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printed August 23, 2014
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Review: Samsung T809

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The t809's 1.3mp sensor does a very well, even though it's size is quickly losing its position at the top of the class. Sliding open the phone reveals the camera lens, which can be rotated 180 degrees to face the user for a quick photo with a friend. Pressing the camera button on the D-pad gives a two second load time before filling the entire display with the image. Resolution, ISO, zoom, and contrast settings are overlaid for a couple seconds before disappearing to leave only three icons (options, shutter, cancel) along the bottom of the display.

The options menu includes image effects (negative, sepia, emboss), graphic frames, timer, as well as ISO, exposure, and white balance controls. The most entertaining adjustment though has to be the t809's different shooting modes. Multi-shot will burst six, nine, or fifteen shots at 320x240 (just right for an MMS message or an iPod). Mosaic shot allows you to create a multiple-image composition. Each shot we took filled in one part of the overall image.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

The t809's photos suffered from a slight blur, probably a result of the lens. Outdoor shots and bright light produced unreliable images. The contrast was out of balance, which produced washed out brights and extreme darks. Night shots on the street and in the pub produced more ISO noise, but much better color and contrast. Overall still photos produced enough resolution to make viewing easy, though the image clarity left something to be desired.

Video capture with the t809 was a real high point in our test. The video recorder supports four different resolutions; 128x96 and 176x144 for mms, and 320x240 and 352x288 for high quality capture. Video recorded for messages is smooth, though to make sending the video quick, it suffers from a bit of pixelation. The high quality video recording was smooth and crisp. Sound recording in both settings was loud and highly sensitive to environmental noise.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

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