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25 Temmuz 2008 Cuma

Samsung i8510 INNOV8 exclusive in-depth preview

The most feature-packed phone on the market, the Samsung i8510 INNOV8, makes its way into our hands for an exclusive first look.
Pop quiz: What's the most feature-packed phone on the market? If you said the Nokia N95 8GB, you might have been right a few days ago, but tonight we got our hands on the Samsung i8510 INNOV8 and if there's one thing we can say about the device: it is loaded with features. We dove right into the 8-megapixel camera and were pleased to find a good mix of shooting options, including auto focus, smile detection, panoramic stitching and even a high-speed video recording mode. The phone also has a dedicated camera switch up top to emphasize its photographic pedigree, but we found ourselves confused by the switch/button combos required to activate camera. Perhaps some more practice with the phone would help (hint-hint, Samsung).

The Samsung i8510 INNOV8 (are all those caps necessary?) runs the Symbian S60 OS, which has been a rarity for Samsung so far, but not unheard of. What's interesting is that the interface in no way resembles Nokia's version of the same platform. So the UI looks completely different than, say, the Nokia E71 that we recently reviewed. This isn't such a bad thing, as Samsung has produced a very polished and sharp looking interface that provides S60 with a more modern look. You can see the new interface in action in our hands-on video preview. The menu theme was sparkling and clear, though some of the apps on the device, like the music player, didn't get such a cosmetic update.

The phone has loads of soft keys and dedicated media buttons, as well as an optical mouse that also acts as the center button. We've used this optical mouse before, on the Samsung SGH-i780, but we're still not convinced its the best input method for a phone. Though the i780 used the optical pad as a mouse pointer, on the Samsung i8510 INNOV8, the optical button moves the cursor from selection to selection. It wasn't very responsive in our brief hands-on period with this pre-release unit, and we had an easier time simply pressing down on the navigation key to get where we wanted to go.

But back to all those features. The Samsung i8510 INNOV8 we got to try had the 16GB hard disk drive on board (an 8GB model will also be available), and the phone also features GPS and an accelerometer for some fancy display footwork. The phone will be marketed with a mobile gaming promotion, and will come pre-loaded with games like FIFA '08 and Asphalt 3.

Of course, the one feature this phone lacks is a touch interface. The OS looked so luscious in our hands-on test that we found ourselves poking at the screen, trying in vain to get the camera menus to respond to our touch, then remembered that Symbian S60 doesn't support touch devices, at least not yet. The phone runs on quad-band EDGE, but doesn't get the tri-band HSDPA required for ultra-fast networking here in the U.S., so importers should be warned before the phone is released in Europe later this summer.

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