Cameras on cell phones have come a long way since their inception at half a megapixel or so. We’ve slowly climbed the ladder not only in megapixel count but also in sheer quality and size of the sensors that are behind the lens of the camera, and as such many smartphones have completely replaced the dedicated point-and-shoot camera of yore. It’s not just the pictures themselves that have improved either; with the advent of HDTVs we demanded that our phones take video good enough to display on said TVs, and we reached that point just a few years ago when 1080p recording became standard on most flagship smartphones. Now we’re moving into Ultra HD as an industry, specifically 4K at this time, and eventually 8k as well, but for now 4K is the aim and we’ve been seeing that begin with smartphones this time instead of seeing TVs lead the way. Samsung launched the Galaxy Note 3 last September as one of the first phones to be able to record 4K, part of the featureset of the Qualccomm Snapdragon 800 chipset that powers it, and is carrying that over to their first 2014 flagship phone, the Galaxy S5.
What you are looking at above is a snapshot of a 4K video of Mexico City, Mexico, taken with a Samsung Galaxy S5. Obviously this was taken by someone who somehow got their hands on the phone early, as it’s not even scheduled to come out for another month or so now, and leaked it onto YouTube much like that recent review of The All New HTC One. One has to wonder if these leaks are intentional or not to garner buzz in the media, but without knowing for sure we can only speculate. For now you can enjoy this 4 minute or so long video of some sweeping panoramic vistas of Mexico City by watching the YouTube link below. Just make sure to click the video quality icon in the lower right hand corner and change the quality to 4K to experience the full resolution of the video. Remember that 4K is 4 times the number of pixels found in a 1080p display, so while you may notice it looking similar to other 1080p videos know that you’ll need a proper 4K monitor or TV to view this in all its glory. Also remember that YouTube compresses video, especially at 4K since the file size is so large, So this isn’t 100% representative of the full quality you’d otherwise experience watching this uncompressed on a 4K display.