For years now, people have been arguing that point-n-shoot cameras will one day be replaced by camera phones, but now it seems that Altek have decided to do a backflip and replace the camera phone with a point-n-shoot.
What you’re looking at here is the 14MP, Android-powered, Altec Leo point-n-shoot-camera-phone-thingo.
Y’see, it isn’t the difference in Megapixels that have separated point-n-shoot cameras from phone cameras: it’s the difference in lenses. As discussed here, it doesn’t matter how many megapixels you capture a photo in, if the lens is small/bad/cheap, the photo will still look terrible.
So what have Altek done? Depending on what side of the fence you stand on, they’ve either created a camera phone with a better lens, or a point-n-shoot with a phone attached. Either way, it’s something I’ve dreamt of for years.
I love my Canon point-n-shoot, but what I really love is being able to snap a photo and immediately upload it to the interwebz. I know there are ways to do this (swapping memory cards, Eye-Fi), but none so convenient as the camera phone. This has worked well for me for many years. That was until I upgraded from my Nokia N95 to my HTC Hero. As much as I love my Hero, the camera in it is… beyond polite words.
Aesthetic abominations aside, Altek have created a solution. A decent lens + flash, with the ability to immediately upload to the ‘net (or even MMS) that hilarious mid-air shot of your kitty. But do I really want to replace my Canon with an Altek camera?
There is no word on phone specs beyond the promised Android 2.1 (with 2.2 on the way), but it probably isn’t packin’ a ‘dragon. So do I really want to replace my HTC phone with an Altek phone?
Maybe I’ll just get a new point-n-shoot with in-built WiFi, and upload the images using WiFi tethering.
Unsurprisingly, the camera + phone is destined for release in Asia (Hong Kong, China and Taiwan) in Q4 of this year, with no word of a release anywhere else. The price will be around US$499.
But don’t forget to check out the hands-on video, below.
[via Android Central]