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Nokia Lumia 920 vs Apple iPhone 5: stabilization shootout – UPDATED

Nokia made a pretty big deal of the stabilization feature of its Lumia 920 flagship smartphone. The handset comes with the Floating lens technology, which is real optical image stabilization, as opposed to the digital solution of its competitors.

Naturally, we were very curious to find out how big a difference the new technology makes, so we decided to pin the Nokia Lumia 920 against the Apple iPhone 5 (which has the most efficient digital video stabilization we have seen so far).

The results were somewhat surprising – see for yourselves in the video below. Don’t forget to go fullscreen and select the 1080p option.

Update: We saw there’s some confusion so we felt we should clear this out. The two smartphone were attached to a stand, rather than being held in two hands as that puts them on equal footing. The test itself starts with some casual panning, which is followed by walking in place and jumping.

At first glance the difference isn’t really major – each of the two contenders has its moments of superiority in the video. If we hadn’t named the two halves, you’d probably have a hard time telling which one uses optical stabilization and which one is simply employing a cleverly designed software algorithm.

However, for its stabilization to work so well, the iPhone 5 is forced to use only the central part of its sensor, while the Lumia 920 can use the whole thing, which gives it both a wider viewing angle and the option to do pixel binning, which helps fight digital noise.

So the Nokia Lumia 920 takes this round, even if the margin of its victory is smaller than we anticipated.
Of course, this is just one scenario and the optical image stabilization might turn out to be more beneficial on other occasions. We’ll be doing some more tests before the review is complete so we’ll know how good Floating lens actually is.

It’s curious to know your thoughts about it though – how good the optical stabilization should be to be worth the thicker waistline and the heavier weight?

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