Huawei P20 Pro Slow Motion 960fps 720p Mode!

Huawei P20

Huawei’s P20 Pro is a beautiful phone that merges the sleek design of the Samsung Galaxy series with the Apple front screen notch while not compromising in camera design with a 3 sensor + lens combo that may be the best camera solution on a phone yet. In fact, DPreview has an article on the stills camera performance here. They call it “the most innovative mobile device we have seen in quite some time”  which is a tall order considering how good the competition camera’s like in the Pixel 2 XL, Galaxy S9 and the iPhone X have gotten.

What interests us, however, is the slow-motion mode which allows the phone to shoot a 0.25sec burst of 720p video at 960fps which is slightly above the time recorded by the Galaxy S9 and Sony Xperia XZ series of last year but still below the new Xperia XZ2’s 0.4 seconds at 720p this year.  We were not impressed with the quality of either phone when it came to overall resolution and artifacts so we were skeptical about the Huawei P20 Pro since the start.

Huawei P20 Pro Main Specs:

Screen

DISPLAY

Type AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 6.1 inches, 93.8 cm2 (~81.9% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 1080 x 2244 pixels, 18.7:9 ratio (~408 ppi density)
Multitouch Yes – With gestures
 Battery 4000 mAh
Operating SYSTEM OS Android 8.1 (Oreo)
Chipset Hisilicon Kirin 970
CPU Octa-core (4×2.4 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A53)
GPU Mali-G72 MP12
Internal MEMORY Card slot No SD Expandable
Internal 128 GB, 6 GB RAM
CAMERA Specs Primary Triple: 40 MP (f/1.8, 1/1.7″, OIS) + 20 MP (f/1.6) + 8 MP (f/2.4), Leica optics, 3x optical zoom, phase detection and laser autofocus, dual-LED dual-tone flash
Features Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama mode.
Video [email protected], 1080p 60fps, [email protected]
Secondary 24 MP, autofocus, f/2.0, 1080p

MSRP in the UK:

Asia and Europe release, no planned release for the USA but will work on GSM carriers if imported or bought as an import model.

HUAWEI P20|P20 Pro: Meet the new Huawei P20 Series by Huawei:

HUAWEI P20 Pro: 3X Optical Zoom by Huawei:

Impressive specs any way you look at it. There is a P20 non-pro variant that has only 2 cameras, a smaller battery at 3400 mAh, 4GB of RAM instead of 6GB and of course a smaller screen at 5.7″ vs 6.1″ on the Pro.  Which means if you want to save some $ the standard P20 still retains the 960fps 720p mode for a lot less. We were told the quality on the high-speed mode is identical on both phone variants as the camera module and processing responsible for that spec is the same. No headphone Jack 3.5mm on any of them which is a disturbing trend for fans of this port.

Huawei P20 Pro Slow Motion Samples:

In the samples below it is clear that the quality of this video mode at 960fps is quite good. Of course, you will get the stair stepping aliasing and moire due to the resolution loss created by the phone’s inability to save every line.

If you look at it side by side with Sony and Samsung’s slow-motion mode we see a lot to like here. Maybe this phone has a better overall resolution advantage in slow motion compared to the others but we will have to test side by side to see if there is a real advantage.

HUAWEI P20|P20 Pro: 960fps Super Slow Motion @Kitchen by Huawei Smartphones:

Huawei P20 Pro Slow motion at 960fps SLOW-MO by hxos plus:

Huawei P20 Pro 960Fps Slo-Mo by TechBuzz:

Huawei P20 Pro sample slow motion video by Camera Jabber:

There is no question the color, dynamic range and overall crisp quality of the footage is impressive considering it is a phone. If you inspect the footage closely you do see aliasing but the quality retained is much better than expected here and may make the P20 the best slow motion phone of the year just based on that. We were disappointed by both Samsung’s soft detail and Sony’s excessive jaggies in their recently released handsets.

HUAWEI P20|P20 Pro: 960fps Super Slow Motion @Bedroom by Huawei Smartphones:

The Rec Time Problem:

The P2 and P20 pro suffer from the same recording time constraint which is in this case 0.25 seconds or 1/4 of a second which translates to 8 seconds playback time at 30fps from the 960fps input.  Still, this is slightly above the 0.2 seconds of the competition which may not sound by much but that means an increase of 1.6 seconds in playback time from the 6.4 seconds on the Sony and Samsung phones.

Directly from Huawei on the Rec Time Limit:

* 0.25s recorded in 960 fps Super Slow Motion mode equates to approximately 8s of standard video.

So Huawei has an edge in resolution at first view and also an edge in recording time which makes it the one to keep in our sights for slow-motion video phone of the year. We hope to have more samples and comparisons soon to be able to rate the phone accordingly.

Well done Huawei! -HSC

More info at Huawei’s Official Site:   https://consumer.huawei.com/en/phones/p20-pro/

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16 thoughts on “Huawei P20 Pro Slow Motion 960fps 720p Mode!”

  1. If you look closely, there is motion Twixtor like artifacts. I’m suspecting they aren’t recording real 960 FPS frames and are interpolating from a lower frame rate. Please reasses.

    1. Most of what you think is interpolation is the youtube compression dealing with the lack of true resolution and line loss in the images. We will have to wait for more samples that exploit the feature with better compression. We have seen this image smearing on even 60p video on youtube when the resolution is low so frame interpolation is not necessarily there. If you find a clear set of examples showing the problem please let us know.

    2. I totally agree, that’s exactly what I was think when look some samples video. And I used twixtor in the past and saw exactly same artefact.

    1. There is no question those clips show interpolation, however other clips we have seen show no such thing even frame by frame. We contacted Huawei on this issue and no response has been received. We will post an update on this issue if it is 480fps or 240fps interpolated to 960fps which will be a big let-down no matter how good their algorithm is.

    1. Thank you for the samples. We are still waiting for official word from Huawei but nothing yet. It seems they are shooting at 480fps and interpolating to 960fps. It looks better than it should which means they are using very sophisticated interpolation algorithms.

  2. The speed of the 920 FPS recording, according to meta data is 30 FPS (this is backed up by connecting to a computer, going into the phones photo file and right clicking to get the properties) which looks right if you play it frame by frame, the 240 FPS records at around 240 FPS according to meta data

    1. Yes the 240fps should be 240fps. The 960fps mode however is doing interpolation which may mean it is a 480fps video or even a 240fps video with interpolation being used.

      1. I have a p20 pro, well this is the 2nd one, the first was sent back due to the slow motion problem and it looks like this is going back as well, which phone would you recommend for high speed video?

        1. Right now the Galaxy S9 and the OnePlus 6 are the two best slow motion phones. We still have to see what Google and Apple do this year in terms of higher frame rates. The Xperia Sonys are just not that good in terms of resolution and recording time so they are below the Galaxy.

        1. Yes, be aware that the 960fps feature only records for 0.24 seconds which is very short. The One Plus records much longer for several seconds but at 480fps. Resolution on the S9+ looks better.

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