Samsung bets on Android-powered, networked camera

There have been Wi-Fi-equipped cameras before, but Samsung hopes the 3G and 4G network abilities of its Galaxy Camera will appeal more to people's desire to share high-quality photos while on the go.

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BERLIN -- Smartphones are taking over the point-and-shoot camera market, but Samsung today announced a product it hopes will reverse the trend by building phone technology into a 16-megapixel camera.

The Samsung Galaxy Camera is an Android 4.1 device with a large touch screen on one side, a 21x zoom lens on the other, and networking abilities in the middle. That last point is key: one of the big advantages of smartphones is that you can do something with the photo immediately after taking it -- sharing with friends on Facebook, for example.

And though camera makers have made phones with Wi-Fi, what sets the Galaxy Camera apart is the integration of 3G and 4G mobile-phone networking with HSPA+ wireless technology. That means you'll be able to share photos immediately -- but it also means you'll have to pay a carrier for the data you transmit.

Top alternatives to this model are Nikon's new Coolpix S800c , which has Android and Wi-Fi networking, and Nokia's 808 PureView , with a giant 41-megapixel camera but the dying Symbian operating system. Nokia's model relies on digital cropping as a substitute for a zoom lens, a design that makes it somewhat more compact than the Samsung even when the latter device is turned off and collapsed.

Continue reading about the Samsung Galaxy Camera.

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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