Samsung galaxy s review

The big boast of the Samsung Galaxy S is that it captures HD video. And it does this nicely.

You're offered two modes – normal and MMS.This is a little bit of an annoyance if we're honest, but it's not something that is limited to Samsung smartphones.

We hate having to make the choice between the two, because often you'll take a video of something randomly then think it warrants being sent by MMS. We're not talking 30 minute home-made movies in HD, because that would be pushing it, but more like 20-30 second clips.

The problem is, shot in full resolution, these files are always too big for MMS and don't convert automatically.

So you're left with having to leave the handset set up to shoot for MMS permanently, just in case, which then means your videos are poorer quality and negates the point of having an HD video camera.

You can send the files by email so all is not lost if you do end up with a high-quality video, but we wish Samsung and Android handset manufacturers in general (plus BlackBerry – we're not letting RIM off here!) would follow Apple's example,because the iPhone manages to resize all videos automatically for MMS, just reducing the quality more and more in line with the clip's length.

The options in the videos section are more limited than the camera's, and there's no way of changing your scene mode. In fact, you're stuck with what Samsung has decided is best, with the only customisable option being the exposure value to control brightness and the resolution, which begins at 320 x 240 and maxes out at 1280 x 720.

We shot a full-resolution video in a moving car and were impressed that not only did it manage to focus and keep the quality up, it also recorded the audio well so that George Michael was fully audible (though thankfully, not our singing along).

In fact, captured audio is remarkably clear and succinct. We were definitely impressed with this SRS virtual 5.1 surround sound for playback.

The camera also copes reasonably well in situations where it moves from darkness to light, adjusting valiantly even though it is noticeable, and some colours end up looking very bright to compensate.

Sadly, there's no tap to focus, so if you're including text as part of your video you may struggle. And if you're thinking of editing it on the fly, forget it, because there's no relevant app included out of the box. But on the whole, we can't fault Samsung for its video efforts.

Shame about the lack of light though – did we mention there is no flash?