver better performance with lower resolution cameras. In other words, not all 13MP cameras are created equal.

You can see full 1:1 resolution crops in the gallery below:


The tangential crops tell a very similar story. The One mini 2 delivers more spatial resolution than the One, but it falls behind last year's flagships.

Color Reproduction

With the M8, HTC improved color accuracy over the previous generation. As the One mini 2 features a different camera module, sensor and ISP, I wondered how color reproduction changed with the cost reduction. For the next comparison I shot the standard x-rite colorchecker classic card under 6500K light. The obvious next step here is to compare the captured colors to reference colors and calculate delta E values but we're not quite there yet.


There are definitely differences between the M8 and One mini 2's color handling. Reds are more saturated on the M8 mini, while there's a bit more green on the M8. The light brown swatch is a bit more pink than it should be (see the second square in the top row), and there's more noise than there really should be in some of these squares. Grayscale performance looks decent. Overall color reproduction is decent, but different than the M8.

Camera Architecture Still Image Analysis: Lab Scenes
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  • Laxaa - Monday, May 26, 2014 - link

    It baffles me that this "mini" is the same size as the M7. What does this offer that the M7 don't have on a lower price point? Reply
  • fokka - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - link

    slightly better battery life, slightly better camera in daylight, sd slot. Reply
  • Morawka - Monday, May 26, 2014 - link

    i like last year's metal unibody much better than this. Satin aluminum feels much better in the hand, (and looks better) than this brushed aluminum look. Reply
  • krazyfrog - Monday, May 26, 2014 - link

    The brushed aluminum finish is only on the grey model. The silver and gold look like the M7. Reply
  • fokka - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - link

    i also like the m7 design better, but not because of the brushed finish - i love brushed metal! - but the corners look better imho. it doesn't look all that rounded, more simple and also the top speaker grille is more centered. also the speaker grilles were real metal on the m7 and if you look closely at the m8 you can see that theres a rather thick clear coat on the grilles, plus not all holes are drilled all the way through. "nitpicking", yes, but on a phone that lives for its design i think those are still valid points.

    also the second (duo-) camera looks goofy and the black m7 is just absolutely gorgeous, compared to the black m8 with its appalling gold speaker grilles (sprint version).

    also (sorry for saying "also" so much!), i don't get how they get their numbers like "90% metal", or "50% metal". shure, the surface of the m8 features a couple percent more metal than the m7, but not to the extent of 90% vs. 70%. and the mini 2 sure as hell isn't down to only 50%. i'm really wondering how they calculate this to get those numbers.
    Reply
  • SetiroN - Monday, May 26, 2014 - link

    You are being WAY too kind.
    These "mini" marketing devices deserve to be bashed and put to shame. People buy them thinking they're getting a mini flagship and end up hating android.
    This is a terrible device at that price point.
    Reply
  • Laxaa - Monday, May 26, 2014 - link

    It is. The M7 is a much better buy. It might be a year old, but it's still a great smartphone. It looks better as well. Reply
  • hangfirew8 - Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - link

    Exactly what I was thinking! If they had put an 8MP camera on the M7 it would have been a better phone than this. Reply
  • fokka - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - link

    the m7 with a larger 8mp sensor with OIS and an sd slot would have been perfect!! plus the sd801 from the m8 to seal the deal and they would have one customer more. Reply
  • r3loaded - Monday, May 26, 2014 - link

    4.5 inches is "mini" now? Reply

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