We have waited a long time for a quality camera phone above 5 megapixels, and that time has finally come. The Samsung Memoir from T-Mobile packs a World Class 8 Megapixel Camera. A clever design gives this device a split personality depending on which face you have forward. It's not a softkey function but a conscious design choice to call out very clearly the Memoir's capabilities. So much so that you may be wondering, "Is this a slick little camera with a whole lot of smart phone technology or a full blown smart phone with a really good camera?" Samsung has managed to do a little bit of both.
When you first pick up the Memoir it feels solid and comfortable in the hand. Overall the Samsung Memoir is a nice combination of form and function. It really feels like a luxury device with the metal side caps and leather like finish at the bottom. It has all the important hard buttons you would need for a touch screen phone. We like buttons. It has keys for Talk, End, Back, Volume, Camera, and Lock.
Samsung did a great job with the user interface on this device. It has a side bar that the user can use to send widgets to the home screen. Samsung refers to this as their TouchWiz interface. They even integrate T-Mobile MyFaves into the widget bar, making it less intrusive on the home screen. With everything on the home screen there almost isn’t a need to go into the Main Menu. The accelerometer transitions with a snap as well when rotating the phone to type messages. The on screen Qwerty touch key board was very easy to use and relatively error-free. The camera and video player are very easy to use. For a phone and high end camera combined it does a great job. The pictures are amazing with very sharp and accurate images. It even supports geo-tagging your pics if you want to know the location where you shot them. The xenon flash and automatic camera lens cover definitely helps when you are using it as a phone. Samsung did a great job of integrating Flickr, Kodak, Photobucket, and Snapfish into the camera and gallery for easy uploading of pictures to your favorite site.
On the phone side, call quality seemed to perform very well in the San Francisco area. Calls sounded good on both ends. It's funny but we know lots of our friends in Silicon Valley that have smart phones but constantly complain about the voice quality. Kind of important to get this right. After all, it is a phone first. Yes we dig all the smart phone stuff but if the voice quality's not there, game over. So good sounding phone calls and the Memoir also supports T-Mobile’s 3G network. We didn't do extended tests here but it seemed plenty fast when browsing with the full HTML web browser.
So, who really needs an 8 megapixel camera phone? Well, as far as we can tell just about anyone that can get their hands on one. I've got countless examples of friends and family with digital SLRs and pocket cameras that still rely on their cell phones more than anything else for taking candid shots. Why? Because it's always with them. When your kid is doing something for the first time at the neighborhood park it's nice to be able to take a quality shot. With the Memoir, you always have a formidable image grabber with you.
Which brings us to storage. The microSD slot makes it easy to pop in a memory card for extra storage for music, video, pics and anything else you might want to store on your Memoir and it's compatible with the 16GB microSD cards. To put that in perspective that's nearly 4 DVDs worth of data, on something the size of your pinky fingernail. With an 8 megapixel camera you'll appreciate this feature real quick.
Overall, the Samsung Memoir is not only one of the best camera phones on the market, but a very capable Smartphone as well. We're looking forward to the evolution of this line.
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Samsung Memoir Review
- Category: Mobile