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What difference does OIS make: Samsung Galaxy S6 vs HTC One M9

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Optical image stabilization (OIS) made a splash in the smartphone world when the Nokia Lumia 1020, a camera centric phone with PureView technology and a whopping 41-megapixel shooter, incorporated it to make for sharper images and more stable video. It's been a while since then, and these days most high-end smartphones feature OIS to capture better images and videos.

There is one notable exception, though: the HTC One M9. So we were curious to see what difference the presence of optical stabilization makes and took the One M9 for a spin, comparing it against the Samsung Galaxy S6, the current Samsung flagship. The 20-megapixel main camera on the HTC One M9 is the one with no OIS, while the 16-megapixel shooter on the Galaxy S6 does feature optical stabilization.

Keep in mind that optical image stabilization is a physical mechanism that is built in the camera module allowing the whole module to 'float', counter-acting movements on various axes: yaw, raw, and pitch. This mechanism will make hundreds of miniature corrections, and this results in the footage looking more stable, but you can also notice a slight wobbliness around the edges of the recording.

Still, the difference in video recording between the no-OIS camera on the HTC One M9 and the optically stabilized one on the Galaxy S6 is really quite profound. Take a look at the video right below to see for yourself, and let us know how important having OIS on your phone's camera is to you.


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Samsung Galaxy S6 specs
  • Display 5.1 inches 2560 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP (Single camera) 5 MP front
  • Hardware Samsung Exynos 7 Octa 3GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 2550 mAh
  • OS Android 7.0 Nougat Samsung TouchWiz UI
HTC One M9 specs
  • Display 5.0 inches 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 20 MP (Single camera) 4 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 3GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 2840 mAh
  • OS Android 7.0 Nougat HTC Sense UI

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