AT&T said on Thursday that it plans to carry Samsung’s Galaxy Camera, an Android-based point-and-shoot with built-in 4G wireless.
The point-and-shoot camera market has been hit hard. Smartphones increasingly replace traditional cameras as consumers prefer the ability to immediately tweak and share their photos over such things as image quality, optical zoom and other advantages of a camera-only option.
Now, though, Samsung, Nikon and others are offering an option that aims to deliver the best of both worlds by combining the optics of a point-and-shoot camera with the Android interface and, in some cases, even the cellular connectivity found on a smartphone.
The downside of cellular capability, of course, is that customers will need to pay for all that data use, which, with large pictures, can easily add up.
The Galaxy Camera, first announced back in August, packs the Jelly Bean version of Android along with many of the social sharing features found on the Galaxy S III phone, along with a 21X optical zoom and 16-megapixel sensor.
“Wirelessly enabling Samsung’s Galaxy Camera will create a significant shift in how consumers share and communicate with photos and videos,” AT&T senior vice president Chris Penrose said in a statement. “By posting instantly to social networking sites or sending directly to another device, the person behind the lens is essentially offering family and friends the opportunity to share in the moments as they are actually experiencing them. We’re excited that the AT&T wireless network will help enable these opportunities.”
Whether consumers are willing to pay for and carry a second device, though, remains to be seen. AT&T said the Galaxy Camera will be available “in the coming weeks” but didn’t announce pricing for the device or related service plans, though it would seem a natural addition to one of the new plans that lets customers share a bucket of data across multiple devices.