By December 6, 2008

Samsung i8510 Innov8 Review

We now have our first 8MP mobile phone but how will it compete with the others?


Like Matt mentioned in his unboxing post the Innov8 was the first 8MP camera phone sent to us but what he didn’t mention was that this was the UK’s first 8MP camera phone. It was almost a dead set that the 8MP phones would be hitting shelves before the end of 2008 and with this review you can read exactly how it fares as a mobile and an 8MP camera.


What’s in the box?

Have at look at the unboxing video by Matt here

Samsung i8510 (Innov8) specification:

  • Operation System – Symbian 9.3 / S60 v3.2
  • Memory – User Memory 16GB microSD (up to 16 GB)
  • Display – Internal Technology 16M colour TFT 2.8” QVGA
  • GPRS, EDGE, 3G
  • GSM&EDGE Band Quad Band
  • Browser – WAP 12., WAP 2.0, JAVA
  • Input Device Numeric Keypad
  • Bluetooth
  • USB 2.0
  • PC Sync Application
  • TV-output
  • Wi-Fi
  • 8 Megapixel Camera with ‘Professional Imaging Applications’
  • LED Flash
  • Video player DivX support, 3D Surround Sound System
  • Video recording MPEG4
  • FM RDS Radio
  • FM Radio Recoding
  • Document Viewer Doc/ Viewer (PPT, Word, Excel, PDF)
  • Talk Time (Standard) 8.5hrs (2.5G), 5hrs (3G)
  • Standby (Standard) 310hrs (2.5G), 330hrs (3G)
  • Weight – 136g
  • Dimensions – 106.5 x 53.9 x 17.2 mm


The Samsung i8510 looks a lot like the Nokia N95 8GB. It’s rather chunky, it’s black and it packs a whole lot of features but look closer and you start to see the trademark industrial styling that differentiates Samsung from the rest of the crowd. A tough-looking, relatively large phone the Innov8 feels reassuringly solid with a smooth slider mechanism brings it together.

Starting a the front of the phone with the slide closed we can see the 2.8” QVGA screen with printed 8GB text to the top left, an earpiece grill in the middle and the front facing 3G camera and flash to the right. Underneath the screen sits 2 hot keys (one left and the other right), an optical touchpad surrounded by a d pad and the call start / call end buttons.

Samsung Innov8 Closed Front View

With the slide open we see the numeric keypad with the cancel button in the middle and an M1 button to the left / M2 button to the right.

Samsung Innov8 Open Front View

While the mechanical keys underneath the screen are well laid-out, as is the i8510’s keypad, it’s easy to brush the small optical touchpad by mistake. It should also be noted that it’s cumbersome to use unless you’re browsing the Web, where it works very well for scrolling through pages.

Moving to the left hand side of the phone and starting from the top down you will find a lanyard / pendant hole, volume rocker switch, 3.5mm headphone socket and the generic Samsung charging port.

Samsung Innov8 left hand side View

The right hand side of the phone there is again top to bottom a 3 point camera function slider switch, MicoSD slot and a hotkey.

Samsung Innov8 right hand side View

The bottom of the phone is very uneventful and contains nothing except plastic.

Samsung Innov8 Bottom View

Moving swiftly on to the back of the the Innov8’s we see it’s star feature, the 8-megapixel camera which looks every bit like a real camera, with an automatic lens cover that opens when you activate the camera and shuts when you’re not using it. Disappointingly, there’s no xenon flash on the camera you and only get a dual LED photo light that works well at close range but doesn’t illuminate very much past a few metres. The only other thing on the back of the phone is the printed text and speaker holes.

Samsung Innov8 Back View

Highlights and Lowlights

+ 8MP Camera

+ Auto function lens cover

+ DivX Support

– Location of headphone jack

– Proprietary charger

– Lack of Xenon flash

– No optical zoom


A 3.5mm headphone jack is one of the small details that makes this one of Samsung’s most feature-packed phones but unfortunately, as with the Nokia N95’s headphone jack, it’s on the side rather than on the top. This means you may find that the headphone pin sticks out at an awkward angle in your pocket.

Whilst the Innov8 screen packs some punch it isn’t as sharp as I expected, particularly when watching videos.

It’s the i8510’s camera that packs the most punch. Boasting an 8-megapixel sensor, auto-focus and a range of options, the camera also features an incredible panorama mode, facial recognition and smile recognition, which immediately takes a picture when someone is smiling.

For panorama, all you have to do is put the camera in panorama mode and click the shutter button once, and the i8510 instructs you to move the camera in a certain direction following an orange box it then stitches a 180-degree picture together for you so you don’t even need to press a button.

Another trick up the i8510 camera’s sleeve is the ability to shoot slow-motion video at up to 120 frames per second, similar to the LG Viewty, which is great for shooting fast-paced action. We found the slow motion mode worked well even in low light, where the LG Viewty didn’t perform so well, according to many users’ complaints. It’s not all good, though, the i8510’s camera doesn’t have an optical zoom, which means that zoomed-in pictures come out fairly blurry, and as I mentioned before there’s no xenon flash. With only a dual LED photo light, shots taken in low light only come out well at close range.


Samsung has generously provided the i8510 with 16GB of on-board memory, and as if that wasn’t enough you can add memory via a microSDHC slot. That means you can carry around up to 32GB worth of data with you, giving you plenty of room to store pictures, videos or apps.

Given that the i8510 runs on Symbian, you can download a fair amount of software, including Opera Mini to browse the Web and mapping software such as Google Maps, which can be used in conjunction with the i8510’s built-in GPS. You can also use the GPS to geo-tag your pictures so you can see exactly where you took them.

If all that is not enough to wet your mobile appetite, HSDPA and Wi-Fi are also available on the i8510 an the ability to play DivX movies, particularly useful if you want to carry several films with you without needing sacrificing too much memory. Also, there’s an FM radio. Combine all of the above features and you get something very close to Nokia’s incoming N96, which I think makes for a battle of Godzilla-like proportions. But when the dust settles, we think the Samsung i8510 might just take it.

Audio quality during calls is good, with no noticeable distortion or muffling, and the loudspeaker is loud enough to hear even in a moving car. Picture quality from the 8-megapixel camera is fine, but not massively better than certain 5-megapixel camera phones such as the Nokia N95 8GB.


Battery life is quoted at 300 to 500 minutes talk time, depending on whether you’re using 3G or not, and around 330 hours standby time respectively. We found that we got a full day out of the i8510 with heavy usage, but if you cut down on battery-intensive apps such as browsing the Web and using GPS, you’ll find that it lasts for at least two days.


Having not properly reviewed the Nokia N96 just yet, I don’t want to speak too soon and say the Samsung i8510 definitely wins out, but what I can say is this is Samsung’s best phone yet. A solid design combined with more features than you can shake a moose at, the i8510 genuinely took me by surprise

Review by: Phillip Cooper

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

Loading Facebook Comments ...

Post a Comment

No Trackbacks.