The One's most impressive images seem to be those captured in low-light environments: I found the One could take sharp-looking images in dimly lit areas where higher megapixel smartphones failed. At times, the One even produced lighter and more detailed images than I could see with my own eyes -- and that was without the use of a flash.
When it comes to other types of photos, the One does fairly well -- but it does have its limitations. Due to the low megapixel value, the highest resolution you can get on a photo is 2688 x 1520. And if you carefully inspect an image blown up to that full resolution, you can sometimes see some quality loss in the fine detail.
Does that matter? For most people, probably not. Images captured with the One look great at the sizes used for the majority of online viewing and sharing.
The same applies to paper. I tried printing a handful of images captured with the One in different conditions (using a professional photo printing service). At 4 x 6 and even 5 x 7, prints looked sharp and no different from shots taken with a standalone camera. When I reached the 8 x 10 size, I could see some subtle quality loss if I looked carefully in the right places -- but even that was relatively minor.
(Still not sure what to think? Check out my HTC One camera sample gallery to view a collection of images I captured with the phone and judge for yourself.)
The smaller image size also allows for some interesting and innovative camera features. One of them is an unusual way of capturing images called Zoe. When you activate the One's Zoe mode -- by touching an icon at the top of the Camera app -- the phone records 20 still images and three seconds of 1080p video every time you tap the shutter icon.
Using Zoe delivers a few benefits: First, instead of having just one snapshot, you can pick from 20 images taken over a more natural period of movement. Second, it enables you to use speciality editing features, like one that mixes and matches faces from multiple Zoe images in order create one in which everyone in your group is smiling -- or another in which you blend multiple Zoe images together to erase an unwanted person or object from the background.
Last but not least, the One automatically compiles images and Zoe videos into Video Highlights: 30-second clips that put related content together with visual effects and music. Video Highlights can be exported as regular MP4 files and shared anywhere you want.