The screen and user interface are both lovely. The screen is 240 pixels wide and 400 pixels high, has 262 thousand colours and measures 3.2 inches diagonally. The touch based user interface is really easy to get to grips with. If you’ve used or seen the Tocco you’ll be very familiar with how things work. Samsung provides a stylus but if you are like me you’ll never need it. It attaches to the phone via a lanyard and can dangle around if you want it to.
The main menu screen and the home screen both have a set of four tap icons along the bottom row which provide permanent access to some key features – the keypad for making voice and video calls (the phone supports HSDPA to 7.2mbps), your phonebook (there is internal space for a massive 2,000 contacts), messages and widgets.
Widgets first appeared in the Tocco and they take the same format here as they did there. On the main screen of the phone there is a panel running along the left edge of the screen that you can slide out by tapping its tab. This offers a range of elements you can drag onto the main screen.
Some go online for information, such as the AccuWeather widget and the Google search bar. Others provide access to resources on the phone. For example there is a widget for controlling the music player, another for the handset’s FM radio. Another gives you access to favourite contacts, and yet another puts an alarm clock on screen. There are plenty more.
It is the 8-megapixel camera which is the headline feature of this phone, though. It sits on the back of the casing and a lens cover sweeps open when you activate the camera software from the handset main menu.
The camera has auto focus, a macro mode, and a dual power LED flash. Shake reduction helps you avoid fuzzy photos, while face and smile detection help you ensure you get good shots of people. There is another feature called Face Link which lets you tag people in a photo and then search for pictures by name. Oh, and as well as sorting photos by face tag you can sort them by time taken and colour. The phone’s GPS antenna caters for geotagging.
The great panorama shooting system I saw in the i8510 is here too. You set this up, take your first shot, then move the camera through the area you want in the panorama and it takes the sequence of photos it needs automatically.