Device Advice: Samsung Pixon 12 – King of cameraphones?

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Sony Ericsson was the first to announce a 12-megapixel cameraphone with the Satio but it was Samsung that was first to hit stores with the Pixon12.

The phone is an upgrade of the original 8-megapixel Pixon, but with a  few improvements that go beyond adding a few pixels. A Xenon flash has been added, as well as Wi-Fi, the latest incarnation of the TouchWiz user interface and a much higher resolution display. The UI isn’t quite up there with LG’s S-Class, but it’s still easy to master – with more widgets than ever to add to the standby screen.

The main menu now sports three panels that users can scroll left and right, in a similar fashion to the iPhone. The theme and font style can also be changed to further customise the phone.

Samsung hasn’t changed the touchscreen technology though, which is disappointing. It remains resistive, meaning pressure needs to be applied instead of simply touching it lightly as with capacitive types (as used on the i8910 HD and recent LG models). Most importantly though the UI is designed to work without needing a stylus.

There’s a dedicated button on the side to fire up the camera, with a separate shutter release button and volume-cum-zoom keys. Looking at the back of the phone, you can tell that some time and effort has been put in to ensuring this looks and operates as well as a digital camera.

Camera functionality
The camera doesn’t disappoint. It has a wider-angle lens than normal, similar to that of the Nokia N86 8MP, and a range of smart features normally seen only on dedicated digital cameras. For example, in smart mode, the camera will automatically adjust the settings to get the best picture, while the Xenon flash enables users to take indoor photos without people having to stand too far away.

A standard LCD is also included, which can be used to put a light on video recordings, and the phone can also record in a widescreen format, but unfortunately not high definition like the i8910 HD.

Full review in Mobile News issue 452 (November 16, 2009).

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