Summary: The Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 is a very good Android device attached to a mediocre camera. Social mediaphiles will appreciate the ability to use the camera within their favorite apps, but if photo quality is your priority there are better choices available.
Pros: Android allows use of 21X, 23-483mm zoom in any app, Can serve as both camera and very capable smart device, Gigantic and gorgeous 4.8" touchscreen LCD, Fun, well-implemented point-and-shoot features, Impressive 4.1 fps burst speeds, Useful ability to pause video recording, NFC allows quick sharing to smartphone
Cons: Sub-par image quality due to heavy noise reduction and poor lens, Battery drains quickly, Cheap-feeling plastic, slippery body, No auto brightness adjustment when used as Android device (would increase battery life), Easy to unintentionally return to shooting mode or adjust volume, Mono sound recording, Low resolution when controlling remotely with smartphone, 4G version would be nice (Wi-Fi only is limiting)
Conclusion: For those looking for a versatile camera that will let you edit images and share them without ever having to move images to a separate device, Samsung’s Galaxy Camera 2 is a decent option without a whole lot of direct competition. Nikon’s Coolpix S800c and the recently announced CoolPix S810c are its main rivals. But those cameras also have a 16-megapixel sensor, and pack a lesser 12x optical zoom.
Pros: 21x optical zoom, Snappy Android performance, Good battery life, Android adds lots of functionality, Attractive, responsive touchscreen
Cons: Image quality should be better, Pairing and sharing is unreliable
Summary: Is it worth it to spend $450 to get Android and a connected WiFi experience on the Galaxy Camera 2? Though performance of the Galaxy Camera 2 is surprisingly good–it’s on par with many point-and-shoot cameras on the market today and far exceeds most of the smartphones available–the pricing will continue to make the Galaxy Camera 2 a niche product.
Conclusion: Web browsing, using apps, instant photo editing and uploading to social media are what the Samsung Galaxy 2 excels at. The actual process of capturing shots isn't as intuitive as with a ‘˜non-smart' camera, as screen-based adjustments take longer than buttons and dials. But overall it's fun to use, and is very much targeted at the active blogger. If you need a fully connected compact for instant editing and uploading, this is the one to go for.
Summary: The big-screened, Android-powered compact zoom camera makes a comeback
Pros: Responsive touchscreen, Android OS, 21x optical zoom, The responsive touchscreen is big, but it works well. You can use it to set the autofocus point right across the scene. It's also helpful for navigating menus and, naturally, the Android section of the camera. It's a shame some of the options aren't bigger though, as they can be hard to grasp.
Cons: No physical controls, Some handling quirks, Softness at full zoom, Samsung has clearly made some compromises in trying to offer a camera that has the best elements of a smartphone combined with those of a camera. While it works for the majority of cases, the 21x optical zoom lens could be better, and some of the handling quirks could be improved to make it more camera-like and less phone-like.
Conclusion: So how do we judge the Galaxy Camera 2 overall? As a camera, its image quality is on a par with a regular mid-range compact and the wider end of the zoom, but its 21x zoom is trying to do too much and doesn't deliver bitingly sharp images as the zoom extends. What does really sell the camera is its Android interface. It's streets ahead to the point the ailing competition aren't even in the game.
Pros: Flawless Android integration, bundled 50GB Dropbox account, great for multimedia playback and Android tasks, large touchscreen display
Cons: It's big, compression artefacts on images, mid-high ISO settings no good for critical work, softness at long end of zoom, no 3G/4G option, not enough new features to justify upgrade, lacks physical dials