Samsung HD Icon smartphone

Samsung's HD Icon is the first mobile phone in the world to record 720p HD video

Samsung HD Icon
  • Samsung HD Icon
  • Samsung HD Icon
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • HD video recording, excellent 8-megapixel camera, TouchWIZ interface, large AMOLED display, 3.5mm headphone jack, good music player, 16GB internal memory with card slot

Cons

  • Glossy design is a fingerprint magnet, no lens cover for camera, some Symbian UI issues, no dedicated app store

Bottom Line

The Samsung HD Icon is recommended for anyone after an excellent camera phone. HD video recording is superb, it can take excellent photos and it's a very capable music player, too. The Symbian OS isn't perfect and can be the cause of some frustration, but Samsung has done a much better job than Nokia with this touch-screen smartphone.

Would you buy this?

At first glance it looks like one of the largest smartphones we've ever reviewed, but although Samsung's HD Icon is tall it’s not especially chunky. Sporting a large 3.7in AMOLED display, the aptly named HD Icon is the first mobile phone in the world to record high-definition 720p video. Also boasting an 8-megapixel camera, a touch screen and running the Symbian OS with Samsung's TouchWIZ interface, the HD Icon is an impressive entertainment device, but not a world beater.

The Samsung HD Icon initially looks like a behemoth, but although it’s tall it's not overly large and it doesn't feel too heavy in your hand. This is largely due to the all-plastic body, with Samsung opting for a gloss black finish with chrome edging. Like most glossy phones, it’s nearly impossible to keep the HD Icon free of smudges and fingerprints.

We aren't a huge fan of the Samsung HD Icon's design. The chrome strip below the display houses the menu and answer/end call buttons and it looks like it's been taken straight off LG's Secret. Additionally, the dotted pattern on the top and bottom doesn’t do this phone justice. The flimsy plastic covers on the USB and headphone ports are also annoying and detract from the overall look and feel.

Once you switch on the Samsung HD Icon you'll quickly forgive these minor blemishes. The 3.7in AMOLED display is simply fantastic, providing rich, vivid colour and excellent brightness. Viewing angles are also superb, though the glossy screen does reflect lighting in an office environment and makes the display hard to see in direct sunlight outdoors. In comparison to the iPhone 3GS display, the HD Icon's screen is noticeably brighter and possesses far better viewing angles.

The Samsung HD Icon features an 8-megapixel camera with a dual LED flash, but its most noteworthy feature is the ability to record 720p HD video. Although it won't replace a standalone video camera, the HD Icon records sharp, crisp video in the MP4 file format at a resolution of 1280x720. Colours are excellent and the quality is noteworthy for a mobile phone, though many of our test videos seemed a little too bright. For still images, the HD Icon is one of the best camera phones on the market and it handles almost anything you throw at it, with the exception of photos taken in low-light conditions — the dual LED flash isn't powerful enough. The camera's speed is also very impressive: it takes just two seconds to start up, there is minimal shutter lag and the camera application feels slick and zippy. The lack of a lens cover is a downside.

Samsung HD Icon

The Samsung HD Icon's 8-megapixel camera has a dual LED flash. It is the first phone to record 720p HD video.

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