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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  • Oxford Guy - Saturday, October 4, 2014 - link

    "With Cyclone Apple hit on a very solid design: use a wide, high-IPC design with great latency in order to reach high performance levels at low clock speeds. By keeping the CPU wide and the clock speed low, Apple was able to hit their performance goals without having to push the envelope on power consumption, as lower clock speeds help keep CPU power use in check. It’s all very Intel Core-like, all things considered."

    The G4 and G5 processors were wide when Intel was doing its lame NetBurst thing. The "wide and shallow" G4 in particular had low clock speeds. The "wide and deep" G5 bumped them up a bit. The "narrow and deep" NetBurst was the high clock speed awful performance per watt Intel brainchild.
  • Coup27 - Saturday, October 4, 2014 - link

    "Fortunately, based on the USB device information for the phones, both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus support charging with power adapters like the iPad charging block that can provide up to 2.1 amps at five volts. Using one of these chargers will dramatically reduce charge time on the new iPhones, and it's a very worthwhile investment (assuming you don't already have an iPad) for the iPhone 6 Plus in particular."

    If this was any other phone manufacturer they would have been lambasted for taking the cheaper route and not providing a charger which charges the battery in the most optimal time. However, with this being Apple and all, it's perfectly acceptable to ship a 1A charger and it's a "worthwhile investment" for the user to buy another charger (if they don't already have one) with a higher current to charge their phone faster.

    Simply not acceptable. As much as I love this site, this review is no more than the typical Apple fodder which is trotted out all over the web. The fact that one German publication was recently struck off the media list by Apple for posting a bending video of the 6 Plus vs Note 3 shows what happens when the media dare say something negative and it's quite clear they would rather stay on Apple's good side than be truly honest in their reviews.

    There was no mention in this review about half the hardware choices made here. The screen ppi was very lightly glossed over. No mention of the lack of stereo speakers or waterproofing to name but a few. Someone suggested that waterproofing adds a lot of bulk to the phone. On the S5 I would agree, however the Xperia Z3 is only 0.4mm thicker than the iPhone 6 so it can be done whilst still looking stylish.

    Apple produced marketing photos where they photo shopped out the camera bump. Yet here it is described as an "interesting design choice". No mention of it wobbling all over the place when placed on a flat surface. Let's look at PDAF. Given virtually no time on the S5 review but a full explanation given here. The S5 review was also 10 pages long written by 2 people, this is 14 pages written by 4 people.

    Sometimes you can't move on the home page on this site for articles about Apple, yet there has been nothing so far, not even a pipeline story about the disastrous bugs coming out of iOS 8.

    Add to this the badly managed silent departures of Anand and Brian to Apple, I don't think there's much point reading Apple reviews any more.
  • tralalalalalala40 - Sunday, October 5, 2014 - link

    1) Everyone charges overnight, no difference to user experience.

    2) No proof that german media site was struck off some magical list.

    3) ppi does not equal quality. (Unless you believe more MP is better, then please just go buy a lumia)

    4) no phone is water proof, it's a range of water resistance.

    5) no proof that apple photoshopped their own marketing material to change the camera design

    6) no one uses their phone with the back flat on the table

    7) every OS has bugs, the issue is that apple actually gives out upgrades (que the majority of android users still stuck with a massively susceptible default browser). You won't hear about android L issues because it will take 2+ years to be on 20% of android phones.

    8) employees change jobs. everyone knows about it, do you want a NYTs editorial about it?

    9) if you want non-scientific reviews go to cnet.
  • Coup27 - Sunday, October 5, 2014 - link

    I can't decide which is worse. The answers in post, or the arrogance.

    1. Not true. People's lives are all different. To suggest everyone's phone can last until they go to bed is a massive generalisation. The supplied charger should charge the phone in the most optimal time, regardless when the phone is charged.


    3. Why are you talking about two different things? ppi is clearly directly related to quality. You could have the best panel money could buy but if the ppi was 96 on a 5" screen it would look terrible. It is now widely accepted, and even mentioned in this review that ~450 ppi is a perfect balance between resolution and battery life. MP has no relevance in this discussion.

    4. There are many IP67 phones which are immersion proof up to 1M for 30 minutes. There are now IP68 phones which are immersion proof beyond 1M for 30 minutes. If they phone can be dunked under water, that's water proof.


    6. Do you speak for everybody in the world?

    7. KitKat and Jelly Bean account for over 75% of Android devices. (Google it if you want the source). Yes, budget phones are often left behind in software, but that's because they are budget phones. People sign up for that experience when they pay a fraction of the cost of an iPhone or Android flagship.

    8. Anand moving to Apple should have broke on this site, not every other tech site. Anand has gone on for years about openness and honesty. Where was it then? Brian disappeared completely and despite multiple requests, nobody would say where he had gone. That news was also broken by other tech sites. It was like AT had something to hide. Nobody would have really cared if they had gone to Apple, so why do it in the shadows.
  • tralalalalalala40 - Wednesday, October 8, 2014 - link

    1) If you need a phone to last an inordinate amount of time get the charging cases.

    2) Hoax, they are invited to the ipad air 2 event:

    3) false, if samsung released a 5000 ppi phone that was slow as hell (like the note 4 is ) how is that high quality? iPhone 6 was proven to have the best color which is more important than pixels you can't see.

    4) yep, you can get a case for this if this is your thing. there is more choice with apple here since there are 1000x as many cases to suit your need. (with android you are locked in to what the device maker makes since there aren't that many niche cases)

    5) thanks for the proof. no photoshop just choice of angles. go look at the apple website for many angles of the bulge if that is your thing.

    6) in this case yes, it's not ergonomic to use the phone that way. it's why droid makers gave up on the kickstand

    7) that number is for those that use google play (which accounts for <8% of all android phones, lol)

    8) name another news site that had a going away article by one of the employees. especially one going to work for a company that requires employees to not bring attention to themselves (think non-compete)

  • gonsolo - Monday, October 6, 2014 - link

    I'd like to see a benchmark of app startup times since this is where I have to wait most of the time nowadays. Reply
  • tralalalalalala40 - Wednesday, October 8, 2014 - link

    iphone 6 is blazing fast. note 4 needs 32 cores to compete.
  • falc0ne - Tuesday, October 7, 2014 - link

    "In battery life, once again Apple has managed to successfully maintain good battery life despite a relatively small battery capacity". Seriously? Since when iPhone has a good battery life. You can never go through the day with one. Everyone knows that. Sorry guys but ain't buying that. If this is good, then what does that make Xperia Z3? Good of Thunder in battery? :) Reply
  • falc0ne - Tuesday, October 7, 2014 - link

    **God of thunder:) autocorrect dictionary typo . get my point Reply
  • Hook Em14 - Tuesday, October 7, 2014 - link

    Wow...hardcore Android fanboys have to be some of the most ignorant, illogical, and pathetic people around. Reply

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