camera

Compared with the original Tocco, Samsung has gone light with the camera capabilities of the Tocco Lite. Its 3.2-megapixel camera is a fixed focus shooter, with no autofocus system built in, and lacks even a basic LED flash. Clearly imaging isn't a priority on this model

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JAG: The Samsung Tocco Lite can take reasonable snaps with its 3.2-megapixel fixed lens camera in decent lighting conditions – though shots lack finesse

The fixed focus lens limits the precision you can get when composing images, offering point-and-shoot snapping rather than anything more refined. Close-range shots are particularly limited, but generally the quality you can achieve with this type of camera is compromised.

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FIXED LENS: The fixed lens camera limits the crisp, sharply focused shots you can get with some top end cameraphones. Images appear a touch soft

As it happens, the camera user interface is rather good, reprising a similar look and feel to other higher-end Samsung touchscreen models like the Tocco Ultra Edition.

With a press of the side button the camera is ready to go in a couple of seconds. It has a very intuitive touchscreen interface, with plenty of clear settings icons flanking the main portion of the viewfinder. It's uncluttered, and pressing one of the icons pulls up further options, with most showing large, clearly labelled symbols to represent the settings available.

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SATURATION: These colourful flowers, under bright natural light, appear oversaturated with some colour bleed apparent

The Scene Mode even offers a line about what type of shot each setting is for.

There are plenty of shooting options available if you want to override the auto metering system. As well as exposure control and a variety of white balance settings, users have six Scene settings to choose from, and a selection of Shooting Modes.

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CLOSE-UP: With no macro close up focusing, you can't get crisply focused close range images

These include continuous multiple shots, a neat panorama mode that uses a movement sensor to help frame a stitched together shot (albeit in low res), a mosaic mode, a 'fun' frames mode, plus a Smile Shot option – which delays the shutter until the camera detects the subject you're shooting is smiling. The latter works surprisingly well over a few metres.

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SOFT: This longer range shot on a bright day appears soft, and the colour of the sky is artificial and soft

You can add colourisation effects too, and there's a timer option too.

Pressing the volume/zoom keys – oddly on the bottom in camera mode – can activate the 2x digital zoom, and if you choose to view the photo gallery in camera mode, it can be used to zoom in or out, or pull up at a selection of pics in your gallery (like on some digital cameras).

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MIXED-BAG: Mid to close up shots can look OK – but with a fixed focus lens, it's a bit shoot and hope

Although the interface works intuitively, image quality is pretty average for this grade of cameraphone. Shots don't have the level of detail you can get with a higher quality cameraphone, and with a fixed focus lens it's always going to be shoot-and-hope.

Mostly, images were acceptable, though some appeared a bit soft and we weren't impressed by close up shots. Although colour is generally acceptable, we did find colour in some brightly lit images were sometimes over cooked, with some colour bleed present – not the best we've seen from a Samsung mobile.

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MORRIS: Using the Sports shooting mode you can avoid blur from moving images, though in practice this does little to improve results

Without a flash, low light shooting performance indoors in dark conditions was feeble, with shots murky.

From the main camera interface, you can nip quickly into the image gallery by pressing one of the on-screen buttons.

Samsung combines finger and accelerometer based scroll-through, which can be irritating when images flow past as you tilt the phone, though you can stop them with a quick finger press. It's easy then to zoom in or out, or even edit pics.

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OUTDOORS: Outdoors at night, shots are also limited

Touch editing is relatively easy, and you can add effects, crop and even draw or scrawl over the images. It's simple too to select and send images, whether by email, Bluetooth, MMS or to upload online.

You can also select the camcorder option from the main camera viewfinder. The Tocco Lite shoots at maximum QVGA quality at up to 15 frames per second, so you get typically mediocre quality, low resolution mobile phone footage that's a bit jittery.