(Update 1/29/2015: the answer now lies at the bottom of this post, so be careful when scrolling if this is your first time seeing this edition of the smartphone guessing game! Also, our apologies for the late update, folks; our lead smartphone reviewer came down with a wicked-bad case of the coughs in this year’s Boston Blizzard, so he’s been out of commission.)

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 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

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 first time we tried this. So here’s a few nuggets of truth about the subject device of the latest smartphone guessing game:

  • It features 1GB of RAM.
  • It’s not a device we’ve reviewed at Pocketnow.
  • It offers a removable battery.
  • Its camera packs a 6-element lens.
  • It’s not any of the devices we’ve featured in earlier guessing games.
  • The tags affixed to this post should not affect your guesses; we’ve cross-posted it to every platform section.


The answer to the latest Smartphone Guessing Game


… lurks just below …


… this protective expanse of space …


… so if you’re not eager to know …


… you should scroll back up, apace!




Fifty-six percent of you can clap yourselves on the shoulder, take a celebratory shot, or set off a congratulatory firework; if you guessed Lumia 830, you guessed right! These shots were taken with the 10MP PureView shooter of Microsoft’s “midrange flagship,” a device we just compared with the Lumia 930 and which we’ll be reviewing in the first half of next week! Be sure to share what you think of the camera’s output down in the comments below – and keep your wits sharp for the next installment of the Smartphone Guessing Game, because we won’t be nearly as generous with the hints on the next go ’round.

Thanks for playing!

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