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November 12, 2012

Samsung Galaxy camera with 4G HSPA+ will sell for $500 on AT&T (no contract)

One of the side-effects of building a camera on Android with smartphone DNA by the top selling smartphone manufacturer is that the camera may end up being sold like a hybrid between a camera and a ...smartphone! We are talking about the Samsung Galaxy EK-GC100 camera. It will sold through AT&T with 4G HSPA+ cellular (along with Wifi) with a price of $500, but without a contract. You can optionally add it to your existing AT&T Mobile Share plan (if you are an AT&T customer) for an extra +$10/month or you can sign up for a Data Connect plan (3GB for $30, 5GB for $50 per month, etc).

Details at the AT&T Press Release. Via The Verge.

Needless to say, $500 is a lot of money for a superzoom digital camera. As of the time of writing, the only superzooms that sell for more are the Panasonic FZ200 [reviews, around $600] and the Fuji X-S1 [reviews, around $600], along with the Leicasonics. When you consider that in the last two years alone, we had 130+ new superzoom models with a zoom ratio of 10x or more, it stands pretty high on the price curve. [see Cameras of 2012 and Cameras of 2011].

So obviously this camera has a boldly-going early-adopter price-premium built-in its price. But it has some distinguishing features: it is running Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) and has a built-in 4G HSPA+ radio (not 4G LTE). This may be a disappointment for LTE fans, but it might be a plus if you can get it to work with T-Mobile which offers a 5GB 4G HSPA $30/month plan with no contract.

As a quick refresher, the main specs of the camera are a 16mp backlit CMOS sensor, 21x optical zoom lens, 4.8" touch-screen, quad-core processor, etc.

Speaking of which, earlier on, Samsung released the open-source kernel files of the camera, which could result in some exciting development from XDA Developers and other Android indie-gurus.

UPDATE: For a fresher refresher on the camera, here is an unboxing at Engadget.

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