Last year, AppleInsider compared the video capture capabilities of the iPhone X with its then main competitor Samsung Galaxy Note 8. In this review, the iPhone X proved superior and offered higher quality slow motion, better autofocus and the option Record 4K resolution at incredible 60 frames per second.
The recently released Galaxy S9 and S9 + seem to have caught up with the iPhone X on paper, but printed specifications often do not produce real performance. We've put the Galaxy S9 + to the test to see if the iPhone X still has the upper hand.
Samsung has enabled both S9 devices to record 4K at 60 frames per second, matching the iPhone X. However, there is a catch on this new capability, namely that the recording is limited to five-minute clips.
After recording in this format with back-to-back clips for about 30 minutes, there seemed to be no stability issues with the S9 +, except for the heat that caused them to get extremely hot. While the iPhone X generated some warmth, it was not nearly as warm as the S9 + and there were no recording time restrictions at all.
It was also noted that limiting the recording time for the S9 + was not limited to 4K at 60 frames per second, as videos in the 4K 30, Quad HD and 1
For heat management and lack of recording time limitations, Apple beats Samsung in this review.
When comparing the 4K recordings, a noticeable drop in image quality can be observed when switching from 30 fps to 60 fps in the S9 +. The video from the S9 + looks a whole lot better with 30 frames per second and is similar in the quality of the recording of the iPhone X 4K 30.
In the 60 frames per second capture, the iPhone X retains much more detail than the S9 Plus.
Comparing 4K macro details at 60 fps, the minimum focus distance is very similar for both devices, with background blurring being the same size. The iPhone X material, however, looks a bit sharper, as the colors seem more realistic.
Testing the autofocus speed revealed that both had done a great job. While it was noted that the iPhone X slightly overexposed the shot, it had even more details than the results from the S9 +.
When testing the video stabilization of both smartphones, which record 4K 60 shots, the S9 + does a much better job than the iPhone X.
The "Super Slow Motion" feature of the Galaxy S9 + was released in multi-shot mode. Mode Tried Getting the right timing in auto mode was hit and miss. The resulting video was also pretty dark, and the 720p resolution is also disappointing.
It is also not possible to control which parts of a video are in slow motion after the clip is shot in this mode. For slow-motion shooting, we would rather shoot in 1080p with higher quality and 240 frames per second and slow down certain sections in post-production.
The darkness was also found when the 4K 60 video was slowed down and the S9 + was constantly underexposing the image. The slowed video looked easy on both devices.
A normal high-speed recording at 1080p 240 fps slowed down to 30 fps during playback, showing more details in the S9 +, but again with a slightly dark image. Comparing the two, the exposure of the iPhone X is much better for slow motion shots.
Compared to the 1080p 240 video, we've also found a significant amount of super-slow motion, with S9 + users having to be careful when setting up in this mode.
The front camera of the S9 + looks better, especially because it records in 1440p resolution instead of 1080p in the iPhone X.
When testing the microphones for selfie video recording, the iPhone X achieves better background noise reduction, but the S9 + offers a clearer overall sound.
We also had big problems with Samsung's new high-efficiency video mode when recording in 4K, regardless of the frame rate. All of our 4K clips in HEVC format were damaged when we transferred them to our Mac.
Attempts to use WeTransfer, Airmore, and even a Windows PC resulted in videos becoming corrupt. The S9 + would also not connect to our Mac if we use Android File Transfer and Samsung Switch.
It took hours to fix the issue to finally get usable video footage and had no problems whatsoever when the high efficiency mode was off. Until Samsung fixes this, it is recommended to avoid recording in High Efficiency mode at all.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S9 + can achieve impressive video footage of 4K 60, but the quality suffers from the 30fps version. The super slow motion feature is pretty cool, but extremely underexposes the picture and produces terrible quality video.