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Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 arrives early for CES 2014 running Android 4.3

The newest Android-powered camera from Samsung gets a fresh design, a new processor, NFC, and some more cool shooting options, but keeps the original's lens, sensor, and great 4.8-inch screen.

Lori Grunin/CNET

The market for a mobile-broadband-connected camera may still be small, but Samsung's Galaxy Camera definitely didn't go unnoticed when it arrived in late 2012. That attention likely benefited the Wi-Fi-only version that followed in 2013. And now we have Gen. 2.

The Galaxy Camera 2 doesn't stray too far from the original formula, though. It has the same 21x-zoom wide-angle lens and 16-megapixel backside-illuminated sensor as the first-gen model. It retains the giant 4.8-inch HD touch screen as well.

It's now wrapped in leatherette and trimmed in metal saying, "Look at me, I'm a camera, not a smartphone." Still, it is running on Android 4.3 Jellybean, so it can do all of the stuff that a newer Android smartphone can do. That's especially true thanks to a new speedier 1.6GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. Oh, and NFC is added on top of the camera's Wi-Fi to allow pairing with NFC-enabled devices.

You'll find some new shooting modes, too, including one for better selfies as well as a movie option that lets you speed up or slow down your video frame rates at will. It also gets a desperately needed larger battery pack.

You can read more about its features in the slideshow above or wait till it arrives in stores. I'd love to tell you when that will be, but Samsung didn't announce availability or pricing (though I'd expect it to be around $500).