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Samsung Pixon (M8800) review

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  • Recommended by TR

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Samsung Pixon (M8800)
  • Samsung Pixon (M8800)
  • Samsung Pixon (M8800)
  • Samsung Pixon (M8800)
  • Samsung Pixon (M8800)
  • Samsung Pixon (M8800)
  • Samsung Pixon (M8800)
  • Samsung Pixon (M8800)

Summary

Our Score:

9

We are back in 8-megapixel land again with Samsung's oddly named Pixon, also known as the M8800. Having given Recommended awards to the first two 8-megapixel handsets I've seen, Samsung's own i8510 Innov8 and LG's Renoir KC910 the Pixon has some pressure on it at the outset. Particularly as I don't give those awards out very freely.

The Pixon has pretty standard looks for a phone whose front is dominated by a large touchscreen. The Call and End buttons and a round back key are squeezed into a tiny panel along the bottom edge of the front fascia. The predominance of black is predictable enough, and visually there are distinct similarities to other Samsung handsets such as the Omnia i900 and Tocco F480.

The plastic casing won't be to all tastes, though it does help keep this phone's weight down to an acceptable 122g. Size-wise this is a bit of a chunky mobile to carry around at 107.9mm tall, 54.6mm wide and 13.8mm thick. However, compare that to the Renoir (107.8mm tall, 55.9mm wide, 13.95mm thick, 110g) and the i8510 (106.5mm tall, 53.9mm wide, 17.2mm thick 136g) and you find that it is pretty much par for the course for this kind of spec of phone.

There is a hold button on the left edge along with a switcher key that'll call up a grid of six shortcuts. Four shortcuts take you to apps - messaging, the browser, the call screen and music player. The other two shortcuts are a back button and the main menu shortcut.

There is also a microSD card slot on this edge which you can use to boost the 200MB of built-in storage. You get a 1GB microSD card with the phone. Meanwhile, the right edge has a volume rocker which doubles as a zoom manager in the camera, a shortcut key to the photo album and the obligatory camera key.

On the top edge is one of the things I like least about this phone. Samsung's multifunction port. You use this to administer mains power, connect to a PC and connect headphones. The good news is that the provided headset has a 3.5mm connector just past the microphone so you can substitute your own headphones for the provided in-ear buds if you want to, but I'd have preferred a 3.5mm connector on the phone itself.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut

Thomas C

November 21, 2008, 11:53 pm

This reveiw falls short of usual high quality TR reviews, its is extreamly thin on details... there is no mention of the phones web browser/touch screen keyboard/ email client capabilities/ mapping software etc etc. There are also no comparisons to other touch screen handsets on the market such as the iphone/blackberry storm etc. On top of all this to give such poor quality review a TR Recommened Badge seems very strange. TR must have some QA proceudures in place... this one like a few other mobile reviews in the past has slipped through the net! Come on guys, get the mobile reviews up to scratch, the E71 review was excellent!


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Matt Ross 1

November 25, 2008, 6:49 pm

I would have to agree with that. Not what I'm used to from TR.

Outo

December 1, 2008, 5:26 pm

I work offshore and quite often am on the extreme range for most phones. Anybody know what the call quality is like and how good the Pixon signal reception is?


My previous Samsung phones couldn't get as good a reception as even the cheapest Nokia at extreme range.

soulrider

December 20, 2008, 3:28 pm

This looks to be a great phone/multiuse gadget but I feel Samsung have missed the boatby not adding WiFi connection to its list of features.

Paul Nicolson

January 7, 2009, 1:08 pm

Does it do email, how does the browser scale pages, like the iphone ?


When surfing how long does the charge last, better than the iphone or just as bad.

Carlito79

January 29, 2009, 5:20 pm

I've had this phone for a week and I really like it but it has a poor battery life as I guess most phones of this spec have. The browser doesn't scale like the iPhone but the view does flip when you put the handset horizontally. Yes it has email. I've yet to find any mapping software which would've been good.

jewie404

February 6, 2009, 8:00 am

Now, I’ve got one recently and was having rather high expectations to use it as my PIM gadget, the ultimate device for all my contacts, notes, schedules and emails. My advice is don’t. Reading on all the specifications, GPS, 8 megapixels autofocus camera and all, it was a phone good on paper for a very good price compared with the others. The plus side is that the camera is so full of functions, you will have heaps of fun toying around with advance features like face detection, smile shots and such. That’s all there is to this phone, a very powerful camera system.





GeoTagging of photos, I took 2 weeks to figure it out. Firstly you have to turn on the GeoTagging feature in the camera settings. And by accident I discovered GeoTagging does work. Only after turning on the camera for 3 minutes or so before I noticed the satellite dish icon showed a 2 bar stable status and stayed that way. If the icon is in a transition state, it means the GPS receiver is still trying to log on to the GPS signals. One does really need to hold the phone high, run around a little and try all sorts of holding the phones in all imaginable orientation just to get GPS logged on. If a picture is successfully tagged, you can see the long-lat information via the info functions while browsing photos. Loading the image into Picassa/Google Earth is also another way to know if your pictures had been tagged. When you have successfully tagged pictures (one out of 15 times), it could be quite fun to view them in Google Erath. Bringing GPS features further, using Google Maps, just waiting for GPS to logon while driving is a nightmare. It is especially a big pain in my *** when near critical traffic junctions, the blue dot remained very still on the screen as the Pixon had lost it GPS signal. Which means, Samsung did a very bad job here, on this GPS thingy. They could have done better.





What about the organizer? One will orgas with frustration just to make it working. The great Samsung New PC Studio is truly a software written just to corrupt your Outlook. I ended up with 800 over double entries in my contact list (both outlook and in Pixon) and all my calendar schedules were squeezed into one single day after a synch. I had to spend one whole day just to restore all my schedules and contacts manually in my Outlook after the synch. I never want to use this poorly written and untested software ever again. No way could one trust Samsung on this one.





Samsung, they did a nice product and that’s about it. Cosmetically appealing, but functionally, very annoying. It’s more of a phone for the camera and that is the only good thing about it. Don’t expect good software skills from Koreans. This product seemed rushed into the market with appealing paper specs to compete with others, but without much sensible functional testing. Use this only as a fashion and camera gadget. Pixon - a partially functioning phone guarantee to drive you mad if you use it for more then a phone (especially GPS).

DrDark

February 11, 2009, 11:19 pm

@Jewie404: I can't comment on the Pixon, but your statement " Don’t expect good software skills from Koreans" seems somewhat unfair. My favourite 2 software Media Players have been Korean (Sasami2k and The KMPlayer), so some of them do know how to program...

malcolm

February 24, 2009, 3:03 pm

I bought the M8800 recently and untill now it has served me well. however my only uery os regarding contact vieweing. when i receive a message the number appears on my screen but not the name of my contact; which obviously hassles all the time since i would not know who would have sent me that message. unfortunately it is a very annoying situation and i would really appreciate it if someone could help me with this or where I can go to fix this pls. thanks a lot. you can send an e-mail on melkju_l_@hotmail.com tx again

MIKE BACON

March 17, 2009, 4:58 pm

i recently bought a pixon, i think its way over rated except the camera (which is in my opinion its only selling point). the camera is good no doubt. with no WiFi its lacking in appeal and the menus and functions are alreay boring, for the fact can't change the theme only the wall paper on the main screen, the games are only trials you have to buy them to play them properly and the widgets are kind of pointless considering most of the main features have specially made function buttons to take you straight that app. Camera great! phone not so good! i would prefer the Nokia 5800 as it more stylish in menu design, colours and general easiness to use.

Revoo

April 6, 2009, 6:37 pm

I've had the M8800 pixon for quite a few weeks now, and my overall conclusion is that the phone is good. It definately makes a change from the ever ubiquitous and seemingly unchanging sony-ericsson format that I usually go for.


Good points about the Pixon: Great security features, which will come in handy if you have nosey friends/family; you can put a pin lock on things such as messages, log book, address book etc. Also, Sumsung's 'reject list' which allows you to block certain numbers is very useful, and easy to set up. The sound and graphics which come with the phone are generally good and it has some useful 'widgets' such as a mirror, metric/imperial units converter etc. The camera is excellent with features such as facial recognition and smile detection and a very large camera screen for good quality photos. You can lock the phone at any stage unlike most phones where you need to be on the standby screen.


Bad points about the pixon: The phone is completely touch-screen, which itself is not a bad thing. Unfortunately, however, the touch screen technology employed by Samsung is a very far cry from that implemented by Apple in the iPhone. Sumsung mobile have only managed to produce a poor imitation which is comparitively slow to respond and lacks the same pricision. It is therefore difficult to utilize such features as handwriting text input to any decent convenience and it becomes more feasible to stick to the QWERTY style input (which itself requires a lot of patience due to the hit and miss nature of the touch screen.) Without nit-picking too much, other shortcommings include: Text message alert (if set to an .mp3) will play the ENTIRE file as opposed to a snippet; delivery reports are actually sent as a text instead of a tidy system pop-up as is the case with sony-ericsson (and this accentuates the aforementioned problem;) the music player cannot play playlists in order according to Artist, only according to Track name; the "Back" button on the music player actually goes all the way back to the previous song instead of restarting the current song. Lastly, the battery life is shocking, which is to be expected of such a high spec phone - but surely high spec calls for a more heavy duty battery? It has never died on me, but I charge mine every night and often top up a bit if I'm at home long enough.


Although there isn't much room for change in terms of theme's, (Pixon only allows you to change the wallpaper) I find the interface a welcome change from that on the c905 and in fact every Sony Ericsson in the past 3 years. The phone seems to be durable and Samsung phones are, from experience, less prone to manufacturer faults resulting in having to send the product back. Overall, a good phone.. I would recommend it

James 15

May 21, 2009, 3:02 pm

Gonna have a samsung M8800 Pixon, going to see what they are like ive got a samsung omnia at the momment and i feel like a change, so im gonna buy a samsung M8800 pixon. I Have ready some of your comments guys and it sounds good, sooo im gonna get 1 and any things i find out ill tell you guys. Thanks James

DoodyBoy

June 30, 2009, 5:38 pm

I've used a Pixon for a few months now and it is a real mixed bag. The camera is good but not exceptional (and I'm comparing to 5MPixel camera phones rather than dedicated cameras). However, it does have some pretty smart camera and image features and the sport mode gets round the blurred image problems noted in many reviews just by having a faster shutter speed (but no flash!).





The video recording for all its 30fps ballyhoo is again good but gets a bit juddery at times - shoot from a moving train and you'll see what I mean. However, the playing of iPOD format video files is really very good. Excellent in fact.





As for the Music Player, well, what can you say? It's very difficult to manage your tracks and play what you want. It's all a bit of a mess really. And with 8Gb of microSD storage, that's a lot of MP3 mess! Even if you do get it sorted, the sound quality is rubbish. I've tried 7 different sets of headphones and all of the different sound settings and I can't get anywhere near a decent balance.





The interface is generally pretty good although there are some inconsistencies. The rocker button on the right of the phone will scroll up and down through emails, notes, contacts etc but operates as the zoom button for web browsing. Not what you'd expect. The on-screen keyboard is good and much more accurate than the iPhone despite this being a resistive touch screen. Note that my comments are completely the opposite of the Revoo comments - maybe my fingers are smaller!





There are strange limitations dotted all over the place. Emails are restricted in length - not size - text length. Why? The same goes for notes and calendar entries where the limitations are quite serious - 12 characters for a meeting location!! Furthermore, calendar entries are have restricted repeating items functionality and you can't set up all day events.





As a phone, however, it is pretty good. Sound quality is good and so is reception. With call lists, groups and favourites and the slider index there's always a quick way to find a contact and it's easy to select from the many different contact numbers, emails or web addresses you can store. But don't try to synchronise to your PC - nightmare!





Suffice to say, I like my Pixon and loathe it in equal measures. It's got all the basics covered with few limitations. But it's a frustrating thing to use outside the "norm". I don't bother with any of the fancy frippery and just use the phone, local contacts, take a few snaps and watch videos.





6 out of 10 (but with a little attention to detail it could so easily be a 8 or 9)

Nataleigh-Jayde

July 3, 2009, 6:29 am

Personally, I love this phone, the only two problems I have is with the text messages, number one the T9 button is too close to the characters I often catch it which is very annoying. Also I think you should be able to put more characters on a text.





Otherwise, this is a very good phone and I am pleased with the creators. (:


9 out of 10!

lisa 1

July 3, 2009, 4:38 pm

I have had the pixon now for a few months, i HATE it. When doing text messages it just goes too slow and often change the language. And the T9 button too often gets caught. When browsing the pictures they just start going really fast if you move the phone slighty. I would not recommend it to anyone, just try before you buy.

John Goldie

September 5, 2009, 4:03 am

HELP! Has anyone experienced the touch screen freezing as I was on my second phone in 6 months because of it

Lauren

September 19, 2009, 6:01 pm

I do not like this phone at all apart from the camera (which the shutter jammed open after a couple of months). No matter how many times I turn off the beep (which sounds on every touch) it just keeps coming back on and driving everyone crazy. Also experienced screen freeze, it started responding slower to touch after just a couple of weeks, the maps dont work, the hold button switches back on in my bag/pocket and it doesnt work with a mac so pretty useless really - also text is slow and clumsy, scrolling through phonebook is a nightmare - speeds past the one I want then slows just to the edge of the screen before zooming back the other way. Load of rubbish and I am stuck with it for the next 10 months. BOOO!!

Rob 18

December 13, 2009, 3:40 pm

I totally agree with Lauren on this one, apart from the google maps do work on mine if a little slowly! everything about the operation of this phone is clumsy slow jerky and generally annoying. the T9 text decides it wants to add random combinations of letters before the words are selectable! The T9 and language button are way too close to the typing keypad and keep getting caught by my thumb, and the touch screen is too inaccurate to use the QWERTY function. I would say I've got average size hands and not massive meat hammers that the phone makes me feel like I've got through it's inaccuracies. I mean I have no problems at all navigating and typing texts on an iphone, so why have Samsung got it so wrong?





Also the scrolling through the photos is S-L-O-W jerky and generally irritating (especially when using the auto-scroll) when you're trying to find a picture or video quickly, my friend at work has a Nokia N95 8gb and that scrolls photos and videos like lightening in comparison.





SAMSUNG...... HAVE A WORD WITH YASELVES WILL YA! Please!





Oh, sorry before I go, I will say that the picture quality from the camera is fantastic! But unfortunately it's not enough to save this phone from being a mediocre pile of steaming doo-doo!

DoodyBoy

January 23, 2010, 11:56 pm

My 10 month old Pixon is dead. USB port connection causes phone to switch off. Can't charge, dead battery, dead! Rubbish! More and more limitations of the phone and the Samsung have come to light during my time with the phone. Not only can I not recommend this phone, I would not recommend any Samsung product because of their lack of support.





I was led into buying this phone by the review here. In the early days with the phone I could almost forgive it some of its problems but never really accepted the Recommended award. More exposure to the phone and Samsung as an organisation has led me to the conclusion that this review was very misleading.

Gordon394

January 24, 2010, 12:13 am

@DoodyBoy - unfortunately we can only review products as new, it is feedback like yours which can help readers know about the long term consequences.

kay

April 20, 2010, 1:34 am

Can anyone please tell me why "DEMSBL BOOT Loader for MSM6288 Uploader Ver 5.43" keeps appearing on my pixon screen. Very irritating as can only get rid of it by removing the battery.

Dis77

September 20, 2010, 2:05 am

I am now in my last month of an 18 month contract with this phone, well, two of these phones to be exact! One was mine the other was my daughters. My screen froze around 4 months ago and my daughters at the end of July. When looking into the issue online I found it was a common fault with this phone, and although you can send it off for repair, it still happens again.


So although I was very happy with the phone to start with, after screen death, it is nothing more than a paper weight! I even had to take the battery out as I couldn't turn off the alarm. I could have had it fixed, but was told it could take some time, and probably would take longer than the length of my contract, at the end of which time I'm switching providers bringing a possibly working phone back to paper weight status!


So my review, great phone, for about 12 months! And make sure you only put your pic's on the sd card, because after screen freeze you can't access them in the phone!!

shane

May 14, 2013, 6:28 pm

horrible phone we can see u the makers are pathetic

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