HTC One mini 2 Reviewby Anand Lal Shimpi & Joshua Ho on May 26, 2014 3:00 AM EST
As we march towards our outdoor test scenes, we shift to a light controlled lab setup. The setup here is slightly different from what we used in the past two reviews so we re-ran all of the comparison shots. Everything is exposed to the same lighting conditions. We'll start with a well lit test:
At close distance sunder decent lighting conditions the M8 vs. M8 mini test becomes one of white balance and processing differences. You can see a slight resolution advantage here in that the text in the scene is a bit sharper on the M8 mini, but otherwise the differences are in color processing. The light colors in the AMD A4 box (upper right corner of the box) are more pink in the M8 mini's shot, and there's more green in the M8's capture by comparison. Both captures are ok and neither is perfect. In this case I'm far happier with the image from the G2, 5c or Moto X.
Next up is the same scene, but in much lower light (~7 lux):
And this is where the M8's 2.0µm Ultrapixel sensor comes in handy. The mini 2 captures an almost useless image. There's very little detail in the Intel Core i5 box, you can barely read any of the text on the AMD box and there's very little contrast picked up in the ASUS box on the far right. The M8 mini elected to shoot this scene at 1/10s at ISO 2000. The M8 by comparison settled on 1/11s at ISO 1250, and the result is far more legible. The capture isn't as bright as I'd expect, but you can at least get some idea of what's going on here. The 5c delivers a somewhat brighter image, but with more visible noise (1/15s, ISO 2500). The Moto X is pretty bad here. If you're looking at this scaled crop the LG G2 looks like a clear winner. I'd recommend looking at the originals in the gallery below though. In low light scenarios LG triggers some sort of a multi-exposure/pixel binning mode that you can't disable. The result is great low light performance, but at the expense of sharpness - the full image is a lot more blurry on the G2. When scaled down to lower resolutions it's less of a problem, which is why it looks reasonable here.