Out of this world? Samsung Galaxy Camera promises Android 4.1 speed, 4G connectivity


posted Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 2:41 PM EDT

In a long-awaited but curiously timed move, Samsung announced it was finally bringing its Android OS expertise to a digital camera, a 16-megapixel, 21x optical touch zoom that runs on Google's latest and greatest platform. Dubbed the Samsung Galaxy Camera--and thus building on the branding of Samsung's popular smartphones and tablets--the device takes advantage of the speed and smoothness of Android 4.1 (also known as Jelly Bean), while boasting both WiFi and up to 4G connectivity. Yes, the Galaxy Camera could be the first camera that forces you to get a data plan (though no carrier information has been announced yet).

Just last week, Nikon created waves by announcing the industry's first (real) Android-based camera, the S800c. And while we knew Samsung had one of its own on the drawing table, we got the impression from an April press briefing in Korea that it wouldn't be available until further out. In fact, in the press materials we initially received for the Galaxy Camera, no availability date is mentioned. Could be that Samsung wanted to steal some of Nikon's thunder, especially since the Galaxy boasts a more advanced version of Android.

At first glance, the Galaxy Camera looks fairly ordinary, albeit very stylish.
Photo provided by Samsung.

Samsung's Galaxy Camera comes equipped with an impressive array of high-tech photo and sharing capabilities, including a "Smart Pro" feature with 10 preset scene modes the company says are aimed at making picture-taking easier for novices. The camera also allows you to save pictures to the cloud and share them across your social networks the moment you take them.

Read more in our Samsung Galaxy Camera preview.

Look closer though, and it's also a full-fledged, 3G/4G Android smart device.
Photos provided by Samsung.