On iOS we support a total of 6 devices for ZapBox (iPhone 6, 6S, 7 and plus variants). We’re actually able to test all of them in the office, which is handy. The app also works pretty well all the way back to iPhone 5 but we just don’t recommend them for ZapBox as the screens are a bit small for VR use.
On Android, our testing coverage is just a little bit smaller - the Play developer console claims the ZapBox beta app can be installed on 8811 different devices, and our device cupboard (and bank balance) isn’t big enough to allow us to test on all of them!
Android has got much better for offering consistent behaviour between devices over recent years, but when you get down to hardware components such as camera there is still significant variation.
In a future beta we’ll probably automatically prepare a report on the camera capabilities of your devices, along with asking for your help to calibrate the camera lens on your devices.
For now I’d be interested to hear just first-hand accounts of what works and doesn’t work on your devices.
The focus button should do the right thing on most devices (trigger an auto-focus action, then lock the focus). The “lock exposure” button will only work on devices where we’re using the new camera2 API, and when your device camera driver supports manual sensor settings. Camera2 was introduced in lollipop but there was an android bug with the colour data delivered to the CPU that means we only use it on marshmallow (android 6.x) and up.
Here’s some of the devices we’ve tested on ourselves so far:
Samsung Galaxy S6: Focus lock works, short exposure lock works, high sensitivity camera, 30 FPS
OnePlus 3: Focus lock works, short exposure lock works, camera a little dark for indoor scenes (max ISO a bit limited), 30 FPS
Sony Xperia XZ: Focus lock works, short exposure lock works, high sensitivity camera with some of the lowest latency we’ve seen, 30FPS
Google Pixel: Focus lock works. 60 FPS possible in auto-exposure mode. Entering short exposure lock gives nice short-exposure (good high ISO quality) image but annoyingly drops FPS back to 30.
I was hoping to be able to give the Pixel a full recommendation when I saw it offering 60 FPS through the standard camera2 API but annoyingly setting the sensor parameters manually drops it back to 30. The auto-exposure algorithm at 60FPS generally uses 1/100 exposure so it’s still pretty quick and not too blurred, so the additional smoothness from the 60FPS probably outweighs the advantages of manually setting an even shorter exposure to increase the speed of motion that can be tracked.
Interested to hear reports from other devices. It’s probably hard to tell if you’re seeing 30FPS or 60FPS without having something to compare it to, but you should be able to report if the buttons are working and how successful the high-sensitivity option is in different light environments, which would be helpful for us to know.