Samsung’s Memoir phone was an interesting mashup of a phone strapped to the back of an 8-megapixel digital camera. But the company’s new Ultra Touch S8300 cellphone flips the problem around, bolting a high-end smart cellphone onto a mid-range 8-megapixel cam.
The phone’s got a traditional sliding phone keypad and a touchscreen, and somehow still manages to be a relatively slender 12.7mm deep. The screen is a rather luxurious 2.8-inch high-contrast AMOLED with 16 million colors and 400×240 pixels, and comes with full haptic touch feedback. It runs Samsung’s TouchWiz interface, so it’s not quite as smart a smartphone as, say, the G1, but since it’s been revamped with new 3D effects and gesture-based inputs it’s certainly a very graphically pleasing number that’s pretty capable.
The phone has AGPS, Bluetooth 2.1, an FM radio with RDS, connects over the 7.2 Mbps HSDPA network, and comes with 80MB of on-board RAM that can be augmented with microSD cards up to 16GB. There’s also a front-facing webcam for 3G video calling.
The digital camera portion of the phone isn’t quite as whizzy as the Memoir’s (possibly due to the design constraints of the slider keypad mechanism) although it does have 8-megapixels. There’s a dual LED-based flash–not as good as a real xenon one–and the software does face and smile detection, as well as geotagging. It also records 30fps VGA video.
It’s a high-end offering, but paired next to the Memoir it shows that Samsung thinks the public’s not quite ready for full-on cameraphone convergence. You can either get the Memoir, with its all-touchscreen action and powerful cameraphone, or the Ultra, with a lesser camera, but a smarter phone with a better screen…but not a phone that has both.