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Well, here it is. The first 8-megapixel cameraphone to make it to the UK. Samsung, with its i8510 (also known as the Innov8 outside the UK), has pipped Sony Ericsson to the post.
I should say right at the outset that my review sample was not a final boxed unit but a very late pre-release sample. I should also say that it boasted 16GB of internal memory and is available from Orange and O2. The 8GB version is exclusive to Carphone Warehouse.
I'll get to the camera later on, but first it is worth looking at what else is going on here.
You might have thought S60 was the domain of Nokia and Nokia alone, but it pops up here in its 3rd Edition with Feature Pack 2. Outwardly, the software looks rather different to that on a Nokia phone thanks to a custom user interface, but as you dig around the menus and applications you see that it is S60 to the core.
Essentially, the presence of S60 makes this both a multimedia capable phone and a competent smartphone. Both factors are enhanced by all that built-in memory for storing stuff and by the large screen. At 2.8 inches, you won't beat it for size on an ordinary mobile and it is clear, sharp and crisp, though I think it would have benefited from more than its 320 x 240 pixels.
It is perhaps no surprise that the i8510 is being compared to Nokia's N95. Not so much the original version but the improved 8GB one.
But I reviewed the N95 8GB late last year, and a whole heap of stuff has happened in the mobile phone world since then, which the i8510 reflects nicely.
This is a quad-band GSM phone with GPRS and EDGE as well as 3G to the illusive speed of 7.2Mbps. GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are all here too, and the Web browser is competent - there's even an accelerometer for flicking the screen into wide mode for better browsing (and other stuff). The 16GB (or 8GB) of memory can be augmented by microSD cards, and the slot is under a cover on the right edge of the phone. There's a TV-Out feature too, though I didn't get a cable with which to test this.