Hey folks, Valkor here. The folks at Casio Mobile have stepped up to the plate and gave TOV it's first crack at a new mobile phone that's not really a phone per se; more like a camera wrapped around a phone with the added protection from every day wear and tear, even water. Basically just what the Val-cave was lookin for. I give to you the Casio Exilim 5.1MP Camera Phone.
First off this bad boy is a biggy when compared to most flip models. But when folded it also looks the part of a camera. Really as a phone it's pretty basic, flip it open and you have your keypad and screen. No touch screen or QWERTY pad, just a typical phone keypad that's backlit when opened. The view screen actually twists and fold back to become the view screen for the camera, so you're actually holding like a digital camera, which makes it easier to take picks rather than holding it the other way. Also in this mode the buttons on top becomes your camera control, and visually it looks pretty good compared to most camera phones. Quick funny remark: When I let others try out the phone is this mode instantly they touched the screen as if it were a touch-screen. Oooops.
The camera, which is the phone's main function, comes packed with features such as a video option, flash/flashlight for those dark and uhhhh… maybe intimate moments? You also have an image stabilizer, auto focus, choose your image resolution, which goes as high as 1600 x 1200, and what would any Exilim camera be without BestShot? Included you get 15 preset templates which include a mode for Food, Scenery, Vivid, and NightView. If you're unfamiliar with BestShot, this makes it so that you don't have to go crazy fiddling with the camera controls, trying to take the best shot possible, when the camera does all the work for you.
But why this phone is a plus in my book is the durability. This baby can really take a lickin; you're not only getting a phone but also assurance that if you drop it (not from extreme distance) or it gets wet, the phone will continue to thrive. As much as I wanted to drop it in water, I didn't wanna take that chance. I mean, it's not water-proof, just water resistant, so if you happen to get one and you leave it in the toilet, it's your own damn fault if it doesn't work when you take it out.
Included with the package of course you get the charger, USB cable, CD-ROM, User Manuals, and more. But how well did the cameraphone do in Val-Cave testing?
It's not bad. Again as a phone, it's pretty basic. And since it uses the Verizon network, you'll get pretty good reception no matter where you go. You don't have to learn anything fancy; this is a phone that right from the box you can pick up and go without having to sit and read a bible of a manual just to learn all its functions. As far as the camera goes, it's pretty ok and it does take some decent pics. Plus BestShot is always my favorite feature on any Exilim camera, because it does a much better job than most cameras that have a similar feature. But to have it on a phone, that says a lot. Finally though the pics the camera takes are a bit faded, it's still pretty damn good when compared to most phone cams. Plus you know you'll always be at the ready when the time comes to capture the moment.
First and foremost is the keypad configuration; when you first flip it open, the send and end keys don't pop at you right away. And that's because there's no color. Usually the Send is colored Green and End is colored red, on this phone they look the same, so when you first look for em it can be slightly disorienting. Next is talking/listening; It's weird, but the Exilim makes it so that it sounds like your talking through a tube. Plus the voice you get back is kinda loud (and this is when the speakerphone is off), maybe a little too loud. Of course you can adjust the volume, I still say too loud from what I'm used to.
Overall for a pretty basic phone with a nifty camera in it (or is a camera with a basic phone) either way you'll get your money's worth with Casio's Exilim Camera Phone, especially if you're not looking for anything fancy or too complicated, plus you get the camera functionality. It's a simple phone for the simple user, one that a simple guy like myself can appreciate. And out of 5 stars, I give the Casio Exilim 3.5 and it's been Valkor tested and TOV approved.