Back in February, rumors of a 12-megapixel Samsung smartphone surfaced. I was totally down on the device, worried about how badly the idea could go wrong. Now the SCH-W880's surfaced, and it appears to have allayed nearly all my fears.
That's because the SCH-W880 could be mistaken for a regular point-and-shoot when you glance at it from the front. There's a proper zooming lens assembly, which gives the unit a three-times optical zoom, what looks like a decent aperture, a proper xenon flash, standard shutter release with zoom controls and even a mode-dial. All of this points to some serious input from Samsung's camera-design department, and it makes the W880 very very different from many other high-megapixel smartphones out there that are trying to dupe consumers with attractive pixel-counts, but which include poor-performing imaging units with tiny optics and no zoom. I still need to be convinced that including 12 million pixels is beneficial to users, rather than concentrating on a sensor with fewer pixels but better imaging quality, but that's not a big worry.
Amazingly, Samsung hasn't skimped on other features at the expense of static pics, so the W880 also records video in HD-format, and its display is a 3.3-inch WVGA AMOLED number that could even give the screen on Microsoft's new Zune HD a run for its money. The phone supports GPS (which I'm hoping translates into automatic geotagging), Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, digital TV receiver and a microSD card slot for memory expansion. At this point we don't know much else, but we can probably expect it to run a version of Samsung's TouchWiz smartphone UI. It's also a significantly skinny device and, combined with what promises to be an excellent camera unit it could even make Nokia's new entry to the camera-smartphone market, the N86, look a little old-fashioned. Looks like that whole saying that "the best camera's the one you carry with you" is about to get a real shot in the arm.