Samsung G800 Review: Camera With A Phone: G800 Vs. K850 Shootout, Part 1: Features & Interface

By 11:34 Sun, 08 Aug 2021 Comments

Samsung G800 vs. Sony Ericsson K850

As we already assumed the Samsung G800 and Sony Ericsson K850 may be the primary rivals in the 5-megapixel cameraphone battle among feature phones. The Samsung G800 is indeed more of a digicam that can create calls instead of a regular phone. The K850 offers a more balanced multimedia orientation and is the descendant of a series of highly popular cameraphones that have earned the public trust and appreciation. The Samsung G800 has yet to live up to the challenge.

And since we had the K850 handy we deiced to create a closed 5-megapixel shootout between the two of them. The G800 is not a final retail product, but is really close to that.

Although the contenders are similar in many aspects, there are some vital differences we should note correct at the beginning. The most prominent incompatibility is of course the optical zoom. Zoom systems are usually a lot more complicated and may prove inferior compared to a fixed optical system when used at the same focal length. The Sony Ericsson K850 lens is wider than the widest position of the G800 zoom, so you will see that in all shots the subjects on the G800 photos see a bit bigger.

Another remarkable incompatibility is the lack of EXIF information in the G800 JPG photos. It was quite an unpleasant surprise, becautilize the EXIF is of remarkable value when trying to figure out what went incorrect in a certain test. Again, this is a beta issue and we are quite sure it will be resolved in the market version.

And finally another concern - when set at the highest quality, the Samsung G800 produces files about twice the size of K850. It's not a poor thing to capture as much detail as possible, but a 2.5 Mega Bytes (MB) file from a 5MP cameraphone is just too much.

Camera interface and features

Having the correct user interface is essential for an ambitious cameraphone - and for any point-and-shoot digital capturing camera for that matter. Both the Sony Ericsson K850 and the Samsung G800 offer all the basic settings, plus a few advanced options. Both handsets feature image stabilization, Macro mode and an option to turn auto focus off. White balance settings, the usual color effects, exposure compensation and ISO setup are available in both devices. The Samsung G800 offers sensor sensitivity values as low as ISO 50, while the Sony Ericsson K850 lowest setting is ISO 100. However, we didn't like the fact that there is no shortslit for adjusting the exposure compensation on the G800. The exposure compensation is an vital setting and should be readily available if you want to create the best of it.

Samsung G800 capturing camera user interface

Both cameraphones are equipped with xenon flash and offer red-eye reduction, however only the Samsung G800 flash can be permanently set to (always on) fire with each shot. This nice option allows it to be used as a fill flash for backlit scenes. However as our tests proved, the G800 flash is nowhere near the performance of the K850 one.

The Samsung G800 capturing camera viewfinder can show gridlines to assist users apply the photography rule-of-thirds when framing. However, the G800 lacks other essential options such as a resetting the photo counter and disabling the image preview, which appears after each shot - two options that the Sony Ericsson K850 does have.

Both cameras utilize the toolbar layout to present the available capturing camera options, which we find the most convenient. As settings are becoming more and more advanced, obviously there is also a need for a separate Camera Settings menu that stores the least used, but essential settings. Both contenders have those menus but it's what they have stashed there that matters. Unfortunately, we found the Samsung hiding its ISO setting there - a feature, which should have received a place on the settings toolbar. Another inconvenience of the Samsung Settings menus is that all the setups applied won't acquire saved unless you press the Save button. The Back key is treated as a Cancel button and disables all changes made. The G800 also compromises user-friendliness by the fact that every time you open the Settings Menu you are taken to the options related to the Still Camera though you may currently be using the Camcorder, for example. The K850 takes care of that and show you only the currently relevant settings.

Sony Ericsson K850 settings menu

Now, back to the main options toolbar, we found the Sony Ericsson interface to be more eye-pleasing. It's the last generation of capturing camera interfaces by Sony Ericsson, and it offers some nice eye-candy. Both cameraphones offer tooltips to assist users create their way around the settings. This holds especially accurate for the Samsung G800, which has no labels for the settings available on the toolbar. Hence, an inexperienced user would have to haged the assist hints on all the time - at least in the beginning.

Sony Ericsson K850 toolbar capturing camera menu

For some unknown reason, the first option on the G800 toolbar is toggling between the primary and secondary camera. This is a rarely used setting that is definitely not worth its location. The Mode setting would have made a better first place. At least, the G800 is capable of shooting with the video-call capturing camera - something that the K850 is lacking. However, the K850 remembers the last setting changed and goes straight to it next time (the approach Samsung have with their general phone interface, which we really like), while the G800 presents you with the "Choose camera" menu every time you refer to the settings toolbar.

The Samsung G800 has several advantages over the K850 capturing camera - it features face detection, which works pretty well by looking for eye-and-eyebrow patterns.

The G800 capturing camera interface also allows setting contrast, saturation and sharpness. The wide dynamic range also puts the G800 ahead of K850, although at this point our test shows no visible incompatibility with this option on.

Another advantage is that in Panorama mode the capturing camera can shoot up to 6 images as opposed to Sony Ericsson K850, which makes panoramas out of three shots only. An fascinating feature of the G800 panorama shooting is the automatic shooting - taking panoramas is easier than ever. The G800 takes all the shots by itself while directing your capturing camera movement.

The Multi-shot mode of the G800 however fails to impress - it turns off the auto focus and it takes up to 9 images in no higher than Video Graphics Array (VGA) resolution. The Sony Ericsson K850 wins a point here with the BestPic mode, which takes up to 9 images again, however those are in full resolution and you can choose how quick they should be taken.

The Sony Ericsson K850 takes the lead again with its integrated orientation sensor, which allows auto-rotation of the photos taken. The K850 also has a tri-LED module that serves as a capturing camera light while shooting video. In all other scenarios it's used as auto focus assist beam. The G800 has its own auto focus assist beam too, however it cannot be used as a video light and it can't be turned off either (unlike K850).

"...The Samsung G800 has several advantages over the K850 capturing camera - it features face detection, which works pretty well by looking for eye-and-eyebrow patterns..."


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