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Samsung i7 review: Samsung i7

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On our model, the tour guide offers us information on the continent of "Eroupe" [sic]. Guides are gleaned from the download section of and are stored on the i7's internal memory. Some slightly stilted translations, and the number of entries crammed into the Asian countries, reveal the origins of the camera. There's no Dublin, New Zealand or South America at all, yet there is detailed information on bus tours in the Korean countryside. The guide also places Edinburgh and Belfast in England.

You can copy text from online tour guides into text files, and then read them with the i7's text viewer. This is the only way to get really complete and up-to-date tour guide information for anywhere outside of Asia. For Europeans, it's not worth investing in the i7 just for the tour guide feature as the selection of entries is too limited, but the 450MB memory is generous enough for text files and is better than most compacts' internal memory.

Setting aside the gimmicky extras, the camera packs a 7-megapixel sensor and a 3x optical zoom. If the other bundled devices are basic, the camera isn't. Pictures are crisp and detailed, and colour is reproduced comfortably. Skin tones are rendered particularly well, combining with a face-recognition feature to making this a strong camera for portraits.

The i7 does include digital image stabilisation, but as usual it's best avoided because higher ISO settings give the camera problems. Noise is present at ISO 400 but is not a major problem. There is, however, a marked nosedive in image quality between ISO 800 and 1600. As a result, photos taken with image stabilisation function at ISO 1600 are horribly gritty.

The biggest performance gripe is speed. The camera is slow to focus and process pictures -- in low light some pictures took a couple of seconds to save. The screen responds to touch quickly, but some animated menu changes slow things down and get annoying after a while. Even more frustrating is the slowest zoom we've encountered for a while.

Depending on your perspective, the Samsung i7 is either innovative and fun or gimmicky and underwhelming. To find out which camp you fall into, make sure to try it first, especially as it isn't cheap. We think the rotating screen makes playing with the camera enjoyable, and it should impress your friends when you take it down the pub.

The camera is a solid performer, if a bit slow, while the other features are functional at least. The screen is large and the touchscreen interface intuitive. If convenience and a bit of novelty are what you're looking for, the i7 is worth a look.

Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Kate Macefield

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