You can now add Samsung to a small-but-growing list of digital camera vendors offering Android-based point-and-shoot cameras. The first was Nikon, announcing the S800c camera last week. (See “Nikon announces Android-powered camera: the $349 Coolpix S800c”) Now Samsung has introduced the Android-powered Galaxy Camera, a point-and-shoot camera with a rear touch panel that’s immediately familiar to anyone who owns a touch-screen phone.
The Samsung Galaxy Camera runs the latest version of Android: Jelly Bean. Unlike the Nikon S800c camera, the Samsung offering is a phone as well as a camera (using VOIP). It will be available in two variants: a 3G + WiFi model and a 4G + WiFi model. The carriers for these models have not yet been announced.
The camera has a 16.3Mpixel sensor and a huge 21x optical zoom, making this a potential winner in the point-and-shoot category. The addition of phone features places this offering in a different zone than competing products. There’s a very clear path to uploading videos and images using a product like this.
The Samsung Galaxy Camera is yet another demonstration of how the Google Android operating system is penetrating the embedded market. Once the domain of the proprietary RTOS running on 8- and 16-bit processors, consumer expectations for user interfaces and user experiences are rapidly raising the bar, making the choice of a 32-bit processor running a GUI-based OS like Android increasingly common. I haven’t said this in a while, but this evolution clearly follows the EDA360 vision.