We haven't heard from Altek Corporation since the summer, but now it seems that the product is been readied for launch in Europe in Q1 of 2011. We needn't tell you that one of the biggest drawbacks of the smartphone as a convergence device is the crappy, smallish camera sensors with digital zoom, that ruin the photographic experience, and are usually only good for casual snaps.
Altek went the other way around. It leveraged all its R&D potential to build a camera with all bells and whistles of the modern digital photography, but slapped Android onto it, and included 7.2mbps HSDPA connectivity. That's the beauty of Android - it can go into any device, and turn it into a phone.
According to the press release, the Altek Leo will feature a 14MP camera sensor with 3x optical zoom lens, xenon flash and built-in autofocus assist light. Besides still pictures, the camera also shoots 720p HD video at 30fps, and both are going through the latest Sunny 9 digital image processor. Having full-blown optical zoom on a phone is groundbreaking, but how will the the Leo function as a smartphone?
The gadget comes with a 3.2" capacitive touchscreen with 480x800 pixels of resolution, accelerometer, digital compass and... handwriting recognition. Android 2.1 has been enhanced with applications for pictures and video editing on-the-fly, making it easier to edit photos before uploading them somewhere over USB, 3G, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
The Altek Leo is surely a looker with its aluminum-clad body, but we are wondering about the thickness, weight, and price, when it hits the stores through Altek's channel partners in Europe. From the video preview of it below, the handset looks pretty thick, like a point-and-shoot camera running Android. Well, one has to make sacrifices for optical zoom, so we'd bet that Nokia is not too worried how the N8 will fare when the Altek Leo gets introduced. The Leo's camera has a 1/2.3" CCD image sensor, while the Nokia N8 has 1/1.83", which is the largest in a slim smartphone. It will be interesting to make a shootout between the Leo and the N8, when they hit the markets.
Altek Leo Specifications
source: Altek via AndroidAuthority