Comparison Test: Video Phones

Three sharp HD mobile phones meet the newcomers with superupplösningen 4 k

The first handsets that could seriously challenge the ordinary compact cameras showed up for just over five years ago. It was mainly about the stills and today one has to almost the top of the SLR level to get picture quality that is so much better than the cell phone that the difference makes it worth the hassle to carry around an extra gadget. The cell phone has become the primary still camera for many. But how does it look when it comes to moving pictures? Delivers mobile movies of high enough grade to be able to take over the role as your camcorder?

Apple Iphone 5S

IPhone 5S is together with Lumia 1020 veterans of the test by about a year on the market. None of them, however, at the time of writing a clear replacement that is better. Anyone who is looking for fast on the specifications may get the impression that the camera jetting is roughly the same as its predecessor Iphone 5, but in fact has the most improved, but pixel count that remains at 8 million. The image sensor is slightly larger, the lens lets in a little more light and photo lighting has a dual LEDs that through various whiteness gives better colour rendition of the images.

To record video with your Iphone camera app, select and select one 5S either “Video” or “Slow” on the small menu above the shutter button on the screen. Position “Slow” means that the camera records video at 120 fps. When switching from the still image mode to video, it looks like the camera zooms in. For still image capture Iphone 5S pretty much the same motives as a 30-millimetersobjektiv on a full-frame camera while video mode looks more like 50 mm. The reason is the digital image stabilization. By having a little margin in each direction on the image sensor, the cell phone rule out moves and give video with less shock. The stabilization works really well under normal circumstances – when shooting Freehand broadly in the same direction. The disadvantages include if you pin your phone on a tripod and trying to make the pans. Stabilisation attempts to fight even soft panning so that it becomes a bit choppy compared to the result of a non-stabilized camera. The stabilization is unfortunately not turning off with the built-in camera app. The possibility exists, however, with alternative video apps like video or Camerapro.

Videos from Iphone 5S have fairly high compression. Bit rate oscillates between about 15 and 18 Mbit/s depending on the scene.Although it gives the films a really sharp impression, and it’s hard to find some annoying artifacts. The camera in the Iphone 5S have good equipment, but very few manual settings options. You can choose whether the lights on or off and zoom digitally – more features than that does not exist. I would have liked to have seen some different selectable picture styles and the ability to select white balance. By holding your finger on the screen, you can in all cases to lock exposure and focus. The video clips are recorded with mono sound and Iphone 5S suppresses wind noise very sharply.

Plus: Good results with the default settings. Fits in most pockets.

Minuses: Few setting options.

Htc One M8

HTC is still the idea that larger pixels on the sensor produces better images and content to pick out 4 megapixels from the same surface for 8 and 13 megapixel phones from Apple and LG. One M8 is the only cell phone with sharper video call camera than the main camera.Good for selfies with other words. For still images are low-resolution sensor most of HTC’s disadvantage because the loss in sharpness interferes with considerably more than any gains in noise image. But how is the cell phone when it comes to video? The interface looks, at first, to have very few features, but the menu button on the screen enable a list with a range of useful settings. You can choose the number of pictures per second, ISO (sensitivity), exposure compensation of-2 to + 2 EV, four different types of white balance and seven different image styles. A tap the gear wheel opens additional settings by selecting the resolution and the ability to create your own picture style by selecting the contrast, color saturation and sharpness. HTC’s interface is quite technical and kameralikt, but at the same time clearly. Once we learned what each function does give the HTC you really good control over the outcome. Previous HTC-lurks have had optical image stabilization, but that feature has not complied with One M8. However, digital stabilization, which means that your phone uses a smaller part of the sensor by video recording than in the still photo. Unfortunately, the feature is always on, so it is not possible to film with full wide angle.

In the video clips is not HTC One M8 has a low-resolution sensor. The level of detail is good and the camera has very little moiré with default settings. Enlarges up small details with high contrast, you can see small artifacts from sharpening, so it might be worth testing a custom picture style with a little less sharpness than the default setting.

HTC’s microphones are quite sensitive to wind noise, but the stereo sound is a big plus. You feel much more present – at least with the headphones on.

Plus: good interface. Stereo sound.

Minus: the ever-active image stabilization.


LG’s new flagship has an impressive screen and several interesting features on the photo and video sites. G3 is one of the test’s three mobiles with recording in 4 k resolution and LG have placed setting logically among other video resolutions from the menu. Oddly enough, it looks like the man zooms in slightly when the 4 k mode is activated. The mobile phone uses a small part of the image sensor for high definition recording compared to when it records standard HD clips.

G3 using a new solution for autofocus. Simplified, it is about a autofokusbelysning that uses a small infrared laser instead of a stark and blinding white light-emitting diode. The idea seems good. External flashes on SLR cameras often use laser diodes as autofokushjälp. In practice, however, it is difficult to find situations where the laser will give any real boost to performance. LG G3 is fast and efficient autofocus, but it is fast even when I paste a small piece of black tape in front of the laser. The auto focus also needs about the same amount of light to work regardless of whether the laser may help or not.

It offers few options. You cannot lock the white balance, or turn off the image stabilizer. The camera produces very sharp images at any resolution, but the videos are compressed way too hard in the 4 k mode and it appears mainly in the form of blockighet. The cell phone has stereo microphone, but the automatic gain control (AGC) works not as discreet as on other phones – the suppression is sometimes so sudden and severe that it sounds like glitches in the headset.

Plus: high-res screen. 4. Good autofocus.

Minus: Compressed Probes 4 k clips. Bad sound.

Lumia 1020

Nokia’s image sensor is something in tight. On the other hand, it is significantly larger than the sensors found in other mobiles and, on the other hand, has the extremely high resolution. At least for still images. The cell phone is sadly lacking 4 k support, but when you compare the clips in full HD keeps Nokia top class. The large sensor allows a much shorter depth of field. Focuses on something close to the lens becomes the background nicely blurred and less distracting. This means almost always a plus for the end result. Nokia video clips do not contain quite as much data as files on LG G3, but picture looks cleaner out and has very good contrast without color becomes excessive. Nokia’s digital zoom is also clearly the best in the test – you can zoom in almost four times without the image quality will suffer. Unfortunately, the camera takes great site and Lumia 1020 feels bulkier than other phones in the test.

It’s a bit confusing that there are already by default, there are two camera apps on your phone. The one you want is called “Pro Camera” and it offers a bit more tuning options – such as manual focus and manual white balance. Nokia has put the most effort into the still matter, but there are still a number of unique and very useful video features – such as noise filters and recording under the “cinema standard” with 24 images per second. Audio filter can be set to either remove all frequencies below 100 or 200 hertz, and it works against the mild wind noise. The result can, of course, does not measure up to an external microphone with “fur hat”.

Plus: Sharp HD clips. Large image sensor.

Minus: Protruding camera part. Lacking in slow motion.

Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung’s camera interface mixes high and low. There is a menu of almost fully automatic scene modes like “beautiful face” and “Panorama” – a menu with so many options that you have to scroll to see them all. Fortunately, you can move up the parameters you screw on most favorite menu that always appears at the top of the camera app. Some features turn off each other — for example, you cannot choose the ISO number when the image stabilizer is active or change the white balance in HDR mode. It takes a while to learn how this fits together, and in the beginning you wonder why a specific button suddenly is shaded.

Galaxy S5 has image sensor in 16:9 format, so the entire sensor surface will be useful when filming. Stabilizer is not quite as efficient as the best mobile phones in the test, but it does a decent job when filming in HD mode. HD mode can handle 60 frames per second, which gives better moves and an extremely noise-free picture. Unfortunately, you cannot get any stabilization at all and max 30 frames per second in the 4 k mode. Videos from Galaxy S5 is razor sharp with very few artifacts or other disturbances. Unfortunately, the overall impression is pulled down an idea of the colors often become unnaturally strong – something that becomes abundantly clear on the phone’s own AMOLED screen. Sound in Samsung’s videos sounds a little muffled. Galaxy S5 compresses the sound a wee bit harder than, for example, Sony Xperia Z2, but the main problem seems to be that the microphones have low sensitivity. What is required is simply quite loud sounds to be heard in the video clip.

Plus: Sharp 4 k clips. Good autofocus.

Minus: No stabilization in the 4 k mode. Oversaturated colors.

Sony Xperia Z2

Xperia Z2 looks much like its predecessor, the Z1, but there are many improvements. The larger the screen area is a clear one, and there are also very new when it comes to video. To recognize themselves in the camera app, but among the Motif applications include news that 4 k recording and “Timeshift video” which on clear language means slow motion. The camera has many setting possibilities. You can choose white balance in a number of fixed positions. It’s easy to add exponeringskompensering and make the image brighter or darker than the automatic system suggests. With manual settings enabled, it is easy to choose the resolution and number of images per second, but it’s a little confusing to 4 k and slow motion are among designs programs and not in the usual video settings.

Xperia Z2 performs well both in HD resolution and in 4 k. Your phone can handle 60 images per second in HD resolution and it gives the files with really smooth movements. The focus is not as good as in the best of the competition, but Sony image stabilization works well for 4 k. Mobile stereo microphones pick up much wind noise, but weaker sound will still with and there are plenty of details even in audio tracks. Sony has added extra editorial in 3.5-mm. This makes it possible to plug in an external stereo microphone-an accessory that practically only existed for the Iphone before.

Plus: 4 k video. Good colors.

Minuses: Some soft sharpness.

Video recording with 4 k is here to stay. The higher resolution is seen in the form of sharper and more detailed videos and waiting for television sets and screens upgrades makes the extra pixels it possible to crop and edit for consumption in 1080 p without quality losses. Mobiles without 4 k can’t quite keep up with when it comes to the details, but it is reflected in the films from Lumia 1020 that although sensor size and the optics matter. Mobiles 4 k modes also imposes restrictions — some setting options disappear and mobiles are capable only to record 5 minute long clip. It’s something that manufacturers need to improve in upcoming models.


The balance between giving the photographer maximum control and making your phone simple to use is not entirely easy. Apple and Samsung wont argue about who is copying whom, but when it comes to kameraapparna, it is clear that the chosen quite different tracks. At Galaxy S5, there are lots of settings while the Iphone basically just allows you to choose if the light is on or off, the number of features of the Samsung and Sony is large, but the interfaces feels a bit fragmented and requires more practice before you see how it fits together – why 4 k recording are among the subjects the applications or why you cannot choose white balance in HDR mode. Nokia and LG have managed better, but, above all, the LG lacks – like the Iphone – many useful settings. HTC manages the balance best and delivers a clear, yet feature-rich, kameraapp.

Winner: HTC One M8


The recording lacks Iphone 5S and LG G3 important settings such as manual selection of the white balance or the ability to turn off stabilization. However, Iphone’s powerful editing through Imovie app — plus a good range of third-party apps that provide greater control. Optical image stabilization – which mechanically move the lens or the image sensor to counteract the shaking – see LG G3 and Lumia 1020. LG’s stabilization works but not particularly good in the video mode. Samsung can, unlike Sony, does not stabilize at 4 k recording. With Iphone 5S you can first think you have to touch the screen to choose new focus points, but there are continuous autofocus, although it is a little slow. Other phones can handle this with continuous autofocus better. Lumia 1020 have a full manual mode.

Winner: Sony Xperia Z2


The image quality of your videos have taken significant steps forward for every model generation, but it has not happened as much on the sound front. Stereo recording is not entirely new, but Iphone 5S lack function, and one should not underestimate the importance of an additional channel for the feeling of presence. None of the phones in the test pass wind noise especially good, but Nokia will give a slightly better results. In quieter environments, Sony has the best sensitivity. Worst do LG G3. Auto level control ensures that the sound oscillate up and down in volume in a disturbing way. Samsung Galaxy S5 has low noise, but at the same time low sensitivity. Really weak sound caught not up.

Winner: Lumia 1020

Sharpness and colors

The ability to record 4 k video really gives more details of the clips. Lumia 1020 gives the best results in full HD, but 4 k resolution will allow LG, Sony and Samsung subtracts. After being enlarged up individual boxes from 4 k clips, I note that Samsung is the very sharpest followed by LG and Sony. Nokia, Sony and Apple has good color rendition while LG, Samsung and HTC will tend to give a little to strong, oversaturated colors. The manual slide styles makes it pretty easy to get to grips with the problem on HTC. Pictures from Sony camera is an idea after Samsung and LG in terms of sharpness, but Sony wins the category, thanks to a far more natural colour reproduction.

Winner: Sony Xperia Z2

Movements and compression

When you compare the size of the files from the various handsets, it is a type of rock that stands out – 4 k movies from LG G3. The files are 30 to 40 percent less than the corresponding clip from Samsung Galaxy S5 or Sony Xperia Z2. LG’s HD clip looks great, but the compression is too high in the 4 k mode and it shows as blockighet in the fast movements and other “difficult” pictures. Nokia, Sony, Samsung and HTC all have a reasonable level of compression. In the case of static subjects is Nokia’s films is clearly at its purest from artifacts, but Apple succeed better with getting the movements look smooth at the same time as the moiré and other disturbances are kept to a minimum.

Winner: Apple Iphone 5

Winner: Sony Xperia Z2

No mobile dominates the whole of the examination table, but even if all the fools have their strengths and akilleshälar is Sony Xperia Z2 the cell that performs smoothly and fairly high throughout the test. Xperia Z2 produces videos that look good on both the big and small screens — whether you’re filming in HD or 4 k. Color reproduction are top class and your phone has good image stabilization even in the 4 k mode. Among the features are both useful and fun features – from the manual white balance to scene modes, slow motion and effects. The audio recording is done in stereo and among the accessories there is an external microphone that can lift the sound quality further.

Sharper Image with 4 k

When it comes to video resolution has traditionally talked about the number of lines – that is, the vertical resolution. It is a remnant from the analog picture tubes time when an electron beam swept horizontally across the image area line for line. Analog television broadcasting passed the 576 lines. HD broadcasts in the terrestrial network delivers 720 while the video on a Blu-ray disc can have up to 1080 lines – the so-called “Full HD”. In width has full HD 1920 pixels 1920 x 1080-pixel thus.

Most of the gadgets with built-in camera can handle today to film with full HD resolution – whether it is phones, SLRs, compact cameras, or tablets. Do you want higher quality, the next step is 4 k. This means that the horizontal resolution to be approximately 4000 pixels. For mobile phones and television sets to solve it by doubling the number of points both in width and in height. According to the classic way of writing becomes the 3840 x 2160 2160-pixel lines. It is almost as high resolution digital video at the cinema – it defines 4 k which is 4096 × 2160 pixel.

So what are the benefits? Well, 4 k-mobiles in test delivers more detailed videos than a system camera with good optics and full frame sensor is capable of resolution of 1920 x 1080. So on a big tv with 4 k support, one can see an improvement. Another advantage is that every single frame have enough resolution to keep. For example, you can shoot sports or other action-packed events and pick out a picture of 8 Megapixels from exactly the right moment.