PROS / You can expand the Samsung W300's memory up to 64GB to store hours and hours of HD video footage.
CONS / This camcorder isn't compatible with Apple products, so you can't view your videos on a Mac.
VERDICT / This Samsung video camera is the perfect handheld size. It has built-in USB and HDMI ports. It's easy to transfer your videos and photos to a computer, and both have good image quality.
Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 about Pocket Camcorders here.
The Samsung W300 Rugged Full HD 1080p holds down the midrange of pocket camcorders we reviewed. Samsung has always done a marvelous job designing its products. The W300 is no exception. For example, this handheld video camera fits comfortably in your hand, has perfectly placed controls and offers a nice variety of features. We are impressed with its 1920 x 1080p full-HD capability. However, we soon found out the numbers don't quite line up with the overall quality when it comes to shooting video.
One of the main things that stands out about the Samsung W300 HD is that it records video in full HD. However, the video quality just isn't that great. If you plan to share your videos on the web, it's good enough. Otherwise, you're not getting much better quality than you would with an average smartphone. This handheld video camera features a 5MP CMOS sensor that is best in low-light recording situations.
You want a pocket camcorder to record a lot of video without switching memory cards often, right? The W300 allows you to do just that. While it doesn't have any integrated memory, it does have an expandable MicroSD card slot that supports up to 64GB of removable memory. What this means for you is that you'll only need one SD card to store hours and hours of video. The downside is that a MicroSD card isn't the standard memory card, so it's not interchangeable with your other digital devices.
There is a flip-out USB drive on the W300 that makes it simple to plug the camera into a laptop or PC to charge it or transfer files. It also has an HDMI port so that you can watch videos and view photos stored on the camcorder on your HDTV. A relatively large drawback of this small video camera is that it is not Mac compatible. This means that you can open the files and view photos on a Mac, but you won't be able to view or post your videos. If this isn't important to you, as a Mac user, you may be in the wrong place and we'd like to suggest that you look for a compatible point-and-shoot camera.
Some users have expressed frustration with the side latch that covers the HDMI and MicroSD ports. If it's not closed completely, it's easy for it to pop open. This camcorder may be waterproof up to 10 feet, but not when that latch opens up under water. Still, it's great to use in the pool or at the beach. It's also shockproof and dust proof, making the W300 an ideal adventurist's camcorder.
Samsung has been around the block a time or two, so the company understands the important of quality customer service. It offers assistance via phone, email and live chat. The company has an extensive website as well, with answers to most any question.
The idea behind a pocket camcorder is that you want something affordable and portable, but without overlooking the image and video quality. Samsung clearly recognizes this because it has created this ultra-compact camcorder. The image-stabilization technology is top notch, and you can take photos while recording video. The image quality, however, could be better. This camera will serve you well on your next outdoor expedition, but we wouldn't recommend that you take it trekking across the Himalayas.