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Samsung unveils Galaxy Camera 2

Samsung updates its Android powered WiFi point and shoot makes it more powerful easier to use

MANILA, Philippines – Samsung’s highly popular Android point and shoot gets an upgrade. 

The Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 was unveiled, along with several other photography related products this Thursday, January 2. Part of the South Korean company’s device rollout in the days leading up to the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, January 7-10. 

Roughly the same size as its predecessor (actually less wider by 7.5mm but larger than the Galaxy S4 Zoom) the Galaxy Camera 2 gets a makeover too – a retro style faux leather finish reminiscent of the Galaxy NX300. The new design is a welcome change considering the plastic finish of the original Galaxy Camera. This one looks better and is easier to hold.

Samsung says it is also easier to use with 28 pre-set Smart modes (almost double the amount in the original) and a new Tag & Go feature that simplifies sharing of files over NFC.

When Samsung announced the original Galaxy Camera back in 2013, we thought it was revolutionary because it was one of the first WiFi cameras to run off a full version of Android. 

As expected, iteration number 2 brings the best of the original while improving on its flaws.

Aside from the physical and ergonomic improvements its insides also got an upgrade, including a faster 1.6GHz quad core processor, 2GB of RAM and a more powerful (and much needed) 2000mAh battery. 

Other specs, including optics remain the same on paper, a 16.3MP, 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor, 21x Optical Zoom, optical image stabilization, a 4.8-inch HD touch LCD and 8GB of internal memory (upgradable to 64GB via an optional microSD card). But Samsung says an improved image processing system guarantees better pictures.  

The camera can shoot from ISO 100 to 3200, has amongst its smart modes one called Selfie Alarm (you know what that’s for!) and a new video feature called Multi Motion Video that allows you to take slow-mos or sped up clips. 

Like its predecessor, the Galaxy Camera 2 was built for social sharing. Users can connect to the Internet via WiFi and upload their photos to social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram – actually any other Android app of their choice. The device runs Android 4.3 Jellybean and will work like most Android smartphones sans texting and phone calls.

Its predecessor had WiFi only and 3G/4G models. This model is WiFi only and Samsung has made no indication if it intends to release a model with cellular connectivity or if it will instead force you to upgrade to the Galaxy S4 Zoom if you want that option.

Cloud storage app Dropbox comes preloaded and users immediately get an additional 50GB of free space for two years, an often overlooked extra but a very valuable one that’s perfect for automatic online backups. 

The Galaxy Camera 2 is available in black and white. Pricing and availability is currently unavailable.  

Rappler Tech will provide you with a hands-on report when we cover CES 2014 next week. – Rappler.com

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