Camera

The 16-megapixel OIS camera on the Note 4 captures great images with an excellent amount of detail, and it does 4K, while the M8’s UltraPixel is sub-par.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 features a 16-megapixel main camera that supports optical image stabilization, while HTC perseveres with its 4-megapixel “UltraPixel” camera setup, with a secondary rear “Duo” camera that serves primarily for adding a fake bokeh effect to images.

Unfortunately, when it comes to important technicalities like the sensor used in the Galaxy Note 4, Samsung is not sharing any details. We will thus assume that it’s using the same 16-megapixel 1/2.6” sensor as in the Galaxy S5 with the same phase-detection auto-focus. HTC, uses a 4-megapixel OmniVision sensor, the OV4688, of a nearly 15% smaller, 1/3" size. Both shoot in a 16:9 native aspect ratio. In terms of optics, the lens on the Note 4 has a focal length of 31mm (in 35mm equivalent) and aperture of f/2.2, while the M8 has a wider 28mm lens with a faster, f/2.0 aperture.

Turning to the camera app, both HTC and Samsung have simple and user-friendly controls on the surface with a separate image still and video recording buttons. Under that cover, though, you have access to a lot of manual settings on both - great for those who want such level of control. HTC’s implementation of manual mode, however, is the one that really stands out with easily adjustable sliders, all conveniently placed on one screen: you can control ISO, white balance, focus (you have manual focus option), and so on.



When it comes to image quality, the Galaxy Note 4 captures an impressive amount of detail, with pleasing colors (just ever so slightly on the cold side), and a fairly dynamic look to shots. The HTC One (M8), on the other hand, has images that are much less detailed, but the bigger issue is that they lack in dynamics and white balance is often way off.


Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 2.8
2.8
353
273
HTC One (M8) 2.3
No data
444
363


When speaking of video, the Note 4 is capable of recording 4K at 30 frames per second (fps), or 1080p at either 60 fps or 30 fps, while the One (M8) is only capable of recording 1080p at 30 fps. 4K is a nice extra that looks great, but it has its limitations - you can record only 5-minute long clips, those recordings turn out very large in size (there is still no H.265 encoding on the Note 4), and probably more importantly, we haven’t seen many 4K monitors or TVs out there just yet.

Comparing apples to apples, or 1080p recording at 30fps, we can see that the Note 4 again has the upper hand with nice and vivid footage, with the added bonus of optical stabilization. The One (M8), on the other hand, does well, but you can feel every shake of your hand. The quality of sound recording is very good on the M8, but it’s even better on the Note 4 that features three microphones for better noise cancellation.


Multimedia

The accurate screen on the Note 4 makes media come to life, but its speaker is on the quiet side. The One (M8) has got its excellent speakers for a great sound experience.

The large, 5.7-inch display is a great asset when it comes to media consumption, and that has been one of the main reasons for the success of the Note phablet series. Add to this the fact that the Note 4 is coming with a display that is also very well calibrated, with vibrant, realistic colors, and it has an important advantage on hand, especially for photography enthusiasts.



Both handsets are capable of handling various movie formats and encoding with ease, and the video app on the Note 4 displays your collection of videos with a nice live animation, showing you a quick glance of its contents. The M8, on the other hand, has a very capable gallery that creates an automatic video reel of all your photos and videos for the day, which is a nice touch.

The One (M8), however, does have a hidden ace up its sleeve, and that is its superb sound output via two spacious front-firing speakers that provide a depth and richness of sound that is unmatched in the smartphone market. This is important for all sorts of media - videos, games, and music, of course. Samsung’s speaker, in comparison, sounds disappointingly average.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 0.41
HTC One (M8) 1.28
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 85
HTC One (M8) 75.2


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24 Comments

1. Anterv

Posts: 178; Member since: Jul 09, 2014

If you wan't more comfort, take One. If you wan't more functions, take Note.

2. SonyFindOneDroidple

Posts: 865; Member since: May 11, 2013

If you want aluminum, take One If you want everything, take Note 4

17. vega93

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 14, 2014

If you want fastest Android phone, take One If you want over advertised phone with cool screen and camera but poor, badly done software take "powerful" but SLOWER than One, Note4.

18. thegolubgeneration

Posts: 4; Member since: Nov 27, 2014

That's just ridiculous, a thoughtless answer. The HTC is better pure and simple. It's a better design easier to manage, and let's face it, it has the best sound system of any phone ever. The note is bulky, and sure it's got the writing gimmick. I researched and worked with these both for hours. For you to say comfort vs functions means you probably play angry birds and search the web. The HTC is extremely complicated and I can do more with it than I have been able to with any other phone before. I can remotely take control over every device I have, PCs, tablets, TV's theater systems. I can tell the HTC to run through my PC so I receive texts and calls on the computer and can respond to texts faster that way. If I'm on vacation and I need access to my computer, I can run it remotely through that small HTC. The HTC is so complex that they added the HTC mini + yes it makes them money but it is necessary. You can answer phone calls on the mini while so you don't have to stop whatever you're doing on the M8. The Mini will also serve as a remote control to just about anything in anyone's home and a camera. The Note is cool, it's got great gimmick effect, and as a droid product can do many things the HTC can, but the HTC is the most complex and able phone created to date by far.

19. tashi1990

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 11, 2015

hey how do you acces your laptop threw your htc ? and how do you get your text threw it. that sounds awesome i want that

20. thegolubgeneration

Posts: 4; Member since: Nov 27, 2014

hello there, I knew that write up would really get a rise out of people. I do like the Next Launcher, and think it's crazy that it's not mentioned, but there are a few others that are good as well. As for you, there is a few options but my favorite is an application called themightytext. Look it up in the app store, download it and and it will guide you on what to do on your laptop. The free version by itself is great, you can set it up so your pictures get backed up on the laptop (PC) version. You essentially log into a site and you can get your texts and pictures, even your notifications on the PC. You do not need to keep the website open once you are logged in to get texts and notifications. I got the premium version and that sets up MightyText in gmail and facebook as well. Or I'm not sure really which options come with the free and premium. You can open mightytext in an Ipad also. Two other options are Airdroid which is free, but with airdroid you can only use your stock text messaging. So you if you use hangouts or textra or any other third party texting app it doesn't work well with airdroid. You can also receive your notifications with it. Again this will work on Ipad as well. Another which was my favorite at first and then became my least is called MySMS which is similar to mighty text, accept there is also a windows 8 application that syncs to the phone from the PC. But I kept having issues with it. With Mightytext you can also receive your calls on the computer. All in all its the app I use more than anything. Good luck.

22. FireTwerks

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 11, 2015

you go golu you know witch is better and you stand for it thx #htc

3. Muklee

Posts: 7; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

If you want a phablet, take Nexus 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.

4. nohatenofanboy

Posts: 515; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

why ? 6 plus has no special thing about its screen its only bigger iphone. apps arent optimised to large screen.

6. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

So is nexus 6..

13. Trex95

Posts: 2381; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

Lol no special thing 1- 1080P screen with most accurate colors. 2- Bigger battery 2990mAh. 3- Best fingerprint scanner in phones. 4- Camera with OIS, IPhone 6 comes without OIS FYI. 5- One of the best camera in low light performance. 6- All apps works without issue.

14. Trex95

Posts: 2381; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

Yeah forget to mention that Iphone 6 and 6 plus has the most powerful chipset that found in any phone in the market that comes with 64- bit, 20 nm process and it does contains 2 billion transistors.

16. chaosnightmare

Posts: 182; Member since: May 20, 2010

U forgot to mention the bend feature

5. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

If you want KING of phablets get NOTE 4...

21. FireTwerks

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 11, 2015

screw iphones they suck only features i like is the camera and smooth screen

7. Ashoaib

Posts: 3282; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

htc m8 is a beautiful device and it is pretty unfair to compare it with beastly note 4, it is like killing m8... m8 vs z3 is a fair comparison

9. Eclectech

Posts: 349; Member since: May 01, 2013

The Galaxy Note 4 is, in my opinion, the most impressive device to come from Samsung. I played with one extensively at BestBuy. That said, I wouldn't trade my HTC One M8 in for one. I still prefer the hardware design and the software aesthetics of my HTC.

10. Muklee

Posts: 7; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

HTC looks better, can be handled better, sounds much better, moreover is faster and snappier and costs 225 $ less. Galaxy Note has a better camera and a huge battery but far too oversized...

11. FarmerStyle

Posts: 37; Member since: May 17, 2014

Note 4 is still ugly when compared to the M8

12. Trex95

Posts: 2381; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

The 1080P video way better on M8 than Note4 in both lighting condition. Note 4 1080P video in normal lighting dim and not as bright as M8 video.

15. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

M8 Destroys the Note 4 in design and they mimimalized that.... wtf?

23. thegolubgeneration

Posts: 4; Member since: Nov 27, 2014

First off I want to congratulate firetwerks on a fantastic purchase and review. You got a huge phone with an attached pen and you for "f u golu bitc whatever etc." Why get a note if you are going to express yourself like a kindergartener who sniffs paint. At least if you made typos with a normal sized phone, you could blame any typos on your hot dog fingers and a tiny keyboard. The HTC one M8 has been rated phone of the year by just about every major expert, and yes I am an expert. Those who feel the need to mention the Note 4 say its the best large android phone of the year, because there Is so much competition in that category. The Note is neither phone nor tablet, its a hybrid which is unique. I didn't argue that it wasn't cool, because it is. It simply falls short in terms of performance, and yes this is based on what ice experienced not what I've read. The note has a place for a very specific type of user, being able to jot down quick notes is great for people in certain types of positions. Take that feature away and the phone is nothing special. Look no further than the app store where nearly every app runs perfectly on the HTC. We dont have issues with apps crashing or not performing as they should because this phone was built incredibly well and is the smoothest operating android device ever created up to this point period. I enjoy both phones and tablets but I want my phone to be a phone and my tablet to be a tablet. With the Note its cool idea that falls short, it doesn't compare with the better tablets and it doesn't run as well as other phones. It runs better than the Galaxy 5, but that says nothing since its the biggest disappointment of the year. I still have my Galaxy 3 which was amazing and its still a better phone than the 5 to this day. Also HTC one M8 is being called the phone of the year 2014 and we still have KitKat. The phone that is amazing already is about to get better. So all you note fans, enjoy you amphibian device and please take the time to reply with an "f u, both," I see a lot of HTC people writing intelligent reviews, perhaps the note just attracts very special people. "

25. megalosdog

Posts: 17; Member since: Jan 06, 2015

that's probably the most intelligent comment I've ever read on any forum.

24. mojtaba_mn

Posts: 268; Member since: Feb 22, 2013

htc one sooo better in hand and so more beauty

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