HTC laughs at Nokia camera tech, plans to launch "Ultrapixels" in new camera experience

HTC has mocked Nokia's PureView technology and the rumoured 41 MP super-camera phone that's set to be unveiled this year. While HTC has produced hardware with great optics (the HTC TITAN springs to mind), we can't help but wonder if the company can outdo Nokia's progress. So what's the deal? Forget Megapixels. HTC is talking Ultrapixels.

In an article on the HTC blog, the company mocks Nokia's PureView experience and states that this year will see HTC unveil a whole new camera and sound experience. This is fairly exciting indeed, especially if we're to see such advances in its Windows Phone line-up. Further advancement in competition drives innovation, and with how HTC is performing financially, it needs to pull something out the bag.

HTC Ultrapixels

HTC's much-rumoured M7 smartphone is set to be the first device the company shows off its new technology on. According to sources who have informed Pocket-lint, HTC plans to install a new camera in its flagship Android smartphone. The device will sport three 4.3MP sensor layers to give a resulting single image. While the 3x4.3 may add up to 13MP, it's said that images produced by HTC hardware wont be saved at that size.

The technique to be implemented by HTC is similar to what's used by Sigma in the Foveon X3 sensor. This enables three times the amount of data representing a single pixel. This surplus of data can be "intelligently combined" to generate crisper, clearer images with better colour accuracy - well, that's the expectations anyway. The question is: can HTC deliver? 

It's similar to how Nokia handles image data with the camera in the 808 PureView, opting for a more conventional sensor structure and using surrounding pixels to render one equivalent in the final product. HTC is said to be going with the multi-layered approach. The Ultrapixel sensor is believed to be a highlight feature and selling point of the new M7 Android smartphone. 

PureView 808

Nokia's PureView 808 smartphone

HTC also has to tackle the perception that some consumers will view a 4MP camera as a step back compared to what's available on competing hardware, which is also where the Ultrapixel branding may come into play. So HTC is basically remarketing the megapixel. Will the company be successful in drumming up more custom? That'll have to be seen when the M7 smartphone is released along with any future Windows Phones that sport similar technology. 

Nokia isn't holding back either, which is where the competition really steps up. The Finnish company is also looking set to expand on its PureView camera technology with its next generation of Windows Phones - particularly the flagship device that's said to sport new optics for a better experience and end result.

The focus is shifting to the camera more with each iteration of hardware, but one has to remember that we're talking smartphones here. Actual mobile devices that enables one to contact someone using dark magic. It's always wise to carry a half-decent shooter around should you feel like taking some snaps of wildlife, landscape and whatnot.

Source: HTCPocket-lint; thanks to everyone who tipped us!

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.