This week we had the announcement by Samsung of the Galaxy S21 phone line which is the de-facto Android handset in most of the world. The Galaxy S21 Slow Motion has essentially the same feature set as the Galaxy S20 of 2020 when it comes to high-speed video. The Galaxy brand went serious with Slow Motion since the Galaxy S9 with the 960fps mode at 720p which we can still see here with somewhat improved resolution and recording time.
The S21 line is by almost any standard a refinement of the line with very subtle but important updates on the previous S20 phones. We get the Snapdragon 888 which is the brightest and fastest SoC in non-Apple land. We get 120Hz adaptive screen refresh rate and 108MP telephoto camera on the Ultra version with 10x hybrid zoom, and half that at 64MP on the regular S21 and S21+ which only offer 3x hybrid zoom. We also get 8k video recording on all of the phones at 24p which we will have to test if it is really delivering on the promise.
Samsung will start shipping to stores the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra on August 21, 2020. This new phone is the latest and greatest on their line of ultra-performance devices that offer little compromise at a premium price. It has a 108MP sensor on an f1.8 lens on the Note 20 Ultra 5G version that can do crazy zoom and pixel averaging in low light. The more pixels you record even if they are small let you do more computational photography processing to average noise and artifacts out to end with a crisper lower resolution image that is pleasing and punches above it’s weight.
However, not all is good news since the video mode in Samsung devices when it comes to slow motion has been stalling in the last iterations to a max 960fps mode in HD 720p which is now on this phone an interpolated 480fps mode that is slowed 2x to 960p. This makes the Note 20 line an inferior slow-mo device to even the Galaxy S10 which offers real 960fps. The good thing here is a full second of recording at 480fps on the Note 20 line which translates to 16 seconds playback at 30fps and 32seconds with interpolation.
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