Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014) vs Apple iPad 4
Well, what do you know: both the 2014 Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and the iPad 4 can take decent photos and videos with their main cameras. Given the right lighting conditions, of course. The former comes with an 8MP auto-focus camera and a bright LED for illuminating low-light scenes, while the latter packs a 5MP auto-focus snapper, which lacks flash, unfortunately.
Upon launching the camera app on the Note 10.1, we're presented with a familiar, feature-rich user interface. It offers many of the options we've already tried on the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy S4, such as the built-in filters and the multitude of shooting modes – HDR, Panorama, Night, and so on. The camera interface on the iPad 4 offers an HDR mode as well, but nothing more in terms of control over the produced image.
In terms of actual image quality, these two tablets perform quite well in broad daylight. Their cameras exhibit little to no shutter lag and the images they produce are sufficiently detailed. Overall, the Note 10.1 does a great job in most scenes and even its indoor photos are more than usable. The iPad's photos deliver colors that look a bit more eye-pleasing, but they aren't as detailed and contain more digital noise, especially in low-light scenes. These tablets' daytime videos turn out pretty good and are definitely worthy of sharing with friends and family. Shooting video in dim lighting with either of them, however, results in mediocre, grainy footage. All in all, we like the Note 10.1's camera a bit more, but the iPad 4's snapper is pretty good as well.
The Gallery application on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is decent and it allows one to organize their photos in folders. The iPad 4 gallery, however, is a bit smarter for it does that automatically – it knows when and where each photo has been taken and groups them in collections based on that data.
Samsung's music player is packed with goodies, as it always has been on any recent Samsung device. You get the mandatory lock screen controls, sound enhancements, and a neat feature called AdaptSound, which optimizes music depending on the listener's earphones and hearing. However, we have to admit that we're more satisfied with Apple's Music app. It not only looks better, but it comes with the new iTunes radio, which streams free music over the web – you just pick a station and enjoy!
When it comes to video playback, we'd rather use the 2014 Note 10.1. It handles any popular video file format at up to 1080p resolution and it plays it smoothly, with instant fast-forwarding. Moreover, its screen aspect ratio is more suitable for watching high-definition video in wide-screen format.
There's a pair of stereo speakers on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. Their output is passable, but nothing special in terms of quality. The iPad 4 has just one built-in loudspeaker, but is sounds drastically better than the Note 10.1's speakers, especially on the lower end of the spectrum.
Getting your photos, music, and videos onto the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is a straightforward process – you just copy-paste them onto its internal memory and you're done. With the iPad 4, however, this process can be a bit of a ritual. Those who use a Mac and/or iTunes to organize and purchase their media should be perfectly fine, but those who don't will have to get used to moving content around with the help of Apple's software. Moreover, some videos have to be converted to an iOS-friendly format first so that the iPad 4 would play them.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition comes equipped with a built-in IR blaster, which is a neat stand-out feature. Basically, it allows you to control some of the appliances throughout your house, such as your TV, multimedia system, air conditioner, and more.