Samsung Galaxy NX Android lens-swapping camera is £1,300

The Galaxy NX is a powerful compact system camera that runs on Android, can swap lenses and is on sale in the UK now.

Hot on the heels of the phone that thinks it's a camera -- the Galaxy S4 Zoom -- is the camera that thinks it's a phone, the Samsung Galaxy NX. This powerful compact system camera runs on Android, can swap lenses and is on sale in the UK now for a quid under £1,300.

That's a serious chunk of change, but Samsung's not messing about here. The Galaxy NX has a 20-megapixel sensor, a 4.8-inch 800x600-pixel touchscreen, a 1.6GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, expandable with microSD. There's 4G too, for super-fast image uploads -- a first for a compact system camera.

It's the most advanced smart camera we've seen here in Britain, and the most expensive. Jessops is the only shop to stock it right now, with the camera and an 18-55mm lens setting you back £1,299. You can add a 20mm pancake lens for another £189, or a 60mm macro lens for £430.

Samsung says other online and high street retailers will follow, so it seems Jessops has an exclusive for now. Wex Photographic will let you preorder for the same £1,299, or £1,199 for the body only, but it doesn't specify when it'll be in stock.

The Galaxy NX's Android 4.2 Jelly Bean software lets you edit your photos right there on the touchscreen and gives you tonnes of options you wouldn't normally have on a non-smart camera. There are even Android apps, such as Photo Mate Pro, capable of handling raw images, so it'll be a question of whether the NX's processor and touchscreen can make editing a good experience, or whether it's still more practical to offload to a computer. The screen's fairly meagre resolution may be the biggest stumbling block there.

The NX's 4G connection could be really handy for using Dropbox or similar online storage services to automatically sync your photos, a feature we found incredibly useful on the Galaxy Camera . You'll need a truly unlimited data connection -- something no UK 4G network currently offers -- but it means you'd never need bother taking the SD card out.

I imagine the NX's 4G and smart features will work somewhere in between these extreme scenarios. Keep your raw files for serious editing later, but quickly share photos that put everyone else on Instagram to shame.

What do you make of the Galaxy NX? Are smart cameras the future? Or will nothing ever replace proper desktop image software? Give me a snapshot of your thoughts in the comments, or on our panoramic Facebook page.

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