Leaving the default settings in applications such as the camera guarantees correct operation in all situations, but there are also some improvements that end up not only enriching the shooting experience, but also the photos and videos obtained. With an addition: since multimedia content is what steals the most space from the phoneBy setting the chamber to maximum efficiency you make sure you don’t run out of space too soon.
H.264 vs. HEVC: quality vs. efficiency
Just as it happens in the movies that you play on television, when recording using depending on what codecs you can get that the videos have better quality or occupy less space at the cost of said quality. On Android mobiles this translates into choosing between H.264, the most compatible, and H.265/HEVC, the one that applies more compression (reducing compatibility with players).
Choosing between one or the other has various advantages and disadvantages, of course. Roughly, one takes up more phone space and the other less. If you are struggling with the storage of your mobile, the choice is clear. Although it is not the only thing that you should take into account.
Let’s see the characteristics of each codec and what it means to choose one or the other for the recordings you make on your smartphone.
- H.264 codec. It is a proprietary codec that is widely used on all video platforms and has been on the market for some time. It offers good video quality without excessive data compression; always depending on the phone and the camera application. Supports up to 4K and 60 fps.
- H.265/HEVC codec. The initials already specify the main quality of the codec: High Efficiency Video Coding (high efficiency video coding). This proprietary codec applies greater compression to recordings, thereby reducing their weight; and without, in theory, losing too much quality even with a lower bitrate. Supports up to 8K and 300 fps.
The final weight of the videos depends a lot on what is recorded and how it is recorded: at a higher resolution, and in scenes with great movement and lighting, H.265/HEVC codec will get more data savings. It can be up to half; with an average of 20/30% according to the tests we have carried out with our Google Pixel 6 in 1080p and 30 fps.
The choice between one and the other depends on the storage you want to consume, but also on the quality. And without this having to mark your recordings: you will get very good videos even if you use the H.265/HEVC codec. It is true that it applies more compression, but it offers better quality than H.264 at the same bitrate. Always in theory, which in practice influences an infinite number of values that can alter the result.
How to halve the weight of your videos
You have already seen what differences both codecs have, roughly. Now comes the most important thing: How can you reduce the weight of the recordings? In general, mobile phones come with H.264 active by default, the so-called “quality mode”. To change it do the following:
- Open your Android’s camera app.
- Go to settings and enter advanced options.
- Choose “Store videos efficiently“.
- The name of the adjustment, and its location, varies from brand to brand. Search “High efficiency” in the recording options.