Update: After taking on board the negative feedback mentioned in our original Samsung Galaxy NX review, the company has updated the firmware, which will be available to download for free in the near future. We have retested a new sample of the Galaxy NX with the updated firmware installed and changed our review accordingly. You can still read the original problems in this review, with the text highlighting where improvements have been made.
The Samsung Galaxy NX was finally unveiled in all its Android 4.2 Jelly Bean-powered glory in June 2013, and we've now had a chance to test the camera fully.
Samsung was one of the first manufacturers to launch a compact system camera, unveiling the first device fitted with an APS-C sized sensor back in 2010 with the original Samsung NX10. Since then, several iterations of the NX brand have been unveiled, while the rest of the manufacturers now have at least one CSC in their arsenal.
There were a fair number of rumours that the company would introduce a version of the NX loaded with the Android operating system ever since the compact Samsung Galaxy Camera was announced last year. The Samsung Galaxy NX was launched alongside the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, a hybrid phone/compact camera.
The Samsung Galaxy NX combines the high quality features of the NX range, most notably the large (APS-C format), 20.3 million-pixel APS-C sized sensor, with the operability and fun of the Android Jelly Bean OS.
Like Sony and Panasonic, Samsung is an electronics giant and not a dedicated camera manufacturer. As such, it tends to do things a little differently, just because it can. The Samsung Galaxy NX is the world's first interchangeable lens camera to feature Android and 4G connectivity - but how long before the other manufacturers follow suit?
Best compact system camera
Inevitably, people will be questioning the merits of a camera fitted with Android, or wonder if it will also be capable of making telephone calls. What the Samsung Galaxy NX camera does, in theory at least, is combine high quality image making with the current desire to instantly edit and share your photographs as soon as is humanly possible.
By making a camera with Wi-Fi and 3G/4G connectivity and fitting it with the Android OS - for which there are hundreds, if not thousands, of ready-made apps - this kind of camera should meet a new kind of desire for the best of both worlds. Apps such as the ubiquitous Instagram, along with the dozens of Instagram-a-likes out there, make it easy to give your images a vintage or retro feel and upload them for sharing with your networks.
Along with the standout features of the sensor and Android OS, the Samsung Galaxy NX also has a number of other interesting specs.
It's fitted with a Drime IV Image Signal Processor, which Samsung says gives it speed and accuracy.
The number of NX range lenses is growing, and although Samsung doesn't yet match the breadth of options available from the Micro Four-Thirds cohorts of Panasonic and Olympus, there are still a decent number.
At launch, it seemed likely that the Galaxy NX would occupy the same kind of territory as mid-range CSCs such as the Panasonic G6, but with the official price at a whopping £1300/US$1700, it seems that Samsung is aiming higher, making this a competitor for the likes of the Sony NEX-7, Olympus OM-D E-M5 and Panasonic GH3.