Camphone shootout: the verdict

The digicam’s time as king of photography hill is almost up. The world’s best cameraphones are burning down its defensive perimeter, hummi

The digicam’s time as king of photography hill is almost up. The world’s best cameraphones are burning down its defensive perimeter, humming their convergence mantras and flaunting weapons like flash and autofocus. But which of the new breed is best?

The LG KG920 (uk.lge.com) looks the most dangerous. It’s stuffed with five megapixels, and could be mistaken for a dedicated snapper from the back. In practice, the KG920 takes great pics, thanks to autofocus, flash and a great macro mode, but the battery runs dry after one photoshoot and it’s an average phone. ****

Another relative newcomer is the Samsung D900 (www.samsungmobile.com), the slimmest slider phone we’ve ever seen. Its Korean makers somehow managed to cram in three megapixels into its 12.9mm frame, but at a cost to the image quality: its pictures are oversaturated and lacking focus in low light. The sheer quality of the phone experience lifts the rating. ****

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A phone test wouldn’t be a phone test without Motorola, and its entrant is the MOTORAZR maxx (www.hellomoto.co.uk) Thanks to HSPDA it’s something of a speedy Super 3G net monkey, but you get the feeling the 2MP camera has been neglected. It lacks autofocus, and has an LED light instead of flash. Still, it never claimed to be a camphone. ***

Up next is an old favourite, the Nokia N93 (www.nokia.co.uk). It’s the only camphone we’ve tested that sports a 3x optical zoom, and takes great snaps using its 3.2MP Carl Zeiss lens. Budding Paul Verhoevens also get near DVD-quality VGA video and, with Wi-Fi, 3G and Bluetooth, it’s a multimedia colossus. It’s lardy, but still great. *****

Even that star-haul isn’t enough to win this bloody battle: top dog is the Sony Ericsson K800i (www.sonyericsson.co.uk, pictured). Its 3.2MP CCD has come straight from Sony’s Cybershot camera lab, and it’s a consummate snapper, displaying crisp detail and focus, and strong colour rendering. Throw in killer features like image stabilisation, BestPic and the Xenon flash, and you have the best camera/phone combo out there. *****

Essentials

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