Tech Review: Samsung Galaxy Camera

Specs: 16MP, 1,080p HD video, 23mm wide angle lens, 21x digital zoom, 8GB internal storage, Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), 4.8-inch multi touchscreen, 1.4GHz quad core processor. Available in black and white.

Overview: Compact cameras with Wi-Fi connectivity are becoming more common; but with its first Galaxy Camera, Samsung has taken things to a new level, offering a complete Android OS touchscreen device with a 3G connection. That means you don’t need to run around searching for a Wi-Fi hotspot, or bother with tethering it to your smartphone; you can instantly upload your pictures wherever there’s a mobile phone network. And you can run the same Android apps as any Samsung smartphone would.

The good:

• The camera’s auto mode is fairly snappy, and the creative filters make your pictures look instantly like they’re photoshopped.

• The smart mode contains several settings, from night mode to silhouette. We love the “Rich Tone” that lets you take photos against sunlight.

• The expert mode allows you to adjust everything from aperture, f-stop, exposure and ISO.

• The slow motion video mode is fun and makes your HD video look professional.

• You can sync the camera with Google Drive, Facebook and, most importantly, Dropbox, which allows you real-time storage of up to 500MB. Syncing with Dropbox means your pictures will be uploaded automatically so you can erase pictures from your camera anytime.

• The screen is huge and the touchscreen perfectly sensitive.

• It’s a full-blown Android device, meaning you can play games, or use any other Android app on it.

The bad:

• The picture quality is that of a very low-end compact.

• Bulky!

• When using the camera through Instagram, you cannot use the zoom function.

• Turning the camera on and off results in a slight delay.

Verdict: If you are a real shutterbug, many compacts are much better cameras. But if you are simply addicted to the idea of shooting and sharing, and love playing around with fun filters, this is possibly your best choice to date. Then again, you can just get a Galaxy S3 or a Galaxy Note 2, and wait to see what’s next in the Galaxy Camera series.