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Samsung Memoir Review

Samsung Memoir 9.5

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Music player - Samsung Memoir Review
Music player - Samsung Memoir Review
Music player - Samsung Memoir Review

Music player

The included media player is quite good, but not perfect.  It had no issues reading ID3 tags and album art for our music, but when we threw it a curveball by loading a double disc it didn’t quite get the track listing right, rather it had disc  1 song 1, disc 2 song 1, disc 1 song 2…  Still, as this isn’t billed as an iPod replacement we were happy enough.  The lack of a 3.5mm jack is a big draw back for those planning to use this as a music device, however.  The included headphones are nothing special, similar in quality to the iPod buds.  It handled videos well also, reading .mp4 files with a myriad of FPS encoded with either H.263 or H.264, but when the resolution exceeded 320x240 it choked up and even reset on us.  Turning the device switches the orientation just as you would expect.

Video playback - Samsung Memoir Review
Video playback - Samsung Memoir Review

Video playback


Lets be honest, you’re only reading the review for this section.  In fact, we bet a number of you skipped right to it and have no idea what has been said up to this point.  So lets get on with it, with no further ado we present to you sample shots from the 8 megapixel Memoir!

Samsung Memoir Review
Samsung Memoir Review
Samsung Memoir Review

Sample photos - Samsung Memoir Review
Sample photos - Samsung Memoir Review
Sample photos - Samsung Memoir Review

Sample photos

As you can see, the results were pretty impressive.  The Memoir definitely fared better in natural lighting, where images were crisp and details sharp.  Color representation was slightly mellow, but nothing that Photoshop can’t fix.  Low-light images tended to cause motion blur even when the subject was stationary, and images were also very dark when the light was low.  For instance, the picture of the beer taps was actually taken in early dusk lighting (bright enough that you wouldn’t have your headlights on) but the flash deemed itself necessary to be used and the result looks darker than it was.  The kitchen shot was taken in total darkness, and while the Xenon flash of the Memoir is better than the LED one on the Pixon, it still is not totally suitable for nighttime use at more than a few meters.

Indoor photos - Samsung Memoir Review
Indoor photos - Samsung Memoir Review
Indoor photos - Samsung Memoir Review

Indoor photos

Starting the camera cold took about 3.5 seconds, capturing the image took another 2 sec, and saving the image took 4-5 sec.  ~5 sec from startup to capture isn’t too bad, but the save time nearly doubled that so taking pictures in quick succession won’t be pleasant.  This is a shame, because the Pixon saved images very quickly.  There is a continuous shooting mode, which allows you to snap 9 pictures in succession, but the low resolution pictures are piss-poor and blurry, and the feature is worthless.

Camera interface - Samsung Memoir Review

Camera interface

There are other shooting modes as well, the most interesting of which is panoramic.  Shooting panoramic pictures has never been easier, and the results were great.  When you initiate the mode there are four arrows, one in each direction.  You choose which way you will be moving the camera, and then snap your first photo.  A green outline stays on the viewfinder, and you as you move it begins to match up with the outer edge of the viewfinder.  Once it is lined up the next image is automatically snapped, and so on and so forth until you take four images.  The final result is a seamless panoramic image, with no overlays like we found with the Touch Diamond’s panoramic mode.

Panoramic shot - Samsung Memoir Review

Panoramic shot

There is also a smile shot and mosaic mode.  The latter is interesting in that it lets you take a number of different shots which are stitched together as one.  We feel this would be more appealing to the artistic ones out there, or the teenage girl crowd who love silly collages.

Settings include White Balance, Exposure Meter, Anti-Shake, WDR (for clear imaged in backlight conditions) and Blink Detection.  The user can manually adjust the Contrast, Saturation and Sharpness.  There is an ISO setting also, but it is curiously locked on auto  no matter the resolution or shooting mode.  Images can be geotagged with the built-in GPS.  Just like the Pixon the UI is pretty boring to look at, but its functionally and usability is wonderful.

Camera options - Samsung Memoir Review
Camera options - Samsung Memoir Review
Camera options - Samsung Memoir Review
Camera options - Samsung Memoir Review

Camera options

The video camera records at an impressive 720x480 maximum resolution.  Options are more sparse; the user can simply adjust the white balance and turn WDR on and off.  The results were good, though not as impressive as we saw on the Nokia N96.

Samsung Memoir sample video at 720x480 pixels resolution
* Note that due to codecs support, you may not be able to play the file.

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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55

1. rtimi26 (Posts: 42; Member since: 16 Mar 2009)

hi i can see that good shot of easton town center and columbus state community college. I would like to meet up some day maybe we can discuss possible collaboration. email me if you are the administrator please.

posted on 16 Mar 2009, 16:49

2. luisandres58 (Posts: 21; Member since: 16 Mar 2009)

I don't know how you really rate but if you add and then divide the numbers you get a 7.8 rating. How can you give a 9.5 as a phone ( unless is a mistake)? As a camera I understand, but as phone in your review you killed it!

posted on 17 Mar 2009, 05:42

4. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 258; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)

Hey, please check our "How do we rate?" page.http://www.phonearena.com/htmls/howdowerate.php Although it has its cons, this camera phone scores excellent in its class.

posted on 16 Mar 2009, 18:38

3. Charlie (unregistered)

No Wi-Fi = poop. End of story.

posted on 09 Oct 2009, 17:58

8. vmatikov (Posts: 55; Member since: 28 Jan 2009)


posted on 17 Mar 2009, 15:35

5. LessthanZach (Posts: 106; Member since: 29 Apr 2008)

"Unfortunately call quality was downright abysmal. Callers frequently had to ask us to repeat ourselves, and told us that this was the worst phone we’ve ever tested. " Rated 9.5 out of 10 by phonearena.com I can see the advertising campaign now...... This might have been a different story if the camera by itself was rated on a different website (i.e. dpreview.com). But on a phone web site when a phone is said to be "the worst phone we ever tested", it is safe to say that it does not deserve a 9.5 rating. Just my 2 cents.

posted on 18 Mar 2009, 11:48

6. Pr0cl1v1ty (Posts: 60; Member since: 26 Oct 2008)

lessthanzach you probably had a defective phone, were in a loud area, or your signal sucks because i have the phone and everyone says its BETTER than my iphones and never had one complaint

posted on 20 Mar 2009, 23:02

7. LessthanZach (Posts: 106; Member since: 29 Apr 2008)

I don't have this phone, Pr0cl1v1ty. I don't even have T-Mobile. What I made was a sarcastic remark that involved QUOTING phone arena's review. Notice the lovely QUOTATION marks which elegantly indicate my reference to the relevant article that we are discussing. If you would please take the time to read phonearena.com's review of this device, specifically the performance section, then return and re-comment it would be much appreciated. Thank you and have a nice day.

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Display240 x 400 pixels TFT
Camera8 megapixels
Size4.17 x 2.11 x 0.55 inches
(106 x 53.6 x 14 mm)
4.40 oz  (125 g)
Battery1000 mAh, 5.5 hours talk time

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