Last month, Samsung showed us a glimpse of its Galaxy Camera: A weird and wonderful mashup of the Samsung Galaxy S III and a long-zoom point-and-shoot. Now, we've finally seen one of the first up close.
Even though what you're looking at above is just a prototype, the camera works far better than you'd expect from a Frankensteinish combination. It's running the silky Jelly Bean OS over the same core specs as the Galaxy S III: the same 4.8-inch LCD touchscreen, the same 1.5GHz quad-core processor. The addition of a 1/2.3-inch image sensor and a 21x optical zoom doesn't slow the camera down at all. The pictures we saw taken with the camera looked sharp and beautiful, and the full-manual camera controls built for the touchscreen interface are very well designed.
Overall, we're impressed at what Samsung built, but the only problem is that we've got no idea when we might actually see this camera for sale in the United States. Samsung wants to bundle it with a data plan so that you can instantly share your photos to Instagram and Facebook, or upload them to your favourite storage locker service. So far, there's no carrier on board for the camera. Pricing for a data plan will be tricky. But based on what we've seen, the sooner they figure it out the better.