There’s a little bit of confusion about the naming of Samsung handsets of late. When the i8510 was released, Samsung Korea called it the Innov8. In the UK, it was released as the i8510. Things changed again when the Omnia arrived, and now we have the Pixon, the official name for the M8800.
Pixon isn’t quite as good as ‘Cyber-shot’ but it is less random than LG’s ‘Renoir’. Supposedly we’ll all start saying ‘Get your Pics-on’ and think of this phone, or perhaps we won’t.
The Pixon is a direct competitor to LG’s Renoir. As ever, LG and Samsung manage to copy each other within weeks, and this is no exception. Both models have a large touchscreen display, an 8-megapixel camera and video recording that includes the super-slow motion, 120 frames per second, mode that is sure to create a few smiles. However, the Pixon doesn’t have Wi-Fi.
The standby screen features draggable widgets, like the Tocco and Omnia models, but you have more to choose from than before and the option of downloading more. There’s even a mirror widget that fires up the front-facing camera so you can see yourself in a virtual mirror. A fine idea, as long as you have sufficient lighting.
The rear of the phone is rather bland looking, with ‘Samsung 8.0’ written to the side of the camera lens. There’s a lens cover that opens when you start the camera application, and in the top right is a bright LED flash. However, it’s not a patch on the xenon flash bulb you’ll find on the LG Renoir, or Sony Ericsson’s C905.
Night time photography obviously isn’t going to be a strong point on the Pixon, but the quality of the images taken in good light matches the sharpness and colour accuracy you’ll find on the i8510. The camera start up time is quicker than its smartphone brother, and there are a couple of nifty new features too.
Smile detection has been done before, but you can now create panoramic photographs with ease. Simply take your first shot, and rather than try and line up your next photo to stitch together, you merely move the camera and wait until it detects the exact point for adding the next image.
Facebook fans will also appreciate the image tagging feature, allowing you to find people in your photographs by name. You can’t go as far as uploading these tagged images to Facebook, but it does speed up searching.
The web browser is pretty capable too, and you can zoom in and out using the volume keys. Entering text in portrait mode uses a virtual-keypad, but turn it landscape and you get a full-width QWERTY keyboard instead.
It’s easy to use your fingers to operate the phone, unlike the Omnia, but there is a clip-on stylus and holder in the box.
The lack of Windows Mobile makes the phone easier to use than the Omnia, although you can only view documents, not edit them. If you prefer a touchscreen, but need the best camera, the Pixon ticks all the right boxes and we also found the battery standby to be excellent.
Fantastic image and video quality, with a fast and responsive touch sensitive user interface. Excellent battery life too.
The screen resolution could have been higher to improve onboard picture viewing
RATINGS (OUT OF 5)