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


View All Comments

  • Fergy - Monday, May 26, 2014 - link

    Yeah. In my mind it is: 4 small, 4.5 normal, 5 large, 5.5 extra large
    But apparently 5 inch is normal and anything below is small. Apple iPhone becomes nano of course.
  • Daniel Egger - Monday, May 26, 2014 - link

    Strange world indeed. My current phone has 4,3" and that's already on the border of being acceptable size wise... "Is that a smartphone in your pocket or are you happy to see me?" Reply
  • torp - Monday, May 26, 2014 - link

    To be more accurate: "Is that a smartphone in your wheelbarrow?" Reply
  • fokka - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - link

    i also reluctantly upgraded from 3,7" to 4,3" two years ago. for the next upgrade i _might_ go as far as up to 5", if the bezels are as slim as on the g2 or g3. but a 5" display in a package as the m8 is just too much, tyvm. Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Monday, May 26, 2014 - link

    Hey, this isn't an Apple phone article! Anand, you looked at a non-Apple device!? For reals?

    Of course, you DO share a byline, so I'm thinking this is one of those things where you glanced over the article and added a paragraph, but let the other guy do most/all of the work. Perhaps it didn't seem like you were exactly "fair and balanced" if all you ever had your name attached to were Apple device and AMD Center articles?

  • Death666Angel - Monday, May 26, 2014 - link

    Hm indeed. Haven't taken your meds today, have you? Reply
  • Alexey291 - Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - link

    Clearly not xD Reply
  • pixelstuff - Monday, May 26, 2014 - link

    Perhaps you are on on the wrong site? Or perhaps you just don't remember the hundreds of articles not centered around Apple or AMD? Reply
  • JBVertexx - Monday, May 26, 2014 - link

    Disappointing. I'm a One (M7) owner, very happy with that. But it's disappointing to see there is nothing in the new HTC lineup worth looking forward to. Reply
  • Myrandex - Monday, May 26, 2014 - link

    I still wonder where the Nokia cameras stack up in the tests. At least one of their models should make an appearance in the comparison charts. Reply

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