The Samsung Galaxy Camera sees the South Korean electronics giant combining two of the components that have made its smartphone range so successful – Google’s Android operating system and impressive camera functionalities.
Bringing a whole new dimension to camera technology the device, compared to standard compact cameras, is easy to use and could well pave the way for other manufacturers to adopt mobile operating systems to run on a wider range of gadgets.
Nikon launched the first Android-powered camera, the CoolPix S800c, just a few months ago, but its implementation of Google’s Android Gingerbread (2.3) operating system resulted in a buggy and disjointed experience, with no option for sharing images while on the go.
But, the 16.3 megapixel Galaxy Camera is powered by Google’s latest Android Jelly Bean (4.1) software, making it the first dedicated camera with the functionality and features of the popular mobile platform.
While smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S3 have been known for their camera prowess the Galaxy Camera takes this to the next level, and although not a phone, is ahead of any similar device currently on the market. This could well provide a boost to compact camera sales figures, which have taken a knock following an increasing number of handsets launching with a wider range of camera functionalities.
Its generous 4.8-inch HD display certainly does justice to the photos taken with the device, as well as an intuitive user interface which boasts full manual controls along with some of the many features found on recent Samsung smartphones such as the Galaxy Note 2, including burst mode.
Sometimes camera interfaces can be complicated but to have everything simplified to a touchscreen-based Android offering, similar to that of the Samsung Galaxy S III, is very intuitive and easy to operate.
A huge advantage of the device is that it also connects to Wi-Fi, and most importantly, 3G networks, meaning uploading recently captured shots to the likes of Instagram and Dropbox via mobile data connectionis possible for the first time from a camera.
The Galaxy Camera also negates the need for post-shot editing on another device as it includes native photo manipulation software such as Samsung’s Photo Editor, to alter your pictures directly from the camera. These alone help transform the Galaxy Camera into a powerful and hugely functional tool.
All well and good you might be thinking, but is the decision to use Android to run a camera just a gimmick, and will the idea of building more gadgets with mobile platforms catch on? We think there’s a very good chance.
So, what’s next?
Many new gadgets already feature touchscreen controls and connectivity options, although a lack of uniformity across the operating systems of these devices means that integration is often difficult. Adopting a platform such as Android across a multitude of devices, means that not only can a manufacturer build an ecosystem comprising of a range of its devices, but that interconnectivity between them and those devices produced by rivals increases tenfold. And this is undoubtedly an attractive proposition to consumers.
In fact, this trend has taken hold already. Last year Samsung also developed the Smart Fridge – a domestic appliance that runs Google’s operating system, and reminds users when their food stocks are running low via their Android smartphone, amongst other things. It’s an expensive gadget but widens the scope for having a whole range of electronics, aside from smartphones and tablets, all running the same mobile platform.
Samsung is clearly eager to develop more of its products outside the smartphone world and the Galaxy Camera demonstrates its potential to integrate Google’s mobile platform into even more devices. Possibly even to the point where everything from kitchen appliances to cameras and smartphones will all run the same software, communicate with each other as well as have the ability to be controlled remotely. Is the Galaxy Camera just the start? Only time will tell.
Written by Sarah Hazelwood of Dialaphone, the home of great mobile phone deals.
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