Samsung W880 AMOLED 12M preview: First look

GSMArena team, 29 September 2009.
Pages: 1234

Tags: Samsung, Touch UI


The Samsung W880 ups the ante with a world's first 12 megapixel camera with 3x optical zoom. Featuring a hardware Mode dial and a real zoom lever it does feel like a real camera and you may find yourself struggling to find the mobile phone under the digicam skin. Now while W880 is South Korea bound only, it's enough to give us a taste of what's coming in the shape of the rumored Samsung M8920, which should make it our way sometime next year - but with Wi-Fi and GPS on board.

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Samsung SCH-W880 AMOLED 12M official photos

Designing a mobile phone (or any other portable gadget for that matter) is a balancing act - the engineers must juggle between cost, size and features, all the while being limited by the current state of technology.

Say cost doesn't matter - that still leaves only so much that can reasonably be crammed into a mobile device. Progress is made, technology advances, which results in things getting cheaper, smaller and with more features. And quite soon, things that seemed impractical a few years back can now be released as a consumer device.

This is how the Samsung W880 AMOLED 12M came to be - it contains all the mechanical elements of a point-and-shoot camera, but still has enough room left for the phone parts. It's not the first phone to achieve that but it's the first 12-megapixel one and the added 3x optical zoom and xenon flash pretty much put it on par with a typical point-and-shoot camera.

The Samsung W880 has some high-end imaging functions too - tracking touch autofocus, 720p@30 fps video recording, 3.3" big AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with WVGA resolution. That's not something you see every day on a cameras and it's top notch in mobile phone terms. Even the degree of control over how a photo is taken beats out consumer cameras, let alone cameraphones.

Now, keep in mind that the we're previewing a prototype here and it's a prototype of a phone meant for the South Korean market only and although it has tri-band GSM and support for UMTS, those are meant for roaming only - the AMOLED 12M is for South Korea and South Korea only.

So, why bother with a preview then? Well, there's a global version coming in the beginning of next year and that might actually land in a store near you. It will look just the same but will drop the T-DMB TV receiver, which has little use outside of South Korea anyway, swapping it for the more practical Wi-Fi and GPS. Supposedly, the global GSM version will be allegedly called Samsung M8920, but that has yet to be confirmed by an official source.

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Samsung W880 AMOLED 12M live shots

In this preview we focus mainly on the camera - admit it, it's the most interesting aspect of the Samsung W880 and it's the camera that has us holding our breaths.

For now, we'll just concentrate on the essentials - we take a look at the hardware, next we have a video walkthrough of the interface and finally, we focus on the camera, with plenty of still photos and video samples.

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