Note 4 vs iPhone 6 Plus: Optical Image Stabilization comparison


Both Samsung and Apple scored a first with their new phablets: Optical Image Stabilization. That's right, both the Galaxy Note 4 and the iPhone 6 Plus are equipped with the gizmo, promising to minimize and correct for shake and tremor during video capture. 

Sure, an OIS module's usefulness extends beyond just video – if the software is optimized for it, it'll also free up the camera to go for slower shutter speeds, and that's beneficial when shooting in dark environments, as the tiny sensor can use any help it can get taking in as much light as possible. This is achievable, because the stabilizing contraption will essentially nullify tremor in your hands (yes, they tremble even if you think you're keeping perfectly still), and thus, side-step blur. In other words, while OIS is, strictly speaking, hardware, it is of little use if it receives no proper support from the camera software. 

Starting with Samsung, the company calls its particular implementation "Smart OIS", which is just a marketing term that refers to the joined efforts of the aforementioned widget and Digital Image Stabilization on the software side. Much the same arrangement is also true with the iPhone 6 Plus – OIS is implemented alongside software stabilization, which Apple chose to call Cinematic Video Stabilization.

So how do these two handle themselves, and is one better than the other? The truth is that they're about equally good in stabilizing shaky footage, but they different in terms of the kind of scenarios they handle best. For example, in our experience, the Note 4 was better at minimizing small to medium amounts of shake, while the iPhone 6 Plus outdid it when real jerky movements were involved (arguably less common). Even with that distinction, though, we still think that we have a situation close to a stalemate at our hands, but we ended up liking the Note 4 just a bit more. Take a look.

Related phones

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)
iPhone 6 Plus
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A8, Dual-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 2915 mAh(24h 3G talk time)

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56 Comments

1. BattleBrat

Posts: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

The iPhone lost the blind comparison, badly, deal with it!

3. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

And I want to see this comparison with a Lumia. And Btw is it true iPhone records in mono?

4. james004

Posts: 486; Member since: May 15, 2013

Iphone is no longer best camera in phone. Note 4 is literally the best camera. combination of bigger sensor, wider lense, megapixel and the camera binary.

8. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

But it's 16:9 so wider lens doesn't really help since the field of view is still smaller.

18. Ashoaib

Posts: 3298; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

why iphone's video is visibly brighter and unrealistic? note 4's video is more detailed with better colors. however, iphone is less jurky

52. sgtdisturbed47

Posts: 969; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

A wider lens does help. Either way, this is a stupid way to test or compare OIS. OIS is, by friggin DESIGN, meant to help while taking still images, not while clunking around while recording video. This is a terrible representation of OIS and cannot be used as a reliable example. Go to a store and compare the 2 for yourself. For still images, the iP6+ is far more shaky. Note 4 is rock steady.

29. hung2900

Posts: 966; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

And Note 4 uses OIS in video recording, while the lame iPhone 6Plus uses SIS. OIS in phones is tiny and used for offseting the minor variation only. Some lacking knowledge writers intended to shake badly and then say the SIS of iPhone is better

53. nwright94

Posts: 211; Member since: Oct 14, 2014

Isn't the OIS a physical component that works at all times? Or is it motorized?

60. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Iphones have never had the "best" phone camera. That's belonged to Nokia for as long as I can remember, with some fair competition from Samsung, Sony, LG, and HTC. Never apple.

66. jk0907

Posts: 5; Member since: Sep 17, 2014

No longer? iPhone never had the best camera phone.

5. buccob

Posts: 2975; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

its true, mono sound recording, and the phone has 3 microphones at disposal.

6. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

I wonder why Apple hasn't changed that to at least stereo.?!

23. enthasuium

Posts: 150; Member since: Nov 21, 2013

iphone losing focus...blurry at garden

15. torr310

Posts: 1679; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Not a well testing setup. Both camera should be aimed at the same angle, not side by side.

35. Stanley198513

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 28, 2014

The appearance of samsung mobile phone is always the same

36. Stanley198513

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 28, 2014

The appearance of samsung mobile phone is always the same

41. verbalize

Posts: 150; Member since: May 03, 2013

Who's the clown who did this test? How do we know it's the correct phones. All we know it could be both Android phones. 2nd the phones should be on a solid foundation and not hand held so the movement is the same. I'm sorry I'm not going to trust some lazy kid to not do a Scientific test and determine the quality of a phone. If you take this as believable? Your as stupid as the guy who did this bogus test.

48. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

So u doubt the test because the iPhone looks like shyt? Suppose the iPhone looked better? Would you question it then?

2. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

Both are decent/good. Not point fighting over 10% difference you might find. It's so minute, you would never notice it in real life.

49. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

No its not minute. The iPhone recording looked crappy most of the time. The lens was also dirty too.

7. twens

Posts: 1180; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

In all honesty there isn't much a difference but the real difference is when you record in 4k with HDR on on the note 4. That's when you will see how much the note murders the iPhone in camera. Details is very important in imagery no matter how Apple tried to make us stick to 8mp.

67. mattkl

Posts: 255; Member since: Feb 01, 2010

Unfortunately HDR doesn't work with the stock camera app while shooting in 4K.

9. RareCandy

Posts: 61; Member since: Nov 20, 2014

IPHONE 6 PLUS ENOUGH SAID END OF DISCUSSION :)

14. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Sorry but N4 takes the crown here, especially when recording in 4K.

19. bigmaster

Posts: 198; Member since: Sep 05, 2014

Yeah! Really Smurf knows what he's talking about, Best comment without bias !

59. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

Yeah an honest answer, i wouldn't say the iPhone camera was bad but it's not the best. Well it's still much better than my m8.

62. stealthd unregistered

Yeah...espcially in that resolution no one can actually watch yet....

50. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

even when the iPhone clearly looks like crap, you declare it the winner? e both saw the same video. Right? Or maybe you just like crappy recordings and are so use to them.

10. f1r3z0r

Posts: 92; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

Do not waste your time doing icrap comparison... Note 4 vs xperia z3....

26. amats69

Posts: 1527; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

this is a tech site..every phone is welcome to a comparison here.

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