This year we have decided to have a special post to highlight the advancements in smartphone camera systems that allow the recording of super slow motion video. We have seen after all huge advancement this year especially by Asian companies making their best efforts to exploit the camera module’s strengths without crippling them to sell a newer model. The Chinese have decided to create a camera war between phone builders that one-up each other every few months.
We value image quality just as high as frame rate and when phones claim to be 1080p in high frame rate modes we usually find that the real case if 720p or similar upscaled to full HD 1080 with artifacts and jagged edges that can make you dizzy. But not all phones are created equal and that is where this list of the best of 2019 comes in. If by any chance an even stronger contender comes in before the end of the year we might revise this list but it would be a fluke.
By popular demand, we have found some new samples for both the OnePlus 6 and the Xiaomi Mi 8 phones for you to see. We have to give the nod between these two phones to the OnePlus 6 as it offers 240fps 1080p and 3.75 seconds worth of 720p 480fps and even 60p 4k. The quality on the super slow motion modes is not up there with a dedicated slow-motion camera but it is a big improvement in the recording department by allowing 3.75 secs on the 480p mode on the OnePlus 6 compared to the very restrictive 960fps 0.24sec on the Galaxy S9.
The Xiaomi Mi 8 is a big improvement from their earlier phones but simply cannot compete in terms of frame rates with the best the Android world has to offer. The quality on any phone will be restricted by the memory buffer, codec and read-out speed from the sensor. Quality still has a ways to go for being true HD or Full HD so remember before choosing a phone, it may not do as well as that fancy Slow Motion on Youtube or TV.
The short but to the point footage shows what will be slow motion clips produced with the new OnePlus 6 handset. You can see that a lot of care has been taken to shoot professional looking footage that will showcase the high frame rate capabilities. We are not sure if the resolution aliasing we are seeing is from the phone quality or the video compression.
Considering Sony and Samsung have similar artifacts OnePlus will look good on smaller screens but not ideal blown up on a monitor or TV. Professional lighting is no substitute to real line resolution for footage. We should know more as May 16th launch date approaches and we will be gladly surprised if the phone is capable of higher resolution slow motion recording than the competition with better recording time which has been the Achilles heel for these slow-motion phone features. 0.2 and 0.1 seconds is just not long enough for having a usable span of time.
The folks at OnePlus have been busy and by the looks of the recently leaked images of the OnePlus 6, it seems the phone is almost an identical looking handset to the iPhone X design with notch included. The invitation to the event on May 16th, 2018 for the unveil mentions “Live Life in Super Slow Mo” which we believe will be a 960fps slow-motion mode akin to that in the Galaxy S9 & S9+ or the Sony Xperia ZX2.
OnePlus has been one of the best performing handsets for Android users due to their use of the best components out there along with a streamlined ROM that does away with most bloatware on the main install. Users of these phones also routinely claim huge battery life due to the optimized nature of the background tasks. For Slow Motion, they have only been competitive on the mid-range but that will probably change if Slow Motion is a big feature on this new phone.
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