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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Camera comparison: Sony Ericsson C905 versus Sony Ericsson K800i

Oh joy! I finally managed to lay my hands on a Sony Ericsson C905. I had been drooling over this phone ever since it was first announced. Its specifications matched exactly what I've been looking for. Eight-megapixel camera. WiFi and 3G. Familiar Sony Ericsson interface.

Of course, nothing's perfect. Like video recording that doesn't take advantage of the available pixels. Or a heavier, bulkier design. Or the price tag (S$900 and dropping).

On the other hand, after seeing the C905's picture quality, its drool factor just jumped tenfold. Here's the picture I took with my Sony Ericsson K800i:
Camera phone comparison: Sony Ericsson K800i

And here's the same scene taken with the Sony Ericsson C905:
Camera phone comparison: Sony Ericsson C905

Oh my goodness! Eight megapixels do make a ton of difference! I can actually see the spotted pattern on the grey chair! *gasp* I've never seen such clarity before. Hmm, this is something that I should test with the Xperia X1, if I get the chance to.

Overall, the C905 seems to give very good quality images, which ranks it right up there with the Xperia X1 and ahead of Samsung's Innov8 and Pixon. As for Nokia's N79, N85 and N96, it's no fight at all (well, maybe the N85, but by a long shot).


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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Camera comparison: Samsung Omnia, Innov8 and Pixon versus Sony Ericsson K800i

While at the Samsung Store today, I had a chance to try out the camera capabilities of the company's flagship camera phones. While the Omnia had been touted as a iPhone alternative, the Innov8 and Pixon were promoted through their eight-megapixel cameras.

So it was time to put the hype to the test. As usual, I measured against my benchmark Sony Ericsson K800i.

(Note: no matter what the images show, the phones being tested are not necessarily the ones mentioned in the pictures.)

First up, Sony Ericsson K800i vs Samsung Omnia.

Sony Ericsson K800i:
Camera phone comparison: Sony Ericsson K800i

Samsung Omnia:
Camera phone comparison: Samsung Omnia

Hmm, either I had unsteady hands, or the Omnia's camera quality is as depicted. One thing that puzzled me when using the store's phone was that it was stuck at 320x240 pixels. It wasn't until repeated pressing of the buttons (it didn't help that the security lock was in the way of the touchscreen) that I managed to get its full 2560x1920 resolution.

So, the Omnia didn't impress me. Would eight megapixels make a difference?

Sony Ericsson K800i:
Camera phone comparison: Sony Ericsson K800i

Samsung Innov8:
Camera phone comparison: Samsung Innov8

The Innov8 seemed to provide a level of exposure that was more true to what I saw with my own eyes.

Sony Ericsson K800i:
Camera phone comparison: Sony Ericsson K800i

Samsung Pixon:
Camera phone comparison: Samsung Pixon

Unfortunately, another customer was in my way when I was taking the picture with my camera, so the angle was way off. But the Pixon did seem to give richer colours.

So, based on my non-scientific tests, I'd rate the tested phones in this order: Pixon, Innov8, K800i, Omnia. Compared with the other phones that I've tested recently, I'd say that the Pixon and Innov8 give the Sony Ericsson Xpera X1 a run for the latter's money, in terms of true colours and sharpness.

One thing I didn't like about the Samsung phones was their initial learning curve. In particular, I couldn't figure out how to return to the main menu except by accident. I suppose Samsung sells phones that require a read-through of their manuals before use.

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Friday, December 05, 2008

Camera comparison: Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 versus K800i

If there's one thing I look for in a mobile phone, aside from the ability to make phone calls and send/receive SMS messages, is a good camera. I don't own a regular camera since I'm not in the habit of taking photos. But when I do take that occasional photo, I want to make sure the picture turns out well.

So far, my trusty Sony Ericsson K800i has not failed me in the photo-taking department. In my search for a new phone, I've hardly been able to find one that is better or at least on par with the K800i.

Until I tried out the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1.

My first experience was, admittedly, a disappointing one. I had chanced upon a Sony Ericsson road show booth, so I played with their demo set of the X1. The laggy interface coupled with lack of response from my touching the screen made me think that this phone was a dud.

Then I tried the one that a colleague had. Whoa! It was soooo much better! Yes, there was still a noticeable lag when switching between programs, but it was acceptable for a Windows Mobile-based smartphone. Tapping and typing were breezy and responsive. I even liked that, in spite of the small icons and menu items, it knew which item I had selected with my big finger.

Which only left the "acid test": how well were the photos taken with its 3-megapixel camera? First up, here's what I'd taken with my K800i:
Camera phone comparison: Sony Ericsson K800i

And here's the X1's photo:
Camera phone comparison: Sony Ericsson Xperia X1

Check out the sharpness of the X1's picture! I can almost see the individual strands of hair on my colleague. And notice how the X1 captured the close-to-true orange-y light at the top of the picture.

By comparison, the K800i's photo looks over-exposed. And its blurriness suggests a longer exposure period. Now I know what I've been missing out!

Nokia's new line of Nseries phones don't stand a chance against the X1. In my book, the X1 has moved up several notches, not just in terms of its camera quality, but also in its features and user interface.

Alas, it's priced way out of my range (unless a telco gives me a couple of discount vouchers). Perhaps I could score an evaluation version? Hello, Sony Ericsson?

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