[Updated] Galaxy S20/S20+ technically superior than S20 Ultra at 960 fps recording
Samsung introduced the Super Slow-mo feature, which records slow motion video at 960 frames per second, two years ago with the Galaxy S9. We’ve seen the feature on all of Samsung’s flagships since then and also some mid-range devices, and the Galaxy S20 series supports 960 fps Super Slow-mo as well. However, there seems to be a key difference between how 960 fps recording is handled on the Galaxy S20 and S20+ compared to the Galaxy S20 Ultra.
Galaxy S20 and S20+ support Full HD Super Slow-mo
Samsung’s specifications page for the Galaxy S20 series on its global website reveals that the Galaxy S20 trio can capture up to a second of video at 960 fps for approximately 32 seconds of super slow motion playback, up from 0.4 seconds on previous flagships. But while the Galaxy S20 and S20+ can record these videos in native 960 fps and Full HD resolution, the Galaxy S20 Ultra can only record HD Super Slow-mo videos at 480 fps, which are then digitally enhanced to 960 frames per second.
It’s worth noting that all previous flagships, including the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+, also extrapolate a 480 fps video to 960 fps digitally. Only 0.4 seconds of video is captured at native 960 fps on those devices. 0.8-second videos are captured at 480 fps and then upscaled to 960 fps. On the Galaxy S20 and S20+, however, Super Slow-mo videos will always be recorded natively at 960 fps. Only the Galaxy S20 Ultra will use digital enhancement to convert a 480 fps video to a 960 fps video.
That means the Galaxy S20 Ultra is not as capable as the Galaxy S20 and S20+ when it comes to Super Slow-mo recording. Will this mean the slow motion effect on videos taken on the Ultra model be visually inferior to super slow motion videos recorded on a Galaxy S20 or S20+? Probably not, because it’s also rather hard to see any visual difference between 0.4-second native 960 fps and 0.8-second digitally enhanced 960 fps videos on a Galaxy S10+ or Galaxy Note 10+.
However, the Galaxy S20 and S20+ will have the benefit of recording sharper super slow motion videos, as both phones support recording them at Full HD resolution while the Ultra model only goes up to HD resolution. We suppose it’s a good thing the S20 and S20+ will have the upper hand in at least one aspect of the camera experience, as the Galaxy S20 Ultra trumps its smaller cousins as far as the overall camera hardware is concerned.
Do you often record Super Slow-mo videos on your Galaxy smartphone?
Update: Samsung has changed the specs page for the Galaxy S20 series on its website to say that the Galaxy S20 and S20+ also record 960 fps videos at HD resolution, as you can see in the screenshot below. The company had initially said the S20 and S20+ record 960 fps videos at Full HD and the S20 Ultra records them at HD resolution.