HTC One vs Nokia Lumia 720 & 920, low-light shootout


The HTC One is set to release this month and we think this is a hugely impressive smartphone with a lot to offer and that it will fly off the shelves on launch. The Nokia Lumia 720 is also due to release this month while the Lumia 920 Nokia flagship came out late last year. More and more of us are using our phones as our primary cameras and so we thought you may be interested in this HTC One vs. Nokia Lumia 720 & 920 low-light shootout. Read on to find out more and also to view the videos.

This isn’t mean to be a full specs comparison but we have written plenty of articles about all three of these phones so to find out more click on the following links. Instead for this article we want to compare the camera set-ups on these three smartphones and then we have videos showing these phones in contention in the same low-light conditions. Usually when we write about camera specs for phones, what most people want to hear about is megapixels but as we’ve said many times previously, megapixels aren’t everything.

The HTC One has a long list of notable specs but when we first heard confirmation that it would have a 4-megapixel rear camera this caused a certain amount of consternation with some people who were expecting rather more. However this is no ordinary 4-megapixel camera and indeed HTC has dubbed it an UltraPixel camera, which steps up a level in camera technology. Each pixel is said to be able to gather 300% more light than other smartphone camera sensors and this is particularly good for low-light situations. The camera also has autofocus, LED flash, smile and face detection, geotagging, f.2/0 lens, optical image stabilization, ImageChip 2 for HDR and 1080p video capture @30fps with stereo sound and video stabilization. There’s also a 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera with 1080p video, HDR and 88-degree wide-angle lens.

The Nokia Lumia 720 camera set-up has a 6.7-megapixel rear camera with Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus, geotagging, LED flash and 720p video capture @30fps. It also has a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera with 720p video @30fps. Meanwhile the Nokia Lumia 920 has an 8-megapixel rear camera with Carl Zeiss optics, optical image stabilization, autofocus, dual-LED flash, PureView technology, geo-tagging, touch focus and 1080p video @30fps and video stabilization. It also carries a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera with 720p video @30fps.

So which of these three smartphones will cope best with taking images in low-light conditions? At MWC last week MyNokiaBlog managed to get all three of these handsets into a darkened room. The Lumia 920 has previously received praise for it’s low-light photo capabilities and so it was interesting to add it to the mix with the more recent Lumia 720 and also the HTC One with its UltraPixel camera. The photos taken were in the same conditions and the first of the two videos below show how the HTC One and Nokia Lumia 720 compared with low-light shots while the second video shows the same for the HTC One and Lumia 920.

You may be surprised at the quality of the images but we’re not going to give away the results and it’s certainly not a clear-cut conclusion. To check it out for yourself view the videos below and see what you think. We’d really like you to then leave us your comments about these camera comparisons. Which, in your view, offered the better images, the HTC One, Nokia Lumia 720 or Nokia Lumia 920?


51 thoughts on “HTC One vs Nokia Lumia 720 & 920, low-light shootout”

  1. Ed_Luva says:

    The HTC One’s performance vs. the Lumia 920 was impressive in that it was noticably brighter. The 920’s image was quite dark, though it was less grainy, but I expected more. The real shocker IMO was how much color the Lumia 720 was able to capture.

    1. iPlay2 says:

      Did NOT you notice that Lumias were sitting flat? That is why their screens look darker than htc one. The author has no idea how to video two devices side by side.

      1. Ed_Luva says:

        I’m not sure that the lack of brightness was due to the poor viewing angles of the Lumia 920, though I agree the video could have been better.

  2. HDB says:

    Hey, thanks for putting this up. Its amazing how Nokia Lumia 720 is worth comparing with HTC One which is essentially flagship. But, why do not you just upload the photos untouched photos? Recording is really shaky and low light shoot to make any sense out of it.

    1. iPlay2 says:

      i agree with you, video was too shaky, plus Lumia phones were sitting flat and that’s why their screens were looking darker than htc one. Shame on you phones review . Com
      I don’t like htc phones, they look very cheap, and htc always copy. htc one looks like blackberry’s z10, shame on you htc.

      I will buy Nokia Lumia 920. It has a lot of great features, you can use it with gloves on. Nokia maps are great with offline use feature.

          1. alexxx says:

            I’ve owned almost nothing but HTC since 2006, since WinMobile5 ,BECAUSE HTC makes premium high quality smartphones that look and feel premium more so than anything else outthere, they last forever, and above all are original and unique, each one with so much personality. This particular design HTC has worked on over 3 years, so it is not a copy of bbz10, which looks like a hammer compared to HTC one. Everything does. Right now, the best designed, ultra modern and original, ultra durable and most beautiful design of 2012 as every critic has stated, HTC One X – its untouchable, nothing comes close to its design, well, until the One. Yes I am a fan due to being convinced for almost a decade in who is the best PDA designer, who takes home all the awards, and who is obsessive enough to spend all their money on design research and development and zero on marketing. I always want to own the best smartphone around, and its always been the unique, premium and super tough ones from HTC. They are only ones who can take my $. There have been some quickie designs for the US market around 2010, but thats about it. 100s of devices were made that never made it to US market, and surely no one knows of this history, except Europe and Asia, markets that mattered to HTC the most. You can’t bring anything up except krapPhone from apple that’s premium, except the OS. Nokia is good, but no android, and ill be damned if I buy anything Microsoft.

          2. alexxx says:

            You reeealy don’t know/follow much of the mobile industry, and since you are making no statements, ill be immature and say the joke is in your pants 😛 looook itttt upppp…not inside ur pants, I meant some history on build buality and features and especiallY WHO PIONEERED this industry loong before samsung or apple.

          3. iPlay2 says:

            First go and take some English classes. 🙂

            People like you have no standards, and they only like crap phones.

          4. alexxx says:

            I ment that when it comes to WindowsPhone8. HTC 8X is an amazing phone, and Nokia’s, but the OS is not my thing at all, I’m running far from it, its just not for me. I was an early adopter of WinMobile away back, that I liked more. And I still like windows mobile more than iOS, as it as well has more customizations and freedom to do whatever. Then, couple of days ago, I spent some time with the WinPho on 8X and the GUI was starting to grow on me lol, so I take that back.

          5. William Stuart says:

            HTC would have had the One in development for far longer than you think, it would have taken them more thank year to create the design, longer than the Blackberry Z10. By the way have you even held a One? I an sure you will change you mind after holding it.

          6. iPlay2 says:

            htc is number one in copying other companies phones.
            Yes, I have seen htc phones, and I don’t buy cheap looking phones. 🙂
            I buy the original stuff. 🙂
            Good luck with ur htc phone with Blackberry Z10 look. hahahaha

        1. iPlay2 says:

          You are psycho because you guys are crying for more apps and you don’t know that WP8 has all the great apps that one needs. There are great apps available for every category.

          All the pot smokers like you are using cheap looking htc, LG, assus, ….etc. phones.

          1. alexxx says:

            Respect to Nokia for sure. But WinPhone8 is just way too….I can’t live without my widgets and ULTRA customizations with android- period.

          2. alexxx says:

            You know what, an ameba is more intelligent than you, just stfuu and go fcuk yourself.

          3. iPlay2 says:

            You are the most stupid, dumb person in the world. Look at your anger, it tells me that you are trash, and that is why you like trash phones made by trash company htc.


          4. Jedward says:

            I returned my Lumia 920 after 2 days because there was no sky player, bbc iplayer, hell it didnt even have temple run

            wp is a POS with hardly any apps…………….AVOID !!!!

          5. iPlay2 says:

            I don’t care about these players. I love other great features of Nokia Lumia phones.
            Shame on you. Who said that WP8 OS has no great apps?????????????
            Keep crying for apps, you Liar. How many apps do you have on your crap andriod phone? 1000000????????? hahahaha
            Have fun with your crap htc phones.

          6. Kure Kong says:

            There is a Sky Player with hundreds of reviews. Out since Feb 14.

            Temple Run, though I’ve never played it, has been out since Feb 13.

            Maybe you stopped using the phone before the middle of February.

  3. In my opinion HTC fared well considering its only 4 megapixel and its bound to show some grainy-ness, but the overall picture seemed brighter, but in the end it all comes to user’s preference on what do they want on a smartphone. If I had to choose between HTC One, Lumia 920 and Lumia 720 I would’ve picked HTC One (in fact, i am planning on pre-ordereding the device) because it serves my overall purpose. Andoird is a more developed OS compared to windows phone 8 and have more developer support so any apps from major to various third party developers is bound to come on android (after iOS); whereas windows, being a growing OS, needs some more time to grow. Plus I loved how HTC tweaked some software changes on the OS, such as blinkfeed and, especially, the zoe camera app feature. What I need to know is that how long the battery life’s going to be. 1080p screen and blinkfeed is bound to affect battery life (although the latter can be turned off). If it can last a day i’ll be content.

    1. iPlay2 says:

      Author of this article doesn’t know how to video two devices side by side. In both videos you can see that Lumia phones are sitting flat, and that is why their screens look darker.

    1. iPlay2 says:

      i agree with you, video was too shaky, plus Lumia phones were sitting flat and that’s why their screens were looking darker than htc one. Shame on you phones review . Com

  4. capeleopard says:

    Few will choose their smartphone purely on camera performance. Given the results I’d go for Nokia 720 for value and baked in apps such as Nokia Drive which is best of breed by miles.

    1. I hate Android, and yes, the cameraphone is really important for me, but the ONE good thing about the HTC Sensation and the Amaze was the included navigation app. It was amazing. Everything else was garbage. Having had an N9, a 710 and a Lumia 900 I’ll tip my hat to Android on that ONE feature.

    1. iPlay2 says:

      You can se lumia 920 with gloves on. Can you use htc one with gloves on???
      Lumia 920 has best camera with image stabilization.
      Htc phones look very cheap, plus htc always copy others. Htc one looks like blackberry’s z10.

      1. obviously ur frikin biased. No one really gives a fk whethere you can use a phone with a glove. And have u actually even seen the htc one? It looks absolutely premium. Thats my OPINION.

        1. iPlay2 says:

          Yes, I’ve seen cheap looking htc phones in stores, and with people who can’t afford good quality stuff. 🙂

          Yes, people who live in colder areas, they do care about this feature. Your “frikin” htc phones don’t have this feature. 🙂

          htc phones are crap, and even htc guys don’t know how to design a product, they just copy other companies phones. Shame shame ………


      2. Ed_Luva says:

        The HTC One looks nothing like the Z10, though I like both. The HTC has an aluminum premium build with speakers on the front while the Z10 is plastic with no speakers.

        1. iPlay2 says:

          htc phones with premium look??? Built in speakers???
          hahaha what a joke.
          htc phones are for those people who can’t afford good quality phones. 🙂
          Good luck with cheap, crap stuff.

    2. Mathews Thomas says:

      I own a Lumia 920. Love my Phone. Nokia Music and Its camera’s are great. Most of basic apps(fb, maps, Panaroma, photo editor etc) is in built, comes preloaded. I have added some apps and games. Phone is simple to use. Live tiles is Nice touch. The Phone looks solid in hand. You will not have a heart attack if dropped( experienced).

      1. iPlay2 says:

        I agree with you 100%.
        Lumia 920 has great features:
        City lens
        Great maps with offline usage feature
        You can use it with gloves on
        Super image stabilization
        Panaroma pictures
        I love photo Beamer app, I can easily transfer my pictures to any PC, laptop
        and so many other great features. 🙂

    1. iPlay2 says:

      Oh really?
      Could you please list some of the htc one’s features???

      Can you use htc one with gloves on???
      Does htc one come with their own maps app???
      Tell me about htc one’s image stabilization????


      1. Uh..The HTC has Android so..how many more years does one have to wait for decent apps for Windows Phone. Nokia built great hardware but they chose the wrong OS. I had a Lumia 920 for 4 months and It got exhausting convincing myself that it was a good ecosystem. So the Lumia can print gold, it’s still so limited by Windows Phone. And the map argument…I mean, really?

        Oh I see you’re really hating on this phone hcore by your other comments, why are you wasting your time?

        1. iPlay2 says:

          You are totally crazy. How many apps do you need on your phone???
          WP8 has almost all the good apps that one needs. WP8 OS is so easy to use and has fresh look. On the other hand, andriod is same boring like iOS.

  5. William Stuart says:

    If I am right in thinking they had the flash on then this is a somewhat unfair test because it just shows the quality of the flash, not the quality of the sensor in low light.

  6. Amaranta says:

    Lol iPlay2 hop off windows 8 already, android is not even boring at all. Are you retarded? Haha iOS is though lol but on the real, HTC phones, the new ones that i have been seeing aint cheap. They feel better than the iphone. I like the lumia 920 too. For me the top phones are the S3, HTC One, Lumia 920 and Nexus 4. Stop bragging to people your not going to win anything out of it lmao. Atleast be glad we are all on the same boat against apple lmfao

    1. iPlay2 says:

      Andriod is the “most” boring OS. And yes htc phones look very cheap. Maybe for you htc phones look premium quality because there are more people like you, who even don’t know anything about “quality”. 🙂

      WP8 is the most refreshing, uniques, colorful OS.

      1. ansum007 says:

        iplay2…..firstly even im a huge fan of windows phone 8 os n the lumia line,…but just bcoz i like it soo much doesnt mean that other companies are crap. Dude, its totally personal choice, htc one has got everything, apart from apps……ur comments make it clear that u dont knw anything about the mobile industry, so go home, do a study on mobiles n thn come back n put ur argument,… First ‘actually’ know something n then barf it out here.

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