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By Mike Joubert 25 May 2009

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It was not long ago that Samsung released the Innov8, one of the first 8 megapixel camera cellphones to hit the market. Hot on its tail is the M8800 Pixon, also with touch screen and an 8 megapixel camera.

The Pixon has 3.2” worth of touch-screen, which works well. All icons and touchable menus are large enough to press easily, and both the portrait and QWERTY keyboard are easy to type with. The touch screen also makes taking pictures a breeze since all your options are situated on screen. Picture quality is generally very acceptable, no thanks to a good auto-focus, and generally produced better images than Sony Ericsson’s 8 megapixel snapper, the C905. The camera has a number of nice extras including face detection, geo tagging of pictures, and smile shot, but we would sacrifice them all for a proper xenon flash instead of the horrible LED one. As with most cellphone cameras the M8800 deals with low light about as well as the SABC does with a budget. You can browse through your pictures using the novel picture viewer,  and we enjoyed the onboard DivX movie player, although a slow frame rate does not do it any favours.

Although it sure looks the part with its nice touch screen and slim design, we just didn’t feel as comfortable with the M8800 as with one of its obvious competitors- the Nokia XpressMusic 5800. Maybe it was the buttons on the side we kept pressing by mistake, maybe it was its lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack or lack of Wi-Fi, but the M8800 never got us quite excited. It’s a very good phone don’t get us wrong, it is just that step or two behind the leaders of the pack.

PROS
Nice on screen camera interface, touch-screen works well, DivX movie player
CONS
Lack of 3.5mm headphone jack, no Wi-Fi, buttons on side gets in the way
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