Casio just released a cameraphone that’s likely to dodge the criticisms we’ve leveled at other camera/phone convergence devices. That’s because rather than pointlessly add high megapixels to it, Casio put some really good stuff inside the Exilim.
The camera segment is a 5.1-megapixel unit with a three-times optical zoom, autofocus with 9-point metering, and there’s a high-brightness LED flash, as well as a built-in image stabilization system. Those features add up to a pretty potent digital photography system, but that’s not too much of a surprise given Casio already makes the successful Exilim range of digital cameras.
The phone segment has a 2.3-inch LCD and a secondary 0.7-inch OLED on the outside, along with stereo Bluetooth, a full HTML browser with WAP support (remember WAP?) and “advanced speech recognition.” It can act as a digital photo frame to show off your best shots and it also displays images over a TV-out link. Expansion is by microSD card, and it’ll sit on standby for a whopping 540 hours. There’s also a bunch of proprietary carrier-based stuff like visual voicemail because it comes via Verizon.
It’s a dumbphone, sure, but one with quite a kick in its camera. But the Exilim has one more trick. It’s actually a hardened phone, compatible with military standard 810F. That makes it water resistant, shock proof, dust proof, vibration proof, salt resistant and can tolerate big whacks of sunlight, so it sounds like a good one to take down to the beach.
There’s a catch, though. It’s out on Verizon, but if you like it for its camera and tough specs, then you’re going to have to fork over $329 for a two-year contract, before a $50 discount.