Video Quality

At a high level, video recording seems to be mostly similar. Both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 continue to rely on EIS for video stabilization, both seem to use somewhat similar optics and sensors, and both can only shoot 1080p video. However, the details are really where we see improvements in the iPhone 6. For starters, the iPhone 6 now has 1080p60 video support, which is definitely helpful for improving spatial resolution and general performance. There's also 720p240 slow motion video, which is an addition to the 720p120 video that we saw in the iPhone 5s.

Video Encode Settings (Approx.)
  iPhone 5s iPhone 6
1080p30 17 Mbps High Profile H.264 17 Mbps High Profile H.264
1080p60 - 27 Mbps High Profile H.264
720p120 27 Mbps High Profile H.264 31 Mbps High Profile H.264
720p240 - 42 Mbps High Profile H.264

As you can see, there's really not a massive difference in encoding bitrate, at least for the standard video record settings. However, even casual examination shows just how big a difference there is when comparing video from the iPhone 5s to video from the iPhone 6.

While the YouTube compression is likely to make it hard to see whether the iPhone 6 really has better video quality, when viewed at full resolution with Quicktime it seems that there is some level of improvement, but this could be due to the smaller field of view that is used when compared to the iPhone 5s. This tighter FOV also seems to be part of the reason why the stabilization is more effective than before. At various points in the video, it's quite obvious that the iPhone 6 is also benefiting greatly from PDAF as we see seamless transitions throughout the video and consistently better focus while the iPhone 5s is locked from the start and would require multiple taps to refocus the video.

1080p60 brings significant improvements to temporal quality, as capturing fast motion is noticeably more fluid when compared to 1080p30. Video stabilization is also retained, which makes 1080p60 an easy choice when capturing fast-moving objects.

As with the iPhone 5s, the original video on NAND is saved to play back at either 120 or 240 fps, but on the phone and when uploaded to social media the slow motion versions play back certain parts at 30 fps. As far as I can tell, there's relatively little difference in the image quality between the two modes, but this advantage is unlikely to hold when in lower light situations as the frame rate inherently caps the exposure time.

Camera: Still Image Performance Audio Quality
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  • Samus - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    Too many people define "good LCD" as having high resolution. In the real world, that just isn't true. There are so many terrible 1920x1080 panels on the market, and I'm not just talking mobile devices.

    Look at desktop LCD's. To get one properly calibrated you need to spend $500+ for a 24" HP Dreamcolor or NEC Multisync PA Spectraview. Some Dell's with Samsung LCD's are pretty good out of the box but almost nothing is 100% RGB until expensive calibration.

    So back to Apple. They're all about balance. They don't push the envelope in any direction like Samsung (and others.) What bothers me lately about Apple is they are "too" safe with their design language and technology that their products are actually becoming boring. As the company that pioneered mainstream unibody mobile devices and multitouch\gesture driven interfaces, it's interesting the competition has essentially been perfecting it for them to just copy back.

    At least Apple isn't suing everybody anymore...seems like Steve's thermonuclear crusade is finally dying along with him.
    Reply
  • Omega215D - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    I do have a problem with people constantly trying to push AMOLED as the ultimate display tech due it being featured on DisplayMate with the Galaxy S5. People forget that you lose the efficiency of OLED once you start using something that displays a lot of white like web browsing. Also, turning down the brightness still has the tendency to give it a "soggy" look to it, though it is much less on the Galaxy S5.

    The burn in effect can be easily avoided unless the clock/ dock locks up for whatever reason and leaves the display static.
    Reply
  • darkich - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    The burn in can be easily prevented also.
    Download an utterly simple burn in tool app, and leave it working for couple of hours, every few weeks or so.
    Reply
  • nevertell - Wednesday, October 01, 2014 - link

    This is exactly the kind of thing that people DO NOT WANT TO DO.
    It's a phone, it must just work, I shouldn't worry about any specific technical part of the phone, let alone do maintenance work on it to keep it functional.
    Reply
  • elajt_1 - Friday, October 03, 2014 - link

    Nah, thats for bad image retention. If you already got a burn-in you can't do anything about that as of now. Reply
  • Toss3 - Wednesday, October 08, 2014 - link

    In my experience AMOLED displays look a lot better than their LCD counterparts with the brightness turned down. They also give you the option of having even lower screen brightness which is ideal if you want to use it in bed at night (night mode on android looks great on the S4, but not so much on my Nexus 5). Reply
  • hoelee - Thursday, December 04, 2014 - link

    IPhone white balance not accurate, how you proven your point said iPhone had good display? At least I saw on mine eye compare between mine z3 with the so call iPhone... Besides, you calculate by yourself, iPhone 6 latest phone less 1x pixels to push compare to android FHD screen. Benchmark alway unfair in mine point of view... Reply
  • braveit - Friday, December 12, 2014 - link

    Apple hasn't really done much on it's new iPhone 6 release. Source: http://berichinfo.com/reasons-iphone-6-sucks/ Reply
  • Caliko - Tuesday, October 06, 2015 - link

    Who else is innovating in design?

    All phones today are iKnockoffs.

    Steve's thermonuclear attack has juat started buddy!! Droid is making manufacture lose billions. Can't wait to see who goes bankrupt first!!
    Reply
  • akdj - Thursday, October 02, 2014 - link

    The 'little SD expansion slot' that reads and writes at about 6-8Mb/second vs, the onboard NAND speed tested within the review should be enough to tell you why samsung and ....hmmm ....are offering the micro SD slot. Android is moving 'away' from accessibility to and from the 'off board' storage. I've got a Note 3 and with each update I've been able to do less and less
    Apparently you didn't bother to read the review ...at all. You also mention 'good LCD ...at least as good as the competitors.'
    Then you quite DisplayMate. The S5. And the single point difference between it and it's LCD runner up. From Apple. If you'd have bothered to have read this review ...or the S5 review on Anand's site when it dropped you'd know A) how impressed the author was with the evolution of AMOLED, it's continued refinement and accuracy, brightness and viewing angles. B) you'd notice in EVERY possible measurement. Each one in the review are 'objective measurements'. It (6) tops the display's characteristics in each area someone that knows what a 'great display' entails. At 400+ PPI, you nor any of your freneds will distinguish the difference between it and the new Note 4 or any other 2540 display. It's silly, it's a waste of energy and its detrimental to fluency of the UI (with today's SoC GPU and that many pixels) and the ever important 'battery life'
    To be fair, NO OTHER vendor offers 128GB, & 64 is extremely rare. I waited six weeks for a Note 3 w/64GB to show up at AT&T. Never happened and I settled for 32. At the same price as the 64GB iPhone 6.
    And from what I've read the 2014 model will have the same. 32GB with a caveat. Buy a micro SD card. Hope Google allows support in the future and keep your fingers crossed. 1080p on my Note chews up space. 4K is quadruple. And it will NOT shoot to the fastest SD or microSD card on the market.
    As an ambidextrous owner and user since their inception, I enjoy both Android and iOS. But silly comments like yours shows your ignorance. It was IN THE review! The actual (& damn near identical testing method used by DisplayMate's team will use) 'proof' it's 'LCD ....(IS) @ least as good as its competitors.
    Reply

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