Can the iPad Air 2 beat the Galaxy Note 4 in a blind camera comparison? Nope, our readers say

Each and every time we do a blind camera comparison, the comments section gets flooded by folks trying to guess which phones were used. Last week's 1v1 shootout was no exception, and a number of commenters were spot-on about Camera 2 being the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (the Snapdragon 805 model, in particular). On the other hand, nobody got the mysterious Camera 1 right, although some were on the right track by suspecting that it was an Apple device. But it wasn't an iPhone. It was an iPad Air 2 with its humble 8MP camera. 

Now, you're probably thinking that an iPad's camera couldn't have stood a chance against that of a Samsung Galaxy Note 4. And you'd be right if you do. That's why our comparison's outcome brings no surprises – over 76% of those who voted did so in its favor of Samsung's phablet. Still, we hope you'll agree with us when we say that the iPad Air 2's shooter held up well against the superior camera of its rival. At least in daytime shots, that is. In darker scenes, the iPad lagged noticeably behind the Note 4, which was expected given the former's smaller sensor and narrower aperture. 

That's all for now, folks, but rest assured that it won't be long until our next blind camera comparison. In the meantime, feel free to take another look at the shootout between the iPad Air 2 and the Galaxy Note 4. Samples and crops are provided below. 

Which device's camera did better?

iPad Air 2 (Camera 1)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (Camera 2)

Scene 1

This shot was taken indoors, under the predominating artificial lighting conditions of our office. Some natural light was coming from the right through a couple of small windows. Take a closer look at stacks of magazines to examine how the two cameras capture colors and fine details. The black couch and the shadow under the table are good places to look for digital noise and other imperfections.

Scene 2

This photo was captured on a gloomy, rainy afternoon. The conditions were far from perfect for taking photos, but the natural light present was still enough to take some decent shots. Zoom in on the grass to see how well the cameras have preserved fine details. Solid colors are a good place to look for digital noise.

Scene 3

And here's a macro shot taking a close-up look at a mossy pathway. The image was taken outdoors on the same day and presents plenty of intricate details to examine.

Scene 4

One more scene shot in a rainy afternoon (sorry, but the weather has been quite gloomy lately). There's a clear difference in the exposure settings that the two cameras have chosen. Fine details can be seen in tree branches and around the building's windows.

Scene 5

And lastly, here's a photo from inside our office, with an array of ceiling lights providing illumination. There are plenty of areas within the frame that can be inspected for detail quality, and the darker spots are ideal for hunting down digital noise. Again, the cameras have different opinions as to how the scene should be exposed.

Related phones

iPad Air 2
  • Display 9.7" 1536 x 2048 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A8X, Triple-core, 1500 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 7340 mAh
Galaxy Note 4
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 3.7 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 1900 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3220 mAh(20h 3G talk time)



1. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Note 4 FTW.

12. mmmanuuu

Posts: 403; Member since: Nov 05, 2013

Why is he pointing a HTC DESIRE EYE in a comparison of ipad air 2 and note 4 ?

15. bigmaster

Posts: 198; Member since: Sep 05, 2014

To trick us? Maybe.

21. Malcolm.Merlyn

Posts: 160; Member since: Sep 28, 2014

To make you think that one of the devices is an HTC phone and given the general hatred for htc cameras, you would upvote the less grainy picture. Just my theory.

2. Malcolm.Merlyn

Posts: 160; Member since: Sep 28, 2014

This makes no sense. The camera on the iPad air 2 is there just in case you need it. It is not meant for regular mobile photography. A better comparison is note 4 vs iphone 6 Plus. @Phonearena if you really wanna do such comparison than you must compare the Galaxy Tab S camera with the iphone 6 plus

5. vincelongman

Posts: 5692; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

They did do one with the iPhone 6, LG G3, Xperia Z3, Galaxy S5 and Note 3 The Note 4 came out on top as well But no Nokias or iPhone 6+ though And no DSLR "reference" photos or low light as well

6. Malcolm.Merlyn

Posts: 160; Member since: Sep 28, 2014

a*, then*

23. DnB925Art

Posts: 1168; Member since: May 23, 2013

Funny you say that considering how many people I saw on my last trip using their iPads as cameras. LOL

28. simpleas

Posts: 196; Member since: Apr 30, 2014

Exactly, to some, the ipad is their source of mobile photography. It makes no sense apple would put a crappy camera on something priced that high. You isheep

3. iushnt

Posts: 3105; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Note 4 won't be beaten by any iProducts anytime soon..

20. Malcolm.Merlyn

Posts: 160; Member since: Sep 28, 2014

They haven't compared it to the 6 Plus, I am told.... having said that, the note 4 is a great phone. If only touchwiz was as light as HTC sense.

29. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

actually, they did. And the N4 handily beat the 6+ and the 6.

35. Malcolm.Merlyn

Posts: 160; Member since: Sep 28, 2014


27. shoutouttoallthepears

Posts: 5; Member since: Nov 17, 2014

or at all

4. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

...really? Comparing tablet camera and phone? Nobody serious enough uses camera on tablets, they are there just to be and in case You need it, cameras on phones are much more advanced, because when buying tablet nobody looks on camera specs.

9. toiletcleaner

Posts: 224; Member since: Oct 10, 2012

Unfortunately, there is a lot people using ipads to take pictures, and is annoying. U are trying to take your best picture whit a real camera and there he goes in front of you whit that piece of wood,

14. CanYouSeeTheLight

Posts: 1122; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

This reminds me of my trip to Disneyland two years ago, i had to record an iPad's screen just to be able to record something on the parade, the amount of idiots with iPads blocking everyone's view was too damn high.

34. iushnt

Posts: 3105; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Interesting experience..I have even faced people using their macbook pro to record their child's stage performance.

24. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

It's iPA what do u expect from a bunch of you know what

7. oliolio

Posts: 3; Member since: Dec 09, 2014

any comparisons between the exynos and snapdragon note 4 camera?

8. laughmi

Posts: 283; Member since: Oct 28, 2014

Some people purposely voted for the worse camera as they wanted their iDevices to desperately win. True Sheeps.

10. nithyakr

Posts: 161; Member since: Jun 20, 2014

Perhaps you don't know the meaning of the word "blind"! No one knew that it was an iPad or any iDevice. People just voted according to their preference. You may be stupid, but that doesn't mean you have to show off it.

11. sipha

Posts: 440; Member since: May 12, 2012

Please try to re-read his post with understanding..

13. Akkilidor

Posts: 14; Member since: Oct 14, 2014

you mean our android readers...

16. bigmaster

Posts: 198; Member since: Sep 05, 2014

How the f*** the "Android readers" know the difference between the two?!?! Really?!

17. Donbenie

Posts: 260; Member since: Aug 04, 2013

No contest..

18. district11

Posts: 126; Member since: Apr 17, 2011

23.96% people are blind.

25. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Stupid, ignorant, biased, mislead, gullible, cynical, naïve, complacent, retarded, blind, dumb and I could go on and on. Just understand when people are stuck on stupid, there is no going back.

33. LiquidGalaxy

Posts: 332; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Wow, that's described just about everyone that thinks the Note 4 is better than then 6+. Mind if I steal your comment?

19. lalalaman

Posts: 638; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

Apple should learn that ppl demand higher pixel camera... apple though did a great job with that camera....i like the colors on ipad more but the resolution beats it

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