Hey folks, Valkor here and we are just a couple of weeks away
before the big show in 2008. If you don’t know by now, it’s the International
CES out in
PMP for those still not familiar with the acronym means Portable Media Player. Now I’ve played with my share of media players but with a digicam, not really. (Or I should say a digicam with PMP functionality) the I85 is quite impressive because right off the bat it looks very sleek. Not as sleek as some of Casio’s Exilim cams, but sleek enough that you can pop it in your front pocket or any pocket for that matter. But damn is it heavy. Not ton of bricks heavy, but heavy enough that you can feel where it is. It’s got a 3 inch TFT LCD screen, which is sharp and crystal clear. No touch buttons like the NV line up, but you have your display, zoom in out buttons, etc. However every button has double duty as they have to not only work for the camera, but for the movies and music too. Lastly there is no hard drive and everything plays/ downloads to an SD card. Thankfully SD Cards are mad cheap, I was able to score a 2 gig for 20 USD. You just have to shop around. So how did the I85 fare in Val-cave testing?
As an MP3 player this is where the I85 shines. Pop in the earbuds, set the sound to SRS and be prepared to be immersed. Of course you have other settings like Rock, Jazz, Classical, etc, but SRS is where it’s at. Getting the music into the player is quite easy as simply creating an MP3 folder and then drag and drop the files into it. The I85 recognizes this with ease. Once the music is loaded you get the option of two preset screens or you can use your own photos for the background and even run a slideshow.
With video, you only get one format to put in the machine, but the I85 comes with software you can use to convert other formats for play on the I85. Once there the video looks great and plays fluidly. Photo taking is hit and miss, depending on the time of day. Day shots look great while night shots are fuzzy. Plus you have a ton of options to play with including red eye reduction and ant-shake, plus face recognition (to insure you literally put your best face forward). Finally you can take some pretty decent video as well. Not too grainy and not to jumpy. Plus with the included AV cable you can play your files on your television to share those embarrassing YouTube moments with family and friends.
First off I’m not feeling the lack of options when it comes to video. I don’t mind that I have to convert to one sole format, but I like my video how I like my baskin robbins, full of flavor. My favorite is Divx and this should be in there but it’s not along with a host of other formats. Hopefully the next version will have a wider range of videos to play with. Secondly the night shots that mentioned previously; I’ve seen past Samsung cams take some amazing night shots, but this one takes more than one try to get a decent shot. Lastly when it comes to the audio, I would replace random play with a shuffle. While I give cred that the I85 does a much better job with random than the Archos, a shuffle would be much better that way you don’t end up hearing the same song twice out of 100 plus.
It’s am ambitious effort that will pay off in the long run. The I85 has everything going for it and then some. If you don’t already own a MP3 player or a media player, now is the time to take the plunge as the I85 is well worth the coin for a starter all in one. Retail is $299, but scour the net because I’m sure you can find a better deal. I’m gonna give the I85 a cool 4 for an overall score, because even with its faults it still comes out on top. The I85 PMP 8 MP digicam has been Valkor tested and TOV approved.