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Samsung Highnote, Innov8 reviewed

Samsung's Highnote is a solid music phone for Sprint and the Samsung Innov8 is a powerful camera phone.

The music-friendly Samsung Highnote in all its glory.
Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks

This week we reviewed two Samsung handsets that span the full range of mobile multimedia. The Highnote is a new music phone for Sprint and the Innov8 is a fancy 8-megapixel camera. In North America, it is available as an unlocked model.

Samsung and Sprint introduced the Highnote at the CTIA Fall 2008 show last month. Also called the SPH-M630, the Highnote is a music phone that replaces the Samsung Upstage and the LG Muziq. It offers all the usual highlights of a Sprint music phone, with an eye-catching slider design and a new menu interface. Call and music performance were satisfying, but the streaming video was patchy at times.

Read the full Samsung Highnote review.

It's not often that we get our hands on a high-performance camera phone. While plenty of high-resolution shooters land in the laps of our lucky colleagues at CNET Asia, we've had to settle for unlocked 5-megapixel models like the Sony Ericsson K850i and the Samsung SGH-G800.

Take your best shot with the Samsung Innov8. Samsung

And don't get us started on U.S. wireless carriers; they can't bring themselves to offer anything more power than 3.2-megapixel models, like the LG Dare.

So count us surprised and excited when Samsung graciously decided to send us a review model of its new 8-megapixel camera phone, the Samsung Innov8. Sleek, powerful, and armed with an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink feature set, the Innov8 makes even the high-quality LG Dare look like two tin cans connected by a string.

Photo quality is excellent, as we expected, and the editing features rival those on a standalone camera. You still won't find an optical zoom--you'll have to head to Korea to find a camera phone with one of those--and the flash is disappointing, but the Innov8 offers just about everything else. Yet, as powerful as it is, the Innov8's photo quality is only marginally better than those 5-megapixel handsets.

Read the full Samsung Innov8 review.