In the past couple of years or so, a new trend has emerged in the premium sector of the smartphone market. No, this time around, we're not talking about the fingerprint scanner craze. Instead, we're talking about slow motion videos.
When thinking about which smartphones offer the best slow motion video capture, there are multiple details to bear in mind. Naturally, the imaging sensor and the video compression algorithms are of prime importance, since we're looking for quality videos in terms of brightness, focus, and color reproduction. Furthermore, some smartphones also offer manual video controls, which are really useful in the hands of a skilled cameraman.
Strictly from a slow-motion perspective, what interests us is the resolution of the slow-motion video (more pixels = more details) and the frame rate at which videos are captured.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Review
The new Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge are some of the best smartphones we've ever laid our hands on, and the two handsets do not disappoint in the video department.
The raw hardware reads like this: a 12MP primary sensor with an aperture of f/1.7, OIS, and dual-pixel autofocus. The sensor has a physical size of 1/2.6" and a pixel size of 1.4 µm.
The Galaxy S7 series can shoot slow-motion videos at a resolution of 720p and 240fps, as well as 1080p videos at 60fps. OIS is enabled in videos, and the blazing-fast dual pixel autofocus is perfect for making sure that moving subjects will always remain in focus.
Apple iPhone 6 Plus Review
In terms of hardware, the iPhone 6S Plus features a 12MP sensor with a physical size of 1/3", OIS, and a pixel size of 1.22 µm.
Despite coming with the same software features as the smaller iPhone 6S, the 6S Plus also has the notable advantage of hardware-based optical image stabilization. Furthermore, while on the previous-gen iPhone 6 Plus, OIS was limited to stills, the new model brings stabilization to videos as well.
Another interesting thing about the iPhone 6S Plus is that the smartphone's front-facing 5MP camera has the ability to capture slow-motion videos as well. Again, users can choose between 1080p videos at 120fps or 720p videos at 240fps. We can't actually figure why anyone would want to capture slow-motion videos using the secondary camera, but at least the option is available should a suitable context present itself.
LG V10 Review
While the LG V10's slow-motion video capture abilities are limited to its 720p @ 120fps mode, the reason why the LG V10 remains a top choice in the context of this article is its manual video mode. If you know what you're doing, you can use this manual mode to capture some astonishing videos.
Google Nexus 6P Review
Motorola Moto X Pure Review
The primary camera on Motorola's current-gen flagship is a 21MP sensor with a physical size of 1/2.4" and 1.1µm pixels (the largest sensor on this list but the smallest pixel size due to the increased resolution). Other raw specs include an aperture of f/2.0 and phase-detection autofocus.
Overall, the Moto X Pure Edition is capable of capturing above-average videos. However, slow-motion video capture is limited to 720p @ 120fps, and the handset also lacks the V10's manual video mode.