Just Shoot Me
By Sutlej Soin
When Samsung released the INNOV8, it had the distinction of being the first 8-megapixel camera phone in the market. Not just that, it was good enough to give standard digital cameras a run for their money.
Fast forward a couple of months later, the Korean giant took the wraps off its sexy M8800 Pixon mobile phone that claims the throne of being the slimmest 8-megapixel camera phone with its skinny frame of 13.8mm.
Full Marks for Fashion Sense
With its 3.2-inch, 240 x 400-pixel touch screen and sleek frame, this phone will definitely get a nod from the fashion police. The black body sports the usual design touches that can be found in many other Samsung phones like the F480. It flaunts a pair of call answer and call reject buttons below the screen, with a circular menu button in between. But what sets this phone apart from its other cousins is its slightly shorter body coupled with a metallic feel that is both sturdy and solid in our hands.
Armed with the TouchWiz interface that was recently seen on the Samsung Omnia and F480 phones, the Pixon also features widgets on its main home screen. The downside is that the interface is rather laggy; swiping up and down the screen wasn't as smooth as we hoped for, unlike the Apple iPhone or the HTC Touch Diamond phones. SMS input on the Pixon was thankfully good, due to the availability of a T9 input pad. Furthermore, with an integrated accelerometer, a full-size onscreen QWERTY keyboard appears when the phone is rotated.
Fast and Furious
Its imaging functions were, suffice to say, impressive. For starters, the Pixon has a suite of functions that mirror point-and-shoot cameras, such as a dual power LED flash, auto-focus, shake reduction, face detection, smile shot mode, and an auto panorama setting. These functions result in consistently clear and sharp images, even when the images were shot in low-light conditions. Default colors and color tone tend towards the warmer side on the Pixon, giving rise to good skin tones and pleasing results even under cloudy light conditions.
What also impressed us was its fast shutter speed, which lets us capture sharp pictures of fast-moving objects like a passing car or a running Jack Russell. Its array of image editing functions also allows the user to adjust the color tone and crop images quickly. Users can even have fun with their images by scribbling handwritten text or doodling on them before sending them out to their friends.
The icing on the cake was the user-friendly interface. The only major gripe we had is the lack of a xenon flash, although the LEDs used by Samsung do have quite a decent power output.
Features-wise, this phone has the goods to rival many smartphones in the market. Features like Bluetooth, TV-out connectivity and a microSD expansion card slot will probably find favor with business users. On the negative side, it fails to include Wi-Fi connectivity in its feature line-up which may come as a rude shock to consumers, given that most eight megapixel camera phones are equipped with Wi-Fi.
A Photo Finish
To conclude, the Samsung Pixon at S$898 is a device for users who are looking to replace their current handsets with something that meets a specific craving. In this case, we think they are unlikely to be disappointed by this high-tech photo-snapping phone.