HTC acknowledges problem with One camera, promises software update

by: Bogdan PetrovanSeptember 12, 2013

htc purple tint camera

The UltraPixels camera is one of the main selling points of the HTC One, with critics and users alike praising its capabilities, especially in low lighting conditions. However, some users have experienced an issue that affects the quality of shots taken with the HTC One in low lighting. Specifically, images show a purple, reddish, or bluish tint when the ambient light is low, such as in indoor or night shots.

Users have complained about the issue on various threads on XDA-Developers, Reddit, and other forums starting in June. One HTC One owner recorded the video below, comparing a phone that shows the abnormal behavior with one that works as it should.

Now HTC has officially acknowledged the problem in an email reply to the Italian website HDBlog. The company says that the problem is caused by a specific combination of conditions and that it’s working on a software update to alleviate it. That seems to suggest that the problem is with the camera firmware, rather than with a defective component, which should be great news for users.

If you can’t wait for the promised update, you can ask for a replacement unit, provided your device is still under warranty.

If you are wondering if your HTC One has the issue, the simplest way to test it is to place the phone with the camera down on a surface – normally, the image on the screen should be black or very dark; if the image is tinted in any color, your device is not working properly.

Have you experienced a similar problem with your HTC One? Answer our poll.

[poll id=”362″]

  • Marc

    lol give me 4.3 & sense 5.5 instead, i already stopped caring about the quality of the camera from the moment i bought the phone imo

    • Zarni Lyn

      No no 4.3 can’t solve this solution..

  • Luka Mlinar

    Took them long :/

  • Raoul

    I do not have the problems described, but I can say that the camera is really under performing. Especially comparing it with the S4. But leave the comparison aside. In low light, enough light, it really does not matter. Since then last update, the camera has either over or under exposure. I have to wait long for the camera get a good fix. Not good when you have to shoot something really quick. There you stand, along with others taking a picture and you have to say, the last person, please keep smiling, I have to wait for the right shot…HTC. Why wait for us to complain? Test the devices yourself. Extensive please.

  • Maniche

    Have the same damm issue.. And the purple ghosting remains permanently on the viewfinder.. . Unless using the camera in bright lighting.. Anybody figured out the reason/fix yet?

    • Spruce Cycle

      Yah, the fix is buy a Samsung.

      • MasterMuffin

        Or wait for the update officially (or unofficially) and Samsung isn’t the only option…

        • max

          no update will fix this. i own the phone and hate samsung or anything touchwiz related. but google just dropped a new nexus and there’s a 1080p windows phone on the horizon. htc can go screw themselves, im jumping off this sinking ship. next phone company to fail, guaranteed.

      • Zarni Lyn

        So Noob

        • Spruce Cycle

          Yes u are a noob. U dumbshit stop resurrecting month old posts gtfo.

  • Laborin_HK

    I have this issue, but it doesn’t seem as severe as the other users. It definitely does have blue tinting on the corners, but this is usually in the case of NO light rather than low light.

    Still low light photos appear a bit grainy, doesn’t look like the ones I saw in the reviews.

  • GePLovaG X

    Lock the AF and the AE with long press on a bright place on the display with manual ISO100-200 and use the LED Flash.

    • alvin

      Yeah the answer is put to manual iso..

  • Deepak Goyal

    I have that same issue

  • fadhil

    Htc depressed us

    • Zarni Lyn

      Definitely! I am the huge fan of HTC , now I feel really bad

  • Luckily I don’t have this problem but I would like to see HTC improve the AF on low light. Most of the time it hunts too much and you have to wait a really long time to achieve proper focus.

    Solve the purple hinting and the AF in low light and the camera if still one of the best out there.

  • David King

    I love my One, but HATE this stupid camera. My old Atrix 4G had a better freaking camera. Everything else about the phone is wonderful…just hate the camera…and the screen does show purple when I set it down…you take the bad with the good…

  • Sugih Cah

    Software? Really? HTC Indonesia said it is caused by defective camera modules. I’m still waiting for the spare parts to arrive. Not sure which kind of boats they’re using to ship the spare parts from Taiwan, cos they said it takes at least a month to arrive.

    • Zarni Lyn

      No no not software, that’s a hardware problem. UltraPixel camera suck

  • Willie D

    I dont own this device, but when I tested it out, I found that while the camera on first glance was decent, further testing aka zooming in and taking pics, produced a picture so horrible, it was enough to turn me off to the device completely. Ultrapixels mean nothing unless there is plenty of them to take a sharp picture when zooming. If you cant get that AND having low light condition issues, which is one of the things ultrapixels is supposed to handle well, then the camera is worthless in my opinion.

    • Dart

      Zooming in with any digital zoom will make it look worse. That’s not an HTC One problem.

      With digital zoom you’re literally blowing up pixels and cropping the rest of the picture out using software. With optical zoom, things are actually magnified.

  • Nash24

    I have this issue too. Can we go ahead asking for replacement.

    • Zarni Lyn

      Go for the replacement. When my first HTC one was having that purple camera problem, I went to the HTC service center and got my replacement… But after 1 month I replaced my one with the new HTC one, the new HTC one happens the same stupid camera purple problem too.. definitely that’s the hardware problem!!! HTC introduced their own UltraPixel camera and that’s the failure…… ########

  • Chris S

    When I first got the phone I never noticed or had this problem. Just a day or two ago I noticed the low light purple haze like anomaly, thinking it might have been some condensation, I tried searching Google for about a half hour to see if anyone else had a similar problem but I found nothing, coincidentally a day later I find this article on my blink feed.

    Taking a guess at condensation I attempted to dry out the lens, in doing so it was in a cool place. I noticed temperature had a lot to with the problem, when my phone was stored in a cool place or turned off for a while I didn’t see the problem, after 15 minutes or so of usage the phone naturally got a little warm and I tried the camera and the low light purple anomaly was back.

    Since I haven’t noticed this problem until now and I have had my phone since release, and considering the coincidence of this article and other reports around the same time; I’m concluding that it is a software issue and should be resolved soon.

    As for someones claim of “defective camera module”, I would have to disagree. I have found no information about a defective camera module in any articles while searching. I would imagine a defective module would mean I would have had this problem before hand and I haven’t noticed it until just a day before this article was published.

    Lastly for those of you crying about this glitch over how terrible the camera is for the HTC One, try using another comparable phone camera in comparison. The HTC One has one of the best cameras I have ever seen in a phone, I highly doubt you’re going to find a noticeably better camera in another brand or model for now.

    • HardyHarHar

      S4, Xperia Z, Lumia 808, Xperia Z1, Nokia N95 :D Want more camera phones that could be on par or beat HTC One camera?

      • max

        all flagship phones released over the past couple months beat this piece of shit HTC gave us

    • Sugih Cah

      If it’s not defective, it won’t be affected by heat. If it’s not defective, those users in xda forums who had their problems resolved after replacing the module must be lying.

      My take? The module is defective in the sense that it is not well designed. Once the module is exposed to heat, it starts to degrade. After prolonged heat exposure, the degradation is so severe that it is no longer able to take reasonable shots in poorly lit conditions.

      I bought this phone for two things, boom sound and ultra pixels, the latter let me down. My Xperia Z takes awesome shots in well lit condition, while night shots? Well it sure beats all the purple hues taken by the one.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure products have defects, what I cannot accept is manufacturers are slow to address the problem. My GS3 went dead after 6 months, n it was fixed within two hours in their service centre. That’s what I call proper after sales service for flagship device. Quickly acknowledge the problem and resolve it. For this purple hue? Almost a month, n no news from service centre.

      • Del

        I have this problem too but I put the iso on 1600 and now it isn’t so bad. It still see pink but not so straight. Now it focusing.

  • Knitin

    Same for my case … My phones screen turns purple red .. nd I fell shy when I takes out my HTC one in front of my friends they always tease me. By saying”
    is this your ultrapixels”

  • kartik

    I noticed the same issue last night when I got horrified I search the net and I got this article. I’m taking screenshots and sending it to htc I don’t know what they’ll do about it. it was very depressing as it initiates as purple grainy and later that turns red and the entire screen becomes red it’s freaky. I don’t know what is to be done about it but let’s see I hope they do something on it or replace this phone or I’m gonna bang this aluminium on their head and they’ll understand that how it hurts.

  • vidxo

    Never noticed that till I saw the video I test my device and yeah it has the same issue….

  • Glenn Quizon

    I discovered today that my phone have this issue. I was googling camera focus problem for my HTC one 64 gb developer edition which I noticed a couple of weeks ago and ignored it. I called HTC support and the rep said they are trying to fix tis problem and will deploy an update fix. I was also given an option to send it in for repair. I think they should recall and replace this $700 (after tax) gadget. So disappointing….I’ll probably wait until end of September for the software fix. If there is none, I presume it is a hardware /module glitch. This is probably a result from rush production to meet the demand during launch date.

  • Seth Ryan DeSantis

    I’ve had this problem since i bought the phone, but just researched a fix tonight and found this.

    A quick fix is to set the ISO to 100, instead of Auto – i tried the test and it was completely black with it set to 100. Although when i tried Auto it was completely purple.

  • jean ozo

    I have the same problem. I am in thailand and hope htc thailand comes out and admits this issue as defect. Now they are in silence. People here send it to fix and have to wait 3 weeks to get return. Such a pain.
    Why we cant get a replacement?
    Nothing is perfect but you should take responsible of your product.

  • Nikki Fox

    Seriously! I thought I was retarded and just didn’t know how to use it. Since the day I got the HTC one, the camera turned purple when I set it down or low lighting. My pictures came out so horrible. I spent all these money to get a crappy phone? I think not. I miss my Galaxy S4. What was I thinking.

    • BreakingVZW

      Lol yeah… The One is a crappy phone… Bc of the camera… It’s a phone. How does the phone work? Works well for calls and such? K, then wait for the software update. If that doesn’t work for you, exchange the phone. I have the issue as well. While annoying, I don’t lump the entire device into the “crappy phone” category. That’s ridiculous.

      • Kevin Mack

        you don’t pay this much for a “phone”… you’re paying for a smart phone, a smart phone whose camera is a large selling point with the Ultra Pixel deal… so yeah, when part of what you’re paying for doesn’t work, Nikki Fox is more than entitled to call it crappy. Would you be happy paying for a bundled phone/tv/internet service and having to wait months for an update before you could watch tv?? Your logic is flawed and ultimately why companies get away with doing baloney like this. HTC has dropped the ball and seems unapologetic to say the least, you should be angry and not being angry lets them know they can do it all over again and not lose sales. Vote with your dollar, return the phone and get one made by a company who gives a rats behind about the service they provide you with.

        • max

          well said, i think the phone is great but they put so much PR and marketing into this whole ultrapixel gimmick. a 5th grader could have stood a couple feet away from their press release and bellow out “BULLSHIT”. awesome phone, retarded camera. FUK U HTC

        • James Ward

          Exactly right. For most people the camera is the most important part of the phone. If that doesn’t work it renders the whole thing basically useless

  • Peter Tan

    After reading this blog & saw some comments, I tested my HTC One & Fiji to be true. It does have a purple or pinkish looking screen when I place it down on the table. It should be displaying dark screen like most other cameras but it is plain purple screen!!! Since last month, I had posted on HTC support site regarding the intense heat generated while leaving my phone for charging, and since then, I’m yet to receive a reply . . . Exactly what’s going on with this company’s technical support folks?

  • pankaj

    The worst customer support, is not acknowledging the problem, says they havent recieved any such notification yet.
    Fedup with the services, never expected this from htc….. Hope htc officials will see to this n will contact….+ 91-9812803000

  • alvin

    I know how to fix it…. It’s fairly simple… I dont know if you noticed.. the ones with pinkish or purplish tint maybe somewhat set to automatic iso.. the fix put it on iso 100.. the ones that are said to be ok is somewhat set to iso 100.. if im wrong please inform me… Thanks

    • Alan Jia Lun Chin

      alvin , go claim ur phone , my friend didn’t have this problem, but i have

      • Carlos Escobar

        Where do you claim? I’ve exchanged mine with best buy twice. Nothing has changed. I’m assuming it’s a lemon and I should have it replaced for a different model

        • me

          contact HTC technical support to have it repaired

          • Michael

            It is good to get it repaired but I found dents on my mobile after servicing which does suck!!!

    • Nope this didn’t work for me then I had to follow the instructions which were specified in here – I finally had to replace the camera of my mobile.

    • Jamil Jutt

      wrong sir

  • curuousfrancia

    I have the same problem with my One. Maybe I will just wait for Teh software update. If the update worn be able to fix the problem, then they should replace the phone. :(

  • At least now I know that the camera doesn’t suck TERRIBLY on each one, just mine. Not only do I get the purple haze instead of black, pretty much every single photo I take of a subject that is at least 10 feet away looks insanely soft and not all sharp. I’m a photographer…you can imagine how much I absolutely hate the camera even though I love the rest of the phone.

    • me

      you can contact HTC technical support to have it repaired

  • amirul

    went to the htc retail store today and they said the purple tint problem was due to the alignment of the camera sensor. leaving my phone to them and waiting for them to repair it!

  • Seinlwin Oo

    I have problem with this. Now all i want it to fix this problem by htc as soon as possible.

  • fmap4life

    Just realizing this and the heat. Six! Phone is amazing otherwise. But I don’t want to cook myself or worry about what worries most!(wifey taking pics! Take will forever be on here if they always jack up)

  • jeroen de vries

    I also have the problem. My One has been repaired but it didn’t help, the problem still exists…

  • prateek

    Same problem.

  • Mike

    Could someone link a post made by HTC proclaiming their knowledge of the defect?

  • Akshay Sharma

    Same for my case … My phones screen turns purple red, never expected this
    from htc….. I
    can’t wait for the promised update for upcoming software, So please arranged
    replacement of unit, my device is still under warranty.

  • Rovex

    No problem for me. My unit was bought on release day.

  • Chris S

    Got the 4.3 update for Sprint users. The camera is unchanged. Looks like a defective camera module.

  • koet

    alvin playing with the iso doesnt resolve the problem it makes your one very dark when you’re taking a picture of video. So it doesnt have the same quality with htc ones that behave normally on auto: iso

  • Zarni Lyn

    HTC one is the best phone with the worst camera…. XXxX Peter-Chou or Pikachu what’s wrong with you …

  • RDG8

    I called HTC Support Centre they told me either to use a low ISO or wait for the Android 4.3 update

  • HTC Onr Pink Tint
  • gjinwai

    hi,i was sending my New HTC ONE for warranty claim regarding the camera purple reddish and bluish when low light. After done claiming, my phone getting lag, camera not clear as before and the worst is when continuous snapping photo the quality of picture getting worst compare to the 1st picture. Screen turn to a sec of snowy when saving after capture photo. And last speaker volume become very low after claim.

    I was very disappointed with this kind of return.

    Hoping for the reply ASAP


  • tr3y

    Well, you know what is funny. I just got an HTC One, and I currently use an HTC One X (AT&T LTE Unlocked) as my primary phone. i turned out the lights in my room since it was already dark. The result was the HTC One X, with an 8 MP shooter, took a better low-light photo than the HTC One, with the 4 Ultrapixel camera. I have been waiting to test this selling point of the HTC One for quite some time. I was quite shocked at the results. I will probably test it again and see if it happens again, and the camera on the One X is just so much faster.

  • Larry

    I have no problem with low-light conditions, but I definitely have a problem with focus. If I’m within 3 feet of my subject, no problem, but otherwise, I get nothing but a blur 90% of the time.

  • Raghu

    I am facing similar kind of issue. After updating to JB 4.3 issue still exists.Can anyone help me to resolve this issue????

  • sai sabarish

    omg..i face the same problem..and its so embracing in front of my friend who take better pictures with cheap phones!!

  • claudionor

    defeito pink camera htc

  • Ganesh

    the problem with the camera is to do with AE and AF lock, try to lock on a bright lit object and then move the camera to a darker scene and take a shot, bingo no purple haze took some time to figure it out, but after 4.2.2 update where the feature was introduced some of the dark lit surroundings mess with this feature.
    Disclaimer i am not a developed just happen to stumble upon this by luck

  • Magzimus

    What a load of crap this so called flagship HTC one is..and so is their support..contacted then thru their official website, Facebook, Twitter , no avail..I got the One because of the camera and what I get is this purple camera..should have stayed with my xperia z..

  • Alex from singapore

    Regret buying HTC one as firstly is the loose power connection and now is the camera purple tint issue. It is just brand new phone out of the box! Will never ever touch any product from HTC !

  • Romdude

    XDA Developers forum had a good suggestion. Let it cool down. Mine started doing it after I charged my phone and had it running hot. I placed it for a short while in my refrigerator and the tint is gone. This may not be a good fix for everyone but it worked for me, unfortunately it’s not very practical. I guess before taking night pictures, don’t run your phone hot.

    • nathan bravatto

      Sounds like more of a suggestion that HTC engineering would give. Pathetic.

      • Romdude

        Yes it is pathetic. I hope they fix it on the HTC Two, I really like this phone but they really have to fix the camera or I’ll have to go for a metal galaxy s5.

  • me

    contact HTC technical support either on the phone or through their chat support. you can have a repair booked to have your phone fixed under warranty

  • IYER – The Great. :)

    But I failed to understand how come HTC is not doing anything about it. The camera was working fine for last 9 months but since last 2 days the camera starting having pink shades on most of the pics. When I searched online I guess 1000’s of HTC users are facing the problem and most surprising no one from HTC are taking a hint of it. Maybe you could leave a message on the HTC twitter handle and wait for them to do anything. In the mean atleast in India we are at the bad mercy of service centers. No replacement for us :(

  • Robert

    My HTC One M8 takes purple pictures in normal light, e.g., a nice sunny day. Pictures are awful. HTC has been no help and removed my user review (post) from the HTC web site 3 times because they don’t want anyone to know about this issue. Can’t wait to trade it in for a good phone.

  • herodot

    Is not working……

  • ADinks

    This is a hardware defect. Only replacing the camera can truly fix it. I have an HTC One M7 that is almost 2-years old and the purple tint on mine is atrocious. Sprint told me to piss off. HTC seems willing to fix it for free, but I have to go through a lot of troublshooting first, and even then I will be without a phone for as long as they have it.

    Have the issue and want to keep your M7? Get a hold of HTC and make it known that you’re aware of the defect and its prevalence. Don’t back down, but don’t be rude. Be tactful and tell them you would appreciate they fix it. Some people have even managed prepaid shipping labels.

  • Sebastian Lupu

    I have a Htc One X and when I turn on the camera on the diaplay appears a lot of lines vertical and the image remaining fixed really if I move the camera direction. What do you think that it has?

  • hasantha

    some one told me new htc m7 haven’t that issues is it true?

  • matbonucci

    After i updated the firmware of a customer he tells me is my fault for this problem, “That doesn’t happened before you updated the phone” what a pain in the ass