Update: 24 hours have passed, and the answer lies below! Scroll carefully if you haven’t yet seen this month’s game submission and you want to preserve your chance for an unspoiled guess!

When it comes to analyzing the quality of a smartphone’s camera, there are two main approaches. There’s the guided style:

“We had a gander at the new [Smartphone] from the fine folks at [Smartphone Manufacturer], and we took its camera out for a spin to see how it performed under a variety of lighting conditions. When it comes right down to it, this camera is [excellent][great][good][not so good][horrendous] … and here’s why.”

And then there’s the choose-your-own-adventure method:

“We took [Smartphone] for a test drive to see how its camera performed, and rather than taint the results with our own prejudices, we thought we’d dump the raw material here, so that you can make up your own mind.”

Both approaches are certainly valid, but if you’re familiar with our typical review style, you know we at Pocketnow tend to go for the former method. While we do provide the raw photos for your viewing pleasure, we like to tell you what our experience with the camera was like, to lend context and to explain away any anomalies. After all, even the best camera can take a horrible shot under adverse conditions, and even the worst shooter stumbles across some gold on occasion.

… like this gem, for instance.

But what if we took this out of the context of a review? What if we stripped all or most of the “tells” from a bunch of photos taken with the same smartphone and asked you to identify the device? Would you be able to figure it out, or might you be surprised by our little smartphone guessing game?

Let’s find out.


The evidence

The photos below were all taken with the same smartphone. The pictures have been resized, renamed, and their EXIF data has been stripped – but they’re otherwise unaltered. You can click each one to see the full-size shot and download it here:


The clues

the clues

“This is no fun if there aren’t any clues,” said a frustrated Taylor Martin after I stumped him with a similar photo set the last time we tried this. So here’s a few nuggets of truth about the Mystery Smartphone to guide your journey:

  • It’s a device we’ve reviewed within the past 12 months.
  • It’s not the device in the title image (that’s an HP Pre 3, if you’re wondering), nor is it the background picture in the title image.
  • It does not feature a dedicated hardware camera key.


The answer

… lies just below this protective layer of text. If you still want to guess, look no further, for spoilers await you all!

With nasty, big, pointy teeth.
With nasty, big, pointy teeth.

Had enough waiting? Dying to be proved right (or horribly, hilariously wrong)? Then take “note” of today’s answer!

See what we did there?

That’s right; despite the guesses ranging from the G Flex to the iPhone 5c to the Lumia Icon and beyond, the phone behind the photos above is none other than Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3. That means, out of around 100 submissions, only four people guessed correctly! Though we aren’t handing out awards for this just-for-fun contest, we figure that kind of sharp eye deserves at least a public pat on the back, so here’s your winners list of the month:

Gabi Dipla



Stephen Sisco

Well done, folks! And even if you’re not on this list, we saw some very nice reasoning (along with some truly deep guesswork) all over the comments, so kudos to you all.

Are you stunned? Elated? Outraged? Sound off -again- in the comments below. Be sure to stay tuned for Volume 3 next month, and thanks for playing!

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