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Samsung Innov8 i8510 eight-megapixel cameraphone

Samsung's best smartphone yet

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For instance, as well as a full web browser, you can upload images to websites and blogs using the Shozu application. There’s a suite of Google apps - Search, Mail and Google Maps - plus Fring's VoIP and IM application. Gypsii hits the spot for location-based social networking, while the phone boasts support for DivX video. Samsung is clearly aiming at a wide target audience with its do-everything approach.

Any Nokia smartphone stalwarts thinking about switching rides will feel comfortable with the i8510’s handling. It’s a large phone, but not excessively so for the functionality it packs. It measures 106.5 x 53.9 x 17.2 and weighs 136g, which is fractionally larger but thinner than the N95 8GB. It has a high quality, solid build with nicely rounded edges, so slips into the pocket just fine.

Samsung i8510 8-megapixel cameraphone

The Shortcuts option can be tailored to how you want functions to appear

The spring-loaded slider is firm and smooth, while the numberpad has a nicely responsive key action. A couple of keys flanking the Clear button provide user-definable function shortcuts, but the main action revolves around the navpad and S60 menu system.

That said, the home screen has a distinctly different look and feel to Nokia’s S60 smartphones. A column of icons ranges down the left of the screen, linking to Shortcuts, Calendar, Music player, FM radio and Personalisation sections. As you click through these, more detailed sub-menus appear, which you can scroll through and click to select.

The navpad's centre button doubles up a touch-sensitive mini trackpad, providing a whizzier way of sliding through menus and jinking around webpages in the browser.

In day-to-day menu-surfing mode, though, it’s one of those touch-operated controls that you'll either love or hate. We found it could too easily be accidentally brushed against or mis-clicked, taking us to menu places we didn’t want to be. Thankfully, it can be easily deactivated, or its sensitivity adjusted.

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