The line between cameras and cell phones is blurring, while somewhat ironically, the pictures these hacked-together hybrids take keep getting sharper and sharper. We’ve seen manufacturers cram higher and higher resolution into the same tiny cell phone cameras for years now, but Samsung’s SCH-W880 may be one of the first to breed real point-and-shoot optics into a cell phone.
Rather than merely shoehorning an image sensor into a smartphone, Samsung has borrowed aspects of both familiar form factors for the W880, making it look like the true lovechild of a camera and a phone. That means a real mode dial and shutter button, Xenon flash, and more importantly, a legit 3x optical zoom lens in front of a 12-megapixel sensor. Like many modern point-and-shoot cams, it will even shoot 720p HD video at 30 frames per second.
And Samsung hasn’t neglected the whole phone aspect, either. The back of the W880 features an enormous 3.3-inch OLED screen with 800 x 480 resolution, which serves as the gateway to Samsung’s TouchWiz interface. Other smartphone features will include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, HSDPA Internet access, and GPS. When used as a camera viewfinder, a tap on the OLED screen will also allow the camera to focus specifically on that spot, giving more manual control over the camera’s autofocus function.
Samsung hasn’t yet announced pricing details for the W880, but it will launch next month exclusively in South Korea. More details can be found in Samsung’s press release.