"The camera is reborn." That's how Samsung's President of IT and Mobile Communications Division JK Shin describes the company's new smartphone/camera hybrid announced today at IFA in Berlin. Basically a compact camera with a smartphone-type touchscreen on the back, the Android-powered GALAXY Camera is designed to deliver superior photo-taking capabilities without missing out on the instant sharing and web browsing options afforded by wireless network connectivity.
Hardware-wise the GALAXY Camera packs a 23 mm, 21x optical zoom lens (F2.8), a 16.3-megapixel CMOS sensor, optical image stabilization, in-built GPS and a 4.8-inch (121.2mm), HD "Super Clear" LCD display.
Very reasonable specs to be sure, but the point of difference is that this camera is powered by a 1.4 GHz quad-core processor and runs on the Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) platform, giving it wireless connectivity over Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G networks and paving the way for functions like instant photo sharing and "Auto Cloud Backup." A "sharing widget" is also included for one click sharing to multiple social media streams without need of individual apps.
The GALAXY Camera features two connectivity options – a 3G and Wi-Fi version or a 4G and Wi-Fi version – and can also connect wirelessly to its smartphone and tablet brethren in Samsung's GALAXY stable.
Other standout features include voice control of zooming and shooting functions,10 "smart pro" modes for capturing different scenarios like moving water and light trails, on board editing (including video editing) and content management solutions such as face tagging, photo search by time and/or location, and "remote viewfinder" linking to a separate smartphone.
While Samsung is billing the GALAXY Camera as a new product category, we should note that this isn't the first Android-powered camera to cross our desk – the Polaroid SC1630 was announced at CES earlier this year.
Pricing and release information for the GALAXY Camera is yet to be confirmed.
Here's a run-down of the key specifications:
- 16.3 effective magapixel, 1/2.3" BSI CMOS sensor
- F2.8, 23 mm, 21x Optical Zoom wide angle lens
- Optical Image Stabilization
- 4.77", 308 ppi HD Super Clear Touch Display
- ISO100 - 3200
- 1.4 GHz Quad Core processor
- Android 4.1 Jellybean OS
- 8 GB on board memory plus micro SDHC/SDSC/SDXC memory slot
- Full HD video 1920 x 1080 at 30 fps
- Slow motion movie capture (720 x 480 at 120 fps)
- HDMI video output
- Wi-Fi a/b/g/n
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Battery: 1650 mAh
- Dimensions: 128.7 x 70.8 x 19.1 mm
- Weight: 305 g