Last year the Huawei Mate 30 Pro was our slow motion phone of the year with its real 1920fps 720p with interpolated 4x mode to 7680fps and real 960fps at full 1080p. Now Huawei has again brought back the same performance with an even better optical system and what looks like better interpolation algorithms to the new P40 Pro and Pro Plus phones.
The phones have gathered little attention outside of China as Android cannot be updated and the Play Store is not accessible due to US restrictions on Huawei as a technology company that poses a risk to national security. Most of these phones are acquired by the use of importers or the pre-owned market and no US carriers offer them. Still, it is the amazing hardware design and the best slow motion performance on any phone to date that makes it impossible to ignore.
Rumors surrounding the 2020 release of the OnePlus 8 phone are already heating up with a tentative May release date and a new camera module that can capture 960fps super slow motion at 720p, a clear step up from their previous phones at 480p. The OnePlus 7T can shoot 960fps but it is an interpolated mode from doubling the frames of 480p by 2x and doing the in-betweens in software.
What is interesting is that OnePlus since the OnePlus 6 has allowed for a full minute of playback in super slow motion from their 480p mode and has been one of the go-to phones for dependable slow motion capture that offers the longest recording time still to this day in higher than 240p modes.
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.
Oppo the phone company based in Dongguan, China has released their flagship phone the Oppo Find X. Comparisons will be made to the iPhone X nut just in name but also on shape and design. However, the Oppo has no notch but it also has a similar aesthetic to the Galaxy S9 from Samsung but with the impressive feature which slides a motorized top part with both the rear and front cameras. Design wise this phone might be the most impressive and elegant phone ever made up to this point.
The phone has no 4k 60p like others in its class but does have 240fps 1080p and 480fps 720p video. There is something akin to this phone and the OnePlus 6 in that they share the video specs. Are these phones similarly built or it is just a fluke? We tend to see a homogenized spec sheet on these handsets as technology is standardized in China within camera modules. It is encouraging to see so many phones having the slow motion feature included and prominently displayed in the feature run-down.
Apple has really improved the slow-motion quality of the iPhone with the release of the 8, 8 plus and X phones. The 1080p 240fps mode is not only detailed but has very few aliasing artifacts that were the most prominent flaw of the 7 and 6 variants of the handset when shooting at high frame rates.
While the samples are few and far between, the increase in quality is very noticeable with the added benefit of better dynamic range across the board in highlights and shadows. While more tests are needed it is safe to say that at first glance the iPhone 8 and for that matter the iPhone X cameras are probably the best video smartphones released to date when it comes to slow motion video quality. Well done Apple!
You have to hand it to Sony for their continued hardware innovation. The sensor technology that brought you the RX Camera series with stacked CMOS Technology; which is DRAM included as a middle layer along with signal processing makes it possible to capture data at tremendous pixel rates in the sensor block which leapfrogs competitors products.
That same 3-Layer stacked design is now unveiled on a cellphone geared sensor with a maximum performance at 1080p 1000fps and 4k 60fps. It is using the same buffer DRAM technology that will let you record for a limited time window and then save and process on your handset. Considering the speed quoted it is not out of the question to expect the Sony RX series of cameras to reach or exceed this level on upcoming iterations.
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