Samsung’s Memoir: Another Level for Camphone Market

Samsung’s Memoir: Another Level for Camphone Market

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As mentioned multiple times in this space throughout 2008, the camera phone market gets more interesting by the week and Samsung’s latest announcement raises this bar yet again.

Samsung Mobile in conjunction with T-Mobile USA announced the Memoir, an 8 MP camera phone that perhaps, most notably, was announced to the media as an imaging device first. With photographer and model Helena Christensen in the mix as a spokesperson for the Memoir, the device was clearly pushed with its image-capture capability in the forefront. The Memoir is a touch-screen phone with the aforementioned 8-megapixel camera and will initially be available exclusively through T-Mobile USA beginning Wednesday.

Samsung explains that Christensen was the first to gain hands-on experience with the Memoir, using it as her official phone and camera to shoot images during her travels around New York and Barcelona. “As a photographer it was great for me to be the first to try the Memoir and to really experience everything it is capable of doing,” said Christensen. “It’s very important that my mobile phone also double up as a great camera, that way I always have my camera on hand to capture images at any moment. That’s what a big part of photography is about.”  Christensen shared her images exclusively at the Memoir unveil event this week in Barcelona.

“The Memoir is designed to bring a high-quality digital imaging experience to the convenience of your mobile phone. The built-in 8-megapixel camera comes equipped with best-in-class digital imaging features, including Xenon flash, CMOS auto focus and 16x digital zoom,” Samsung explained.

Accessing the Memoir’s camera menu, users can adjust the brightness and flash, change the default destination of images, select a timer and zoom in or out. In addition, the Memoir’s camera, Samsung announced: Allows users to set special effects on an image, including black and white, sepia, negative and watercolor; Features blink detection, face detection, anti-shake to reduce blur, and geo-tagging, which records coordinate information of where the user is at the time the picture is taken into the image files; Provides optimal settings for a variety of shooting situations to help capture the best possible image, including portrait, landscape, night, sports, party/indoor, beach snow, sunset, dawn, fall color, fireworks and backlight; Automatically changes the white balance using the setting appropriate for the light source, including daylight, incandescent, fluorescent or cloudy; Features five different shooting modes, including single, continuous, panorama, smile shot and mosaic.

The Memoir also record video for up to 60 minutes depending on the resolution format and can create customized slideshows of images captured with music and different transitions. With the TV-out feature, users can also share the custom slideshows, video or images on a television. The Memoir’s proximity sensor works to automatically adjust the backlight when using the phone’s camera in different environments, as well as lock the LCD screen when brought to the user’s ear when making or receiving calls.

The device also features Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface, including two new widgets that give one-touch access to information and entertainment. The online weather widget connects to The Weather Channel automatically for updated weather information and forecasts in the user’s city. The camera widget provides instant access to the user’s pictures and camera functionality such as slideshow, as well as their favorite online photo sharing resource, including Flickr, Kodak Gallery, Photobucket and Snapfish.

With full HTML web browsing capabilities and T-Mobile’s 3G network, users can also download images or videos and instantly make updates to social networking sites. In addition, the Memoir features a music and video player, as well as multiple messaging capabilities, full touch virtual QWERTY keypad with haptic feedback and Assisted GPS.

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