My distain for 12 megapixel camera phones is well known, but Samsung's latest ludicrous resolution handset does have one redeeming feature...
The 'SCH-W880' - yes, for some reason Samsung is recycling model numbers after just two years - has officially broken cover and it is possibly the most camera focused (pun intended, naturally) mobile phone we've seen to date.
Like the Pixon 12 therefore, the W880 has an utterly daft 12 megapixel sensor which really should be turned down to five megapixels if you're even half way sane (see often repeated reasoning). Despite this, where the W880 does separate itself from the competition is the inclusion of a 3x optical zoom over the pointless-as-12-megapixels-in-a-phone digital zoom. This isn't the first handset to do this, the G800 offered the same early last year, but it is a welcome if long overdue return.
Why is digital zoom so hopeless? It doesn't zoom closer, it just zooms into your image. In effect doing little more than making a blurry mess. You're better off simply cropping your full size image later on.
Anyway, back at the ranch and you'll also find photos enhanced by autofocus, face detection, a Xenon flash and image stabilisation plus a compact digicam style grip. Aside from its camera aspiration, the W880 brings with it 720p HD video recording at 30 frames per second, a 3.3in AMOLED 800 x 480 pixel touchscreen display (no word on what type) and TouchWiz UI. The usual high end handset features also make an appearance: WiFi, GPS and HSDPA, plus a healthy 4GB of onboard storage, Bluetooth and a microSD expansion slot.
Samsung will initially release the W880 in Korea, though it hasn't given away a price or release date. Quite when or if the UK and European markets will see it is unknown, but either way it certainly hints at a brighter camera phone future to come... (pun? yes, of course)