Today Google unveiled the heavily leaked Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL phones which have the latest and greatest camera module geared up for computational photography enthusiasts. It brings in the dual camera back design of many competitors and also drops the notch in turn for a thicker bezel which looks in our view better. The phone is sporting the latest Snapdragon 855, 6GB of RAM and up to 128GB of fast flash memory.
Sadly the phone is keeping the exact same high frame rate specs of the Pixel 3 of last year. So 240fps is staying at 720p and 120fps at 1080p is the max at that resolution. It is clear Google is not interested in delivering performance in high frame rates like their rivals in the Android space. Even Apple offers a much better 1080p 240fps spec which is offered on the back cameras with little trouble. Even the iPhone 11 bests the Pixel 4 in the Selfie department as it allows up to 120fps 1080p for (Slofies™) which is a prominent feature of the handset.
The Google Pixel 2 and 2 XL have been unveiled and to put it simply the slow motion component has received no change. We are disappointed that the 120fps 1080p mode is the highest frame rate at that resolution when Apple’s iPhone 8 and X max out at 240fps 1080p. The 240fps spec on the Pixel 2 is the same also as the first Pixel phones at only 720p.
In 2016 we tied the iPhone 7 with the Google Pixel as equals in the slow motion game but it is clear that Google has dropped the ball with this release by not being particularly strong in the video side as Apple even has 4k 60fps added on their new phones when the Pixel 2 and 2 XL max out at 30fps. This year the iPhone 8 and X seems to be the slow motion phones of the year with a #2 spot for the Sony Xperia XZ series.
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!
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