October 24, 2004 The convergence of digital cameras with mobile phones continues apace with Samsung unveiling the SCH-S250 model mobile, equipped with an intense 5-megapixel camera, a "true colour" LCD with 16 million colours and a text-to-speech conversion function all in the one handset.
The CCD (charge-coupled device) camera and high-sensitivity flash allow the user to take the same quality pictures as a mdeium-quality digital camera. Like Samsung's premium grade camera phones, the S250 can also function as a camcorder. The 92MB onboard memory can store up to 100 minutes of video (320x240), and a 32MB auxiliary memory is included as a standard feature. The shutter speed is as fast as 1/1,000 th of a second, allowing the user to film beautiful landscapes as well as subjects as close as 10 cm. The S250 can then be connected to a TV to display video during shooting or to show footage that has already been recorded in the mobile phone.
The S250 comes with a unique "stretch" design, reminiscent of the futuristic phones seen in the movie The Matrix . The high-quality camera lens and LCD remain covered and protected when the phone is closed, and when it is stretched open, the product has the feel of a regular digital camera. Until now, mobile phones had been equipped with LCDs capable of only 262,000-color resolution. The S250 boasts a QVGA TFD-LCD (Thin Film Diode-Liquid Crystal Display) that has previously been adapted only for top-end TVs and desktop monitors. The display can reproduce 16 million colors, over 60 times the color compared to existing mobile phone displays, all the hues found in nature.
Samsung has also taken voice recognition to a higher level by introducing text-to-speech (TTS) conversion. Now the user can listen to incoming text messages or the prepared "to-do" list rather than having to read them. The S250 also supports high-image-quality games and 3D sound effects. If a call is received in the middle of a game, the user can restore the game later and resume play. Other advanced functions in the S250 include an MP3 player, mobile banking capability and 64-polyphonic sound.
The S250 model comes hot on the heels of Samsung's recent 1-megapixel camera phone a year ago and just 3 months after its first 3.2-megapixel camera phone back in July. The S250 is currently only available in Korea and continues the technological achievements that are shaping the future of mobile computing and telephony. The word from Samsung is to watch out for a massive 10- megapixel camera phone by the end of the year.