Now that the Sony Xperia 1 has been reviewed by more people, there are now sufficient video samples at 960fps to make a judgment on the performance of the slow motion mode. As you may recall, the phone is only capable of recording 0.1 seconds at 960p at full HD 1080p and 0.2 seconds at 720p at the same frame rate. That translates to a maximum of 3.2 seconds at 1080p played back at 30p and 6.4 seconds at 720p 30fps.
There is no increase in recording time from the XZ2 and XZ3 phones which had essentially the same feature as the Xperia 1. We, however, saw a little better color reproduction and slightly better artifact handling on the new phone but so minute an edge that we simply cannot recommend upgrading for this feature or considering it over other 720p slow motion phones like the Galaxy S10 or OnePlus 7.
Same feature, different year:
Before you start looking at the samples, be aware that this is the exact same feature spec found on the Xperia XZ2 and XZ3 phones when it comes to 1080p slow motion. There was no change or big improvement made; even when the camera app has gotten an extremely professional makeover based on Sony CineAlta Color Science. We recommend you look at other options in the phone space instead like the Galaxy Series or OnePlus Phones.
Sony Xperia 1 Slow Motion Samples:
Sony Xperia 1 – video sample – camera test – slow-motion 960 fps FHD by GSMONLINE.PL:
Sony Xperia 1 My daughter Slow Mo part 1 by Sony Xperia Fan Channel:
Sony Xperia 1 My daughter Slow Mo part 2 by Sony Xperia Fan Channel:
SONY XPERIA 1 – Super Slow Motion 960fps by BLDHND POP:
Sony Xperia 1 SlowMo 960 fps test video by Наши Обзоры:
XPERIA 1 – Night shots + super slow motion 920 fps by Hy – ua:
Sony Xperia 1 – super slow motion, 720p by PCLab.pl:
Sony Xperia 1: super slow motion, 1080p by PCLab.pl:
Xperia 1 super slow mo video by Rodolpho’s Tech channel:
Sony Xperia 1 Slow Motion by Skibus18:
Missed Opportunity for Advancing Slow Motion:
Sony has been at the forefront of affordable slow motion video with their Motion Eye technology which can be seen on the Sony RX camera series. It features a stacked CMOS Sensor with a fast cache memory module strapped right on the sensor block to allow for ultra-fast data rates/ frame rates. On those cameras, we get a few seconds recording time which is still limited but vastly superior to the 0.1 and 0.2 seconds of the phone version. Phones like the OnePlus 7 allows for 3.75 seconds record time at 480fps 720p which allows for a plethora of uses from sports recording to real experimentation of the art of time snapshots.
Sony should have evolved the technology to allow true 1080p resolution at 960fps for at least a second worth by now with the possibility to extend further. By using the ultra-fast memory modules on these phones they could have made a fast enough buffer to make it work and gain that edge. They have the technology but seem unwilling to implement it in a meaningful way.
We are still hopeful that Motion Eye technology will get better on a new RX series camera soon and that should translate to more capable phones as resolution and frame rate needs increase with every iteration. We really feel this technology is in its infancy and could one day deliver long record times in the several second range and at truly usable resolutions. In our ultimate phone we would love to see 4k at 240fps and 1080p at 2000-4000fps for even a couple of seconds. That would extend the art of slow motion capture on the go to new horizons.
Sony has the technology to do this, we would like to see them push forward and force some competition. -HSC