Yesterday we witnessed what very well could be a turning point for HTC: the announcement of their new One flagship. With it, they announced a new UltraPixel Camera technology that uses two 4MP camera sensors to take shots that have vastly improved lightning exposure, according to the company. We have yet to test the camera on the One on our own, but one thing is for sure: 4MP is just not enough, despite HTC’s claim that “Megapixels don’t matter.” Of course they matter.
Consider this. The Nexus 10′s screen is a full 4.0 MP (at 2560×1600). If you pull up a full-resolution photo you’ve taken on an HTC One on the Nexus 10, you can’t zoom in because there is no more image data. Do this on the iPad (which has a slightly lower screen resolution), you’ll get similar results. Even if you zoom in on the One’s 1920×1080 (that’s 2MP) display, forget about being able to zoom in on a photo of a group of people to see detail in an individual’s face. There’s just not enough data there at 4MP.
We can agree that Megapixels don’t matter, to a point. Meaning, most consumers won’t notice (or care) about the difference between 8MP and 12MP. But at 4MP, even if you’re improving the photo quality, you’re negatively impacting the experience by taking away pixels. For most use case scenarios, 8MP is good enough, which is why the majority of smartphones take pictures at that resolution.