You can buy an 8K TV now, not that you should. Even if you ignore our advice and drop big bucks on an 8K panel, there’s not much content available in 8K. You can, however, use the upcoming Galaxy S20 to record your own 8K video. Just don’t expect to record a whole movie — a single minute of 8K video on the Galaxy S20 will gobble up 600MB of storage.
Samsung overhauled the camera setup on the new Galaxy S20 family. All three versions of the device have at least three camera sensors on the back with a 12MP main shooter on the base model and S20+. The S20 Ultra steps up to a 108MP primary sensor. All three devices also have telephoto (actually just a high-resolution digital crop) and ultra-wide cameras.
The newer hardware inside the Galaxy S20 allows the phones to capture 8K video with the primary camera (not the selfie cam). According to a new report from SamMobile, you won’t get much 8K video before the phone starts running low on space (600MB/minute is ~36GB per hour) . The phones start at 128GB of space, and a large chunk of that will go to the system and installed apps. At 600MB per minute, you’ll probably want to spring for the 256GB or 512GB models if you want the best experience. The phones also support microSD cards, so you can add up to 1TB of storage for all your video needs.
Even if you get the most storage possible, Samsung limits the Galaxy S20 to just 5 minutes of 8K recording per video. That file will be big, but not gargantuan at around 3GB. The limit probably has more to do with heat build-up inside the device. The system-on-a-chip (SoC) will probably need to throttle down if you record for longer than five minutes, and then it wouldn’t be able to encode the video quickly enough. The actual I/O rate isn’t all that high — only about 10MB/s.
Samsung has also limited 8K recording to 24 fps. There’s no 30 or 60fps mode, which isn’t very surprising. The S20 is a powerful phone, but it’s still a phone. The Snapdragon 865 technically supports 30 fps at 8K, but Samsung has chosen not to implement that. You lose image stabilization in 8K mode as well.
Given the limitations, 8K video support is more a novelty than a new way to shoot all your videos. The phone has more features and fewer restrictions when filming in 4K or 1080p mode. If you’re just going to watch video on the phone’s 1440p, there’s no reason to shoot in 8K.
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