July 23, 2010 | by Chris Smith
We are going to take a look at HTC’s two latest superphones, the HTC EVO 4G and the HTC DROID Incredible. These two phones are very similar; both with Android 2.1 with Sense UI, 1Ghz Snapdragon processor, 8MP Camera, and vibrant touchscreens. But there are some differences that may sway potential buyers to one or the other. Today we will look at the camera performance on both of these devices.
It’s the same thing
The first point we have to hit is that the cameras on the EVO and the Incredible are basically the same exact models, except for the added front-facing camera on the EVO. Both cameras perform well on either device; both are extremely fast to launch from the homescreen or launcher (we would have liked to see a dedicated hardware button for the camera like the MOTO DROID) and snap high-quality, clear images. The one major difference between the devices is that the EVO can take full HD 720p video as the Incredible, even though it is capable, only takes SD video.
The EVO’s Camera(s)
The differences are extremely subtle when it comes to still photos. Below is a 9 picture gallery (+1 for EVO) of each phone in and around Erie, PA. The EVO pictures are the first 10 (number 1 is the front facing camera).
You will notice that the pictures are generally clear and high-quality, but there are definite problems with them. Bright whites are completely blown out as you’ll notice in the windows of photo number 2. Also when zooming in on any picture to its “actual size”, the image is rather pixelated and blurry. If you are using these photos for the web though they are generally acceptable.
Something else noticeable when zooming in on something like in image 3 it fairs pretty well. This picture is taken zoomed in all the way and has generally good detail and not too much noise. But when you get in a brighter area and are zoomed in like in picture 8 of the ducks, the camera does not handle the detail as well at all.
The EVO also has its infamous 1.3MP front-facing camera that is, well, a 1.3MP camera. Check out my mug shot. It isn’t the greatest camera but it’s not that big of a deal considering what it is supposed to be used for.
The HD quality video on the EVO sort of left a bad taste in my mouth as it still seems lacking. The video is compressed too much and just doesn’t really look that good. It’s passable, but you are still going to get a better turnout from a Flip cam or a Sony Zi8.
The Incredible’s Camera
The 9 pictures after my mug shot are taken with the Incredible and are supposed to mimic what was taken by the EVO. I’m not going to go through too much detail here as most of the problems with the Incredible’s camera are that of the HTC EVO. But there is one major difference I noticed. Color brightness and saturation is duller on the HTC Incredible. If you compare any of the same two photos you will notice that colors do not “pop” as much as they do on the EVO. This is somewhat confusing since the EVO and Incredible share the same software and camera lens.
What is even more interesting is that the Incredible’s video recording, although not “Full HD”, takes just about as good videos as the EVO does. Also, I noticed that the audio quality in videos is a hair better than the EVO’s.
To be honest, both EVO and Incredible’s cameras are excellent for camera phones but still cannot be compared to pocket shooters. They both have their quirks; whites being blown out, graininess, extra noise, pixelated when zoomed in, but the EVO seemed to have a bit better color quality. As for video the difference was negligible except for audio quality which goes to the Incredible.
Based on this, the EVO and the Incredible are tied on the camera front as the differences are too small to favor either phone. Anyone who is purchasing their phone based on the camera quality can breathe a sigh of relief when comparing these two phones, as either one is high quality and comparable.