Samsung i85 review: Samsung i85

Typical Price: £190.00

Samsung i85

(Part #: CNETSamsung i85)
3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good 5x optical zoom; metal build; good LCD.

The Bad Doomed multimedia functions; sluggish interface; price.

The Bottom Line It must have seemed such a good idea at the time, but the Samsung i85's storage capacity is feeble by today's standards. Everyone already has music playback in their phones and iPods -- and, without that, it just looks like a rather pricey compact. Even then, the i85 could have got away with it if the interface wasn't so dreadfully slow

6.5 Overall

Samsung thinks we don't just want a camera but an MP3 player, movie player, world tour guide and storage device all rolled into one. The £190 i85 is the result: a stylish, metal-bodied, 8-megapixel compact with a 5x zoom and enough entertainment potential to keep you occupied on the plane and informed when you get there.

Don't be put off by that 8-megapixel sensor. Camera makers have gone megapixel mad of late and keep turning out bigger and bigger numbers and mushier and mushier images. The i85's shots look just fine, with more than enough detail for blow-ups.

The 5x zoom is handy, too, especially considering it stays neatly tucked away in that slimline body. The LCD is excellent, the zooming speed is fair and the autofocus is a bit quicker than average.

The i85 is practical too. You can charge it up from a powered USB socket on a computer or hook it up to the mains with the adaptor supplied. The box even contains a set of headphones that plug into a socket on the side of the body. The camera's got around 190MB of useable storage space internally, and, if that's not enough, you can just slot in an SD card to boost the capacity.

A year is a long time in the world of electronics, and that's how long the i85 has been out now. 190MB of storage is barely worth a nod when you can get a 1GB SD card for the price of a jumbo sausage and a bag of chips.

The i85's also been overtaken by the mobile-phone market, where practically every new phone comes with an MP3 player and a microSD slot. Who's going to want to drag around this brick of a thing just to listen to some music? As for the world tour guide -- just buy a book, for heaven's sake.

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