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T-Mobile Samsung Memoir gets official release date, pricing

On the eve of Mobile World Congress, T-Mobile and Samsung reveal the official release date and pricing of the Samsung Memoir.

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Back in early February, Samsung revealed that it would bring its 8-megapixel camera phone, the Samsung Memoir, to T-Mobile by the end of the month, and the company has kept its promise.

The night before the official start of GSMA Mobile World Congress 2009 here in Barcelona, Samsung and T-Mobile held a joint press conference where they announced that the Samsung Memoir would be available starting February 25 for $249.99 with a two-year contract and after a $50 mail-in rebate.

The event was marked by a special guest appearance by supermodel Helena Christensen, who was on hand to endorse the Memoir. Now, you might be wondering what the connection is between a model and a camera phone, but Christensen also happens to be a photographer (who knew?) and was given the Memoir for a few days to use as her phone and camera throughout her travels in New York and Barcelona. Images that she took with the Memoir were then put on display at the event.

"As a photographer it was great for me to be the first to try the Memoir and to really experience everything it is capable of doing," said Christensen. "It's very important that my mobile phone also double up as a great camera, that way I always have my camera on hand to capture images at any moment. That's what a big part of photography is about."

The Samsung Memoir is T-Mobile's second high-end camera phone, joining the 5-megapixel Motorola Zine ZN5. As we mentioned earlier, the Memoir features an 8-megapixel camera and also has a Xenon flash, CMOS auto focus, a 16x digital zoom, face and smile detection, geotagging, and more. Once done snapping photos, you'll be able to upload photos directly to online sharing sites such as Flickr, Kodak Gallery, Photobucket, and Snapfish.

supermodel Helena Christensen at the Samsung Memoir launch event. Bonnie Cha/CNET Networks

The Memoir also features Samsung's TouchWiz interface, as well as a full HTML Web browser, 3G support, assisted-GPS, and an onscreen QWERTY keyboard. We got a few minutes of hands-on time, and the phone certainly impresses with good looks and a flashy user interface.

It doesn't seem to be the most intuitive though. The camera was quite long as there was enough lighting. From the short time we had with the device, it didn't do too well with low-light images. Of course, we'll be giving the Samsung Memoir a full rundown when we get one in, which will hopefully be soon, so stay tuned. In the meantime, check out our hands-on photo gallery below.