Samsung M7600 Beat DJ review

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The Samsung M7600 Beat is a DJ. What's on its mind is on its face, a brave stab at not only putting music in your pocket but in your hands as well. The M7600 Beat is quick to claim a territory of its own, where playback simply won't do unless you mix your own music.

The inspired and unmistakable styling, vibrant OLED capacitive touchscreen, sweet clicking TouchWiz and a whole new music experience will make you have a crush or wish you were younger. Meet the first DJ phone.

Samsung M7600 Beat DJ Samsung M7600 Beat DJ Samsung M7600 Beat DJ Samsung M7600 Beat DJ
Samsung M7600 Beat DJ official photos

Key features:

  • Stand-out design
  • Quad-band GSM and 3G with HSDPA support
  • 2.8" 16M-color AMOLED touchscreen display of WQVGA resolution
  • 3.2 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash and VGA video at 15 fps
  • Accelerometer for screen auto rotate
  • Proximity sensor for auto screen turn-off
  • MicroSD card slot (up to 16 GB), 8 GB card included
  • Built-in GPS receiver with A-GPS support, Google Maps
  • Stereo Bluetooth (A2DP)
  • DivX/XviD video support
  • Stereo FM radio with RDS, FM recording
  • Standard 3.5mm audio jack
  • Office document viewer
  • Smart dialing
  • BeatDJ app for scratching and sampling

Main disadvantages

  • User interface is quite laggy
  • BeatDJ app could've been better and more responsive
  • No virtual on-screen QWERTY keyboard
  • Limited Flash support in browser
  • Poor music reproduction quality

The Samsung Beat lineup has a few pawns on the chessboard already, but the M7600 Beat DJ is different stuff. A touchscreen media gadget with high-speed data, GPS, enhanced video playback and good enough imaging, it's fit to stand its ground even against smartphones with an ear for music.

Samsung M7600 Beat DJ Samsung M7600 Beat DJ Samsung M7600 Beat DJ Samsung M7600 Beat DJ
Samsung M7600 Beat DJ live shots

Walkmans to the left of it, XpressMusic to the right, the Samsung M7600 Beat DJ makes a stand with a truly unique feature and throws a DJ deck at the young. The party is on at the Arena, Samsung spinning.

Bug-powered LED Clock


We have covered a lot of clocks in the past. Some of them are solar powered, some run on water, but this is the first time that I have ever seen bug power.

That’s right, someone has actually invented a carnivorous alarm clock that works like a Venus Fly Trap. It works with a conveyor belt of flypaper that takes a captured fly and drops them into a microbial fuel cell. This dead bug is digested by bacteria, then there is a chemical change that can somehow power the clock.

I’m surprised that I haven’t heard about bug power before, as roach motels could be turned into batteries and hanging flypaper could be turned into chandeliers. Right now, I am living in a place that is full of flies, and I could use a device like this.

In all honesty, why stop with bugs? Apparently it is the protein that the bug-powered clock wants, and so I guess all animals could be used for electric power. Imagine eating a KFC bucket and throwing the bones in the protein power generator.

I can’t help but think that this is reminiscent of a Star Trek episode where the Enterprise lands on a planet that feeds off everything living aboard the ship. Yeah, I’m often disturbed at the thought that human beings could be the next fossil fuels.

Nokia E72

The Nokia E72 is a Symbian smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard, 3.5G support, WiFi and GPS. It follows on from last year's E71, and it occupies a slightly higher position in Nokia's range from the budget E63 model.

There are few surprises here, the E72 is an incremental upgrade to the previous handset featuring a better camera, improved software and some other useful improvements.

Most people will buy the E72 for messaging, and it integrates with standard email clients, business systems such as Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes and even webmail applications like Hotmail and Gmail. Support for popular instant messaging clients is also included.

The 2.4" 320 x 240 pixel display on the E72 isn't particularly large, but it is certainly good enough for messaging applications. User control has been enhanced with something called the "Optical Navi Key" which makes scrolling much easier, and Nokia have reworked the interface to make it simpler to use and more responsive.

 Nokia E72 Of course, there's a web browser and because this is an S60 device then there are a lot of productivity applications too. One new feature is an updated version of Quickoffice 5.3 which can read Office 2007 documents. VPN support is included, and there's also a useful remote wipe feature in case the handset gets lost or stolen.

This is a 3.5G device with support for HSDPA and HSUPA high-speed downloads and uploads. The maximum download speed is an impressive 10.2 Mbps with up to 2 Mbps for uploads. WiFi is included too, and local connectivity is via stereo Bluetooth or USB.

The camera on the Nokia E72 is probably a secondary consideration for most users, but this is a 5 megapixel unit with autofocus and a flash. Video capture is up to 640 x 480 pixels at 15 frames per second, which is pretty decent for a device of this type, but not really up with the class leaders.

Other useful new features include a 3.5mm audio socket and a compass integrated into the E72's GPS system. There's an FM radio and a capable multimedia player as well.

The large 1500 mAh battery provides up to 6 hours talktime on 3G and 12.5 hours on GSM. Standby time is up to 24 days. The E72 weighs 128 grams and measures a slightly broad 114 x 58 x 10mm.

Nokia say that the E72 should be available towards the end of Q3 2009 for an estimated price of around €350 before tax and subsidy. Available device colours are a fairly sober choise of Zodium Black, Metal Grey and Topaz Brown.

The old E71 was surprisingly popular, and the cut-down E63 model has also sold well to consumers. We expect this latest incarnation of the "Nokiaberry" to also be quite a popular device when it hits the streets.

Nokia E72 at a glance


Late Q3 2009


GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 +
UMTS 900 / 1900 / 2100 or
UMTS 850 / 1900 / 2100




2.4" 320 x 240 pixels, 16m colours


5 megapixels


Messaging device
114 x 58 x 10mm / 128 grams



Memory card:











S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 2 (S60 3.2.3)

Battery life:

5 hours talk / 24 days standby (3G)
12.5 hours talk / 20 days st

Nokia 3710 Fold

 Nokia 3710 Fold

There are a few surprising things to note about the Nokia 3710 Fold. Firstly, there's the price tag of about €140 before tax and subsidy, but then there's the rather surprising fact that the 3710 features 3G data and GPS too.

Inside the 3710 Fold is a 2.2" 240 x 320 pixel display with a smaller semi-concealed screen on the outside. There's a 3.2 megapixel "full focus" camera with Flash, a secondary video camera, microSD expandable memory, Bluetooth, a multimedia player and an FM radio.

This is strictly a 3G handset, and not a 3.5G one. This means that the maximum download speed for data is just 384 kbps, but that's actually very good for a phone that costs this little. Several different UMTS bands are supported, so you can probably expect to see the 3710 Fold worldwide.

 Nokia 3710 Fold open Nokia say that the relatively small 860 mAh battery can give the 3710 up to 3 hours talktime on 3G and 4 hours on GSM. The 3710 is a fairly standard 89 x 47 x 15mm in size, but at 94 grams it can be considered to be fairly lightweight for a 3G clamshell.

This isn't just a good value phone, it is a very good looking device too. Shipping in three colour combinations of Pink, Plum and Black, the 3710 Fold comes with a patterned surface on the outside, and the decoration continues inside as well. The elegantly curved shape means that the 3710 fits into a pocket or bag easily. The spacing between keys is also very good, and the overall handset ergonomics seem to be quite reasonable.

Don't forget about GPS - the 3710 Fold comes with A-GPS and Nokia Maps, which possibly makes it the cheapest GPS-capable phone that we can think of. OK, so it's not as good as a dedicated SatNav, but it is a very pocket-friendly way of providing basic navigation services.

This is a Series 40 device rather than a smartphone, but it the 3710 Fold still comes with a web browser, standard email client, photo gallery and a multimedia player. Nokia say that they have worked on the user interface to make it easier to use, but Series 40 already had a reputation for being a well-designed and straightforward user interface.

At Mobile Gazette, we like clamshell phones a lot - even though they are somewhat unfashionable these days. Perhaps the 3710 Fold will help to make them fashionable again, who knows?

If you want to get your hands on a Nokia 3710 Fold then you will have to wait a while - Nokia say that the 3710 should be available during Q4 2009. Perhaps it's a good time to start drawing up your Christmas present list?

Nokia 3710 Fold at a glance


Q4 2009


GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 +
UMTS 900 / 1700 or 1700 / 2100 or
UMTS 850 / 1900 / 2100




2.2" 240 x 320 pixels, 16m colours


3.2 megapixels


Medium clamshell
89 x 47 x 15mm / 94 grams



Memory card:











Series 40 version 9.1

Battery life:

3 hours talk (3G)
4 hours talk (GSM)

Hands-on Nokia N97 Review

Hands-on Nokia N97 review

Here it is at last, my full hands-on Nokia N97 review. I'll give you the low-down on the good and points of the N97, as well as how well it works as a smartphone (which I'm in a good position to assess, having owned a Nokia E90 and now a T-Mobile G1). You might be surprised by the answer!

Full hands-on Nokia N97 review after the jump.

Nokia N97 overview

Nokia N97 smartphone
The Nokia N97 is Nokia's first touchscreen smartphone, and so draws natural cries of "iPhone killer". It's a neat-looking smartphone with 3.5" screen, few exterior controls, and a great slide-out keyboard. On the back is the obligatory camera (a 5 megapixel one with Carl Zeiss optics), while just three buttons grace the front. Most of the phone's features are controlled by the touchscreen.

Yup, certainly seems like it's meant as an iPhone killer!

Anyone who's bought a Nokia N-Series (or even an E90 for that matter) later than the N95 should be familiar with the list of features. Five megapixel camera, aGPS, HSDPA, Wi-Fi - all the usual features that you'd expect are there. This is a good feature-set, but it's not exactly great. Like I say, it's pretty much what you got with the N95 and every N-Series phone since, and certainly what you get with most Android phones.

Nokia N97 smartphone showing keyboard and hinge
As far as looks are concerned, it's quite good looking, and certainly got a few 'wows' of appreciation from my mates. In particular, the slide out keyboard raised a few eyebrows. One thing I have to say, though, is that it really doesn't suit white.

As far as build quality is concerned, it feels less sturdy than the E90, with the back plastic cover in particular feeling like it'll snap after just a couple of times of taking it off. The phone itself does feel suitably weighty, though, without feeling too heavy, and fits into the pocket nicely.

Nokia N97 showing keyboard
Finally, the keyboard. It takes a bit of getting used to, as it's not your conventional layout (the space bar is off to one side, for example), but it's quite good, although not as good as the E90. The keys aren't as tactile as the G1's, but they work well enough, and without the G1's chin to get in the way, typing is actually far more comfortable.

Nokia N97 Review in depth - does it work as a smartphone?

Smartphones these days can be broken down into three key sections:

  • Web integration
  • Features
  • User interface and experience

How well the phone scores on these three aspects tends to determine how well it works as a smartphone. So let's see how well the N97 fares.

Nokia N97 Web integration

Nokia N97 Web browsing
The Nokia N97 is a phone with a huge touchscreen, super speedy connectivity, and great Internet connectivity - perfect for browsing the mobile Web, then. Indeed, when I buy a smartphone, it's the Web experience that I particularly look out for. How well and how fast the Web page renders, how easy it is to navigate around the screen and the whole site, and the phone's integration with other Web apps are just some of the things I look out for.

As far as the N97 is concerned, it's a mixed bag. Once a Web page has finished loading, it's rendered very well. TechCrunch, for example, contains some heavy Web pages, at over 1MB per page. It's long on content, particularly text, that can be tricky to read unless the screen and the browser are up to the job.

Fortunately on the N97 they both are, and Web sites are rendered really well. There are, however, two rather large buts:

  1. The Web browser is a version of Web Kit (i.e. the same browser that Apple's Safari and Google Chrome use), and although good, is exactly the same browser Nokia have been using since the N95. As such, it's virtually identical to the browser used in the E90, which has been in use for at least the past two years.
  2. Navigating around individual Web pages is a nightmare! The touchscreen is too sensitive in places, leading to accidental clicks on links that suddenly take you to places you don't want to go to. Equally annoying, scrolling down through a Web page is much too difficult, as the touchscreen sometimes doesn't realize it's being scrolled, and most of the time lags behind your finger's swipe. The result is frustration, sometimes leading to the use of the cursor control button to manually scroll up and down the page, which kind of defeats the point of a touchscreen!

There's another little niggle as well - the user interface is clunky, unattractive and inconsistent, as you can see below with the menu that pops up. Now this is a subjective thing, and more than one of my friends liked the menus as they made it easy to navigate around. Personally, though, I hated the interface, and compared ot the iPhone, Android or Palm Pre, it's just embarrassing!
Nokia N97 web browsing with menu

All in all, then, the N97's browsing capabilities are frustrating. They're OK, being on a par with the E90, but they're no match for the iPhone, Palm Pre, or Android.

Nokia N97's Features

Nokia normally excel with their phones' features, and the N97 is no different. Here's a run-down of the key features you'll find.

N97's camera

Nokia N97 smartphone showing camera
The N97 boasts a five megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, auto-focus and dual-LED flash, which should give you the hardware quality you need for great pics. This puts the N97 towards the top of the smartphones in terms of camera abilities.

Better still, you can access the camera's features via the touchscreen while seeing the picture you're about to take. Not only acn settings such as white balance, exposure, contrast, etc., all be changed easily from the touchscreen, but you see the effect that each change in setting has in real time as the image you're about to take a photo of is displayed side by side with the setting options.

This makes the N97 supremely easy to take great pics and also a great way to learn about photography if you've never used a camera's more sophisticated features before. Learning from a book about white balance, ISO settings, etc., is one thing - seeing the changes they make in real time makes a world of difference.

The only downside to the camera on the N97 is the awkward touchscreen and Symbian OS - but more about this later.

N97's GPS and Maps feature

Nokia N97 smartphone showing GPS and Nokia Maps
Like the majority of Nokia phones in the past couple of years, the Nokia N97 comes with aGPS built-in and Nokia Maps (powered by Nokia-owned Navteq) pre-installed. Also like the majority of Nokia phones, the aGPS takes an age to find a satellite when first in use (unlike my G1, which found one straight away), and Nokia Maps is still not as good as Google Maps.

Fortunately, Nokia Maps are actually usable in the N97, which, unlike the E90, has the power to drive the mapping application so that it's responsive to your commands. On the E90, changing location by scrolling took and absolute age - so long, in fact, that the mapping software became unusable in built-up locations such as London.

In contrast, the N97's maps move effortlessly as you swipe your fingers across the screen.

Nokia N97 maps vs Google Maps on the T-Mobile G1
My only problem with Nokia's Mapping software is that it's not a patch on Google's - which is free, and which can be downloaded onto the N97 if you so wish (which was the first thing I did with my E90 when I realized it couldn't actually use Nokia's mapping software). Google's maps feel just so much more responsive and easier to read than Nokia's.

That said, having the maps themselves pre-loaded on your phone certainly helps when you're in a mobile black-spot. No coverage means no maps with Google, whereas with Nokia, you can still see where you're going. Google Maps is my mapping software of choice, then, but having an offline backup is more than welcome.

Just a shame Nokia spent billions buying NavTeq when its mapping software is only used as a backup!

Music on the Nokia N97

The Nokia N97 has an MP3 player that supports MP3, AAC, eAAC, eAAC+, and WMA formats, and comes complete with a 3.5mm standard headphone jack (oh, and headphones, too!).

That, however, is about all that can be said of it. The interface is so dull and uninspiring, it's almost like it was built back in the days of 8-bit computers! It's virtually all text. Compare this with the stunning visualizations of the new Sony Ericsson phones such as the Saito, and the N97 looks like a dinosaur!

Worryingly, this is symptomatic of the interface as a whole - clunky, boring and ugly.

Nokia N97's Video Functionality

Nokia's N-Series phones have always had good video features, and the N97 follows this tradition. With a video resolution of up to nHD or VGA at 30 fps, 16:9 widescreen shooting capability, and the ability to record 90 minutes of video on the N97's huge internal 32GB of memory, you'll certainly be in position to take great video should you be in the right place at the right (or wrong!) time.

One nagging doubt though - the video quality is the same as the E90's and a dozen other N-Series phones.

Hmmm, are you spotting a theme here?!

N97's user interface and user experience

Nokia N97 user interface
The final key feature of a smartphone is its user interface and user experience. This never used to be a problem, as they were all uniformly awful. The iPhone changed all that.

Since then we've had a plethora of Android devices, Windows Mobile 6.5, and the Palm Pre, plus some interesting Symbian-based UIs from the likes of Samsung and LG. In other words, it's not enough just to provide any old interface any more - your phone's interface and the overall user experience has to absolutely rock.

Which is a bit of a problem for the N97, as both its interface and the overall user experience sucks!

Nokia N97 interface vs T-Mobile G1
OK, maybe that's a bit harsh. Certainly it's better than the E90 - but that phone's over 2 years old, and isn't a competitor to the N97. The iPhone, Android and the dozens of other touchscreen phones are.

Touchscreen problems

I've already touched on the touchscreen's problems (as it were). The reason for this is the N97's use of resistive touchscreen technology, as opposed to capacitive technology used on the iPhone and Android. Capacitive is far more sensitive, and it shows.

Nokia haven't exactly helped matters, though, with their weak user interface. It's confused at best. To move a Web page down the screen, you put your finger on the top of the screen and swipe upwards. Fine. But then to scroll a list of icons down the screen, you put your finger on the screen and scroll downwards. Eh?

With the Web page, your finger is essentially moving the page itself. Thus, swipe up, and you're dragging the page upwards, letting you read what's on the bottom.

In contrast, with the list of icons, you're actually moving the screen's scroll bar, which obviously works in the exact opposite way. To say this is confusing is an understatement, as your mind has to make a mental check to remember which way the screen will scroll when you slide your fingers across it. Shouldn't user interfaces be intuitive? Isn't this kind of confusion exactly what interface designers have been trying to avoid since the 1980s?!

Super-ugly interface

Nokia N97 smartphone with ugly user interface
This nicely leads on to the other little niggle with the interface - it's unbelievably ugly! Symbian, it seems, does not play with touchscreens, at least not in the version that Nokia uses.

The E90's interface was stark and functional, but that was back in 2007, when it was allowed to be. It was also a business phone, so it could get away with a certain utilitarian feel.

The N97, though, has to be held to a higher level. All its competitors have great looking user interfaces. The N97, in contrast, has an ugly one that looks unfinished, text based, and almost devoid of any style. AFter using the G1 for some months, the N97's dullness actually comes as a shock. Nothing prevents the N97 from being an iPhone killer more than its poor interface.

Creaking Symbian

My final problem with the N97 is Symbian itself. As a mobile OS, it's been great - but it's starting to show its age amongst the competitors. The interface on the N97 is little different from 2 year old phones such as the E90. This is bad enough, but with the addition of a touchscreen, the Symbian interface just doesn't seem to work all that well.

The menus look clunky, either obscuring the screen or looking very different from the Web pages they overlay. The icons look dreadful and the response of the screen is poor.

Worse of all, though, is that the new mobile platforms, particularly the iPhone and Android, have a vast array of apps that they can tap into, each of which make the phone more interesting, more capable, or just plain more fun.

Nokia N97 smartphone showing YouTube
In contrast, the N97 is based on Symbian, and although it has apps, they're all very boring! The majority are business-oriented or utilitarian, reflecting the background of the OS. Although you get YouTube, Facebook and Twitter apps, they look like tacked-on mobile-specific versions of their Web equivalents that have been designed to work on an old WAP phone - not the super-slick apps that have been designed to work well and integrate with your Android or iPhone.

Nokia N97 with LastMinute's Food Finder

Take, for example, LastMinute's app (above). On the G1, it's a glorious thing, listing local restaurants, bars and places of interest on an interactive radar that you can click on and get directions for, which rotates as you rotate thanks to the G1's compass, and which uses an easy to use interface that makes maximum use of the G1's sensors and features.

Results of Food Finder on the Nokia N97 smartphone
On the N97, it's a low-res mobile Web page that doesn't interact with the phone at all, except to get your current location, despite the N97 having the same GPS and compass features as the G1, . Very poor.

Whether this is due to the phone itself, or the app developer's lack of imagination is unclear. But if Nokia's to compete with the iPhone and Android, it needs apps that are at least as sexy as what you get on those platforms. And the one word that really does not describe Symbian in any sense is sexy.


Nokia N97 smartphone
You might think, then, that I'm quite down on the N97. That's not strictly true. I loved my E90, I love Nokia phones, and the N97 is not a bad phone. It's just not a great one, and it's certainly not great compared with the competition. Given that this is meant to be Nokia's flagship phone, it's a bit of a let-down, particularly when you think how great its previous flagships have been.

Some of my friends loved this phone, although they didn't spend as long with it as I did, and they also aren't smartphone owners. One friend who has a Nokia N95 loved it, feeling at ease with the Symbian interface as it's so familiar to him, and not bothered in the slightest about the lack of responsiveness of the interface. Quite what he'd say if given an iPhone or an Android phone is another matter though!

If you're happy with the E90 or N95, you'll love the N97, as it's like a touchscreen-based speeded-up smaller new version. Problem is, if you're used to the iPhone, Android, Palm Pre, or even Windows Mobile 6.5, you're going to be disappointed. It's almost like Nokia is using a roadmap that consists entirely of Nokia devices, each building upon the other, but paying no attention to the competition that's now encircling it. A dangerous strategy, particularly when there's now such intense competition in the smartphone market.

To sum up, then, the Nokia N97 is capable, functional and will do the jobs you could do with the E90. A great phone for 2007 - an ordinary one for 2009. Wait for it to come down in price would be my advice. I give it 6.5/10

Nokia N86 8MP review: Lens wide open

You may've thought Nokia lost their touch, you may be out of love with the Nseries but the Nseries are always keeping an eye on you. Their wide-angle, variable aperture eye. On you. Whether the Nokia Nseries are making up the ground lost in the megapixel race or claiming back what they believe is rightfully theirs, they seem to have the right leadership to put them back on the megapixel map.

Armed with one of the most advanced cameras in terms of hardware and features you don't just find on every other handset out there, the N86 8MP is keen to take cue from the N85 and shake the Nseries out of their slumber. Now, in case you forgot, it's still the market leader we're talking about here, and that should probably tell why everybody is so worked up.

So, the question as always is whether strong performance will deliver on that awesome promise. And you've got us to help you make a more informed decision about buying Nokia N86 8MP. Given all the comments above, the N86 8MP is more the kind to encourage impulsive spending but you'll choose wisely not to miss our write-up.

Key features

  • 2.6" 16M-color OLED display of QVGA resolution (scratch-resistant surface)
  • 8 megapixel autofocus camera with dual-LED flash and AF assist light
  • 28mm wide camera lens, variable aperture, mechanical shutter, geotagging, time-lapse, camera lens cover, VGA video recording at 30fps
  • Symbian OS 9.3 with S60 3.2 UI
  • ARM 11 434 MHz CPU, 128MB RAM
  • Quad-band GSM support and 3G with HSDPA 3.6Mbps support
  • Wi-Fi with UPnP technology
  • Built-in GPS with A-GPS functionality and 3 months of free voice-guided navigation (Ovi Maps)
  • Dual slide design with dedicated gaming/audio/gallery keys
  • microSD card slot with microSDHC support
  • Beefy 8GB internal storage
  • Built-in accelerometer for UI auto-rotation
  • 3.5mm audio jack doubling as TV out port
  • Stereo FM Radio with RDS, FM transmitter
  • Standard microUSB port and stereo Bluetooth v2.0
  • N-gage support plus you get an N-gage game for free
  • Digital compass
  • Web browser has full Flash and Java support
  • Active kickstand
  • Nice audio reproduction quality

Main disadvantages

  • Camera feature set is last year's stuff (and even older)
  • Image processing isn't very well tuned at this moment
  • VGA@30fps video is no longer top of the line
  • No xenon flash
  • HSDPA only 3.6Mbps, no HSUPA
  • Poor display sunlight legibility
  • No DivX or XviD support (can be installed, possibly requiring a purchase)
  • No smart dialing (can be installed as well, but will probably set you back some cash too)
  • No office document editing (you upgrade for a fee, while some Eseries phones get that for free)

The Nokia N86 8MP offers advanced camera technologies, combined with the power and maturity of the Symbian OS and the intuitive S60 3rd edition interface. It doesn't get any better than that on paper, and if you aren't all caught up in touchscreen, you're most likely about to check it out.

Nokia N86 8MP Nokia N86 8MP Nokia N86 8MP Nokia N86 8MP
Nokia N86 8MP reporting for duty

But no matter if the glass is half full or half empty to you, we guess you wouldn't want to miss Nokia's first move in the 8 megapixel game. The Nseries proven all-round skill and the innovative camera features have us eager to explore this promising cameraphone. We're most curious of course to find out if they got the image quality right.

Samsung M8910 Pixon12 preview: Firing the first rounds


It's only been a day since we went through the review of Nokia N86 8MP - the first cameraphone with a 28mm wide-angle lens. And we already have the Samsung Pixon12 on our hands - the first 12 megapixel cameraphone to ever hit the market and not only that, but also the first 12 megapixel cameraphone with the same luring 28mm wide-angle lens as on the Nokia N86 8MP.

If you've gone through the Nokia N86 8MP review comments like we did, you've probably noticed there are a lot of people out there that consider us... well, biased. We wish we had a dime every time some of you accused us of that.

Lately it seems you find us a bit too harsh on Nokia. The truth however is that we aren't, it's just that once top-of-the-line, Nokia products now come with less and less pioneering spirit.

On the other hand you are more than welcome aboard to see how Samsung have been treating us, regular users, and what they have to offer with the Samsung M8910 Pixon12. And bear in mind that they even have a rumored Samsung M8920 in the works - a 12 megapixel cameraphone with 3x optical zoom. How about that, Nokia? But we digress.

Today's show is all about Samsung M8910 Pixon12. We will most probably have a more detailed preview of the device ready for publishing some time tomorrow, but that stuff is too hot to keep it all to ourselves. So we went out of the box with this one, and we'll be publishing only camera samples today. We're just dying to find out what you make of our impromptu shootout with some quite unusual peers.

Samsung Pixon12 Samsung Pixon12
Samsung M8910 Pixon12 official photo

The images produced by the Pixon12 managed to impress us and you'll understand us as we were eager to share those with you (let's hope for some better weather tomorrow).

Samsung M8910 Pixon12 at a glance:

  • General: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, UMTS 900/2100 MHz, HSDPA 7.2Mbps, HSUPA
  • Form factor: Touchscreen bar
  • Dimensions: 108 x 53 x 13.8 mm, 120g
  • Display: 3.1 inch 16M color WVGA AMOLED resistive touchscreen
  • Platform: Latest TouchWiz 2.0 UI with Smart unlock
  • Memory: 150MB integrated memory, hot-swappable microSD card slot (up to 16GB)
  • Camera: 12 megapixel auto focus camera with Power LED flash and xenon flash, wide-angle 28mm lens, object tracking auto focus, automatic lens cover, geo-tagging, image stabilization, Smart Auto mode, face detection, Beauty Shot, Smile Shot and D1 video recording at 30 fps with auto focus and face detection
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, standard microUSB port, GPS receiver with A-GPS, TV out
  • Misc: Accelerometer for screen auto rotate and turn-to-mute, FM radio with RDS, DivX/XviD video support
  • Battery: 1000mAh Li-Ion battery

The Samsung M8910 Pixon12 runs the latest TouchWiz UI 2.0 as the Samsung S8000 Jet. It's really fast ticking (much like the final version of the Samsung Jet that we have here), so we guess a similar application processor might also be used. There's no Media Gate 3D (the 3D Cube) or Motion UI, but the Smart unlock and Photo contacts features are both on board. Of course, we'll get into more details about those as we prepare the preview tomorrow.

Samsung M8910 Pixon12 Samsung M8910 Pixon12 Samsung M8910 Pixon12 Samsung M8910 Pixon12
Samsung M8910 Pixon12 in our office

The Pixon12 is surprisingly compact, smaller than even the LG Arena, but its thickness (same as on the original Pixon) may be a bit too much to our taste. Still, thanks to the other quite compact dimensions, the Pixon12 makes a nice first impression and seems quite pocketable.

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Samsung M8910 Pixon12 in hand • Pixon12 next to LG Arena and Viewty Smart, Samsung Jet and S5230

O2 Germany starts selling the Samsung I7500 Galaxy

Some of you might have noticed the image of Samsung I7500 Galaxy showing up on our first page right under the writing "In stores now". And there is a reason for it: as of today it is available at the O2 Germany sales points.

If you live in Germany and want to be among the first owners of the Galaxy, prepare 69.99 euro along with a 24-month contract with a 21.25 euro monthly.

Still, this is a very powerful device based on the Android OS. It sports a 528 MHz Qualcomm processor, 128MB RAM memory and 8GB of storage. The I7500 Galaxy also packs Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and offers HSDPA support.

Almost the whole fornt is taken up by the large 3.2-inch capacitive AMOLED touchscreen with HVGA resolution (320 x 480 pixels) while on the back you'll find a promising 5 megapixel autofocus camera.

If you live outside Germany but are eager to get closer to the Samsung I7500, you can take a look at the preview of the Galaxy we posted a while ago.

Sony Ericsson T715

Expected Q3 2009
25th June 2009

 Sony Ericsson T715

The Sony Ericsson T715 is a compact 3.5G slider phone. Despite the T715's old-style number (rather than a name), this is one of the latest generation of Sony Ericsson phones that comes with a microSD memory slot rather than the proprietary Sony slot of older handsets.

The problem that we have with the T715 is that it is desperately hard to find something interesting about it. We're not saying that this is going to be a bad phone, just that it's about as bland as a plate of plain tofu.

Measuring 92 x 48 x 15mm, the T715 is what Sony Ericsson call a "credit card sized" phone. Although it's more compact than the similarly specified W705, the main drawback is the smallish 2.2" display where the W705 has a 2.4" display.

There's a large, easy-to-use keypad. Sony Ericsson also say that the Tofu.. sorry, T715 has large fonts that are easy to read as well.

On the back is a 3.2 megapixel camera with a photo light. The camera can also geo-tag photographs with their location, using the nearest mobile base station as a fix because it doesn't have GPS. The main camera can also be used for video calling, which isn't exactly useful for face-to-face communications.. but how many people actually do that anyway?

The T715 comes with the NetFront web browser, supports standard internet email plus Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, it has a multimedia player and FM radio plus a YouTube viewer. Picture and video blogging is supported as standard, and the T715 comes with a set of personal information management applications.

 Sony Ericsson T717 This is a quad-band GSM phone with support for 2100 MHz UMTS in Europe and most other countries, there will also be a T715a variant with tri-band UMTS support for North America. The T715 supports high-speed HSPA uploads and downloads, although Sony Ericsson have not quoted any data transfer speeds for this.

Talktime on 3G is about 4 hours with about 14 days standby time. On GSM the T715 has 10 hours talktime and 16 days standby time. How many people actually disable 3G on their 3G phones? Not many.

We said that the T715 is like tofu. But some people love tofu. We're certain that the Sony Ericsson T715 will do pretty much everything that you need, but frankly we would prefer something a little more tasty.

The T715 should be available during Q3 2009. No pricing was given, but we would anticipate that the T715 will retail for €250 or less SIM-free.

Sony Ericsson T715 at a glance


Q3 2009


GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 +
UMTS 2100 (T715) or
UMTS 850 / 1900 / 2100 (T715a)




2.2" 240 x 320 pixels, 262k colours


3.2 megapixels


Compact slider
92 x 48 x 15mm / 97 grams



Memory card:












Battery life:

4 hours talk / 14 days standby (3G)
10 hous talk / 16 days standby (GSM)

Sony Ericsson T715 announced, loads of attitude, less so features

After dabbling with multimedia and eco phones, Sony Ericsson announced a new addition to its T-series phones - the Sony Ericsson T715. It's a compact, stylish slider that offers 3G connectivity and a 3 MP snapper.

Just like a FashionTV model, the Sony Ericsson T715 relies heavily on looks to impress - the back cover is brushed aluminum and the phone will be available in two colors - Galaxy Silver with piano finish and Rogue Pink with mirror finish. Its size also helps make a statement - 91.5 x 48.0 x 14.9mm and 96g make it quite compact for a slider.

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Sony Ericsson T715

The T715 sports a 3.15 megapixel camera with Cell-ID geotagging and a LED flash. Unfortunately, there's no autofocus. Don't get your hopes high for the video recording capabilities as well.

The SE T715 screen is 2.2-inch big with QVGA resolution and, Sony Ericsson claim, good legibility under sunlight. It also offers tried music functionality with TrackID, PlayNow and Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP, as well as FM radio with RDS.

Many of you will be pleased to hear that the T715 will happily accept microSD cards.

The speedy HSPA of the T715 will be utilized by a NetFront browser and a YouTube application as seen in previous handsets by the company. There's also video calling, though that uses the main (and only) camera.

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Some more photos of Sony Ericsson T715

Sony Ericsson T715 will come with some useful Google integration - Google Maps and Google Search, accessible from the homescreen.

Speaking of the homescreen, T715 offers something Sony Ericsson call a "smart desktop feature" - there will be reminders (including special animations for birthdays and global events) and notes on the homescreen to make sure you don't forget something important. We've already seen notes appearing on the home screen in past SE phones, so we'll see exactly what this new feature offers.

Here's the official demo video of the new Sony Ericsson T715:

The phone will come in two versions - T715, which supports 2100MHz HSPA, and T715a, the American version that supports 850/1900/2100MHz HSPA. Both versions have quad-band GSM/GPRS.

Sony Ericsson T715 will be available in select markets in Q3 2009 with expected pricing as usual not mentioned.

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