HTC U11 • Camera Advantage
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HTC U11 smartphone, HDR image of a kingfisher

One of the HTC U11 great camera features is its HDR Boost feature. Unlike many other HDR features in other smartphones, the U11 boost the dynamic range even for moving subjects. Usually in many HDR functions, the camera takes several images and combined them to a single High Dynamic Range (HDR) image, which makes the image more vivid and corrects areas with blown highlights and brings the details in dark shadow areas. From my understanding, the problem with this technique is that it produces a lag between shots due to the heavy processing involved in analyzing the images and producing a single final processed HDR image.

HTC U11 however offers a zero-lag HDR system. From what I've read in the press release, this Auto HDR Boost takes multiple shots that measure the darkest and brightest areas of the photo without any slowdown. This feature also allows the camera to use automatically analyze the next and previous frames in the video as you record it to remove undesired image noise. HDR boost is available for both the rear and front cameras.

Before the HTC U 11 was even announced, I've read on "The Asian Age" (April 6, 2017) that HTC plans to introduce a new smartphone with real-time HDR scene detection feature, which can apply HDR+ to images before they were taken. Quite a confusing sentence, but if I understand it right, the camera can recognize the areas that needs to be optimized before the image is taken and the optimization so there is no extra processing involved in between the shots and if there is some sort of processing, it's done very fast due to the powerful Snapdragon 835 ISP chip.

Although I didn't figure out how HTC was able to achieve that (and I would like to know the technical details), I've seen some sample images that clearly show that it works amazingly well. Leoside posted some HTC U11 camera samples on his Flickr account that shows how HDR images turned out when you have moving subjects in the frame(check the two HTC U11 sample images: here and here). The HTC U11 takes HDR images 99% of the time according to his post on XDA Developers forum. You can clearly see that the two images are vivid and tack sharp, shot with this improved HDR+ feature HTC now called HTC Boost.

So this feature meant to boost most of your pictures, making them more vivid and alive and making sure the images turned out with a more even exposure and more details in shadow areas. There are many other images on that photo album and most of those HTC U 11 samples were shot with HDR Boost active. You can see how beautiful all those photos look, colorful, sharp and without any blown highlights. Just keep in mind that the those HTC U11 camera test shots were taken with a pre-production model and older firmware, so the results you get with the production U11 model might be different and even better.

This HDR Boost feature really delivers upon its promise and now even better than HDR+. You can rely on the camera to capture very balance and clear images, even when shooting in difficult lighting conditions. I find myself deleting many images that I don't like because of uneven lighting and image with very high contrast differentiation. With the HTC U11 I can rely on the camera to do all the hard work, making sure that my image look at its best. For me, this means less worry, less re-shooting and more great images to keep and enjoy sharing my friends and family with.

The HTC U11 HDR pictures looks vivid, but also very natural. This is very important for me. Before HDR was widely available as a built-in feature in camera apps, I used dedicated HDR apps, but many of them results in a very unnatural looking results. It takes a good hardware and smart algorithms to nail it right and HTC definitely nailed it right this time with the HTC U11. So not just that you get to enjoy the best mobile phone camera to date (according to DxOMark), but having a very reliable and useful HDR feature that works amazingly well for moving subjects and makes your images look even more stunning than ever.

importance ranking: #3 in the 'Camera' category and #3 among all categories for HTC U11 device

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