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The slider phones from Samsung easily fit in one’s pocket as it sports a thin profile despite being packed with features. This is not the case however, for its new cameraphone: the G800. While this 3G handset comes with a 5-megapixel sensor with 3x optical zoom, Xenon flash, FM radio and music player function, Bluetooth connectivity, and fast browsing speeds, it is thick and can be mistaken for a point-and-shoot camera.


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Thanks to its robust construction, the G800 can withstand a couple of hits or drops. Its brushed-metal finish adds a touch of class, setting it apart from other cameraphones in the market. Users can find the five-way navigation keys, left and right softkeys, clear/delete key, dial key, and end/power key below the 2.4-inch (320 x 240 pixel) QVGA screen. The unit’s left spine hosts the multi-function jack (charging, synchronisation, and headphone), microSD card slot, and a lanyard loop, while the volume keys and camera/application switch key can be found on its right.

The main highlight of the G800 is located at the back of the phone and is hidden in plain sight. Sliding the camera cover reveals a 5-megapixel sensor with auto-focus function Xenon flash, and a 3x optical zoom to zoom in on far away objects.

The G800 is easy to use despite using Samsung’s proprietary OS, as the main functions of the phone are displayed in its main menu. Pressing the menu button (left soft key) displays the Call log, Phonebook, Music player, Optus Zoo, Messages, My files, Calendar, Camera, Google, Applications, Alarms, and Settings function.

 


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Samsung’s Music Player can play MP3, AAC, AAC+, e-AAC+, and WMA files, with users being able to transfer their music via web download, Bluetooth, Windows Media Player synchronisation, or directly copy files to the microSD card. The music player can be placed on the background, allowing a user to access other programs while listening to their playlist. Users cannot use their favourite headphones as the handset uses a proprietary headphone jack. It could have been better if Samsung added an adapter for users or just placed a 3.5mm jack altogether.

Users can access the Internet and check their e-mail as the G800 comes with a built-in browser (Optus Zoo) and e-mail quicklink (Google). Users can experience speedy Internet browsing speeds as the phone is HSDPA-enabled; although the maximum data download speed of 7.2Mbps is rarely achieved.

Samsung has also included a Voice recorder, FM radio, RSS reader, Memo, Task, World clock, Calculator, Converter, Timer, Stopwatch, and Optus SIM Backup function for users who want to be organized while on the go.

 


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Despite being touted as the ‘Photographer’s Choice,’ the G800’s camera was nothing special. While the optical zoom function gave us the ability to zero in on our subject and the Xenon flash helped us take photos in dark lighting, photos were generally washed out and blurry. Advanced settings like ISO settings, face detection, white balancing, and exposure value adjustment are available, but still fail to improve the overall quality of the picture.

The G800 claims to have a talk time of 240 minutes and a standby time of 270 hours, which equates to four to five days of ‘normal’ phone use (calls, SMS, MMS, minimal internet browsing). Using the phone as a portable music player though will drain the batteries faster.

We like the G800 for its robustness, user-friendly interface, 3x optical zoom, and long battery life. Unfortunately, the camera’s picture quality is not the best we have seen, so we recommend users to scout around and test other cameraphones first (e.g. Sony Ericsson, Nokia, and LG) before taking the plunge. The G800 is available for the Optus, Vodaphone, and 3 networks with an RRP of $799.

See page over for product specifications and final rating.

 

 Samsung SGH-G800 product specifications:

Standard:
– HSDPA 7.2 Mbps
– GSM / GPRS / EDGE Class 12 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
– UMTS 2100 MHz

Camera:
– 5 Megapixel Camera with Auto Focus
– 3X Optical Inner Zoom
– Wide Dynamic Range
– Face Detection
– Xenon Flash
– Image Stabiliser / Image Editor
– Red Eye Reduction
– Landscape Digital Camera User Interface
– Panorama / Mosaic / Macro Shot
– Lens cover

Video:
– Video recording & play (MPEG4, H.263)
– Professional Video Editing functions

Display:
– 2.4″ 262K colour QVGA TFT display
– 240 x 320 pixel resolution

Music:
– Stereo MP3 player (MP3/AAC/AAC+/e-AAC+/WMA)
– FM radio with RDS
– WMDRM / MTP

Memory:
– 150MB internal memory
– Expandable memory: up to 4GB

Connectivity:
– Bluetooth v2.0 (A2DP / AVRCP)
– USB 2.0

Other:
– Mobile Blogging (Shozu Client)
– Email – Webmail / POP3 / IMAP4
– MMS / WAP 2.0 / JAVA 2.0
– Full internet browsing (NF v3.4)
– Google Search
– Offline (flight) mode
– Speakerphone
– 64-channel polyphonic & MP3 ringtones & message tones
– Organiser (PIM)

Dimensions: 101.5 x 52 x 18.8mm
Weight: 129g

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Samsung G800 (SGH-G800) | $799 |  | www.samsung.com.au

For: Construction; User-friendly interface; Battery life; Optical zoom
Against: Photo quality not as good as other cameraphones we have tested; As thick as some point-and-shoot cameras
Conclusion: Not the best cameraphone around.

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