Samsung Galaxy Nexus
The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is my number one for ease of use – everything you need at the touch of a button – there's even a Disco and Lost in Space mode. Settings are clearly placed along the right hand side and, helpfully, it also shows the quality setting that's active. It has a lovely big red button to record that even my granny could see and get to grips with.
Access to my recordings was simply plug and play, just as it should be. There is a reason this phone is popular borne out by the overall quality and clarity of the footage. Being an animator, I took an instant liking to the time-lapse function, it's this kind of added extra that really impresses me.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S
I am convinced that Sony just doesn't want me to shoot any video. This mode is frustrating to get to, I have to swipe a little icon at the bottom of the photo app that needs a finger the width of a toothpick to achieve. Then when I'm ready to record, I have to press the tiny and badly-located shutter button on the top of the phone. The delay in starting meant I often found myself repeatedly pressing the button just to get it going.
Once you're up-and-running, the video quality is respectable, but low light performance isn't optimum, and the on-board LED illuminiation is no help really. There were big problems with sound to the extent that it repeatedly cut out during playback, so if your mate's telling you a corker, you're in serious jeopardy of losing the punchline. The touch focus is slightly frustrating, still, the recordings are convincingly sharp and the colours are nice and warm, athough maybe a little too Tango. It's hard to knock a phone that has Party mode as an option but, overall, even though this phone looks classy, its build quality reminded me of the throw away plastic cups they give you at gigs so you won't bottle the band. ®
Thanks to Clove Technology for the loan of the review handsets.
Next page: Sample Video
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.