A Week With: The Samsung Galaxy camera
A camera that lets you tweet from the street.
Image sensor: 16.3MP
Display: 4.8" LD (1280x720 HD)
Connectivity: 3G and Wi-Fi
Operating system: Android 4.1 Jellybean
What is it?
Good question. It's a fairly high-end pocket camera with an equally good smartphone stuck on the back. Which, after a few days, feels less ridiculous than it sounds. Samsung is flogging it as "Camera. Reborn", which isn't too far off the mark but whether you'd want to adopt it or not depends on your needs.
It's certainly an interesting bit of kit, but could well fall into too niche of a gap between those who want a top-level camera and those who want a quick-sharing device.
Does it work?
Wi-Fi connectivity is increasingly common on a lot of new cameras, which means you can take decent shots and upload them wherever you want. Being fitted with a familiar touchscreen, Android 4.1 Jellybean OS, the Galaxy camera makes it wonderfully easy, once you've synced all your accounts, to share high-resolution images via email, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and – if you're a cloud kind of person – storage apps such as Dropbox. Doing everything apart from making phone calls (though you could Skype, easily) it could act as your main smart device; in fact, it would be great for kids if it were £250 cheaper.
I wasn't able to test out the 3G capabilities of the Galaxy Camera, but, frankly, it feels like a superfluous extra anyway. If you're the kind of person willing to splash almost £400 on an Android-capable camera, then odds are you'll have a smartphone anyway. It's nice that it's there, but unless you're someone whose job – a property surveyor, for example – requires the instant ability to share decent (though not professional) quality images, I can't see why you'd opt for it on top of a phone that already does all these things without a zoom lens.
There are a few minor gripes, it takes a long(ish) time to load from power off; meaning that you miss pictures you'd be a swipe away from on your iPhone, it's also – loaded as it is with gizmos – quite heavy in the pocket at 300g.
Who's it for?
As mentioned, if you could justify the cost of the 3G contract and needed to send live photos for work then the Galaxy camera would be a godsend. As it is, it's a cool bit of kit. If you need a new camera that makes it easy to share pictures of your children, cats or garden it's fantastic. Sure, you can get a nicer lens on a similar camera for a similar price but most people, you'd imagine, would offset that for the internet capabilites of the Galaxy Camera. If image quality is a deal-breaker, get a Canon or Nikon SLR.
Is it worth the money?
For all the camera offers then yes, it probably is. Whether it would become part of your life like another £400 product – say an iPad, is another matter.
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