Samsung Shows 5-Megapixel Camera Phone

Samsung Electronics will begin selling a cell phone that includes a 5-megapixel digital camera, the company says. The device will be available in South Korea later this month.

The camera was developed in cooperation with Japan's Pentax and its resolution significantly exceeds that available from competing camera phones. At present the highest resolution camera phones have 3-megapixel class image sensors, although that's only on a handful of models. Most phones offer between 300,000 pixel and 2-megapixel resolution at present.

Several other features of the new Samsung phone are closer to that of a digital still camera than a conventional cell phone, including the shutter speed, which can be as fast as 1/1000th of a second, according to a Samsung statement.

There is also a movie mode. Up to 100 minutes of QVGA-resolution (320 pixels by 240 pixels) video can be stored in the phone's internal 92MB memory, Samsung says. The phone supports RS-MMC (Reduced Size Multimedia Card) memory cards for additional storage.

Additional Features

The company has also fitted a high color LCD into the handset. The 2.0-inch display is capable of displaying 16 million colors, which is a big increase over the 262,000 colors that most of the company's color mobile phone displays have been capable of until now. Display resolution is QVGA, which is similar to most modern handsets.

On the design front, Samsung has borrowed the stretch-type design that it used in its highly-popular SPH-N270 "Matrix phone," that was sold last year as part of a tie-in with the "Matrix Reloaded" movie. When open, the upper portion of the phone's body extends upwards to reveal the top half of the LCD screen on the front and the digital camera on the rear.

Other features include text-to-speech (TTS) conversion, 3D sound effects, an MP3 digital music player, video output to a television, infrared data transmission and polyphonic ringtones. The telephone measures 4.5 inches by 1.9 inches by .7 inches and weighs 4.1 ounces.

The phone is compatible with the CDMA2000 1x cellular system and will go on sale in South Korea in October, Samsung says. The company did not release pricing details or information about plans to sell the telephone overseas. The company typically sells different models in South Korea and overseas markets.

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