Thanks to Danny Brenner for noting this bit of "light relief" news. Samsung have integrated a digital camera into a mobile phone, the unit can take up to 20 pictures at 640 x 480 (350,000 pixel CCD, 1 MB internal storage). The phone features a 1.5" TFT LCD and typical mobile phone battery life of 170 minutes talk and 180 hours standby. Note, this phone supports only CDMA networks.

Samsung Press Release:

SEOUL, Korea - June 23, 2000 - Korean technology is behind a unique digital camera phone, allowing mobile phone users to snap pictures at will. Samsung Electronics completed development of a flip-open mobile handset that comes with a 1.5-inch TFT-LCD and has digital camera functions built in.

The unit can take 20 pictures at 350,000-pixel resolution in Regular Mode and 26 pictures in Conserve Mode. A macro (Text Mode) function allows the user to take clear photographs of written text. Standard accessories include a CD-ROM for picture editing and a data cable to connect the phone to a PC.

The camera phone allows people to be ready to record any emergency (such as a traffic accident) or unexpected circumstance that they want to capture. The user does not even need to have film on hand.

The product is expected to be well received by the younger generations, who are accustomed to using digital cameras, and by young parents of small children. A color graphic interface has been achieved with the use of a color TFT-LCD, setting the SCH-V200 apart from mobile handsets with a black-and-white LCD.

To take pictures, the user presses the Camera Mode button on the side of the unit. A camera lens is located on the upper backside of the phone, and the subject captured by the lens is displayed on the TFT-LCD. Once the subject has been framed correctly, the user presses the shutter button on the bottom of the TFT-LCD.

With the high-capacity batteries, the SCH-V200 delivers 170 minutes of continuous talk time and 180 hours on standby. The battery will last for up to 200 minutes during picture taking. The unit measures 119mm x 47mm x 23.5mm and comes with a built-in phone directory, vibration alert and privacy protection function. The phone comes in either silver or khaki.

The Camera Phone is the fifth multi-function hand-held phone developed by Samsung, after the Internet Phone, MP3 Phone, Watch Phone and TV Phone. The company continues to explore new ways to apply its advanced digital technology to maintain its industry-leading position and make life a little easier for consumers. The SCH-V200 will be available in Korea in June.

Model Config Launch: June 2000
Standard equipment: main unit, two battery types (standard, exended), desktop re-charger, user's manual, editing CD-ROM, editing manual, data cable, hand strap Optional accessories: Holder for use inside an automobile, hands-free box, automobile re-charger, travel re-charger, ear microphone
Features Built-in digital camera function (350,000-pixel resolution) Basic capacity: record and playback 20 digital still photographs Color graphic user interface Large-capacity telephone directory (200 entries) Vibration alert, wake-up call, privacy protection functions.
Scheduler, D-Day function, electronic calculator Support for value added services by mobile operator (700 different ring melodies, priority data service, etc.)
Phone Functions

Personal information management
Ear microphone
Display of most recent calls made and received
Various settings (vibration alert, change of ring, automatic area code setting, greeting display)
Speed dial
World clock
Use restriction
Power saving mode
Volume control
Lock function
Download from among 700 ring melodies
Short message service send and receive
Support for wireless data transmission

Network CDMA
Camera Functions Photograph taking, playback (1-megabyte)
Photo capacity: 20 in Regular Mode, 26 in Conservation Mode
Macro function (Text Mode): allows clear photos of text.
Photo editing by computer
Imager 350,000 pixels (effective 307,000 @ 640 x 480)
Storage cap. 1 MB
Display 1.5" TFT LCD
Dimensions 119mm x 47mm x 23.5/27mm
Weight 150g
Batteries Standard: Talk 100 mins, Standby 70-120 hrs, Photo 130 mins
Long life: Talk 170 mins, Standby 110-180 hrs, Photo 200 mins