Modern smartphones are more than just a means of making calls. Under their covers hides hardware that can run resource-intensive applications and games, shoot high-quality photos and videos. In recent years, smartphones have made significant advances in shooting capabilities. In today’s article, we have collected 5 smartphones for video — they create high-quality videos. Read on to find out what these smartphones are.
How was it evaluated
When assigning final scores, we evaluated the following indicators of the main cameras of smartphones (with the exception of the optical zoom, in this case the telephoto lens):
- matrix size — measured in fractions of an inch, for example, 1/1.8”. The larger the matrix, the higher the score (1/1.7″ is greater than 1/3.2″).
- Pixel size (micrometers, microns) — the more, the higher the score.
- Diaphragm specified in f‑stops, such as f/1.8. The smaller the value, the brighter the lens, and the higher the score.
- CPU — Shooting high-quality video requires a lot of computing power. The higher the chipset in the ranking, the higher the score.
- Resolution and frame rate — the more features (for example, 8K support), the higher the score.
- optical zoom — evaluated a special camera with periscope technology for shooting with zoom without significant loss of quality. The higher the optical zoom, the higher the score.
Each parameter was evaluated on a 5‑point scale.
In addition, we consider it necessary to clarify some characteristics of the cameras:
h.264 codec or AVC (Advanced Video Coding) is the most popular codec today. This standard recognizes resolutions up to 2048 x 2048 pixels.
h.265 codec or HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) is the latest video compression format. This standard supports formats up to 8K. Compared to h.264, it has improved compression efficiency, reliability, and reduced real-time latency. That is, the quality of the video is higher, while the file weighs less. Not all devices support this codec.
ToF camera - the abbreviation stands for “time of flight” (which can be translated as “flight time”). In fact, this is a depth sensor. It is used when taking portraits with a blurred background.
Top smartphones for shooting video
All models in question are equipped with phase detection autofocus and optical image stabilization.
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
The main camera on the back of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra uses a large 1/1.12-inch Samsung GN2 sensor with a resolution of 50MP and a pixel size of 1.4μm. It is equipped with 4‑in‑1 binning technology. The result is 2.8µm pixels and 12.5MP images by default. The sensor has Dual Pixel bi-directional phase detection autofocus. In front of the GN2 is an 8‑element lens with a 24mm equivalent focal length and f/1.95 aperture. Supports optical stabilization.
The telephoto lens is a 1/2‑inch 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor with 1.2µm pixels and a Quad Bayer filter (outputs 12MP photos). The lens is a stabilized periscope with 5x zoom, PDAF and f/4.1 aperture.
Another IMX586 sensor is available, but paired with a 128-degree ultra wide-angle lens (f/2.2, laser autofocus).
Auxiliary elements of the main camera include:
- laser autofocus;
- triple LED flash;
- optional 1.1‑inch OLED display.
The selfie camera uses a 20MP Samsung S5K3T2 1/3.4‑inch sensor with 0.8µm pixels and a Quad Bayer (f/2.2) color filter. The output is photos with a nominal resolution of 20 megapixels. Autofocus is not available.
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra can shoot 8K video at up to 24fps and 4K60 on all cameras. Stabilization is available for all resolutions and frame rates. You can choose between h.264 and h.265 codecs (only h.265 for 8K). Bitrate when shooting in 8K — 130 Mbps, 4K30 — 62 Mbps (using h.264). Excellent detail, wide dynamic range, nice colors.
Pros of Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra:
- Bright 6.81-inch 1440p OLED screen, 120Hz refresh rate, accurate color, Gorilla Glass Victus;
- segment-worthy battery life (5000mAh, 11hrs 3mins Wi-Fi web browsing at 120Hz), blazing fast charging (67W, full charge in 37 minutes), wireless charging (67W) and reverse charging (10 W);
- high-quality stereo speakers tuned by Harman Kardon, Wi-Fi 6e, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, IP68 protection class,
- excellent photo and video quality in all directions.
Cons of Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra:
- one of the heaviest smartphones on the market (234 g), the camera module sticks out a lot;
- propensity to overheat during stress testing (not so much in real use);
- no audio jack and no memory card slot.
Huawei P40 Pro
Huawei P40 Pro is equipped with the so-called Ultra Vision camera from . Leica is a German manufacturer of lenses and cameras.
The main camera uses a large 1/1.28-inch 50MP Quad Bayer sensor with an RYYB filter. The size of the combined pixel is 2.44 microns. The lens has a 23mm equivalent focal length, f/1.9 aperture, PDAF Omnidirectional Phase Detection Autofocus and OIS.
In the RYYB color filter, the green subpixels are replaced by yellow ones. According to the manufacturer, this allows the sensor to collect 40% more light than conventional RGGB filters. This results in better image quality in low light. By default, this camera outputs 12.5 megapixel images.
Ultra Wide Camera — 1/1.54″ 40MP image sensor with Quad-Bayer RGGB filter. Makes 10 megapixel images by default. Huawei is positioning this sensor as a movie camera due to the wider aspect ratio (3:2 versus the commonly used 4:3).
The telephoto lens has a 12-megapixel sensor (periscope, f/3.4, PDAF, OIS, 5x optical zoom).
The fourth and final camera is ToF. It speeds up autofocus, improves subject separation, and provides more convincing background blur in portrait mode.
For taking selfies, there are two cameras and autofocus:
- 32MP sensor (1/2.8″, 0.8µm) behind 26mm f/2.2 lens.
- ToF camera for excellent bokeh effect.
The Huawei P40 Pro records video up to 4K at 60fps with both ultra-wide and regular cameras. Telephoto is capped at 30fps in both 4K and 1080p. P40 Pro has 3 microphones and in addition to recording stereo sound (192 kbps), it supports audio zoom — when you increase the video, the sound is also amplified.
It is possible to select h.264 and h.265 codecs. 4K60 frames have a low bitrate of about 26–27 Mbps (h.264), 4K30 — 39–40 Mbps.
Huawei P40 Pro supports a variety of video shooting modes — real-time bokeh, 4K HDR time-lapse, 7680 fps slow motion, dual video from two cameras at the same time.
The main camera shoots very good video with excellent contrast, high detail at 30 fps and a wide dynamic range.
Pros of Huawei P40 Pro:
- excellent OLED screen with high resolution and a frequency of 90 Hz;
- stable flagship-level performance (Kirin 990 5G);
- reliable battery life (4200 mAh, 15 hours 14 minutes of browsing sites), fully charged in 50 minutes (40 W), wireless and reverse charging (both 27 W);
- excellent photo quality day and night on all cameras;
- selfies at the highest level;
- high quality video at 30 frames per second in all directions, excellent stabilization;
- waterproof case IP68, hybrid slot for memory cards up to 256 GB, Wi-Fi 6, NFC.
Cons of Huawei P40 Pro:
- memory cards only NV;
- no 3.5 mm jack;
- lack of Google Mobile Services.
Apple iPhone 13 Pro
The main camera on the rear panel received a large sensor with large 1.9 micron pixels. The 26mm has an f/1.5 aperture. Dual pixel PDAF and OIS with sensor shift are available.
The 77mm equivalent f/2.8 telephoto lens supports PDAF, OIS and 3x zoom.
The ultra-wide-angle lens (120˚) received PDAF autofocus and f/1.8 aperture. Like all other sensors, it is 12-megapixel.
There is a TOF 3D LiDAR scanner that helps the cameras when shooting portraits and quickly focus in low light conditions.
On the front is a 12MP camera with a focal length of 23mm and a lens with f/2.2 aperture. There is no autofocus. 3D scanner for FaceID helps in portrait mode.
iPhone 13 Pro can record video at up to 4K60 (including 4K24) on all four cameras. All cameras have digital stabilization. All modes, including 4K60, have an extended dynamic range thanks to Smart HDR. Slow motion options reach a maximum resolution of 1080p at 240 fps.
It is possible to record and edit HDR video in Dolby Vision format with a maximum resolution of 4K60 (the previous generation was limited to 30 frames per second).
There is a choice between H.265 HEVC and H.264 video encoders. High-Efficiency mode uses H.265 and is mandatory for 4K60 and HDR video recordings, while More Compatible (H.264) mode simplifies playback across devices.
The iPhone 13 records stereo audio for video at around 192 kbps.
The main feature of the iPhone 13 Pro camera is cinematic mode. It allows you to move the focus in the frame from one object to another and gives the effect of depth.
The video quality on a smartphone is one of the best, especially in good lighting. Excellent dynamic range and vibrant colors, no noise and very good detail.
Pros of the iPhone 13 Pro:
- compact dimensions (146.7 x 71.5 x 7.7 mm)
- very bright OLED screen with accurate color reproduction, Dolby Vision, 120 Hz;
- loud stereo speakers, waterproof IP68, Wi-Fi 6, NFC;
- unrivaled performance (Apple A15 Bionic);
- excellent photo and video quality on all four cameras.
Cons of the iPhone 13 Pro:
- outdated view with a notch;
- heavy (204 g);
- the chipset is prone to throttling at maximum load (77% processor stability after an hour-long stress test);
- takes 1 hour 38 minutes to fully charge, adapter not included;
- no memory card slot, 3.5mm headphone jack.
You can find a detailed overview of the cameras of all iPhone 13 models at this link. And here is a video review of the capabilities of the iPhone 13 Pro for videographers.
Google Pixel 6 Pro
The main camera of the Google Pixel 6 Pro is a 50MP Samsung ISOCELL GN1 1/1.31″ sensor with dual pixel PDAF autofocus and optical image stabilization behind an f/1.85 lens and 1.2µm pixels. As a result of binning, pixels are enlarged to 2.4 microns, images are output in 12.5 MP format.
The second sensor on the back is a 48MP periscope camera with 4x optical zoom. This 1/2‑inch sensor has 0.8µm pixels and sits behind an f/3.5 lens. It is equipped with PDAF and OIS. With a combination of Super Res zoom and 4x optical zoom, the Pixel 6 Pro can shoot at up to 20x zoom.
Next up is the ultra-wide-angle camera – a 12MP sensor with 1.25µm pixels and an f/2.2 aperture lens. The viewing angle is 114 degrees.
The front camera is 11.1MP with a 20mm ultra wide-angle lens (1.22µm, f/2.2) capable of recording 4K video at 30fps.
The Google Tensor chip supports a new algorithm called HDRnet for processing video frames. Thanks to him, the Google Pixel 6 Pro smartphone can record video up to 4K at 60 frames per second, HDR correction is applied to each frame of the video.
4K video from the main camera looks amazing. Noise is virtually non-existent, dynamic range is excellent, and colors are vibrant. Video with 4x zoom (4K30) from the periscope camera has excellent detail and a wide dynamic range
Pros of Google Pixel 6 Pro:
- degree of protection IP68, Gorilla Glass Victus on both sides, NFC, stereo speakers, Wi-Fi 6e, Bluetooth 5.2;
- LTPO AMOLED display with a frequency of 120 Hz and excellent readability in the sun;
- general-purpose Google Tensor performance (10th in performance rankings);
- high-quality photos and videos; great footage from the 4x periscope camera.
Cons of Google Pixel 6 Pro:
- battery life is not as expected (5003 mAh, 12 hours 32 minutes browsing), no charger included;
- HDR+ is too aggressive when taking photos;
- The Google Tensor chip slows down with prolonged peak performance;
- there is no headphone jack and the possibility of expanding the internal memory.
We have collected for you a detailed review-comparison of Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
The Galaxy S22 Ultra is equipped with a quad-camera system.
The main camera uses a 1/1.33-inch ISOCELL HM3 sensor with a pixel size of 0.8µm. As a result of pixel binning technology, photos are 12MP (with 2.4µm pixels) by default. The lens has a 23mm equivalent focal length, f/1.8 aperture, phase detection PDAF and laser autofocus and optical image stabilization.
Then there are two 10-megapixel lenses with a matrix size of 1/3.52″, pixels of 1.12 microns. One supports 3x zoom, has an aperture of f/2.4, the second supports 10x, f/4.9. Both are equipped with dual pixelPDAF and OIS.
The ultra-wide camera uses a 1/2.55″ sensor with 1.4µm pixels and dual pixel PDAF. The lens has an f/2.2 aperture and a 120-degree field of view.
The selfie camera is a 40MP 1/2.8‑inch sensor with 0.7µm pixels behind a 26mm lens with f/2.2 aperture. By default, photos have a resolution of 10 megapixels.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra records video up to 4K60 on all five cameras. It can also shoot 8K with the main camera, but only at 24fps. Video stabilization is available in all of these modes.
8K is always encoded in h.265 HEVC while for other modes you can choose between h.264 or h.265. Regardless of the video mode, audio is recorded in stereo at a bit rate of 256 kbps.
Pros of Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra:
- highly functional stylus S Pen;
- stunning display (Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+)
- holds a charge for such a device for a long time (5000 mAh, 16 hours 54 minutes of browsing sites)
- the camera system is one of the best on the market, with zoom capabilities hard to compete;
- IP68, stereo speakers (configured by AKG), Wi-Fi 6e, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC.
Cons of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra:
- S Pen adds weight (228g);
- without the possibility of increasing the internal storage and headphone jack.
Detailed specifications of the models of the Samsung Galaxy S22 line can be found here.
For convenience, we have collected the criteria for evaluation in one table:
|Model / Feature||Matrix size||Pixel size, µm||Diaphragm||CPU||Resolution and frame rate||optical zoom|
|Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra||1/1.12″||1.4||f/2.0||Snapdragon 888 5G (8th place)||8K@24fps, 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240/960/1920fps, electronic stabilization (EIS), HDR10+||5x|
|Huawei P40 Pro||1/1.28″||1.22||f/1.9||Kirin 990 5G (26th place)||4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60fps, 720@7680fps, 1080p@960fps, HDR; EIS||5x|
|Apple iPhone 13 Pro||1/1.65″||1.9||f/1.5||Apple A15 Bionic (1st place)||4K@24/30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps, 10-bit HDR, Dolby Vision HDR (up to 60fps)||3x|
|Google Pixel 6 Pro||1/1.31″||1.2||f/1.9||Google Tensor (10th place)||4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps; EIS, OIS||4x|
|Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra||1/1.33″||0.8||f/1.8||Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (4th)||8K@24fps, 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, 720p@960fps, HDR10+, EIS||10x|
The considered models received the following estimates:
|Model / Feature||Matrix size||Pixel size, µm||Diaphragm||CPU||Resolution and frame rate||optical zoom||Average score|
|Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra||5||four||2||3||5||four||3.83|
|Huawei P40 Pro||four||3||3||one||four||four||3.16|
|Apple iPhone 13 Pro||one||5||5||5||four||2||3.67|
|Google Pixel 6 Pro||3||2||3||2||four||3||2.83|
|Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra||2||one||four||four||5||5||3.5|
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra received the highest ratings. However, we can say with confidence that any smartphone from our top shoots great videos.