Samsung M8800 Pixon review: Touch'n'shoot
8 megapixels worth of camera
We're now at a Samsung M8800 Pixon landmark - the 8MP autofocus camera. It is capable of taking photos with a maximum resolution of 3264 x 2448 pixels. The LED flash is rather inadequate and you shouldn't probably count on it too much.
The automatic lens cover is more than welcome. The camera also has a number of nice built-in features including the Samsung proprietary wide dynamic range option, the anti-shake digital image stabilization, geotagging and viewfinder gridlines.
The camera interface is nicely touch optimized and is surely one of the most comfortable camera interfaces on a touchscreen device so far. In addition, the camera speed is simply impressive. Saving an 8MP photo only takes about a second and with the automatic preview turned off the shot to shot time is truly remarkable.
The image quality of Samsung M8800 Pixon is good but it falls behind the other 8 megapixel cameraphones. There are some high noise levels and somewhat low level of detail.
Update 05 Dec: The retail version of the M8800 Pixon fares much better than our first unit in terms of image quality. The noise levels are now kept under better control and the level of detail is only a tad below the best in class.
On the positive side the colors are very precise and there are no traces of oversharpening. The contrast levels are also quite good, producing vibrant pictures without loosing too much detail due to highlight or shadow clipping.
Update 05 Dec: Here go the sample photos from our retail M8800 Pixon that should give you an exact idea of how it performs in reality. For a better impression of how much it has improved over the pre-release version we had at the time of writing we have compared it alongside the two leading 8 MP cameras as far as image quality is concerned - the Samsung i8510 INNOV8 and the LG KC910 Renoir.
Update 05 Dec: These comparative photos once again confirm our initial observations. The Samsung M8800 Pixon has very good contrast levels and together with the INNOV8 much better color accuracy than the LC KC910 Renoir. Furthermore both Samsung handsets have none of the excessive sharpening artifacts that are easily visible on the LG KC910 Renoir photos.
On the negative side the amount of detail captured by the Pixon is still lower than those of the competitors but the gap ain't that big. The noise levels have been so drastically improved so that they are now the best of the lot. We do suppose that a more aggressive noise-reduction algorithm is the reason for the somewhat less detail (and less noise of course).
Spectacular video recording
Samsung M8800 Pixon is among the first devices to feature D1 (or otherwise known as WVGA) video recording at 30fps. While the first handset to feature that - the LG KC550 - was far from impressive for interpolating some of the frames, the Pixon is quite a complete video recording device.
Check out a sample video.
The Samsung M8800 Pixon can also do slow motion videos as it is able to capture QVGA resolution at 120fps. No longer the novelty it used to be back with the LG Viewty, slow mo videos are a nice little perk to have at hand.
Unfortunately, our unit had some issues with that video mode so we won't be publishing samples of those.
Samsung M8800 Pixon also comes with a built-in GPS receiver. Unfortunately, for some reason, the Google Maps application that came preloaded on our unit was unable to detect the built-in unit. It might be a unit specific thing but user reports suggest otherwise. This means that unless you install some third party software the GPS is only good for geo-tagging with the camera.
We resorted to the free Mobile GMaps application which was able to make full use of the internal GPS. It still doesnt offer voice-guided navigation but this is as high as java applications go. In addition MGMaps is fully capable of utilizing the touchscreen capabilities of the handset making it one of the best that the Pixon users can get.