The Pixon12 builds on the original Pixon and adds navigation capabilities to the built-in GPS receiver. It comes with the Samsung Mobile Navigator preinstalled which is a full-fledged SatNav solution.
The application itself is something we've seen before but its presence on a feature phone certainly is still considered news. This also is yet another evidence that the differences are getting blurred.
Samsung Mobile Navigator is in fact a regular Route66 product, so you can be quite sure that its functionality and map data is sufficient. It has voice-guided navigation and a huge number of extras, but the goodies come at an extra cost.
The voice guided navigation and the weather service, traffic info and safety cameras info, travel guides and so on came unlocked on our device with a one-year license. We are guessing though that this will be strictly market dependant. Purchased separately, a one-year voice-guided navigation license for a given region costs about 70 euro.
Typical Samsung, the Pixon12 offers a bunch of trial games. Entertaining though they might be, they can only keep you occupied for a short while and the full versions have to be bought for a small fee.
Since Samsung didn't bother putting any fun and entertaining games in the handset, we don't see the need to get into any detail about the demos offered.
The only game section that isn't a trial is called Rollercoaster Rush. The Java title uses the built-in accelerometer for control and ranks decently on the fun scale.
There you go - the Samsung M8910 Pixon12 is the next stage in cameraphone evolution and you're welcome to take it and use it. Cameraphones are still some way behind point-and-shoot digicams and seriously, catching up is not the point. The thing is if everything else was getting better at the pace handsets are evolving, we'd be living in a better world.
Anyway, real success for cameraphones would not be to kick digicams out of the market but simply match their image quality. We guess the Pixon12 is here to say this might not be as impossible as previously thought. Optical zoom and more user control over more features are still the difference makers but with Samsung M8920 in the works, we're looking out to another leap forward.
Back to the Pixon12, we're looking at a handset that has plenty to offer. The vibrant and sensitive screen, lively and snappy interface and rich connectivity make it a great package all around. Its initial pricing is steep all right: topping the cost of big-shot smartphone all-in-ones. Not to mention that this kind of cash gets you a reasonable digicam and a good enough phone. Oh well, being at the cutting edge of technology never comes cheap.
The Pixon12 is winner stuff but we guess we need to define win here. It's not the kind of handset to make insane sales - the price tag, the novelty, the top industry position will rather connect with the "insane purchase" kind of mentality. But it sure is handsets like the Pixon12 that make a company's name. Let's judge the Pixon12 by the competition it keeps busy.
The Nokia N86 8MP also sports a pretty powerful camera, image processing being its main weakness for now. However a firmware update might turn the tables, so it will be Symbian S60 power against the extra four megapixels, smartphone vs touchscreen.
Samsung's own i8910 Omnia HD is another heavyweight cameraphone by Samsung which trades the 12megapixel stills for HD video recording and S60 5th edition OS. It doesn't have as sensitive a screen, but size does matter and the HD sure gets the upper hand. The wide angle variable aperture lens however is definitely earning a point for the Pixon12 plus the OmniaHD is quite large and not every one would be willing to lug it around in his pocket.
The Pixon12 will also have to play a couple of rounds against the Sony Ericsson Satio (or Idou if you prefer), once the latter makes it to the ring. They both sport some advanced 12 megapixel shooters, with the Satio again on the smarter side of phones with its S60 5th edition OS.
Finally the LG GC900 Viewty Smart will also cross paths with the Pixon12. A few months headstart to the users, the S-Class equipped LG cameraphone sports a lower-res shooter but matches everything else. With LG presumably also working on a 12-megapixel shooter, users are in for plenty of action in the ultimate cameraphone category.