Samsung is developing a new camera that can snap up to 1,000 pictures a second. The Korean tech giant is said to be moving through the testing phase and is on the verge of the mass production in November. This could mean the camera will feature in the Samsung Galaxy S9.
So, how does it work and what exactly does it mean? Samsung is working on what’s called a “three-layered image sensor.” In a normal setting, you have a camera sensor and a logic board that is responsible for the process of taking pictures. The logic board takes the image passed through the sensor, does some math, and turns what you’re seeing into data to be stored on your phone. Samsung is adding a DRAM chip into that equation to allow the camera to capture video at 1,000 fps. That will rank up with Sony for the slowest of the slow-mo.
Speaking of Sony, it was the first company to commercialize these new three-layered sensors. The Sony Xperia XZ Premium features a camera that captures video at up to 960 fps at 720p. It looks like Samsung took notice. While Samsung looks to emulate the technology, the process by which it’s doing so is different. Sony’s process is cheaper and easier to manufacture, but it’s rumored that Samsung wanted to avoid paying Sony royalty fees for using its process.
Even though Samsung’s method will cost more, there are positives. Since Samsung is part of a conglomerate, it can get its hands on the chips it needs internally. This should decrease wait times and potential overhead. It’s also reported that Samsung’s process can offer better performance, though we don’t have specifics on that yet. The real danger for Samsung is the error rate in production lines. Since it’s working with a three-layer chip, if any of those layers are bad, the entire chip has to be tossed. And that can get pricey.
Samsung currently uses Sony sensors in half of its flagship phones. We generally see US models with Sony sensors while Samsung’s home market of South Korea gets phones with its own sensors. It stands to reason that we will see a US variant of the Samsung Galaxy S9 with Sony’s camera that can produce high frame-rate video, with other territories seeing Samsung’s new camera that can do the same.
We’re already in the era of $1,000 smartphones. Whether you agree with the validity of those prices or not, we could see them rise even higher with high-cost features like these in future flagships.
YouTube is showing a new HDR option for those with compatible devices. Are you seeing it yet?
HDR video is an interesting new type of media that has slowly started to creep its way into the smartphone industry. Some platforms with HDR are littered with bugs right now (such as Windows 10), but a big drawback to the technology is a limited number of content sources. Netflix is slowly adding more smartphones that can view HDR content, but even their library is limited right now. Recently though, Google has flipped the switch for YouTube HDR playback support for both the Galaxy S8 as well as the Xperia XZ Premium.
The number of Android smartphones that currently support HDR are rather limited. This number is reduced even more when you look to find out which ones support online HDR content. For example, HDR content from Netflix is only supported on the LG V30, Galaxy Note 8, Xperia XZ Premium and the Xperia XZ1. And again, it’s not like you can watch every Netflix video in HDR since only some of the content in their library currently supports it.
Fans of HDR content can rejoice though as your choices have just expanded with a new change on YouTube. It seems like the latest update to the application brings this support as someone in the /r/GalaxyS8 subreddit shared a screenshot of their quality options for a video labeled “The World in HDR in 4K (Ultra HD).” Instead of the traditional video quality options, they’re only given a list of HDR options at 60 FPS with resolutions ranging from 140p to 1440p.
This post was then shared to /r/Android and someone who owns the Xperia XZ Premium said they have similar options on an HDR video from YouTube. This new change may not be without issues and also comes with an adjustment phase as well. For example, someone with a Galaxy S8+ says their video stutters when testing out. Then multiple people are reporting that these videos crank up the brightness (which is typical of HDR content) but something that you’ll want to keep in mind in the case of battery usage.
People are also saying they can no longer make the video fill the entire screen, and there doesn’t seem to be a way to switch back to a non YouTube HDR version of it if your device supports it.
Sony typically has some smartphone launches prepared for IFA and that’s exactly what happened last week. The company formally announced both the Xperia XZ1 as well as the Xperia XZ1 Compact at the event in Berlin. These are devices we had reported on rumors in the past, but a feature that was new was a 3D Creator application that came with them. Once we learned about it we looked over the landing page and took the time to dive into the features that it brings to the table.
Sony describes their 3D Creator application a “breakthrough in mobile creativity,” and it’s definitely something that sparked a lot of interest at the event. At the announcement event, the company was boasting their latest Motion Eye camera, so some started to wonder if this 3D capture software was dependent on a certain type of hardware. That doesn’t seem to be the case entirely, though, as XDA Senior Member IgorEisberg just released a port of the application.
This application was taken from the stock firmware used on the Xperia XZ1 and has had its manifest edited along with the application re-signed. This was done so that it will work on any device running at least Android Marshmallow with support for the Camera2 API. You’ll be able to tell if your device does not support the Camera2 API because this application will hang when loading the camera. You should be aware though, that some devices (such as the Xiaomi Mi 5) can enable the Camera2 API by setting persist.camera.HAL3.enabled=1 in the build.prop file.
The port works just like it is advertised to, with the ability to create 3D models for AR and 3D printing purposes. The application also has support for the live wallpaper feature for objects you have just digitally scanned. You can even tap the “software version” option tucked away in the application’s settings to enable developer mode if you’d like.
Check out this port in our Apps and Games forum
High Dynamic Range (HDR) support is a major selling point for displays these days, from televisions to smartphones, but supporting the format is just one piece of the puzzle. Getting content providers to support the device is also a key factor in letting owners actually enjoy HDR content. And now a few new devices have been added to the list of Netflix HDR support.
A trio of new devices now support Netflix HDR: Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8, LG’s V30, and the Sony Xperia XZ1.That marks two Sony and LG devices to support Netflix HDR content, with the LG G6 and Sony Xperia XZ Premium already supporting Netflix HDR.
Owners of these devices will also need to sign up for the appropriate plan to watch Netflix HDR content. Netflix’s HDR programming is part of its $12 per month plan, which also allows customers to watch on four screens at once. You’ll need to make sure the most recent version of the Netflix app is installed on your device and that “high definition” is selected in the playback options.
HDR content offers better contrast when compared to other content, including deeper blacks and brighter colors.
If you own one of the supported devices, will you fork over a bit more money to Netflix to watch the content on your mobile device?