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Sam­sung’s Galaxy Cam­era 2 is a snap­per that thinks it’s a smart­phone, us­ing a touch­screen run­ning An­droid Jelly bean apps and its con­nec­tions, in­clud­ing N Wi-Fi, Blue­tooth 4.0 and NFC – no more SIM slot for 3G – to get your pics on­line in a flash.

Buck­ing the trend for ever higher num­bers of pix­els, Sam­sung has kept the same op­tics from the orig­i­nal Galaxy Cam­era: a 16-megapixel sen­sor and op­ti­cally sta­bilised 21x zoom. The re­sults are up to nor­mal pointand-shoot stan­dards and 1080p video looks good with fo­cus ad­just­ing au­to­mat­i­cally if you zoom – al­though not al­ways as quickly as we’d like. Shots are taken in 16:9 by de­fault, de­liv­er­ing a 12-megapixel still, as you’re ef­fec­tively crop­ping the im­age. Switch back to 4:3 ra­tio if you want to make use of ev­ery last pixel. An up­grade to a larger APS-C sized sen­sor would have been a nice touch, but wasn’t to be.

Un­der the bon­net there has been a power boost, with a 1.6GHz quad­core pro­ces­sor en­sur­ing apps on the 4.8-inch HD touch­screen run with­out a hold-up. You can down­load a large se­lec­tion from the Google Play store, in­clud­ing so­cial net­works, Drop­box – where you get 50GB free stor­age for two years – and the Smart Cam­era App (see left).

Yet to catch up with the pic­ture qual­ity of DSLRs and with smart­phone cam­eras im­prov­ing rapidly, the Galaxy Cam­era feels like an od­dity. Still, it’s a very at­trac­tive od­dity. $549, Sam­ Love In­tu­itive An­droid oper­a­tion. Good con­nec­tiv­ity. De­cent point-and-shoot qual­ity snaps Hat e Pricey. No 3G op­tion this time T3 Says Easy up­grade for smart­phone photo ad­dicts, but pic­ture qual­ity doesn’t match price

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