Ahead of CES, Samsung on Thursday announced the Galaxy Camera 2, the sequel to last year’s Galaxy Camera. It’s actually the same exact camera as the original, with some modest improvements to the software, as well as a bigger battery and NFC support.
As far as images are concerned, you won’t see much of a change this time around. The Galaxy Camera 2 features a 16-megapixel image sensor and 21x optical zoom lens. There are some physical changes, like a hinged flash, as well as a similar faux-leather build to the Galaxy Note 3. But most of the changes have been made to the software.
Samsung has increased the number of Smart shooting modes to 28, and you can separate exposure and focus, controlling them via the camera’s rear touch display. The Galaxy Camera 2 runs Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean), which brings a host of improvements over Android 4.1 found in the original. But like its predecessor, since the Galaxy Camera 2 runs Android, you can download apps from Google Play such as Instagram, and upload or share images directly from your camera.
The camera’s display measures the same 4.8-inches as before, with 720p resolution. But the RAM has been increased to 2GB, and the processor is bumped up to a 1.6GHz quad-core chip. The battery is bigger now as well, at 2,000mAh, so you can record longer videos. Finally, Samsung has added NFC, which will let you do things like the tap the camera to share pictures with your phone.
Pricing and availability have not yet been announced. And though the camera works over Wi-Fi, there’s no word whether carrier-specific versions will be introduced. The camera will be shown at CES next week, where I suspect we’ll learn at least some of those details. For reference, the first Galaxy Camera cost $449.99. Given the relatively minor improvements here, I think Samsung would be wise to choose a slightly lower price if it really wants the Galaxy Camera to take off.