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Review: Motorola i1

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Camera

The i1 has a 5 megapixel camera. It is painfully slow to open. You have to forcefully press the camera key all the way down to get the camera to launch. It's actually a tiny bit faster to use a shortcut on the home screen to launch the camera. Either way, it still takes way too long to open for a modern cameraphone.

Once open, there is a focusing box in the center. Press the camera button halfway, and it will focus. Press it the rest of the way to take a picture. The whole process takes longer than I'd like it to. Too long to focus, too long to take the picture, too long to process it. Thankfully, you can turn off the image review feature. This means you can get back to the camera and take another picture just a little bit faster.

As far as controls go, there is a panel on the right side of the viewfinder that provides access to all the settings. Users can choose from several different quality and resolution settings, as well as scene modes, and control the flash. I like that the i1 has a panorama shooting mode, which auto-stitches the pictures together after it helps you frame the shot. That's cool stuff right there. All your basic settings are reflected through some little icons on the bottom left side of the display. This lets you see at a glance what resolution the camera is set to, the flash, shooting mode, etc. The i1 can also tag location data to photos, but you have to manually enable that feature.

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It would be a fine camera if it performed just a bit faster.

 

Gallery

The gallery isn't bad at all. When you first open it, it presents images in a decent coverflow (coverslow?)-style view. You can swipe through your image library and it will slide by with a 3D effect. Press any image to open it fully. With images filling the entire screen, you can still swipe left or right to see other images.

Each image has an "i" in the upper-left corner. Press it and it will show you all the specs and information about that photo. Press the menu button to get at the usual Android gallery tools. These let you send, share, delete, tag, etc. There are also some limited editing features. The i1 lets users crop or rotate photos, add effects, or use the "One-Click Optimize", which attempts to right any wrongs committed by the image sensor.

What ever happened to Motorola's big partnership with Kodak? Where's all the great software we saw on the ZINE ZN5? It would be great to see some of that software here.

 
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