The recently launched Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ claim to have caught up to iPhone X’s video recording capabilities, at least on paper. But printed specifications don’t really translate into the real world.
Both the Samsung S9 and S9+ come with a 4K shooting at 60 frames per second, which is similar to the iPhone X. However, there is a catch to this new ability of the Samsung smartphone: the recording is limited to five-minute clips. After shooting for around 30 minutes back-to-back, the S9+ shows no stability issues apart from the heat generated.
On the contrary, iPhone X does not have any limitations on the recording time. It does heat up, but not as much as Samsung. The recording time limitation of the S9+ is not only restricted to 4K at 60 frames per second, but even the 4K 30, Quad HD, and 1080p 60 modes are limited to 10 minutes per clip.
When comparing the 4K recording of both the devices, the image quality has a noticeable drop switching from 30fps to 60fps on the S9+. The video does looks a lot better at 30fps and is similar in quality to the iPhone X. But in 60fps, the iPhone X still remains far more detailed than the S9+.
In the 4K macro detail at 60fps, the minimum focus distance is almost identical for both the devices with the equal amount of background blur. However, the iPhone X recording looks a little bit sharper and has more true to life colours.
Although the autofocus speed on both the devices is great, the iPhone X gives a slightly overexposed shot and still has more details than the Samsung smartphone. On the contrary, the S9+ does a far better job in terms of video stabilization as compared to the iPhone X.
Coming to the very famous Super Slow Motion feature, the Galaxy S9+ is a disappointment as getting the correct timing in the auto mode is purely on luck. The video is underexposed, resulting in darker videos, and it’s also not possible to control which areas of a video are in slow motion after the clip has been recorded. Although the slowed video did look smooth on both the devices, the iPhone X’s exposure for slow motion recording is much better. There is also a significant crop in the 1080p 240fps super slow motion video in S9+.
The front camera of S9+ is better mainly because it shoots in 1440p resolution as compared to iPhone X’s 1080p. The iPhone X’s microphone for selfie video recording is better at background noise cancelling, but the S9+ presents an overall clearer sound.
Also, Samsung’s new high-efficiency video format gets corrupted when transferred to Mac. Using WeTransfer, AirMore, and even a Windows PC results in corrupted videos. The S9+ does not get connected to Mac even while using Android File Transfer and Samsung Switch.
Overall, the Galaxy S9+ has been impressive in gaining 4K 60 video capture, but the quality suffers compared to the 30fps version. The super slow motion feature is cool, but extremely underexposed and produces terrible video quality.