Bumping up the resolution in video recording is one of the most processing-intensive things you could do but any self-respecting flagship should capture 1080p video, it’s a matter of pride.
But good 1080p video is hard to achieve even with a powerful chipset. From first glance it seems that Samsung had done all the right things – picked capable hardware, a suitable container (.MP4) and good bitrate.
The Galaxy S II adversary in the FullHD video recording test for today is the Optimus 2X. The Galaxy S II uses the better container (.MP4 vs. .3GP) and much more bitrate – 17Mbps over 10Mbps in the Optimus 2X.
The difference is readily apparent – the Galaxy S II manages to record much more detail. If you look at a still frame from the S II, you’d be hard pressed to tell it’s not in fact a 2MP photo.
The frame rate of 1080p videos is great too – it’s steadily over 25fps and there are no repeated frames. The retail version of the Optimus 2X also doesn’t duplicate frames but can’t quite reach the 24fps make-or-break barrier.
If you prefer, you can also watch them on YouTube. Just make sure you tick the 1080p option and open the video fullscreen.
We tested the 720p mode as well – the Samsung Galaxy S II videos have a bitrate of around 12Mbps and hit almost exactly 30 frames per second. Here the advantage over the Optimus 2X is not as noticeable.
Choosing 720p enables digital zoom – but unfortunately (on our test unit at least), it was the old upsample zoom. No pixel binning, no extra detail after zooming. That can be fixed with a software update though, the 8MP sensor has enough resolution to do it.
Here’s the 720p video sample uploaded to YouTube.
The Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II is the second phone in our Video Compare Tool database that can record 1080p. The Tool’s page includes a quick walkthrough on how to use it and what to look for.