Sharp has been showcasing three new Android smartphones, the Aquos Zeta, Aquos Xx and Aquos Serie, which feature an option for 2,100 fps slow-motion video playback, promising a much smoother slow motion effect.
However, Sharp’s slow-motion technique is a bit of a trick. The handsets aren’t recording video at this very high frame rate, instead it’s a clever software solution that adds in additional copied frames to pad out the frame rate.
Capturing footage at a higher frame rate and playing it back at a slower-rate, say 24fps, produces a slow-motion result. However, a higher final playback rate, say 60 or 120fps, improves the smoothness of the final video, but means that you can’t slow down the original footage as much.
Although it might sound like a cheat, adding in extra copied frames should allow Sharp to up the playback frame rate and apply some additional post-processing, creating a smoother image. That said, we’re not entirely what type of processing is taking place to smooth out the video.
The Aquos Zeta, Aquos Xx and Aquos Serie feature image sensors that can record at 210 fps at a 854 x 480 pixel resolution (FWVGA) or 120 fps in 1080p (full HD). By copying 10 frames for each frame, Sharp can reach 2,100 fps FWVGA or 1,200 fps full HD slow-motion. You can see an example capture on the Zeta in the videos below.
Despite coming up with several new technologies in the mobile space, Sharp has been showing signs of struggling for finances and has been rumored to be looking to sell off its smartphone LCD business.
These new Sharp phones are scheduled for release in the coming weeks on Japan’s three main mobile networks, NTT DoCoMo, SoftBank and KDDI.