Samsung Galaxy NX Overview
The Galaxy NX camera is powered by Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with TouchWiz on top, and it’s an almost exact copy of what you’d find on Samsung Galaxy smartphones. Unlike them, though, this camera does not actually have phone, contacts and messaging apps since the SIM card it supports is only there for cellular data connectivity.
Performance of the system is buttery smooth with no hint of lag. It is powered by 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos chip with 2GB of RAM. Internal storage is the plentiful 16 gigs and you can expand it via microSD cards.
The rest of the applications are the standard Android/Samsung bunch. There is also a slightly more advanced video and photo editing apps, but the biggest focus lies on the camera application of course. It brings the same interface we saw on Samsung’s first Galaxy Camera and later on the Galaxy S4. A virtual mode dial on the right allows you to select your shooting mode. You can pick between auto, smart and expert modes (Program, Shuttery/Aperture priority or Manual) as well as pre-load a custom one in ‘My mode.’
It’s clear that Samsung wanted to please both photophraphy enthusiasts and beginners. Smart shooting modes are an extremely convenient way to explore the camera’s full capabilities without having to manually tweak aperture, ISO and so on. You can even use the ‘Smart Suggest’ mode where the device automatically pops up appropriate shooting modes for your current conditions. Neat effects like tilt-shift and vignetting are also available with live preview of shots and videos.
For advanced users, these will be of less interest. They can take full control of the camera in Expert mode and it allows tweaking all the settings you’d expect on a DSLR, but here it all happens on the screen and takes a bit more time.
Probably the biggest advantage to having full Android on your camera is sharing. Wireless sharing of images is effortless via apps like AirDroid and you can beam photographs or videos to your home or office computer as you shoot. Great for on the spot journalism for instance.
Image and Video Quality:
Finally, we’ve come to the most important part, the actual quality of image stills and video on this 20-megapixel Galaxy NX. Let’s just highlight the obvious: this is a DSLR class of a camera and the quality of the images is leaps and bounds ahead of what any smartphone can capture. When it comes to image quality, this is the best Android device at the moment. Take a look at the sample photographs and video recordings below to explore it deeper. Keep in mind they are taken with a prototype, so quality from retail units may be better.
Android has gone a long way and it seems to have an even longer road ahead of it. After last year we saw the launch of the first Android-based camera, we are now seeing a DSLR-like camera with interchangeable lenses run on Google's operating system.
The Galaxy NX is a breath of fresh air and opens a world of possibilities for apps and for on-the-spot journalism. The people who've dreamed about a serious camera with a full-fledged smart operating system have now got it. And after we've used it for a while – despite all its shortcomings - we can definitely say that the Galaxy NX tastes like freedom. And judging by the success of Android phones, that taste is addictive.