Samsung's Galaxy Camera is a classic early adopter bit of kit -- the first fully fledged Android camera. It's an impressive piece of tech for sure, and one we expected to be expensive. We weren't wrong: it'll be out in the UK in mid-October for £399. That's according to SH Lim, the vice president of Samsung's digital imaging division, who spoke to Photography Blog.
Lim also implied that a Windows Phone camera -- the Samsung Ativ Camera, perhaps? -- might be on the horizon. "Good question," he said when asked about a possible WinCam. "Maybe! Android is the most popular current OS, so we will focus on that at the moment."
Lim opened up the intriguing possibility of working with camera specialists such as Pentax for Android dSLRs, which he said weren't as much of a priority as the much larger compact market. He left open the door for higher-end Samsung NX Android cameras and a wider range of compacts.
The hybrid snapper-cum-smart phone will arrive with the latest version of Android, 4.1 Jelly Bean, with Wi-Fi and 3G. The camera also packs in 8GB of internal memory with the option to add another 64GB via microSD. And if this weren't enough memory options, Samsung will also be offering 50GB of cloud storage free for two years.
With a huge 4.8-inch screen, we were concerned it would have very short battery life. Lim was quick to reassure that it would last for "7 hours continuously, longer if used just as a camera -- 290 shots".
Will there be any accessories specifically for the Galaxy Camera? "If [there is] strong demand, [but there is] no plan to release anything currently," Lim said. "Just prototypes of ring-flash, viewfinder, and a wide-angle teleconvertor. There may be plans to release a version of the Galaxy Camera with a detachable electronic viewfinder."
So how does that price compare to other non-Android phones? At £399, it's over £100 more expensive than its closest relative the Samsung WB850F, which offers similar specs in the camera department but lacks Android.
More importantly at this price it enters the region of Micro Four Thirds cameras such as the spectacular Panasonic Lumix GX1, which, with interchangeable lenses and complete user control, offers much more than this phone/camera hybrid in terms of photography.
We can't wait to get it in for a full review, but what do you think? Would you sacrifice the smart phone-like functionality and opt for a better camera at a similar price? Tell me in the comments, or on our Facebook wall -- and in the meantime have a look at Luke's ace hands-on video from IFA.