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Video

Daytime:


Videos shot during the day benefit from plentiful light. Sunny weather or even overcast skies, those are good conditions for a small sensor such as the one on a smartphone. All of our smartphones performed well in those conditions, with no skipped frames and a solid 1080p video output. But some stood out.

One feature we appreciated a lot in the HTC One and Nokia Lumia 920 was the optical image stabilization (OIS). This is such a game-changer, and makes a world of a difference in the captured video. While video on handsets like the Galaxy S III turns out very shaky, the One and the Lumia 920 do an admirable job of fixing that. The Lumia 920 has a slight edge, but OIS worked very well on the One as well. In terms of color purity, we liked the video on the Apple iPhone 5 the most.





Night:

If you are the kind of person that enjoys parties, goes out to bars, clubs or concerts a lot, good news is that with the HTC One comes with very good night video recording quality for a smartphone and you ought to love that. You can see that it is the only device that records usable footage from a dance party we visited - while you’d struggle to see people’s faces in the dark on other phones, you’d easily see them on footage from the HTC One.



It is also better with our night scenes shooting beautiful buildings in the city – colors and exposure are great and so is notice level.

Nokia Lumia 920 performs very well here although white balance may be an issue sometimes – you can see how the church color in the clip got washed out.

The Apple iPhone 5 seems to do fairly well in these conditions too, and while noise is definitely an issue, the end result is decent for a smartphone.

Galaxy S III once again delivers overexposed results – the videos are usable, but not as pretty.

Xperia Z's night videos are also very good, with naturally looking colors and exposure.

The Nexus 4 is the worst of them all. Its night videos are ruined by bad noise, problems with the focus and not so good colors.

Ranking:

  • HTC One
  • Nokia Lumia 920
  • Apple iPhone 5, Sony Xperia Z
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
  • Nexus 4



Sound in video:

Good video is not just about what you see, though, it is also a lot about the audio. Best results are achieved with the HTC One, which delivers full, deep stereo sound. Nokia Lumia 920 also records distortion free and bass-full sound, but its sound is also kinda muffled and it is a bit quieter for some reason.

The rest of the devices just lack that depth and clarity. If we had to give out a bronze medal, the Apple iPhone 5 would get it but it’s a very distant third that lacks depth. The Sony Xperia Z and Samsung Galaxy S III rank about the same down the list with Xperia Z having a slightly hissy recordings and the S III sounding downright tinny. The Nexus 4 once again is the sore loser, recording sub-par sound.

Ranking:

  • HTC One
  • Nokia Lumia 920
  • Apple iPhone 5, Sony Xperia Z, Samsung Galaxy S III, Nexus 4

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