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.
Miniature corrections happening hundreds of times make a huge difference
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.