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


View All Comments

  • Drasca - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    Less workload = longer charge.

    Since we don't know the actual workload your teenagers are inconclusive. Given literal different Apple to Win Phone app economy systems, the usage model is further blurred. For all we know, your teenagers could be using the iphone more / intensively, but no conclusion can be drawn.

    Personally, I think all your family should be spending less time on the phone, but that's me.
  • cknobman - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    No doubt they should be on the phone less and I try my damnedest to get them off.

    My wife is the problem and unfortunately that is a battle I wont win. Since I dont wont a divorce I have to make concessions somewhere.

    If it were up to me my kids would not even have smartphones. Right the farthest I can go is to take them away when they are making poor grades and/or get in trouble.
  • Parhel - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    I couldn't exactly tell from your comment if you have the 5 or the 5s. If you have the 5, though, check if your phone is part of the battery recall. Mine was, and after the replacement, the difference was night and day. Reply
  • cupholder - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    I have a Note 3 that would last between 10 and 48 hours on a single charge. Yes, android is that annoyingly variable in that regard. The higher numbers tended to occur once I got AutoStarts and Greenify(rooted).

    With the iPhone 6+, I'm getting 36+ hours. I haven't done a full rundown outside of the first day, but I was actively trying to kill it to properly calibrate the battery for the first use. It was at 36 hours of use with 14 hours of "Usage" time. No idea how much of that was screen time. With the Note, I never got more than 6-7 hours of screen time.

    Note during a day of work: Come home ~30-40%.
    iPhone 6+ during a day of work: Come home ~70-85%.
    This includes an hour break of constant screen on time and YouTube/Crunchyroll/Netflix viewing during that hour.

    So, no, the battery life on this phone IS awesome.
  • dmacfour - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    Why do you think the performance of the previous generation is indicative of the performance of the 6+? Reply
  • Stimpak_Addict - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    I got an iPhone 6, and I can attest that the display is very impressive.

    One thing that does bother me is the scaled apps that have not been optimized for iPhone 6's larger display. Mainly the fact that it makes the size of the keyboard inconsistent with apps that have been optimized for the larger screen. Of course, this will be fixed in time as developers update their apps.
  • - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    i don't know why you would attest a 720p screen as being "impressive"...
    imo iphone 6+ screen is much better.
  • ufarooq - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    Hey did you estimated SPECINT2000 score? Did you run these workloads? Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    Yes. We have built a version of SPECint2000 to run on iOS. These are estimated scores because SPEC CPU2000 is retired, which means further scores cannot be submitted as official. Reply
  • SunnyNW - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    Interesting Apple has been able to consistently deliver a die shrink (whether half-node or full-node) each year and if Samsung delivers like promised I guess can continue that next year with the A9 but I wonder if that will be the end of the year over year improvement... Reply

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