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.
There are many new phones about to be announced including the most awaited Samsung release of the year, the Galaxy S21 which is due in a day or so. However the Xiaomi Mi 11 which was recently announced has been making a great impression on reviewers with a fluid 120Hz display, above-average camera features, 8k video, and our main interest the slow motion recording modes.
The high speed mode includes a 240fps 1080p mode but most interestingly this extends to 1080p 480fps which might be of comparable quality. The Xiaomi brand has been making cameras and phones for a few years now and while it is usually discounted as a budget brand, the inclusion of pro features like a Snapdragon 888 processor and a whopping 108MP main camera make it stand apart.
The recently announced Hasselblad True Zoom is an add on module for the Moto Z + Moto Mods™ smartphone platform which lets you add modules to your already very capable phone to increase it’s feature set. A Pico Projector, a much larger battery, a JBL speaker set and now the Hasselblad True Zoom 10x Optical zoom are the current back plate options for this new ecosystem.
What may look like a gimmick to some; it may be the advent of a personalized and very powerful experience for the future of smartphone use. What if you could add the advantages of a larger camera sensor and higher frame rates with built in processing to your phone when needed. What if you could add a built in microscope back plate to the phone for biologists on the field or a sensor module for tracking scientific concepts with the phone as a central part of experiments. The sky seems to be the limit here.
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