LAS VEGAS - Polaroid is answering the encroachment of smartphones into the digital camera space here Tuesday by unveiling the first Android-based camera combining a 3G-ready Android smart-connect platform with an advanced digital point-&-shoot.
Called the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Android camera, the smart-connect camera is due to ship in the second quarter at a price to be announced. It is the first Polaroid-branded camera incorporating the Android platform.
The smart-connect camera measures 111.9mm high, 56.9mm wide and 15.5mm deep and weights 140g with battery. It is based on the Android 2.3.4 or above platform, and is listed as supporting the WCDMA/GSM/HSDPA/HSUPA (3G) cell services and Wi-Fi.
The company said that as of now, "the product is a smart connect Android camera with no voice capabilities. The retail and marketing strategy, including timing and price, is to be determined."
Listed specs would be compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile services, but no carrier deals were announced as this went to print.
The device features a 3.2-inch (800-by-400 resolution) capacitive touchscreen LCD, and like most Android phones has built-in Bluetooth and GPS features. It also includes FM radio tuning.
It features 16 megapixel still resolution and will store images and multimedia files to 512MB of internal RAM/ROM, and adds an expansion slot for microSD memory cards (up to 32GBs).
Of course, what makes the phone unique is the level of sophistication of its built-in camera. The unit includes a Sunny9P image processor, 1/2.33-inch CCD image sensor capable of producing "an effective 16MP" (native 4608-by-3440 pixels) resolution in JPEG format, a 3x optical and 5x digital zoom (6.5mm-19.5mm focal length) and f/3.1-5.6 aperture range.
It will take macro shots as close as 5cm, offers a maximum shutter speed of 1/1400 sec., and includes a maximum ISO setting of 3200.
Also included is an anti-shake system, self-timer support, a built-in Xenon flash and AF assist lamp.
The phone will capture up to 720p HD video in MP4 (H.264) format.
Also included are a host of auto program modes including: Smart Scene, program mode, smile shutter, swift panorama, handheld night shot, scene, self-portrait, touch shot, face detection and 18 scene modes.
Geo-tagging support is also included for photos.
Key consumer features include one hot key image/video uploading for device albums and online-photo albums through Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, and YouTube; photo editing features including cross filter (starburst), adaptive lighting, digital filter, brightness filter, red-eye compensation, frame composition, cropping, resizing and rotating.
The phone will also support other multimedia file formats including MP3, AAC, HE-AAC, WMA, MP4 and 3GP.
Other features include a G-sensor, digital compass, proximity sensor, Micro SIM, Micro USB and 2.5 mm earphone jack. It is powered by a 1020mAh rechargeable Li-on battery.