Did you know: here is how much 4K video you can record on a 16GB iPhone 6s


The new Apple iPhone 6s family is already up for pre-order and it brings heaps of novelty to the series: the brand new 3D touch way of interacting with the system, the fresh Apple A9 SoC, and a 12-megapixel main iSight camera that is now capable of recording 4K video.

At the same time, Apple has decided to continue selling the base iPhone model with just 16GB of internal storage. And while iOS 9 has gotten leaner, it will still take up a few gigabytes of that allowance, leaving users with somewhere in the vicinity of 12GB of actually available storage.

And yes, you might have quite a few apps and games that would eat a big percentage of that, so we were curious to see how much of that touted high-res 4K video would you be able to record on that storage.

Let's assume that you have around 12GB of internal storage, saving nearly all of the available space just for 4K video. We're using official numbers stated in the iPhone 6s settings to come up with these calculations.

Here is how much storage a minute of video takes up:

  • 60MB with 720p HD at 30 fps
  • 130MB with 1080p Full HD at 30 fps 
  • 200MB with 1080p Full HD at 60 fps
  • 375MB with 4K at 30 fps

So how much video can you record on that 12GB of free storage you might have on your iPhone 6s. Here are the numbers:

  • 200 minutes (3 hours and 20 minutes) of 720p HD video at 30 fps
  • 92 minutes (1 hours and 30 minutes) of 1080p Full HD video at 30 fps
  • 60 minutes (1 hour) of 1080p Full HD video at 60 fps
  • 32 minutes of 4K video at 30 fps

So there you have it: even with a pristine clean base model of the iPhone 6s, you can only record around half an hour of 4K video until you run out of storage. This might make you reconsider using 4K at all: it will eat your storage and if you have a few games and apps, you won't be able to record even that much. And that really is quite the disgrace in 2015, don't you think?

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112 Comments

1. iusshpandeh

Posts: 250; Member since: Jul 23, 2014

The value of X on 16 GB variant will probably be few minutes!

6. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Memory isn't the problem. How far can the battery go in recording 4K? Which will go down first, battery or memory?

35. TyrionLannister unregistered

With that processor, i won't worry about battery drain while 4k recording. I am pretty certain iphone can easily record 4-5 hours of 4k video without shutting down due to 0 battery, if there is unlimited storage that is .

37. SamDH1

Posts: 419; Member since: Apr 21, 2015

No way. So you are saying, screen on, while recording in 4k, the battery will last 4-5 hours. That means, the battery should last about 8-9 hours with screen on time when not recording 4k. If that's true, kudos to Apple, but there is no way

42. TyrionLannister unregistered

Now that's speculation on your end. The screen-on time has nothing to do with it. Yes, if you stare at the screen or keep it on and do nothing, you can easily get 10 hours of screen-on time with an iPhone 6. The reason actual screen-on time is so less is due to the modem, your constant notifications and so on. You can expect the SoC of iPhone 6S to be more efficient than my S6, and S6 can easily last 5 hours with 4k. I have recorded 15 min of 4k with it and it lost about 5%. Do the math genius.

84. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

So you recorded 3 time 5 min right? because 4k is limited to 5 min on the S6 ;) i think the iphone 6S will have horrible battery life like all iphone in the past ( beside the 6+ )

94. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

The 6+ has terrible battery life too, considering the battery size. even with its battery, you barely even get 7 hours of usage yet both Galaxy S6 model get more than 8.

97. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

7 hours of usages is not bad. its average. I dont like Apple still i must say the truth. Ofcourse there is lots of phone with better battery life in same categories .

129. coldspring22

Posts: 349; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

Not to mention, you can't swap out battery for spare on iphone. Neither do you have option of wireless charging or fast charging. Even if Galaxy S6 has shorter battery life than iphone 6 plus, it can sit on a wireless charger all day at office, where as iphone 6 plus must be manually plugged in and out all the time. Iphone loses on battery/charging comparison all around due mainly to poor design. With Apple it has always been fashion over function.

68. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

No it could not. Most devices have time limits on 4K due to it heating up the internals. The CPU and camera itself especially. The iPhone could not record more than maybe 20 mins of video at a time before it would be to hot. It can even play a full HD game for more than 30 mins because my kid gets a message that the iPad is to hot and needs to close the cool down. Yet you think it could record 4K video for hours at a time? Dude, WTF are you smokin!!! PLEEEEEAAASSSSEEEE give me some, because it has to be the best in this known galaxy.

72. TyrionLannister unregistered

Well, I was assuming those aren't issues. I was just concerned about battery life. obviously you need a huge rig to record that long a 4k video. Even the RX100 MK4 crashed on MKBHD due to overheating when he was recording in IFA( he tweeted that).

83. Niva.

Posts: 440; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

My Lord Dwarf, you may turn out to be right, but at this point you're just assuming/guessing. While these devices have 4K capability I'm really curious if it's worth it. I want to see some side by side comparisons between FHD and 4K recordings and see if we can actually tell the difference on a 4K screen... or perhaps they can do freezeframe analysis and zoom into the shots so we could tell outside of the 4K screen scenario if these things even make much of a difference. With only 16GB of storage it doesn't seem like we should even want to shoot video with 4K though. This is where SD cards become really important to have.

66. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Storage will go down first.

20. yann

Posts: 612; Member since: Jul 15, 2010

Can I ask: Does it still shooting videos in mono sound? (Not trolling, just asking)?

33. SIGPRO

Posts: 2815; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Probably.....while my 1520 records 5.1 Dolby Surround!

36. TyrionLannister unregistered

Bulls**t. The 1520 doesn't even have 5 mics, so it's impossible to record 5.1 sound.

45. TyrionLannister unregistered

The link you gave gives an error LOL. I feel sorry for the fanboy who upvoted you. Here are some facts: 1. Lumia 1520 has 4 mics. 2. It records more than stereo sound, but not quite 5.1 as 5.1 requires at least 5 mics and something to process he subwoofer. Microsoft can do some software trickery but a 5.1 sound is simply not possible with a 4 mic setup. Use your brains. Yes, it records in 5.1 dolby 'format'. But it's not a 5.1 audio as it's physically impossible to have 5 audio streams out of a 4 mic setup.

50. SIGPRO

Posts: 2815; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Dude just except that you are wrong......damn! The 1520 and 930 are the only phones that can record DB 5.1.......but you are clearly ignorant to believe it because your lovely s6 can't!

63. talon95

Posts: 992; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

I don't know, but, I doubt any studio records with more than 4 directional mics. I assume they simply use the 4 to calculate directional sound and then apply it to the 5.1 or 7.1 output. In a 5.1 setup the 5th channel is just the center and often a combination front right and left. For a movie where the subject is mic'd they happen to have a discrete input to the center channel but the whole thing is being mixed in post processing, so they can do whatever they want. So for home videos I don't think there is any need for more than 4 mics and still be able to upmix it to 7.1 surround. Isn't that the whole point of Dolby in the first place? (to synthesize surround) Anyways, I'm impressed they have 4 mics, even if they're not directional enough to be any better than stereo.

75. TyrionLannister unregistered

Well, I don't know if they have or don't have 5 mics or more in studios. But in studios, there is a huge seperation between mics that creates a much more surround effect. Read my comment #64. But I'm happy to see someone knows his stuff here. Most of these morons who are harrassing me don't even have an idea what they are talking about. And the worst part is, they don't understand. Either way, binaural sound clearly has more future compared to these surround sound formats.

81. talon95

Posts: 992; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

Yeah, without separation or some really good directional isolation I'm not really sure what value the 4 mics have, but they're trying I guess. I haven't used a Lumia. Maybe someday if MS can get its act together and becomes a little more open and transparent, and hardware progresses to the point that I can run CAD from a phone, then I will be quite excited to have a true mobile all in one workstation. That would be my only incentive to drop Android. I expect to be there in 5 years, but who will do it first is the question, even Apply is going there but I don't think apple will be a viable CAD platform any time soon.

86. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Still much better than crappy mono!

118. DarkStar286

Posts: 229; Member since: Mar 18, 2014

5.1 does not require at least 5 microphones; the Dolby standard applies only delivering audio, not how it's recorded. It is quite possible to create a 5.1 recording from a stereo source, as they sometimes do when remastering old films. 4 microphones is pretty standard for recording surround sound audio, from there it's easy to create the extra channels to play back in 5.1 or even 9.1; it's just a matter of mixing the four sources correctly. And when you're recording something for surround sound you actually want the mics close together and pointing away from each other rather than being spread out, that way you get less crossover; you want the sound from each direction to be as defined as possible. I don't know if the 1520 does produce video files with 5.1 audio, but it's microphones are arranged really well for it and those mems microphones are amazing, they'd have no trouble filling out the subwoofer channel.

44. SIGPRO

Posts: 2815; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Haha it must hurt to be wrong.......NOOB! Do some research before you respond......it will save you some humiliation! The 930 and 1520 are the only phones in the world to my knowlegde that can record 5.1 Dolby Surround!

46. TyrionLannister unregistered

Sure sure, it's clear who is the noob here. It just records in 5.1 format. But since it has 4 mics, it's not real 5..1 surround sound. Use your brains. Ooops sorry, you don't have one.

48. hound.master

Posts: 1044; Member since: Feb 27, 2015

Well you can blame Dolby digital for that it's still 5.1 Many things are like that anyway. 3D touch! It's a f**king 2d panel for can it have 3D touch? It's f**king pressure touch. Even the 4k recording isn't actually 4k. There's just a lot more of these s**ts around. I don't think if 7.1 crystal clear sound actually need 7 speakers to run.

51. TyrionLannister unregistered

Do you really consider me an apple fan. It's not 4k recording. It's UHD recording. Iphone 6s records perfect 3840×2160 video which is UHD. there is nothing fake about that. And yes, to properly experience a 7.1 surround sound, you need 7 speakers and I've subwoofer. That's why most cameras record in stereo, as most people hear on either headphones or on a 2 speaker setup. It'll be a wastage of storage to record on 5.1 if 99.9% people can't even hear it properly.

52. SIGPRO

Posts: 2815; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

BTW the 1520 can record Dolby Digital Plus sound.......oh wait your S6 can't!

53. TyrionLannister unregistered

I don't have 5 speakers to play it anyway. And s6 records 2 streams at 256 khz which is the same bitrate as the 1520 records it's 4 streams. That means more detail per stream. Hence, s6 will sound way better on a regular earphone set. Too bad you won't understand what i wrote with the peanut size brain you have. Why don't you go and fap to the microsoft poster you have in your room.

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