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Cameras

Samsung i85: Mad as a bag of hammers

The Samsung i series has always been wacky -- the i85 may be classily styled but it still has the crazy tour guide function we're so fond of

We love the Samsung i series: it's just so wonderfully bonkers. The 8-megapixel i85 is the latest camera in the multi-functional range, which has made wacky design and gloriously inexplicable multimedia options its hallmark.

Although Samsung is yet to top the sheer novelty value of the twisty i7, or the sleek design of the sliding i70, the i85 is certainly a step up from the plasticky i8. It has an unusual bend in the right-hand side of the frame, which we weren't sure about at first but are coming to like.


The lens is a non-protruding 5x optical zoom. The equivalent focal length on a 35mm camera is 36mm, which is pretty average.

Scene modes are chosen from a flashy animated menu. It looks purdy, but does slow things down when you try to skip through quickly. We can't deny that each scene's little animation jazzes up the familiar icons: a cloud scuds past the usual mountain denoting landscape, a magnifying glass highlights the macro flower, and dawn and sunset modes include tiny rising and descending suns.

In a similar vein, the multimedia menu features animated icons for MP3 player, PMP, text viewer and tour guide functions. The MP3 player shows a cute little headphone-sporting avatar with music swirling around its head.

There's no image stabilisation, but you do get something vastly more interesting, in our opinion: the camera comes pre-loaded with the trailer for D-War. This was the most expensive film ever made in Korea and has long been a staple of Samsung's promotional events, shown in glorious high definition on display televisions. While the film is terrible, the trailer is as barmy as a chimpanzee on a Segway, and if we tell you the D stands for 'Dragon' and involves tanks and Apache gunships fighting giant CGI lizards, you'll understand just how hatstand it is.

Click 'Continue' to see if the i85's tour-guide function is just as ker-azy as its predecessors, and get a load of the camera's best feature.

The enormous 76mm (3-inch) screen shows the tour-guide function. If you're visiting the UK, the choice is between Belfast, Cambridge, Edinburgh, London, Oxford, Stratford-Upon-Avon and York. Funnily enough, the choice for Korea is somewhat wider.

The utterly loopy Samsung i85 is available now for just under £200.