HTC Radar: Camera Quality Review

A red flower, looking slightly too pink

This is the third section of our thorough review of the HTC Radar for T-Mobile. Click here for the Hardware or Sound Quality reviews.

While everyone is raving about the Titan’s camera, little has been said about it’s smaller sibling, the HTC Radar. In short, the Radar has some great improvements over other HTC cameras, but falls short of the Titan likely due to its 5-megapixel sensor.

Colors in pictures are still not accurately represented, which always was a problem with HTC’s phones. The flower picture shown on the right is of a red flower, but the flower looks more pink through the Radar. However, the Radar does do a better job than the HD7, making it a slight improvement from before.

The Radar also handles over-saturation slightly better than the HD7 used to. When looking at pictures of flowers, the Radar kept the color saturation in control while the HD7 was over-saturated.

Indoor scenes show the best improvement, thanks to the new low light sensor included in the Radar. Pictures aren’t shaky and motion blurred anymore, and actually look decent.

The camera also features some new modes, like Panoramic and Burst mode, which are great additions. The panoramic shots usually stitch together quite well, but sometimes have random glitches in them. The burst mode is great for capturing a crazy stunt, but can become annoying because there’s no way to easily delete burst shots… take three of them, and you have 15 pictures on your phone in less than 10 seconds!

A panoramic shot from the Radar

You can also play around with advanced camera settings like ISO and White Balance, which is a nice touch since HTC never included that before.

Radar takes indoor shots without motion blur!

The LED flash isn’t nearly as bright as the HD7’s dual LED flash, but it usually gets the job done. However, HTC isn’t smart enough to turn the LED on briefly to focus the shot before taking it, so you may end up with blurry shots. Samsung figured that one out, I’m not sure why HTC can’t.

Nevertheless, the biggest improvement in the camera is the shutter speed. Previously, the time between pressing the camera button and the camera actually taking the picture was nearly a half second. Now, HTC cut that down to about 0.2 seconds, so you can capture a moving target almost immediately.

The video quality has also improved some. The frame rate of shots filmed indoors is slightly better than old HTC phones, which always suffered from extremely low frame rates at night. However, the Radar still kind of sucks at filming things at night. The year old Samsung Focus easily destroys the Radar at night, thanks to its butter smooth frame rate, despite how dimly lit the scene is.

The videos also record stereo audio, and sound pretty decent for a mobile phone.

Overall, the new camera is a big improvement for HTC in general. If you have an old HTC phone, the camera alone could be a great reason to upgrade. However, if you were on a different brand like Samsung, it’s likely that your camera is already as good or better than this.