As nearly every smartphone is expected to have a camera these days, there is an important lesson that people must heed. Cameras are more complex than a simple megapixel rating. It’s a common belief that when it comes to megapixels, bigger is better. But I’m here to tell you that you need to look deeper if you are basing your smartphone decision on which has the best camera. Megapixels have their use. A pixel dense picture is great if you want to crop it down and still retain good quality, but beyond that there is more to be considered.
Case-in-point, the Droid 2 [portal page] and the iPhone 4 [portal page]. Both phones have 5MP sensors. This means that they capture 5 million pixels in a given image. Both phones might capture the same number of pixels, but the quality and size of the sensor dictates how accurately each pixel is sampled and how much light it can capture. Another important factor is focus. Without a good focus algorithm (and no ability to manually focus), you’ll end up with a blurry shot no matter how many megapixels your camera can capture.
To demonstrate this, have a quick look at the two photos below. One is taken with the iPhone 4 and the other with the Droid 2. Both were taken under the same lighting conditions and were focused as accurately as possible (click for full size):
You may have to click for the full-sized images to see, but the image taken with the Droid 2 is blurry and has inaccurate colors.
This is a result of the Droid 2’s camera not being able to capture as much light as the iPhone 4, as well as the inability to focus as accurately. This is all despite the fact that both phones have the same megapixel rating.
But what can you do if you don’t have the phones to try before you buy? A bit of research may go a long way if a camera is important to you. I’d recommend checking Flickr’s camera page. Find your desired smartphone and then browse the photos to get an idea of the photos that the phone is capable of taking. And of course we’ll always do our best to give you camera comparisons and tips right here at Carrypad.
Here’s a quick hands-on with the Motorola Droid R2D2. The R2D2 edition is the same phone as the Droid 2 [product page][review] but it has interesting Star Wars branding and content included.
The phone is themed to look like the famous droid from the Star Wars saga and the phone features custom Star Wars themed unlock sliders, live wallpapers, a video, a widget, and an app. The box that it comes in is designed to look as though the phone has been encased in carbonite and the effect is rather convincing, though I think they could have bumped up the box presentation a bit, it’s just a regular old cardboard box with graphics on it (as you’d expect from any regular phone). Some of the stuff is really gimmicky, but I think a major Star Wars geeks might enjoy the phone, particularly for it’s looks. In fact, I know a friend who would absolutely love this thing! The phone launched yesterday in the US on Verizon.
Verizon has revamped its Droid line of Android Smartphones over the last few months. We already looked at the large Droid X [tracking page][review] and today we’re going to walk you through the latest of the three, the Droid 2.
As usual, we’re going to start with a spec rundown and a hardware tour. Check out the Droid 2 tracking page for more detailed info and don’t forget about the Droid 2 gallery which includes shots that you won’t find in our review.
TI OMAP 3 CPU @ 1GHz
512MB of RAM
8GB inbuilt storage (6.5GB user-accessible)
Included 8GB MicroSD card (slot accepts up to 32GB)
3.7 inch capacitive touchscreen @ 854×480
5MP camera (capable of up to 720×480 video recording)
We’ve got our hands on a hot little piece of hardware today and the coverage is coming straight to you, my dear readers. Check out Verizon’s latest Droid phone, the Motorola Droid 2. See our Droid 2 tracking page for full specs and details.
The phone feels very solid despite being a slider and therefore consisting of two big moving parts. It’s also thin enough that I’m certain many people won’t realize that it’s a slider the first time they get it in their hands. I’m already somewhat impressed with the keyboard. I will admit though, my expectations were low after briefly looking at the original Droid’s keyboard, but the Droid 2’s keyboard has more tactile feedback than it might appear to. Though it’s still likely going to be too small for someone with large hands.
I must say, Verizon is becoming quite the hub for high-end Android powered phones in the US. After the original Droid, they’ve launched the Droid Incredible, the Droid X [portal page], and now they are updating the original to the Droid 2 which can already be pre-ordered online. Let’s take a quick look at some specs:
Form-factor: Slider with QWERTY keyboard (now bigger thanks to removal of D-pad)
OS: Android 2.2
CPU: TI OMAP 3620-1000 @1GHz
GPU: PowerVR SGX
Screen: Capacitive 3.7 inch @ 854×480
Camera: 5MP (only capable of video capture up to 720×480)
While the phone can already be pre-ordered, there doesn’t seem to be an official release date at this point, though it could happen before August is out.
Verizon says that there is going to be a Droid 2 â€œR2-D2 inch edition which will be themed like the lovable Droid from Star Wars, and I’m certain that even more â€œThese are/aren’t the droids we’re looking for inch jokes will ensue. I must say, if you buy the R2-D2 edition, you are a geek. It’s not a bad thing, but there’s simply no way around it!
If you want more info, we’ve got full official specifications in our product database as well as a gallery full of official photos, and if you hang around, you’ll be able to join us for some time with the device itself. Stay tuned.