question, so far Windows Mobile smartphone cameras were pretty basic and users
mostly got 1.3 megapixel cameras only or - if lucky - a 2 megapixel camera with
fixfocus. However, with the recent launched and upcoming new Windows Mobile
smartphones, the situation will get better The new
HTC Touch Diamond,
Touch Pro and Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 features 3.2 megapixel cameras with
autofocus and the Samsung SGH-i900 Omnia even features a 5 megapixel camera
which makes it the first available Windows Mobile smartphone in the 5 megapixel
class. Furthermore, three of the new smartphones (Touch Pro, Omnia and X1) even
sports a photo LED for night shots. Nevertheless, since all cameras are not the
same, we took the recent opportunity to compare the four most anticipated phone
cameras which each other.
Please note, that only the HTC Touch Diamond is a release device. The HTC
Touch Pro, Samsung SGH-i900 Omnia and Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 are pre-production
devices with a non-final ROM built.
All thumbnails can be enlarged by clicking the thumbnail. However, the enlarged
photos are resized to VGA. Bellow each thumbnail you can open the RAW and
completely unedited original photo.
While the Touch Diamond, Touch Pro and Xperia X1 are all manufactured by HTC,
only the Touch Diamond and the Touch Pro shares the same user interface. Sony
Ericsson and Samsung designed their own user interfaces. While the view-finder
of the HTC Touch Diamond, Touch Pro and Xperia X1 are pretty basic, the i900
Omnia shows more information and provides faster access to change settings. To
change the settings on the other three smartphones, a photographer has to tap
either the gear-wheel icon on the HTC devices or the wrench icon on the Sony
Nevertheless, all four devices offer in-display information how many photos can
be taken with the current photo resolution as well as providing a shortcut to
the photo album.
|HTC Touch Diamond
|HTC Touch Pro
|Samsung SGH-i900 Omnia
|Sony Ericsson Xperia X1
In the bright sunlight, all four smartphones produce pretty similar picture
quality while the Touch Diamond, Touch Pro and Xperia X1 colors are a little bit
more saturate while the i900 Omnia photos looks brighter but maybe a little bit
more yellow tint:
Indoor Photos without LED Light
Inside, all four cameras can be quite good as long as there's a minimum of
surrounding light and the results look pretty similar. However, photos can
easily shake and the i900 Omnia again shows its yellow tint:
Indoor Photos with LED Light
As mentioned, three of the four cameras feature a supporting white LED which
definitely helps to illume the subject for the photo and which are now far
better then the initially used photo LEDs of mobile phones, some years ago.
While the Touch Pro and Xperia X1 LEDs are pretty similar, the i900 Omnia is
definitely the brightest:
The HTC Touch Diamond, HTC Touch Pro and Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 photo
resolution is 2048 x 1536 pixel while the Samsung SGH-i900 Omnia photos are 2560
x 1920 pixel.
Furthermore, since all four smartphones includes a GPS receiver, photos can be
geo-tagged. While this feature is available by default for the Samsung i900
Omnia and Sony Ericsson Xperia X1, HTC hasn't enabled it by default and
geo-tagging photos requires a change in the Registry.
Hard to decide which of the four cameras is the best. While the HTC Touch
Diamond and HTC Touch Pro cameras are quite comparable, which makes sense since
both phones are basically the same, the HTC Touch Pro has the advantage to
feature a photo light.
And while the i900 Omnia is the only Windows Mobile smartphone with a 5
megapixel camera, the photos are little bit more yellow tint while the Xperia X1
photos seems to be a little bit blurry.
Nevertheless, in terms of usability I prefer the Samsing i900 and the Sony
Ericsson X1 since both offers a dedicated shutter button on the right side of
the device which works, if the device is hold landscape, like a traditional
camera shutter. Furthermore this button starts the camera application without
navigating through any menus. The two HTC smartphones doesn't have this
dedicated shutter button but the camera application is started from the TouchFLO
3D user interface and the action key works as the shutter.
Nevertheless, all four smartphones features a camera which is good enough for
vacation photos and to be used on the web and today's cameras are for more then
good enough for MMS messages only.
UPDATE: I've just added two new outside photos of the Samsung SGH-i900
Omnia which was taken with the final ROM of the i900 and you can see real
differences now in the color. With the Beta ROM, the house was more yellow then
red but now, with the final ROM, the camera quality definitely improved and
colors are right now.
Cheers ~ Arne