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What’s the best smartphone for shooting HD video?

After British Airways generously sent us tickets for the Olympic Park as part of its Home Advantage campaign, we took it upon ourselves to bring four smartphones known for their imaging clout to partake in an HD video camera phone face-off.

We placed the Samsung Galaxy S3, the Nokia 808 PureView, the HTC One X and Apple’s iPhone 4S against each other in a range of scenarios throughout the park, designed to test various attributes expected of a good video camera. We compared the four devices with regards to colour reproduction, image stabilisation, autofocus capability, contrast balance, clarity, sharpness and audio reproduction. Take a look at what we concluded.


For all round performance, the hard work Apple put behind the iPhone 4S’s camera proved its worth with excellent image stability, colour and contrast, although as with stills it sometimes over-sharpened footage somewhat. Meanwhile the Galaxy S3 proved to house an excellent camera with great stability and colour reproduction although it sometimes struggled with extremes of contrast and autofocus is a little unsure of itself, refocusing multiple times during filming.

The 808 PureView produced decent HD video with no particular strength or weakness standing out, as well as the best audio reproduction of the bunch, namely thanks to its dual microphones and the Nokia Rich Recording technology.

Last but not least, the HTC One X produced please vibrant colours, food autofocus and a superb wide-angle view, however the slower frame rate and cool colour temperature of the footage didn’t provide as accurate a result as we’d like.

Although none of the devices produced poor video, knowing which is right for you is what’s important, look back over the footage to decide for yourself and we have to say thanks again to British Airways (#HomeAdvantage) for the tickets and we hope you’ve enjoyed our Paralympic themed HD video-off.


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