One of the more interesting compact cameras at Photokina this year was the Samsung EK-GC100 Galaxy Camera, which runs Android and has a 3G/4G data connection. Now, AT&T has announced that they’ll carry the phone, but we’re still waiting on a number of details.
AT&T’s press release is short on the details, saying that it’ll have a 4G connection, and be able to use a great number of sharing applications from within Android. As Engadget points out, the company doesn’t specify if it’s an LTE capable device or not, which means it might be stuck on the slower HSPA connection.
We don’t know what the camera will cost, and more importantly, we don’t know what sort of data plan AT&T (or any other carrier) will be offering. Since there’s no voice plan associated with the camera, I think we can safely assume that Ma Bell won’t be looking at a subsidized price with two-year contract like you see on a smartphone. What’s far more likely is that you’ll pay for the device outright, and then have to get one of AT&T’s mobile shared data plan. These plans start at $40 per month for 1GB of data and go up to $200 for 20GB, with an extra monthly fee per device on the account. If the Galaxy Camera is price like a tablet, you can expect to add $10 per month for having it on the plan. Ars Technica has a good breakdown of how this works. If you’re already an AT&T customer, it should be relatively easy and inexpensive to add the device to your existing plan, but that’s pretty pricey if it’s the only data device you have.
If we estimate that a 16-megapixel images weighs in at around 3 megabytes, you should be able to happily upload a couple of hundred images from the camera without hitting a 1GB data cap, which is pretty respectable.
AT&T also hasn’t announced when the camera will go on sale, but is promising more information “in the coming weeks.”