LG Optimus 3D
I love this phone. Bigger is better in this case and the LG Optimus has a 4.3in screen to show off its eye-popping tricks. Amazingly easy to use, all the icons are intuitively placed so switching from camera to video and 2D to 3D happens in a flash with no fiddling. It mounts as an external HD in seconds, so there's no faffing with dedicated software either. Despite its gimmick phone image – being the world's first glasses-free 3D smartphone – I found it a respectable all-rounder. The HD videos at full-HD 1080p look crisp and lively due to the continuous focus, keeping things sharp as you move. Sadly, the LG Optimus was a complete let down in low light situations delivering grainy and grey results.
The 3D videos, while only 720p, were a real crowd pleaser though – this phone went missing several times at my Chinese New Year party, with people grabbing it to show it off. It also has the cool ability to convert 2D content into 3D including games and videos. Battery life not great but it's doing a lot on a large screen, so I can give it a break. A micro HDMI slot makes it easy to playback my HD content on my HD telly too. Instant popularity.
The supermodel of the phones on review – really tall, extremely thin and slightly temperamental – the Razr's video was super sharp compared to the other phones and gave the best results in low light of all the phones. Nice clear menu with touch focus and an easy to use zoom all contribute to make this phone a front runner. Unfortunately, on some occasions, the video looked slightly over-exposed even after lots of fiddling. Also, in comparison, the video seemed slightly jittery. Storage is no problem though – 16GB on-board with up to 32GB on additional microSD cards.
Due to its width it can be hard to hold while shooting, yet can be forgiven for the startling clarity of the footage. This phone's hidden magic trick is it's audio scenes mode, enabling you change sound setting depending on the environment and shooting conditions. Software is pre-installed on the phone but extracting my takes proved fiddly, so I the Razr loses its edge a little here. However, the 1750mAh battery is above average for most phones, and as a result, lasted slightly longer on the catwalk than the others.
Next page: Nokia Lumia 800
Where is the N8?
Oh come on, you couldnt be bothered including the most acknowledged camera smartphone out there?
Not normally bothered by these reviews
No, I'm not. These group reviews are so light on details I normally like to find full reviews of each item across various sources and compare like that.
So why am I here and commenting now? Because in picking the Nokia Lumia 800 you have been as daft as a brush and I wanted to share that thought with you.
This review isn't about operating systems, ecosystems or form factors. It's meant to be about HD cameras. So you decision to not pick the Nokia N8-00 both astounds and disgusts me in equal measure. Yes it only records at 720p but it does have a standard HDMI mini output and includes a mini to full adapter in the box, and if you are running out of space on your (up to) 32GB microSD card and/or you've filled the internal disk while you are recording you can always plug in a USB memory stick and push your already recorded files over to that to free up more space. Then you can of course watch said HD recordings back from said memory stick via the phone while it is plugged into a HD TV and controlled via a suitable bluetooth device while seated on your sofa.
But then of course you know all of that. A more suspicious commentard might think that all of that was why you didn't choose the Nokia N8-00. But then I suspect that the publicly given reason will feature the word Symbian...
What to buy if you don't want an N8?
And why I suspect its not reviewed, write video to external memory. Switchable focus modes on video, excellent glass, better sound than many camcorders etc etc. All in free and easy formats, throw it where you like. Kinda embarrassing for the competition.
Boiled down the death of Symbian is as result of Nokia taking the apple user lock in route and that sucks hard. I'm only buoyed by the hint of one final S^3 successor to the N8.
Crippling the most useful phone OS so soon to pander to the market that responds best to advertising is a crime.
iTunes not required for video
I can't comment on the latest and greatest iPhones, but I have an old 3GS here.
When I want to retrieve photos or video from it, iTunes isn't required at all.
Just connect the iPhone to any PC via USB, and it appears like a digital camera under "Computer" and you can just drag and drop photos and videos from it, although not to it.
So it works "nearly" as well as a mass storage device for retrieving your photos and video, but only one way traffic is permitted.
Surely the Nokia N8 is the obvious choice for HD video? OK, it only records at 720p but the lens is excellent. With the new Symbian Belle update it's not a bad phone now either and the battery life is very good which does have a bearing.