With most people happy to make do with camera phones for their digital image snapping needs in the majority of situations and the quality of such devices improving markedly in recent years, makers of dedicated consumer-level cameras face an increasingly tough row to hoe. At CES 2012, Polaroid has announced its SC1630 Smart Camera that attempts to blur the lines between a camera phone and dedicated camera with its smartphone-like form factor and being one of the first dedicated cameras to run on Android.
The Polaroid SC1630 packs a 16-megapixel 1/2.33-inch CCD sensor, 3x optical zoom (5x digital) and 6.5 - 19.5 mm lens to provide a 35 - 108 mm equivalent lens range. Around back is a 3.2-inch touchscreen for displaying images and accessing apps and the Android Market. The device stores captured images on microSD cards of up to 32 GB capacity and has a Smart Album feature that automatically organizes photos by date, location and people. There's also geotagging and face and smile detection. Onboard image editing features include cropping, red-eye removal, resizing and color correction - with the Android Market also providing access to a range of image editing apps.
Designed to allow users to upload images and videos to social networks and share with friends at the touch of a button, the SC1630 boasts Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, as well as offering an optional cellular data connection. So even though you won't be able to make phone calls directly on the device, since the unit does include a microphone and speaker, you'll presumably be able to use it to make VOIP calls.
The Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera weighs 5 oz (142 g) and its fully charged battery should give a full day of snapping. It will be available some time later this year for a price yet to be announced.