When I first heard about the rumoured Galaxy S4 Zoom I couldn’t believe it. It almost didn’t seem real until leaked press pictures of the device came out. I still hoped that it wasn’t a real thing, but alas, Samsung has officially announced the Galaxy S4 Zoom, the first phone of it’s kind to have a 16 megapixel camera with 10x optical zoom.
According to Samsung’s press release: “It is the ultimate smartphone and camera experience in one, and the only device you’ll ever need.” The question is; is it really practical?
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom comes with a 4.3 inch qHD sAMOLED (960×540) screen which is a bit of an under cut compared to the Galazy S4’s 5 inch Full HD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080) display with 441 ppi so it’s not quite the full S4 experience. Even compared to the screen size of the Galaxy S3’s 4.8 inch HD Super AMOLED (1280×720) display the Galaxy S4 Zoom isn’t quite delivering.
Surely what’s under the hood is going to be at least the equivalent to the S4? Maybe not. The Galaxy S4 Zoom comes with a 1.5GHz Dual-Core Processor with 1.5GB RAM which compared to the Galaxy S4’s 1.9 GHz Quad-Core Processor with 2GB RAM makes the Galaxy S4 Zoom even less of an “ultimate smartphone”. It barely just beats the Galaxy S3’s Quad-core 1.4 GHz processor with 1GB RAM.
I think the way we’ve got to look at it here, which I perhaps should have from the beginning, is that the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is a camera that has smartphone capabilities. “the ultimate smartphone” it is not, but a camera experience it is. Practicalities might limit the S4 Zoom from being your main phone of choice, but as a camera with the ability to make calls it’s kind of handy.
Some of the additional features that the S4 Zoom offer are quite interesting. Because of the huge camera lens on the back, Samsung have thrown in a new feature called the Zoom Ring. What the Zoom Ring does is allow you to quickly gain access to your camera just by twisting the ring. One scenario Samsing have highlighed is “When you’re in the middle of a phone call and you see something you absolutely have to share, a quick twist of the Zoom Ring will activate the In-Call Photo Share feature, letting you capture and send an image directly via MMS to whoever you are talking to simply.”
Another useful feature is Samsung’s new Photo Suggest. This feature allows you to compare your shots side by side with shots that other people have taken, or suggest some pictures based on your surrounding area. Useful for if you’re a budding photographer but don’t yet have the eye for photo opportunities.
The Galaxy S4 Zoom also comes with their popular Smart Mode; a feature that allows you to focus on the photo you’re taking and not spending 20 minutes fiddling with the aperture settings.
Aside from all of the awesome camera features the Galaxy S4 Zoom comes with all of your favourite Samsung apps such as S Voice and Group Play.
It’s been said that the Galaxy S4 Zoom is set to arrive in the UK in the summer but no price has been set just yet. We’ll keep you updated.