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You hit on an important point when you noted that the 41 megapixels refers to the sensor. While that is an important component in a digital camera, it is far from the only thing that determines image quality. The lens is at least as important as the sensor, but it is much harder to sum up the quality of a lens in a catchy way such as X number of megapixels. In any case, the quality of a smartphone lens is very unlikely to match that of a quality DSLR. Also, if you recall, the HTC One has an “ultrapixel” sensor, which actually is only 4 (I think) megapixels. However the sensor is different, and has larger pixel size. By all accounts, the HTC One takes quite good photos. In short, there is more to it than that simple number. Many reviews include test images, so you can take a look at the actual result of photos with that device to see how they look.