Lens Scratches Lead To Hazy Pictures [HTC Desire]

Sept 2010

After owning your HTC Desire for a few months you might notice the sharpness deteriorating from the pictures taken from your Desire's 5Mp camera. Or you might have found that the photos have become downright awful. It's down to the low quality plastic used for the lens cover, which is a real shame. It rendered the camera on my Desire almost useless after only four or five months of careful use. I always make sure not to have keys and money in the same pocket and I also have a case that stands out further than the lens cover, but still it's gradually become crazed with microscopic scratches and haziness. Pictures appear cloudy, faded, less sharp and bright objects appear hazy.

It's a really common problem and it's a shame HTC didn't use a better quality plastic or even glass on such a top-end phone. Try taking the back cover off and see the difference.

Here's a 100% crop of with and without the back cover on:

Pictures taken with and without scratched lens cover

Quite a difference.

How To Remove The Scratches

Unless your lens cover is properly scratched, you should be able to bring back the sharpness to your pictures using a tiny bit of toothpaste. It sounds stupid, but the toothpaste has just the right abrasive quality that is enough to remove the haze and tiny scratches but doesn't damage the lens cover. Put a tiny blob on a piece of soft toilet paper or soft cloth and rub it on the lens in a circular motion until the scratches are completely gone.

If your lens cover is more deeply scratched than the toothpaste can help with, you might need to buy a new back cover. I believe these are £15-£20 from HTC.