Camera Shootout: HTC One M8 vs Nokia Lumia Icon

Two of the latest high end smartphones to hit Verizon shelves recently are the Nokia Lumia Icon and the newly released HTC One M8; both have found their way into the Neowin labs. Seeing as both of these devices highlight the cameras in their marketing materials, we thought it would be interesting to see how both cameras matchup in a photo shootout.

Both phones were used in the 'Automatic' settings with the flash turned off. While both phones have advanced camera settings, we know that many consumers will never fiddle with these features and want to represent shots that are from the default settings. Yes, we know that you can certainly tweak the settings to fine tune your photos but in most scenarios, you won't have time to tinker with the settings and will be forced to go with the automatic settings. With that disclaimer out of the way, take a look at the photos below.

(Lumia Icon | One M8)

(Lumia Icon | One M8)

(Lumia Icon | One M8)

(Lumia Icon | One M8)

(Lumia Icon | One M8)

The One M8 tends to shoot photos that are warm and the Icon generally pulls to the cool side, but that gives each camera it's own 'signature' when taking photos. Each of the hues give the phones advantages in their own ways. For example, the warm hues of the One M8 make the wood floor of the last photo look sharper than the Icon. But in contrast, the Icon has better color definition and reproduction with the duck that was the focus of the photo.

In low light, neither phone excelled by a wide margin. The Icon tends to be a bit more clear than the One M8, but both have room for improvement as they still exhibit quite a bit of noise that makes reading "sharpie" on the marker a bit tough. 

The first photo of the sky shows some odd color gradients with the M8. The photo was taken around sunset and the Icon had no issue capturing the sky without the odd (and almost fake looking) colors of the clouds. Not exactly sure what caused this with the HTC One M8, and we took several photos and each image showed the same off-colored gradient.

As for taking photos with the flash on, the shots are comparable. Both phones have great flash to support the sensor and offer optimal lighting when taking photos in confined or wide-open spaces.

Both cameras were easy to use, and show that smartphones have come a long way in terms of usability and image quality. Both smartphones had no shutter-lag and were pleasant to use, and while there can only be one winner, you really can't go wrong with either device. While it does appear that the M8 makes better use of light in optimal conditions, the Icon typically produces more accurate color reproduction of the subject that is the focus of the image.

As for the winner, well, you can take our poll below and tell us who you think the has the better camera.

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