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CNET First Look
Samsung Innov8If you want a camera phone that will blow almost every other handset out of the water, look no further than the Samsung Innov8. Design complaints aside, it's a powerful and eye-catching device that performs well as a phone, too.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:04 >> Hi, I'm Ken Sherman, Senior Editor here at CNET.com. Today we're taking a first look at the Samsung Innovate, this is an unlocked phone that's GSM. The reason they call it the Innovate is because it's an 8 megapixel camera, currently carriers in the U.S. top out at 2 point 3 megapixel and certainly this phone puts those to shame, has a lot of features, everything you might find in a stand-alone camera except an optical zoom. And the only thing we didn't like about the camera is does have a just a dual LED flash it's not a Znon flash so, the flash doesn't work so well in really dim situations. For all that functionality the phone is pretty compact, has a pretty slim profile, basic black color, but pretty clean lines, so pretty appealing overall. Has a few controls on the side, there's a volume rocker here which also functions as a zoom control for the camera, here on this side there's a switch that's a bit unique, you can change between 3 different things, you can change it to, when you press this button it starts the camera, it starts the camcorder, or it starts a special feature where you can just cycle through your pictures, so that's a nice touch. As with a lot of camera phones the back of the Innovate is designed to resemble a stand-alone camera, you can see they have the lensware over here with the flash right above, there is a lens cover. The only thing we were a little disappointed though is that while you can hold the camera like this and the shutter button is on top the zoom control is down here at the bottom, never seen a stand-alone camera like that, certainly you'd get used to it over time but I felt that Samsung could have put their volume marker on this side, which of course, this is zoom control and just makes it a little easier to use. Navigation controls, mixed feelings about those. The toggle is raised above the surface of the phone, it's square, it's pretty big so it's easy to get there and grip, you can set these soft keys as shortcuts, you can also set the toggle as a shortcut, and these silver keys are dedicated shortcuts to the Gallery, which is all your media and the main menu. You can also activate a shortcut bar to appear on this screen and when you do that the toggle shortcuts disappear and then you can maneuver around and get lots of shortcuts without even opening the main menu. The Innovate also offers an optical mouse and what that is, is by sliding your finger up and down the Okay button you can actually move through menus side to side or up and down, you can turn it off, I chose to turn it off most of the time because I just didn't think it added that much to the phone. Inside you'll find a real heavy load of features, there's Bluetooth, there's organizer features, there's all kinds of e-mail, there's WiFi, there's the camera, there's ISO, there's Wide Balance, the phone came with things like Google and has GPS and you can get maps and really a lot of things on this phone. So the Innovate really goes a long way toward combining a cell phone and camera into one device and doing it well. It should please pretty much anyone that's looking for a really powerful device with a lot of features. I'm Ken Sherman and this is the Samsung Innovate. ^M00:02:35 [ Music ]