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.
2020 is already becoming a very busy year for camera releases. The CES Show this past week had a bunch of announcements in the professional, amateur and aerial drone markets that shoot high frame rates. We will try to cover the most useful cameras in the coming weeks. We want to start with the Insta360 ONE R Modular camera from Chinese company Shenzhen Arashi Vision Co., Ltd. which is a very interesting product that de-couples the sensor module from the body so you can interchange the actual imaging hardware on the fly for specific shots/jobs.
The real gem for slow motion fans is the 4K version instead of the 360 and or the 1″ version which both max out at 120fps 1080p instead of 200p. Many people will cry foul at the 200fps spec when GoPro and DJI do 240fps as do most slow motion capable smartphones but 200fps, if done well with the 100Mbps codec, could be a real diamond in the rough for your arsenal in action cameras.
As predicted the newly announced Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will not improve on the Note 7 or Galaxy S8 phones when it comes to slow motion capabilities. It maxes out at 1080p 60fps and only allows 720p 240fps for slow motion. Missing is the 120fps 1080p modes of competitive flagship phones like the iPhone 7 or Google Pixel.
The Phone has delivered in most other fronts however with probably the best screen yet on a phablet phone at 6.3″ Quad HD+ Super AMOLED (2960 x 1440) 521 ppi resolution. There is also an extra attention put on the battery safety which according to Samsung is not only safe but amply tested to rigorous conditions. It is 3300mAh which should last for a full day of use even with the gigantic screen.
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