Slow-motions videos are always fun to watch, but they are not as easy to film. Phone cameras have been doing slow-mos for a while, but it’s only now that they have gotten the hang of it. Things are still far from perfect, though. You will need a good deal of light, preferably outdoor settings, to shoot decent footage and most phones only allow only 0.5 to 3 seconds (mostly fraction of a second) of true slow-motion capture, which makes it really tricky to shoot the moment you actually want to.

But yes, the ability to capture slow-motion footage is high in demand and manufacturers are obliging even their affordable products, even if it’s with software trickery. Before we proceed to the list of phones that shoot great slow-motion videos, here are a few basics you should know. 

960fps vs 480fps slow-motion videos on phones

Slow-motion video recording is about capturing more frames every second. Most content plays at 24, 30 or 60 frames per second, and if the camera shoots more frames per second than your media player playback, you will be able to stretch the footage you captured over a longer time – resulting in slow-motion videos. 

There are two necessary requirements for effective high fps slow-motion capture:

  1. Chipset support
  2. DRAM stacked on the camera sensor. 

Two popular frame rates for slow motion on phones are 960fps and 480fps. As stated above, you will need hardware support on the camera sensor to shoot true 960fps. Such camera sensors with DRAM are still very rare. All of the popular 48MP and 64MP camera sensors that we saw this year max out at 480fps. 

Many affordable phones that claim 960fps slow-motion video recording actually use software interpolation to copy and duplicate frames in between, resulting in choppy and poor quality slow- mos. 

There are a few sensors that have native 960fps support and these include Sony IMX350, Sony IMX500, Samsung ISOCELL Fast 2L3, and Samsung ISOCELL Fast 2L4. Currently, you will find them mostly on Samsung, Sony, and Huawei flagships. 

Best Phones That Support Slow Motion Video recording 

1. Sony Xperia 5 II ([email protected])

Sony Xperia 5 II is the first phone that can record [email protected] in full HDR and the footage is quite impressive when shot under adequate daylight. For some reason, 1080p recording maxes at 60fps.

The Xperia 5 II is powered by Snapdragon 865+ octa-core chipset, has a 6.1-inch OLED display, and a 4000mAh battery. Other features include Android 11 (upgradeable), stereo-speakers, USB Type 3.1 storage, side-mounted fingerprint sensor, and 21W fast charging.

Sony Xperia 5 II:

2. Samsung Galaxy S21 series (960fps)

Samsung Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, and Galaxy S21 Ultra (review) can capture slow-motion videos at 960fps. We were expecting [email protected] or some more slow-motion chops with Exynos 2100/Snapdragon 888 onboard but slow-motion capabilities remain the same as that of the Galaxy S20 series from last year. 

 

Apart from Slo-mos, these S21 series phones are also capable of recording 8K videos at 24fps, 4k videos at 60fps, and

Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+:

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: 

Other Samsung phones with similar slow-motion video recording:

3. Huawei Mate 40 Pro (1920fps)

Huawei continues to excel at slow-motion recording. Just as the Mate 30 Pro, the Mate 40 Pro can record half-second 1920fps footage at 720p and interpolate it to 3840fps (In comparison, the Mate 30 Pro and P40 Pro interpolate to 7680 fps).

The Mate 40 Pro has a 50MP sensor with omnidirectional AF, a 12MP periscope telephoto lens, a 20MP ultrawide, and a 13MP ultra-wide camera on the front for selfies. It’s powered by 5nm Kirin 9000 chipset paired with 8GB RAM and 512GB storage. Unfortunately, Google Play Services isn’t supported on the phone and availability is consequently very limited.

4. Huawei Mate 30 Pro (1920fps)

Huawei Mate 30 Pro grabbed headlines for 7680fps slow-motion videos, but natively it can shoot half-second 720p footage at 1920fps and stretch the capture over 32 seconds. This still makes it twice as fast as any other phone out there. Besides, the 4x software interpolated 7680fps where it fills the middle frame using AI still looked quite impressive in the launch demo. 

Too bad, there is no native support for Google Apps, which is to say that all its technological advancement wouldn’t mean much outside of China. The Mate 30 Pro is powered by Kirin 990 has 40MP sensor led quad rear cameras, and a slick waterfall display. 

5. Huawei P40 Pro+ (1940fps)

Huawei P40 Pro+ is once again an impressive piece of technology with 10x optical zoom and a gorgeous AMOLED display that also curves at the bottom. Camera hardware remains similar to Huawei Mate 40 Pro.

Huawei is making a really strong case with its camera prowess, but it is again unfortunately marred by the lack of Google Play Services and is really tough to recommend.

6. OnePlus 8T (480fps)

OnePlus 8T is not a slow-motion champ but it’s a decent all-round option that can record decent 1080p slow-motion footage at 240fps. The higher-end OnePlus 8T Pro also has similar slow-mo specs and experience.

The 8T is steered by Snapdragon 865+ chipset, has an HDR10+ compliant 6.5-inch AMOLED display, and a 4500mAh battery.

7. Sony Xperia 1 (960fps)

Sony has always delivered cutting-edge camera specs on its flagships. The Xperia 1, just as its XZ series predecessors, can shoot at 960fps. And the good thing is that it can do 1080p videos at 960. However, the phone captures only 0.1 seconds of 1080p footage at 960fps and 0.2 seconds of [email protected] that can be stretched to 3.2 seconds and 6.4 seconds of playback at 30p. This surely makes it a tough sell. 

Sony will reportedly be passing on the same slow-motion chops to the less expensive Xperia 5 and perhaps the tech will make more sense at a reduced price. 

8. Asus 6Z

Asus 6Z (review) has a slick swivel camera with a 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor in the lead and this one too can capture 720p footage at 480fps. The phone is powered by Snapdragon 855 processor, runs a very refined version of Zen UI and houses a massive 5000mAh battery. 

Once again, the quality of slow-motion videos is strictly average. 

9. Xiaomi Phones

Xiaomi has 960fps slow motion on many of its phones, but all of the ones we have tested are interpolating 240fps footage to 960fps, or in other words, the 960fps slow motion is “not real”.

Xiaomi phones with 960fps slow-motion videos include: 

10. 960fps slow-motion on Realme Phones

Just as Xiaomi, Realme offers interpolated 960fps videos on many of its affordable phones in India. These include 

Slow-motion capture on Apple iPhones and Google Pixel phones

Google isn’t much enthusiastic about videos and has naturally not yet shown any inclination towards high-speed video capture on its phones. On the new Pixel 4 and on Pixel 3 from last year, you can shoot 1080p @120fps. 

Google Pixel 4 XL preview

Apple iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro max can shoot 1080p footage at 240fps. Interestingly, Apple introduced Slofies this year or slow-motion selfies – the front camera can do 1080p at 120fps. 

Is slow-motion capture on phones good enough?

So, the bottom line is that the quality of slow-motion videos on phones isn’t much to write home about and this isn’t a factor that should weigh heavy on your purchase decision. At the same time, phones are getting better at it and there have been times when we had a lot of fun even with these imperfect slow-motion captures.

10 Best phones that can shoot slow-motion videos

Phone name  Slow-motion capture specs  
Sony Xperia 5 II [email protected]
Samsung Galaxy S21 series [email protected]
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra [email protected]
Huawei Mate 40 Pro [email protected]
Huawei Mate 30 Pro [email protected]
Huawei P40 Pro+ [email protected]
OnePlus 8T and 8 Pro [email protected]
Sony Xperia 1 [email protected]
Samsung Galaxy S20 series [email protected]

 

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