Ok, so I took a little Ninja figurine I got out of one of those coin-crank machines and placed him on the kitchen table at the end of a strip of tape measuring out every inch up to 5 inches. The figurine is slightly over 1" tall, so it IS quite little.
Considering most macro shots are done from close up, I wanted to see what kind of detail I could get out of the macro setting vs. the regular setting in an actual macro situation.
Here's what ended up happening.
First of all, anything taken from 3 inches and closer was blurry
. Neither the macro or normal function could focus in on the little figurine and obviously anything closer than 4 inches is where the Macro lens limits out.
What I put together below, however, is the comparison of the "normal" mode to the "Macro" mode of the HTC One. I rested the camera on the kitchen table and held the lens level with both the 5 inch mark and the 4 inch mark before snapping.
Macro on the left, normal on the right. I hit the "view actual size" button in Windows Media Viewer in order to get the full res pic, then cropped out the rest of the frame for these.
My camera settings are standard except for "Sharpness" which I dropped to -1.
FROM 5 INCHES AWAY MACRO ON LEFT, NORMAL MODE ON RIGHT.
FROM 4 INCHES AWAY. MACRO MODE ON LEFT, NORMAL MODE ON RIGHT.
There doesn't look to be too much difference except for the saturation and the sharpness. I'm not sure how much different they would've looked if I would've left the sharpness on the camera's standard 0 setting.
In other words, I don't know how much of a benefit the macro mode is as of yet.
Here's a link to the photos if you'd like to see the full versions.
Macro from 5": http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u221/samcanadian/Macro5_zpse2257d0a.jpg
Macro from 4": http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u221/samcanadian/Macro4_zpsb4c459aa.jpg
Normal from 5": http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u221/samcanadian/Normal5_zps6c1ca05d.jpg
Normal from 4": http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u221/samcanadian/Normal4_zps028f4626.jpg