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Altek moving along with its Leo 14MP Android cameraphone

Altek moving along with its Leo 14MP Android cameraphone
The joy of open source is that you can tweak and tailor it to your own needs and desires. That is exactly what one of the largest DSC ODM companies in digital photography, Altek, has done with the Leo - a 14MP cameraphone running Android 2.1.

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

Altek moving along with its Leo 14MP Android cameraphone
Altek moving along with its Leo 14MP Android cameraphone

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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:48

1. achilles (Posts: 54; Member since: 27 May 2010)

Let me get this straight. The phone comes out between January 2011 and March 2011, and is launching with Android 2.1. Am i the only one who sees a problem? With outdated software, small screen size and small screen resolution how do they expect success?

posted on 29 Sep 2010, 11:23

2. jd829 (Posts: 155; Member since: 24 Feb 2010)

Because it isn't going to be marketed as a top of the line with a comera on it, it's a top of the line digital camera that also has some cool smartphone features. Groundbreaking? No. But I bet they sell a decent amount of them.

posted on 29 Sep 2010, 13:43

3. RVM (unregistered)

since when is 800x480 small screen resolution ? :-O

posted on 29 Sep 2010, 13:46

4. RVM (unregistered)

isnt 1/1.83” senzor bigger then 1/2.3” one ? huh ?

posted on 29 Sep 2010, 14:00 1

5. osanilevich (Posts: 286; Member since: 29 Sep 2009)

It's basically a camera which happens to make calls

posted on 29 Sep 2010, 14:44

6. Odawg (unregistered)

Would like to see PhoneArena do a full review......... and hopefullt by then have some news of it coming stateside :)

posted on 29 Sep 2010, 18:18

7. MannyM (unregistered)

I agree with RVM, seems like the sensor size comparison is a mistake - 1/1.83" is bigger. This is actually quite something, a smartphone with an 3x optical zoom lens. If they can extend that to 12x zoom and build in the lens inside the body to avoid the protruding lens, it will be quite something else again. Then make it a 4.3" Super AMOLED screen plus the rest of the features of something like the Galaxy Vibrant S. But then again, maybe we should not be satisfied and go further and put all that package in a 7 or 9 inch tablet, add the 4G connectivity and add an APS-sized sensor with ISO sensitivity to 128,000 . . . with built-in color photo printer, ...

posted on 30 Sep 2010, 07:48

9. calamazoo (unregistered)

haha, dream on, buddy, we are with you :-) but i agree - internally protruding lens are entirely doable. Nokia was considering it with the N8, but they dropped it to keep the handset thin. with the new small dual-core chipsets, there should be place for optical lens...

posted on 30 Sep 2010, 05:29

8. a247 (unregistered)

@achilles how the hell is 480x800 is a "small" (low) resolution? smaller screens are better with high resolution so the pixels are smaller and sharper display

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