Update 5/19/2014: The given time has elapsed, so the answer to the fourth edition of our smartphone guessing game can be found below! Scroll down to see how right (or wrong) you were!

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.

smartphone guessing game
… like the one that took this gem.

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

smartphone guessing game

When Michael first told me he was starting this series, I told him it wouldn’t be any fun without clues for you ladies and gents to at least go off of. This is meant to be difficult, a challenge – not impossible. As such, I’ve included a few, tiny hints to help you on your journey.

 

  • 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.
  • Its camera features a 5-element lens.
  • It’s not any of the devices we’ve featured in earlier guessing games.
  • Several from the Pocketnow team have, at some point, carried it as a personal device.

 

The answer

You’ll find it below.

[Dargons ahead!]

 

[No, seriously though. Spoilers below.]

 

[Keep scrolling if you really want to know.]

 

 

 

 

 

iphone-5-mystery

That’s right. It’s the meager little iPhone 5 – not the iPhone 5S, G Flex, Note 3, Galaxy S 5, or dozens of other guesses.

Out of the 103 comments, only seven correctly guessed the iPhone 5 (counting those who also wittingly guessed iPhone 5S). That’s less than 7%. Congrats to those who guessed correctly! And shame on those of you who thought we’d go with the obvious choice. (I’m looking at you, Jerel Butler.)

Stay tuned for our next installment of this series sometime in June. Until then, you might as well start studying the individual pixels of any and all camera samples, because this series is only going to get more difficult over time. Count on it!

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