While I work feverishly on the next substantial part of the Sensation Vs SGSII review, covering mostly media aspects, I thought I would post up a little primer looking at the video playback capabilities of each phone.
I know that sounds pretty straightforward, but I’ve managed to complicate it a little bit, so I should probably do a little explaining beforehand.
You will no doubt have seen the reviews on both these phones at the major tech sites, and you probably noticed that they gave both phones solid passes where video playback was concerned, particularly the SGSII. In fact some sites claimed they played anything the reviewers threw at it.
With that expectation in the minds of buyers, some purchasers found the reality a little disappointing. Lots of people found that their files did not in fact play, particularly HD files, or that subtitles did not work as advertised, or that there was no audio where the files used audio codecs like DTS/vorbis/AC3. With that in mind I went out to find sample videos encompassing a wide variety of codecs, bitrates, and subtitle types. With the help of Xero Xenith at XDA-developers, and MobileTopia7 from Mobile-Review, I was able to obtain a good set of sample clips to throw at my devices including all sorts of things like VP6, VP6 alpha, and H263 Sorenson encoded videos. I’ll be using these as a standard testing set on all devices from now on, so if you think I’ve missed a vital codec for your use please send me a sample that I can add to the test in the future (obviously the sample should not have swearing/violence/nudity etc, and should not be a full movie).
In the spirit of full disclosure I’ve taken the liberty of using Media Info to export all the properties of the test videos, you can download the text file with this information here http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/21839423/Test%20vid%20properties.txt . I’ve also summarised the findings in an excel sheet here http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/21839423/Video%20playback%20test.xlsx . I didn’t actually show it in the video, but both phones can also play VP6 Alpha encoded video (bitrate 1700kbps).
Now all thats out of the way, here is the video: