Hands-on with the Samsung NV9: Cooler King

There's a number of nifty touches on the slinky 10-megapixel Samsung NV9 that make it cooler than the average compact

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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Ice-blue eyes coldly meet the rear-view mirror. Engines rev. Dashboard needles flick wildly. Tyres squeal... and we remember that we're not in Bullitt and we're not Steve McQueen, we're just playing with a camera. But the Samsung NV9, a 10.2-megapixel point-and-shoot, sports a look and packs a bunch of features that make it as cool as the Cooler King himself.

You also get optical image stabilisation, and a 5x optical zoom. Once an image is taken, playback mode includes a recycle bin like the one on your computer, so deleting an image only sends it to the cooler, from where it can be busted out later if you change your mind.

Other features include Samsung's trademark charging system, which allows you to charge the camera via USB and cuts down on the number of leads you have to cart about. An excellent idea. Steve would approve.

The style fascist in you may approve of the Stalinist rewriting of history -- Stylinist? -- with the beauty shot feature. This automatically identifies imperfections, blemishes and other heinous crimes against pulchritude, and retouches the offending ugger until their face is fixed. There are different level settings so you can control the amount of retouching that takes place: set faces on 'stunner'.

The Samsung NV9 comes in silver, black and pink. It'll set you back a cool £150, which we think is pretty darn reasonable for such a cool customer. Hit 'Continue' for more of the NV9's nifty touches.

Unlike most of the NV range, the NV9 doesn't include the clever smart-touch interface, which Crave loves. On the upside, that does mean there's room for a bigger screen, and this one is in fact 69mm (2.7-inch).

The USB connection is proprietary, so don't lose the lead. Interestingly though, the connection does allow for headphones, as the NV9 is sprinkled with Samsung's PMP pixie dust to play back MP3 and video. And they've only gone and bundled a set of headphones in the box!

The NV9's unique mini dashboard features two analogue dials on the top of the camera, one showing battery information and the other memory card use. It's the sort of lovely little detail that gets us geeks giddy with excitement.

We'll be testing how useful the feature is in our review, although frankly it could be completely useless and we'd still love it -- on the pink model it looked cool, on the black model it looks dangerously cool. Steve would love it. That's what we're telling ourselves.