Memory card slotMost cell phones come with limited onboard memory, and those shots taken with your multi-megapixel camera can quickly hog up space. Although smartphones typically feature a slot for external memory cards, more standard camera phones are offering this feature, as well. If you use your phone as your primary camera, look for a model that accepts memory cards. Typically, this will be one of the varieties of SecureDigital (SD) cards, either miniSD or microSD.
Memory cards also make it easy to transfer images to a PC, either with your computers onboard card reader or through an external reader. But keep in mind that if youre working with miniSD or microSD, youll need an adapter to fit them into a card readers standard SD slot. Many microSD cards come with the adapter. The good news is that if you opt to purchase a microsSD card with a SD card adapter once the microSD card is in the adapter you can use the SD card in other devices (such as digital cameras) that use SD cards.
External microSD card with an SD card adapter.
Dedicated camera button
If you plan to use your phones camera features often, you dont want to have to wade through multiple menus just to take a quick shot. Make sure your phone includes a dedicated button that accesses the camera features with a single click. However, many camera phones also offer video recording as well. Sometimes the dedicated camera key initially launches the video recorder first, which means you will still have to press a few buttons to activate the camera.
A good camera phone will offer basic controls similar to what youd find on a digital camera.
Flash: Although the flash feature on most camera phones wont improve night shots, it can assist in pictures taken in low-light indoor situations.
White balance: This adjusts for different outdoor lighting conditions (sunny and cloudy), as well as types of indoor lighting (tungsten, fluorescent).
Brightness: This helps adjust for slightly over- or underexposed lighting conditions.
Color tones: At the least, you should be able to take shots in black and white and sepia. Some offer other color features such as negative image, blue filter, and saturation.
Zoom: A nice feature for getting a closer look at distant objects. But remember, camera phones offer only digital zoom, which artificially magnifiesand degradesthe image, so use it sparingly.
Self-timer: If you want to join in on a group shot, this feature is essential.
Self-portrait mirror: For the narcissist in all of us, some phones feature a small mirror next to the lens that you can use to frame a self-portrait. When a mirror isnt available you can often use the screens display to do double duty.
Camera phone lenses are much smaller than those included in digital cameras, which means they have a harder time gathering light and processing colors. Also, most camera phones use fixed-focus lenses, which means everything from a few feet away to infinity is in focus, which reduces the sharpness of the image.
For greater flexibility in composing your shots, look for a camera phone with an auto-focus lens. Nokia offers a few models that include Carl Zeiss auto-focus lenses. Zeiss lenses are highly regarded in the camera industry for their superior optics. Camera phones with auto-focus lenses will cost more, but if you plan to use your phone as your primary camera, it may be worth it.
Sony Ericssons W810i sports a 2MP sensor