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.
The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 had a few leaks in the past weeks concerning the slow motion mode and the company even released a water balloon sample. We decided to wait for the real reviews and samples before making an opinion on this phone which is destined for the Chinese market first. The phone is supposed to shoot 960fps in 1080p mode which is exciting as an initial spec matching the Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ3 phones in resolution and frame rate but we really have no slow motion duration spec yet.
After looking at the samples we have seen a clear indication of software interpolation to fill in video frames between high frame rate recorded video which looks to be 240p at 1080p and then conformed in software to 960fps on the fly using the phone’s hardware. The results are very good and beat anything we have seen before on phone frame rate interpolation which is a good thing, however, it looks like the phone is faking its way into slow motion 960fps.
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