For quite a while now, 5 megapixels has been the ceiling for mass-market cameraphones. But that has all changed with a flurry of mobiles from Sony Ericsson and LG offering a staggering 8 megapixels. Samsung is now in this select group with its new slider phone, the i8510.
Now, you won’t get anywhere near the quality of image from this phone that you would from a good, dedicated digital camera offering the same megapixel count, but with that noted the camera is reasonable.
There is a dual LED flash (it is disappointing that it is not Xenon) but no optical zoom. The macro mode proved to be good during testing, but to counter that we found quite a lot of shutter lag, which made taking reasonable photographs of moving subjects particularly challenging.
The camera sports smile detection, face detection and blink detection and there is a superb panorama mode in which you move the phone around while it shoots a sequence of photos automatically. You can also geo-tag images.
As well as shooting stills and video, the camera can be used to photograph business cards which are then converted to entries in the contact book.
So, enough about the camera.
The i8510 runs Symbian S60 but it has been given a visual makeover so that it is very different in looks to what you’d expect to see on, say, a Nokia phone. There are two versions of the phone: one with 16GB of memory is available from Orange and O2, while an 8GB version is available from Carphone Warehouse.
The large screen, measuring 2.8 inches, runs to 320 x 240 pixels. It would have been nice to see a higher resolution on such an otherwise top-end handset. The size of the screen gives some indication that overall this is a somewhat chunky mobile. It measures 147mm tall when the slide is opened, while with it closed the handset is 106.5mm tall. It is 53.9mm wide and 17.2mm thick, weighing 136g.
With 3G connectivity you can download web pages into the browser at speed. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS are built in and an accelerometer switches the screen between landscape and portrait modes as you turn the phone in your hands. You can boost the built-in memory using microSD cards and there is TV-out capability so you can send the content of the screen to a television.
The D-pad on the front fascia can be swept with a finger for fast scrolling or used in the usual D-pad style. We like the 3.5mm headset jack and the FM radio that enhances the audio possibilities.
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