Sunday, 24 October 2010

A Day in the Life of Dom: Samsung Mob!ler Mission 2


For the second Mob!ler mission Samsung asked us to take a series of photographs or videos with our new smartphones. I decided to take my phone (the Samsung Wave GT-S8500) out with me for an afternoon and an evening a document my life for a day. I thought this would also be a good way to put the phone's camera to the test as I would be encountering different levels of light, shots at different distances and all sorts of other camerary type things! If you're interested in what the pictures are of, head over to my Flickr page for some more info! Essentially I start with a perambulate around York University campus before heading into town for some tea with a friend, a pint at York Brewery and then back onto campus for some night time photography tests. There are also a couple of (non HD) videos thrown in for good luck!

All of the photographs have come out really well, even ones where I was deliberately shaking the phone only came out a tiny bit blurry. The phone boasts an LED flash which is much brighter than you'd expect and a definitely does a good job! I've found the camera functionality of the Wave to be excellent and I've been surprised and impressed at how many features Samsung have managed to pack into it. My favourite has to be the "Panorama" feature, the way it does it is something I would never have thought of myself: the phone makes use of the G-sensor to automatically locate where the next photograph should be taken and automatically takes the picture when you move it to the right place. It's great fun and an impressive feature to show of to your friends. It's actually quite hard to explain, so you'll just have to try it yourself!

It also has a "Smile Shot" feature which takes a photograph when your subjects starts to smile, a "Beauty" feature which seems to recognise faces and smooth out any blemishes (though I suppose there's only so much it can do!) and a "Continuous" feature which lets you take up to 9 pictures in quick succession. All of these little extras lend themselves to a camera which is not only fantastic quality, but has a holistic element of fun about it making it great fun to play with and show off to friends.


This is also the case with the video part of the camera, which boasts HD recording at 1280 X 720 resolution. I can't say much more other than that it does really, really well... for a camera phone and such a compact one at that: this is very impressive stuff. Here's an example... not that interesting content i'm afraid, just a wall of my house, but it does give you an idea of the quality (make sure you watch it in full screen and full 720p quality!).

Samsung have also been clever in telling you not only how much time is left for your video, but also how much space the video is taking up on your memory

Perhaps the best thing about it though, and for entertainment purposes far better than HD recording is the "Slow Motion" feature! It does exactly what it says and allows you to take slow motion videos! Although video resolution is compromised, the overall effect is simply wonderful and my friends and I have had hours upon hours of fun with this... see for yourself!

Some conclusive thoughts:

I thought it would be a long time before a camera phone would encroach on the territory of a dedicated camera in terms of features, but the Wave comes impressively close. Of course the quality of the lens is never going be as good as an SLR camera... but to me this isn't important. All I want photographs for is for fun and for memories and I don't need the highest end camera to do that! I think this is the case for most of us. This phone takes superb pictures, in much better quality than I'd ever need them for and also provides a much needed element of fun!

An Afterthought:

I also have to mention, as it is important, a comment about the battery life of the Wave now that I've had it long enough to know for sure: It is exceptional. Even after a day of heavy usage of HD filming, using the LED flash for camera tests reviewing media over and over again (especially the slow motion bits!), constant connection to the internet, Facebook, Twitter, emails.... the battery barely went down at all. In my experience smartphones don't have the greatest battery life even whilst doing normal things, and when it comes to using the camera they might as well not have a battery!


  1. mmm, face wobbling. I like face wobbling.

  2. It sounds like the Wave is a pretty good all-round phone - I agree with the battery life issues, my own smartphone has rubbish battery. The slow motion feature looks fantastic, hours of fun (though probably not always the most flattering results)! Great comprehensive review, thanks D!