2012-03-30 12h50_27

Begun, the camera shutter wars have. Ever since Samsung and Google debuted the Galaxy Nexus' zero shutter lag feature, handset makers have been cranking up their camera apps. Sony's Xperia S is a 12MP monster camera with a fast shutter, but the real speed demon here is the HTC One X. In the video below, the only area the One X loses is in not having a dedicated camera button. As a side note, manufacturers, why don't your phones with amazing cameras have dedicated camera buttons?

As you can see in the first tests, the Xperia S beats the HTC One X in the sleep mode test because it can wake directly to the camera app via the dedicated camera button. That one caveat aside, though, the HTC One X trounced both the Galaxy Nexus and the Xperia S in shutter speed tests. All three phones were tested by starting at the home screen and ending with a snapped photo, and the HTC One X won every time that "fiddly fingers" weren't involved.

The Burst Mode test, however, is just the One X showing off. In Burst Mode, the One X can snap up to 4 frames per second, up to a total of 99 photos. Neither the Xperia S nor the Galaxy Nexus come with a built-in burst mode, so both devices have to simply take a series of photos quickly. While both phones were able to snap quite a few photos in a short amount of time, they were unfocused and crappy. This makes the One X pretty tough to beat in terms of speed.

All that being said, though, none of these devices have bad cameras. The Xperia S carries a 12MP shooter, which blows away the number of pixels crammed into either of the other two phones' 8MP sensor (though sensor quality is another argument entirely). Thankfully, the Xperia S also comes with 32GB of on board storage to carry all those giant photos. And, needless to say, the Galaxy Nexus is stock Android 4.0. That's worth a few milliseconds of waiting for a photo to many. However, if you need the camera you have with you to be the fastest it can be, you might want to take a long look at the HTC One X.

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • Mesmorino

    The reason manufacturers don't add camera buttons to their phones is because they are absolute morons. They're the same kind of morons who will stick six billions processor cores in a device with a 10in screen and then fail to realise that such a device will need a battery that can cope.

  • Duffin

    It makes even less sense to not have a camera button when you consider that the tend as of late is for phones to be /bigger/ again (seriously, anyone remember when people would boast having the /smallest/ phone?). There's no excuse for not putting a camera button.

    • Btod

      If I had a dedicated camera button on my phone that took pictures from sleep mode like the Xperia S, I would have a million pictures of the inside my pocket. Knowing that this could happen may be the reason why OEMs haven't included in very many phones.

      • doug

        Your phone can lock itself for a reason.

        • Btod

          if by lock itself you mean going into sleep mode where you have to press the power button and slide to unlock the phone, then it won't matter because as shown in the video, the Xperia S can bypass that and take a picture when you hold the camera button in sleep mode.

  • jjrudey

    Nothing beats the Galaxy Nexus ever

    • Duffin

      Except for anything else that isn't Samsung. Especially HTC. I mean, there's no contest. The Nexus One was immensely superior to the Nexus S and I was extremely unhappy when it was revealed Samsung was making the Nexus S and THEN that they were making the Galaxy Nexus. I have the Nexus S, but I refused to buy the Galaxy Nexus. I might very well dump the NS (despite me HATING anything but Stock Android) to pick up the One X. They dialed back Sense enough that I don't think I'll hate it very much now.

      • skitchbeatz

        Nexus One was immensely superior to the Nexus S? LoL.

  • badger

    Now, substitute Nexus for iPhone and we have a flame war on our hands. Shush.
    Having recently swapped my deceased Desire Z for a Sensation, I can assure you that a camera button isn't something you ever miss, once you've had one. That keyboard, in the other hand...

    • Duffin

      Maybe you don't, but I sure as hell miss the camera button. I also miss the keyboard.

  • Tommy

    Would have been better if they compared the actual quality of the photos.

  • James

    Man, The One X looks nice until I see that terrible Sense lockscreen. Why can't they give the option for using standard Android stuff instead of their ugly shit?

  • Skillit

    the One X looks great, it's pack full of features and the new Sense, while still less desirable than stock, is one of the best skins on Android, but what kills this device for me is the hardware buttons, they should have made the screen a little bigger and go with the software ones and adding the benefit of less bezel.

  • Bon

    WTF? Do people really care that much about how fast you can take pictures with your phone?? The difference is merely one second or even less. See which one produces better image. Even that I wouldn't care that much about it. If you want quality images you wouldn't be using phones to get them.

    • Alan Tucker

      Exactly, I have a DSLR anyway, so I'm bothered whether a phone has a 5MP or 25MP camera. I wonder what the shutter lag is like on the One X though, I seriously doubt it's zero like my Galaxy Nexus!!!!

      • Alan Tucker

        "so I'm not bothered"

  • Sahil

    Article says that both other phones have a 8MP in:

    "either of the other two phones' 8MP sensor (though sensor quality is another argument entirely"

    The Galaxy Nexus has a 5MP sensor.

  • Tyler C

    I did the same tests with my Thunderbolt as the guys in this video at the same time, turns out, I can go from sleep > launching camera from lock screen > to snapping an image before the gnex does, and only barely behind the One X.
    Granted, I am running Full Blown Sense 3.0 by thunderstick, but it just goes to show that this whole "fast" camera thing is really a gimmick.
    I too would rather have a dedicated camera button on my Thunderbolt than it be as fast as the One X.

  • cguella

    I love my GN but it mostly takes terrible pictures really quickly.

  • Wilsonch

    Got smoked by a One X! Wrong company.

  • Stiggy

    I hate the dedicated camera button on my evo 3d. All it does is make the picture blurry because you have to move your hand to take the picture. I always use the touch button to take pictures. Also not that this stuff isnt impressive but HTC phones always have shitty camera quality so what use is a fast bad camera? I hate to say it but my evo 4g and 3d can't keep up with an epic 4g touch or dare I say it, an iphone 4s.

  • JordanKZ

    Yeah. The GN is getting destroyed by new phones. But it simply doesn't matter. These phones will continue to have horrible skins applied to them.

    Vanilla Android or nothing.

  • MrDrumngun

    Where do I get that wallpaper?!

  • someone755

    Wow, 2 years ago. And I'm still proud to see the Xperia S mentioned pretty much anywhere.