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 a few seconds (mostly fraction of a second) of true slow-motion capture, which makes it 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:
- Chipset support
- 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 slowmos.
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. 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.
- Rear Camera specs: 40MP (f/1.6) primary, 40MP(f/1.8) wide-angle, 8MP (f/2.4) Telephoto, 3D TOF
- Video capture specs: 2160p@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps/960fps, 720p@1920fps/7680fps (AI Interpolated), gyro-EIS
2. 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 720p@960fps 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.
- Rear Camera specs: 12MP (f/1.6) primary, 12MP(f/2.4) wide-angle, 12MP (f/2.4) Telephoto
- Video capture specs: 2160p@24/30fps HDR, 1080p@60fps/30fps (5-axis gyro-EIS), 1080p@960fps
3. Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ (960 fps)
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ (review) is one of the best Android phones that we saw this year, and it’s also one of the most practical option to buy if shooting slow motion on your phone is a high priority. Samsung has been prioritizing slow-motion videos on its flagship phones for a couple of years and the Note10+ shows noticeable improvements.
The phone can shoot 0.4 seconds of 720@960fps footage that can playback over 12 seconds. Or you can go with 0.8 seconds of 720p@480fps footage and the software can digitally convert it to 960fps and stretch the playback over 24 seconds.
Apart from the Note 10, you may also consider last generation Galaxy Note 9 that has the same Slow-motion shooting capabilities on paper.
- Rear camera specs: Primary 12MP (f/1.5-2.4), 12MP (f/2.1) telephoto, 16MP wide-angle (f/2.2), 3D ToF
- Video capture specs: 2160p@60fps, 1080p@240fps, 720p@960fps, HDR10+, gyro-EIS and OIS
4. Samsung Galaxy S10-series (960 fps)
The three phones in the Samsung Galaxy S10-series – Galaxy S10E, Galaxy S10, and Galaxy S10+ – all support slow-motion capture at 960fps. This is no surprise as Samsung uses almost the same camera technology as the Note-series. And the slow-motion specs also remain similar.
You may shoot 0.4 seconds of 720@960fps footage or go for digitally enhanced 0.8 seconds of 720p@480fps footage and stretch the playback over 12 or 24 seconds, respectively.
Last years’ Galaxy S9-series may also be considered as an option.
- Rear camera specs: Primary 12MP (f/1.5-2.4), 12MP (f/2.4) telephoto, 16MP wide-angle (f/2.2)
- Video capture specs: 2160p@30/60fps, 1080p@240fps, 720p@960fps, HDR10+, gyro-EIS and OIS
5. Huawei P30 Pro
The Huawei P30 Pro (review), which is also renowned for its 10X superzoom, can shoot 0.4 seconds of 720p videos at 960fps. The super slow-motion video at maximum settings can be recorded using the primary 40MP sensor.
The P30 Pro is the last Huawei flagship to include Google suite of apps. It has a curved AMOLED display, is powered by Kirin 980 octa-core chipset and houses a 4200mAh battery with super-fast charging.
If you are not open to big phones, you may also consider the Mate 20 Pro from last year, which is still a relevant option.
6. OnePlus 7T Pro and OnePlus 7T (480 fps)
OnePlus 7T Pro and OnePlus 7T supports 480fps slow-mos at 720p resolution. The Sony IMX586 sensor is however not ideal for shooting slow-motion videos. In fact, the quality of slow-motion videos is a notch below what we had on the OnePlus 6T. But you can still capture workable 1080p videos at 240fps.
The Sony sensor offers a wide dynamic range and improved low light performance for still photography, which is why it is practically ubiquitous in 2019. So, if you are looking for a decent mid-range phone to shoot slow-motion vids, you won’t have many options.
7. 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.
960fps slow-motion on 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:
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.
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. The Mate 30 Pro that aces this list might change our mind, but we are yet to test it and it’s missing Google Apps.
10 Best phones that can shoot slow-motion videos
|Phone name||Slow-motion capture specs|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus||720p@960fps|
|Huawei Mate 30 Pro||720p@1920fps|
|Sony Xperia 1||1080p@960fps|
|Samsung Galaxy S10+/ S10||720p@960fps|
|Samsung Galaxy S10e||720p@960fps|
|Huawei P30 Pro||720p@960fps|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 9||720p@960fps|
|Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus/ S9||720p@960fps|
|OnePlus 7 Pro||720p@480fps|