Samsung i8910 HD Review
We love
HD video recording. From a mobile phone!
We hate
Samsung’s proprietary widgets are fussy and fiddly
A fully fledged smartphone, with video skills to shame your camcorder!

The Samsung i8910 is a very special phone. It’s the only handset in the world capable of recording video in HD quality. Sure, other handsets might plaster their packaging with HD branding, but none of them actually record video in the pin-sharp format. That trick is pulled off solely by the i8910 HD.

And what a trick it is. Fire up the 8 megapixel camera, flick it into video mode and you’ll be able to shoot footage in 720p. Now, we’re aware video purists will decry that for not being full HD, but then this isn’t exactly a camcorder, is it?

For a mobile phone, capturing HD footage is a supreme feat, and one for which Samsung should be applauded. However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows with the i8910 HD in tow. For a start, HD footage is filmed at fixed focus, so if your subjects move forward or backward, things can get a bit blurry.

Likewise, to get the most out of that HD footage, you’ll need to hook the Samsung i8910 HD up to a big screen TV.

Overall though, the video (not to mention still images) it produces are cracking. In stills mode you’ll get face detection, smile detection and blink detection, and the results far exceeded what we’d normally expect from a cameraphone. But there’s more.

Since the Samsung i8910 runs Symbian software, it can be loaded up with 3rd party apps and games. What’s more, it’s a new version of Symbian S60 that supports touch input.

Tapping out messages on its screen is speedy and precise, and there’s a standard numeric-style keypad if you prefer. Samsung has also squeezed in handwriting recognition, although the less said about that the better.

As is fast becoming standard, the i8910 HD has an accelerometer inside too, rotating its screen as you spin it around. There’s also Wi-Fi, GPS and 3G speeds up to 7.2Mbps.

Inside you’ll find either 8GB or 16GB of internal memory and a microSD card slot to expand it even further.

On the software side, Samsung’s widget-based home screen is a ‘love it or hate it’ affair, but with the power of Symbian underneath and access to tons of apps, it’s not a deal breaker. Likewise, shooting video in HD quality means the Samsung i8910 HD eats memory space like Johnny Vegas at a buffet. But overall, the handset is powerful, fast, and offers a skill none other can match. That in itself is a neat trick in a world of clone phones and half-baked handsets. Bravo, Samsung. Bravo.

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