Fast Company

Samsung Memoir: 8MP Camera, Touchscreen Smartphone Mashup

Although the megapixel war continues, stupidly, in cameraphones, Samsung's Memoir gets a pass. It's a sweet mashup of an 8-megapixel camera married to a cellphone with a huge touchscreen.

The camera module behaves much like a standard compact digital camera, with five different shooting modes, a xenon flash (versus the wimpy LED illumination many other cameraphones employ) and 8x digital zoom. Digital zoom is the one place that an 8-megapixel count will come in handy--you can afford to throw away a decent number of pixels to properly frame the subject of your image by zooming in.

The cellphone portion of the device ditches WinMo and other operating systems for Samsung's own TouchWiz interface, with a virtual touchscreen QWERTY keyboard, media player options, Bluetooth, voice-activated dialing and e-mail. It's also a 3G phone, which places it firmly in the iPhone/G1 competition camp, particularly thanks to the large screen.

The crossover functionality between the cellphone and camera is handled with a widget that automatically directs photos and video to sources including Flickr, Kodak gallery, Photobucket and Snapfish.

Crazily, it looks like the phone is also good for use as an in-car navigator if you add a suitable dashboard-mount. It's got built-in GPS, including a turn-by-turn navigation option.

All-in-all the Memoir, dubbed the SGH-T929, is device convergence done well--although the mashup will be made or broken on how well the TouchWiz UI handles both phone and camera functionality. It's due to be revealed at Mobile World Congress, and be on T-Mobile's network when it's available.

[via Gizmodo, Ubergizmo]

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2 Comments

  • Kit Eaton

    @Chris... oh yeah--that's exactly my point, and I'm all for convergence. But with a tiny tiny aperture, meniscus lens and no zoom, squeezing 12+ megapixels into a digital cameraphone achieves little more than expanded file sizes and increased thermal noise, rather than higher-*quality* imaging. It's the digital camera megapixel war on a new frontier. Convergence devices should marry the best of both device worlds, not just bang 'em together and tout it as having more megapixels. No?

  • Chris Dannen

    Why "stupidly"? Wouldn't it be great if mobile phones had good enough cameras to render point-and-shoot cams unnecessary?