Today kicked off the first day of IFA 2012 in Berlin and boy, was it chock full of all sorts of new product announcements. Some of the announcements were highly expected such as the Samsung Galaxy Note II which has been one of the leakier handsets to date. But Samsung wasn’t the only one making waves as Sony announced a trio of new phones, a tablet, and a gorgeous new 4K television. Other products were also announced but one of the most interesting things to come out of this very first day was the Samsung Galaxy Camera.
If you haven’t heard about the Galaxy Camera by now then I’ll fill you in a bit. It came as a slight surprise as there weren’t too many leaks prior to it’s launch but it packs a hefty spec list for an Android powered point-and-shoot. To start with the actual camera, it has a backlight-illuminated 16-megapixel sensor, 21x optical zoom, 23mm f/2.8 lens, 1080p video recording, and a pop-up flash. On the back you’re looking at a 4.77″ HD Super Clear Touch Display with 308ppi, powered by a 1.4GHz quad-core processor, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, with HDMI 1.4 out, 8GB storage with microSD card slot, 1650mAh, GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, and 3G/4G connectivity. All I can say is, “Wow, that thing has better specs than many of the Android phones on the market.”
One of the other things that was important about the camera was the design of it. Nobody wanted it to be some bland chunky monkey and Samsung certainly delivered an excellent design. Coming in two colors of a shocking white and an elegant black, the Galaxy Camera has to be one of the best looking point-and-shoots that I’ve ever seen, At least, in my opinion. It managed to stay relatively thin at just 19.1mm for a camera of it’s quality which is good because it’s obviously geared for portability.
But what really struck me about it is how Samsung managed to tie in the whole package altogether, just the way a camera of its kind should be. You’ll remember (or at least you should) that Nikon recently unveiled their own Android powered camera. It wasn’t a bad camera but it had some rather large flaws. The first one being the fact that it ran Android 2.3, which is not exactly something that you want to be marketing nowadays. Another area that it was lacking in was the design department. The camera was just a rather mediocre grey color and was a bit hefty looking. The final area that it had trouble in is when it’s compared to the Galaxy Camera. The Galaxy Camera features a display similar to the Galaxy S III and has the same processor along with several other internal boosts that place it in a category well above the Nikon.
This is how Android cameras should be and I’m glad that Samsung is leading the charge and helping to kick off the trend with something very high end. Android has already had it’s name tarnished enough by low end phones so why should low end cameras be able to do the same thing. This is the kind of camera that could be used for everything from taking a picture of your food and putting it onto Instagram to just amateur photography work for someone who wants decent shots but doesn’t want to pay for a DSLR.
The best part is that this Android camera idea is creating a whole new class of products. It can’t be defined as a high end phone as it doesn’t have the capability to make calls. It also can’t be defined as an Android equivalent of an iPod Touch as it has cellular connectivity and has a dedicated powerful camera. High-end internals that are combined with superb camera parts and flexible Android software to make sharing a breeze. I almost feel that Samsung could have put in standard phone capabilities and it still would’ve been a great product. I, for one, wouldn’t mind holding a camera up to my ear all that much. Think of the looks you would get from people on the street holding a full digital camera up to your face and talking into it. But alas, that won’t happen with this model at least.
Looking at the Galaxy Camera, you can tell that a lot of thought went into it before it was created and it paid off. Like the title states, it’s all that I hoped for an Android camera to be and you can bet that I’m dying to get my grubby little paws all over one. But what about you, the reader? What are your thoughts on the Galaxy Camera and Android cameras in general? Are you as taken in as I am or are you wary of them? Please give me your opinions in the comments if you would be so kind.