Cameraphones continue to prove popular, with handset designs now being designed around the camera function almost as much as around the call function. Sony Ericsson announced the K850i last month, while Samsung unveiled its G600 cameraphone last week.
Sony-Ericsson set a benchmark with its Cyber-shot cameraphones which have concealed cameras around the back. The level of detail such in-phone camera can capture has now reached the 5Mp mark in the UK, with still higher resolution phones already on sale in Asia. A Samsung spokeswoman told PC Advisor there are no definitive plans to launch higher-resolution cameras in Europe, but we suspect that may soon change.
For now, however, manufacturers are emphasising the quality of the snaps you can take and the ease with which you can do so. The new Sony Ericsson K850i, for example, has a BestPic function. This captures nine shots in quick succession. You choose which of them to keep, thereby ensuring you have at least one decent image. The Sony Ericsson K850i also has an onboard photo fix function to improve underexposed images, plus auto focus and a xenon flash for poor light conditions. The K850i also offers 320x240 pixel video capture at 30fps (frames per second). Resulting images can be stored on a Memory Stick Micro card.
Sony Ericsson K850i
By contrast, Nokia's popular N95 handset - seen by many as the 'other' gadget of the year (vote in our gadget of the year poll here) aside from Apple's much-hyped iPhone (definitive review here) is able to capture videos at a resolution of 640x480 pixels.
The K850i is really being aimed at business users rather than consumers, however. It sports 3G via HSPDA and is a triband handset that can synchronise data such as contacts, tasks and email with an Exchange server.
Pricing is yet to be confirmed but the Sony Ericsson K850i should be available in the UK this autumn.