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Your next phone could record 8K video that looks like this

Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
(Image credit: Qualcomm)

We’re just getting to smartphone cameras that can shoot in 4K - so, naturally, Qualcomm has released a video showing 8K video shot on a phone.

We don’t know which phone it was, of course, except that it was packing the chipmaker’s new Snapdragon 865 5G (yes, with the 5G appended) accompanied by a Sony IMX586 image sensor and Qualcomm Spectra 480 image signal processor. 

Qualcomm noted the footage was shot in November 2019 in parts of Arizona, including the iconic Grand Canyon, the river-split Horseshoe Bend, and the Petroglyphs. 

The point is to show what kind of video the Snapdragon 865 package is capable of, which Qualcomm claims will be able to also shoot 4K HDR video with 64MP photo, 200MP photo standby, and 960fps slow-motion with no recording limit. The video does indeed gorgeously capture the rich red-and-white rock, the carved petroglyphs, the river water caterwauling around the bend...on our 4K screen.

Of course, anyone who doesn’t own an 8K TV won’t be able to enjoy this footage to its fullest extent, but you can consider this Qualcomm's way of throwing down the gauntlet: 8K video is possible on phones packing its Snapdragon 865 chipset. 

...Which phones were those again?

First Snapdragon 865 phone: the Samsung Galaxy S20

Oh right - the Samsung Galaxy S20 line, which is expected to be unveiled on February 11 with a release likely in subsequent weeks. This will almost certainly pack the Snapdragon 865 and likely some or all of the other parts that achieved this footage. 

We wouldn’t be surprised if the Galaxy S20 (or perhaps even the highest-tier Galaxy S20 Ultra) was the device that took this 8K video, but in theory, it won’t be difficult for similarly-kitted phones to also shoot in such high-resolution video - at least as far as Qualcomm’s claiming.

Whether this is an effective bragging point is another question. 4K TVs are just managing to filter out into the mainstream as they reach terminal affordability; 8K TVs exist, of course, but they’re still a long way from wide adoption. 

And yet, there isn’t even that much content available in such a high resolution. Even if folks start taking 8K video with their 2020 flagship smartphones, there won’t be too many displays or TVs capable of showing it at full sharpness.