Since the launch of the original HTC One (M7) in 2013, HTC has been on a UltraPixel kick in an effort to improve the overall camera experience on its One series of handsets. While all of last year’s One handsets had 4-megapixel sensors, HTC has chosen to keep UltraPixels tied directly to its flagship HTC One (M8) in 2014. The HTC One remix (a Verizon variant of the HTC One mini 2) has a more traditional 13-megapixel camera sensor — considered by many to be a spec bump over HTC’s flagship Android phone.
If you want a close look at the benefits of HTC’s UltraPixel imaging sensor, we suggest you read our HTC One (M8) camera review. But we’re here to talk about the HTC One remix and what its 13-megapixel camera has to offer. Let’s be honest: the camera spec sheet of the One remix is quite dull. The handset features a run of the mill 13-megapixel BSI sensor with an f/2.2 lens and standard 1080p video recording. There are no lasers, Duo Cameras or optical image stabilization motors — just plain ol’ megapixels.
The HTC One remix is running HTC Sense 6.0, which means it shares the camera interface and most of the features found of the HTC One (M8). The HTC camera app UI is simple and intuitive, and we love that HTC allows users to manually tweak settings and save them as presets. The only real gripe we have with its latest camera UI is that the video capture button isn’t present on the screen at all times. Users have to jump to the function screen to select video capture mode and then press the record button. Useless screen taps for the sake of a clean UI doesn’t always translate into a better user experience.
Images captured with the HTC One remix turn out pretty much as you’d expect. Colors are vibrant, clarity is decent and low-light performance shows us why HTC has been so focused on UltraPixels. The best word to describe the One remix’s imaging capabilities is “mid-range.” While it may sound like a slap in the face for a phone as beautiful and well-crafted as the One remix, it actually isn’t since that’s how HTC has positioned the phone. We’d be disappointed with the One remix’s camera if it were a flagship smartphone, but we don’t have much to complain about since the phone is currently being sold for $50 with a new two-year contract on Verizon.