Review: Samsung DualView TL225

Your online coolness factor hinges on three things: your number of friends (or followers), the wittiness of status updates (or tweets) and the quality of your self-taken picture (or poorly framed mess). You’ll have to explore other sections of get-gadget for help with the first two factors, but we’ve got a Samsung camera that bills itself as a way to ensure self-promoting shots turn out great every time.

The TL225 is the first camera to have an additional LCD on the front of its chassis, so it won’t take you six tries to frame a self-portrait correctly. The 1.5-inch screen activates with just a tap and disappears into the sleek black finish when it’s off. It can even show setting information, a 3-2-1 countdown for timed shots, or an animated clown for making kids grin (or shriek in terror). Admittedly it did a darn good job helping us line up great portraits and group photos, but since the screen is off-center we found it hard to make eye contact with the camera.

Aside from the fancy new front screen, the camera is only halfway decent. Picture quality shines in bright light but struggles in dim situations. There’s also a very noticeable shutter lag, which made taking pictures of fast subjects (read: pets, kids, Usain Bolt) extremely difficult.

Almost all of the camera’s controls are virtual and accessed through the bright, clear 3.5-inch rear LCD. That screen, though, is not consistently responsive ,with jarring vibration from the haptic feedback that we found worked best when turned off.

Hat tip to the Smart Gesture interface. This clever UI lets you tilt the camera forward, backwards or to the side to do things like change settings or rotate photos. It’s extremely responsive and a timesaving alternative to fussing with the touch controls.

This camera is for people who just want to snap a few Facebook pics or scare the crap out of a coulrophobic. Serious photogs looking for a serious point-and-shoot should have a look at a serious camera like the Canon S90. Seriously!

Style: Ultracompact

Resolution: 12.2 megapixels

Zoom Range: 1x to 5x approx.

Media Format: Micro SD

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