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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  • Toss3 - Thursday, October 9, 2014 - link

    The browser benchmarks would make more sense if they used the stock browser on all the devices, not just on the iPhone to make it look good. The Note 4 for instance is scoring around 350ms with its own browser, while on Chrome it is only seeing 800ms. The results should also be in a separate "Web-browsing performance" section instead of the CPU performance one. Reply
  • thackr - Thursday, October 9, 2014 - link

    Does anyone else see the green dot lens flare shown here on their iPhone 6? http://www.alternapop.com/2014/10/02/iphone-6-lens... Reply
  • The0ne - Friday, October 10, 2014 - link

    "At this point, it’s not really possible to revolutionize the smartphone..."

    Stopped when I got here. I don't usually cuss but you have got to be shtting me for making such a statement. In your effort to try to write a unbiased review you are already stating that for whatever the reasons the phone may lack it is because nothing can be improve so it's a great phone. I officially hate all your Apple reviews now. This is sickening for any professional engineer to digest.
    Reply
  • JC86 - Friday, October 10, 2014 - link

    @TheOne: Engineers are constantly tweaking and refining the software and hardware for a better UX and that refinement is great but the bottom line is the modern smartphone as we know it have not had any revolutionary advancements in years. It's a mature product category, plain and simple.
    Reply
  • tralalalalalala40 - Friday, October 10, 2014 - link

    So you're one of those that thinks cars are changing massively every year. "THE BRAND NEW REVOLUTION IS HERE FOR A LIMITED TIME" Reply
  • sgmuser - Sunday, October 12, 2014 - link

    "and how Apple’s SoC development is now synchronized with the very edge of semiconductor fabrication technology." You are not kidding right! :-) Comparing Intel's 14nm chips, I still believe Mobile phone SoCs are not coping up with the latest tech. m2c. Samsung (with Exynos) atleast jumped a bit...comparing QC SD or Apple Ax series. Reply
  • Pandian - Sunday, October 12, 2014 - link

    Actually, Intel is not in making chips, 14nm or 20nm, for cell phones at large! Such a big company with capacity to supply designer boards to any manufacturer in the handheld 3inch or 12 inch device - and still staying away! Reply
  • Pandian - Sunday, October 12, 2014 - link

    Compare these - Apple, etc. and All Pharma! 2-5% on actual R&D by pharmaceutical companies, (esp., the ones pricing cancer and Hepatitis C drugs) and about 95 % on marketing (read bribing the Medical industry - that includes "respectable life-saving Doctors") - vs 20-50% profit by tech companies (Apple, Samsung, Lenovo, HP, etc.) on products made from R&D from this decade! Without the slave labor of China and such countries, even that profit is not possible! Today's pyramids and Taj Mahals!

    Drugs: Most of these drugs were "discovered" decades ago in govt. research facilities - somehow, they are private intellectual properties today! Even anti-helminths (drugs for cattle parasites) costing ~$1-10 for 1000 pills, suddenly cost up to thousands of dollars each pill, because their anti-cancer capacities were "discovered" as side-effects! Even aspirin, made in third world countries and sold here, costs about ten times from a decade or so ago, due to price fixing!

    Your life or $200,000 - pay-up or die, if you have cancer or Hepatitis C.

    The target is larger with cellphones and computers - hence the bigger market value of the companies!

    Even within the tech industry, the profit of $200-300 for each device is paid once every three years or so - the cost of gasoline for a car is more than that in 2-3 months! The actual leaches that cost the consumer are the cell and cable/satellite companies - thousands of dollars a family in a two year contract! USA still charges the highest fee for cell plans, voice, text and data - taking a bite at each end of the link, i.e., the caller and the recipient!

    And, we whine more about the cost of these hand-held toys - that is the purpose and use of most of these "smart" devices! Truly important communication via voice, or the equivalent of the Morse code or ham-radio, is so small - not worth taking care of while driving a 4000+lb missile at 55 to 80 mph!

    Both Apple and Samsung will take a dive in the next 12 months

    A millionaire on CNBC talked about not being eligible for a phone upgrade for another year - and therefore not having hands-on experience with the recently released phones, Apple, HTC, etc.! That is how you stay rich!

    The post seems irrelevant! No! The basic premise of most of the posts here are about MONEY!
    Reply
  • xmen77 - Monday, October 13, 2014 - link

    There can not be "ideal 6500k" if the other LCD in this all bad
    also
    phonearena.com/reviews/Screen-comparison-iPhone-6-vs-Galaxy-S5-vs-G3-vs-One-M8-vs-iPhone-5s_id3810
    this is "ideal 6500k"?
    Reply
  • thrasher32 - Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - link

    Yeah I'm just gonna say it: Apple is the Bose of mobile electronics, only those who don't know any better buy that junk. Hey it's your money feel free to waste as much as you like. Reply

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