Samsung INNOV8 Preview

7
Introduction and Design

Introduction:


Ever since the cell phone was invented, there has always been a trend to follow and the competition for the best one has been on. In the beginning, the manufacturers have tried to develop the technologies in order to diminish the size and weight of the units. Once gotten down to a pocket size, the phones transform into more and more complicated devices, trying to become mobile computers, assistants, cameras or multimedia players.

Now it is 2008, the „I want it all and I want it now” trend in the phone industry is more appropriate than ever and simply having the best camera- or business phone is not so attractive. The phones from the higher class are already attempting to excel in all aspects, making them all-in-one devices.

The device we’ll discuss here is exactly a representative of this class; innovative for Samsung, it’s not only their first 8-megapixel phone outside of Asia, but it will try to be a multimedia player and a smartphone at the same time. Having the name INNOV8 and internal model number i8510, it doesn’t fit in any of the previous classes of the manufacturer, but the idea it carries, reminds us of G810, which is also a multifunctional phone based on Symbian S60.

Since we have a prototype, we’ll make preview instead of a review and will not get into details. Expect our review as soon as we get a final unit.

Design:

Design-wise, INNOV8 is the typical high-tech model. In contrast to G810 it doesn’t look as a business device but reminds us that it’s a gadget with many options. Because of that, and due to the similar size it has, INNOV8 resembles the rival models of Nokia to a certain extent, despite the fact that it has nothing in common with their design language. The small markings, indicating various specifications of the device (16GB, Wi-Fi, GPS, DivX) are noticeable here as well, so your friends looking at your new acquisition in awe, will know what it sports without you even telling them.




You can compare the Samsung INNOV8 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

The large dimensions of the phone allow for many buttons to be employed in its design without having absurdly miniature size. As in i780 and OMNIA, here we also have an “optical mouse” in the middle of the navigational keys and it’s definitely more handy compared to the touch screen devices. Our final opinion however, will be included in the review.



Similarly to a bunch of other cameraphones, INNOV8 resembles a pocket device when closed. On its back, there is a clearly noticeable bulge for the lens and the flash, and the right side (top one when used as a camera) houses three-way switch for choosing the mode (picture, video or preview) and the camera shutter. A strange decision on behalf of the manufacturer was made, to put the volume rocker on the opposite side, which makes zooming in/out quite hard when holding the phone in a horizontal position. It’s nice that the protective lens cover opens automatically once the software is started, and in contrast to K850 there is no glass, which is easily scratched, making it pointless.






Samsung INNOV8 360 Degrees View:



Software:

As we’ve mentioned above, like G810, INNOV8 also runs on Symbian S60, made popular by the countless Nokia smartphones. Here, we have the latest version (3rd Edition, Feature Pack 2), seen as well in the top Finnish model N96. Samsung has added its own graphic themes, so you can change the style of the interface, to be similar to the other models of its series. Naturally, this only changes the phone visually and deep within, it remains the typical S60 smartphone, which is not a bad thing at all.   

As we’ve said in other reviews of such phones, here we have an excellent phonebook with multiple fields, and now, with a large picture on an incoming call. Message wise, there are more than enough extras and a very good organizer as well. For quite some time, the web browser has been one of the best. Although it is a few steps behind the leaders (which are touchphones) in user-friendliness, it is still very pleasant, even for daily use.



As a smartphone, everything’s good, but as we’ve mentioned, this is an all-in–one device, so we wonder how does it perform as a cameraphone. At first glance it looks promising and with its 8-megapixels, it easily lines up with the big guys. Although we are not fans of the monochrome type of interface, we like it just fine, and it offers many options as well. The face recognition feature is accompanied with smile and blink recognition, so you can get smiley faces with open eyes on your pictures.


Despite the fact that we never rate phones by their prototypes, we’ll publish a few pictures of this version of INNOV8. They look rather promising and we hope the final results will be even better.



Samsung INNOV8 sample video at 640x480 pixels resolution
* Note that due to codecs support, you may not be able to play the file.

Similar to OMNIA, INNOV8 is also a contender for the title ”powerful personal multimedia player”. Unfortunately, there is DivX, but no XviD support, which limits to a great extent the files supported. The other comment we have is related to the screen, which although relatively large (2.8”) has a standard QVGA resolution. It would have been nice to be able to watch videos in VGA, which lets you see the better quality in the files with high resolution. Anyways, we are not negative about this element and are impatient to receive the final test unit, so we can see how it performs as a video player. Music wise, we have the original Symbian S60 music player, but we are curious about the sound quality.


Overall, INNOV8 doesn’t make us gasp and besides the high camera resolution, there are no other innovations. It still looks as a nice multifunctional phone and if it does all that it’s supposed, according to its specifications properly, it should be one good device.

Expect our review with the full tests of the phone.







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