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Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Preview

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Our Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Review is now published - click here to read it.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Preview
Introduction

Flanked by rumored efforts from Nokia and Sony to resurrect the cameraphone market niche in a modern mobile OS environment, Samsung, whose recent goals appear to be presence in each and every mobile segment, decided to beat them to market with the Galaxy S4 Zoom.

Despite the flagship branding, the S4 Zoom is first a camera, then a phone. It expands on the idea started with Samsung's Galaxy Camera – a 16MP Android-powered camera, which has cellular connectivity but for data only. S4 Zoom jibes very similar in design and has the same 16MP resolution and Xenon flash, toning the optical zoom down to 10x, instead of the 21x on the Galaxy Camera, in order to keep the size relatively in check. On paper we have the first phone with a 10x optical zoom, but did Samsung manage to make a cameraphone, or did it simply slap a phone on a camera? Read on to find out...


Design

In short, we get a Galaxy S4 Mini at the front, and a compact point-and-shoot Samsung camera on the back, and that's the best way to describe what you can expect with the Galaxy S4 Zoom.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Preview
Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Preview
Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Preview
Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Preview
Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Preview
Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Preview

This “phone” is rather bulky at 15.4mm, with a grip bulge and huge protruding lens with a zoom ring at the back, where the thickness goes up to 25mm. Apparently if you want 10x optical zoom, the sacrifice you have to make with your handset is that it will look and feel like a 7-ounce analog one from the dawn of mobile.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is rather bulky, with a grip bulge and huge protruding lens with a zoom ring at the back - Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Preview
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is rather bulky, with a grip bulge and huge protruding lens with a zoom ring at the back - Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Preview
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is rather bulky, with a grip bulge and huge protruding lens with a zoom ring at the back - Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Preview
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is rather bulky, with a grip bulge and huge protruding lens with a zoom ring at the back - Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Preview
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is rather bulky, with a grip bulge and huge protruding lens with a zoom ring at the back - Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Preview
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is rather bulky, with a grip bulge and huge protruding lens with a zoom ring at the back - Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Preview
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is rather bulky, with a grip bulge and huge protruding lens with a zoom ring at the back - Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Preview
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is rather bulky, with a grip bulge and huge protruding lens with a zoom ring at the back - Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Preview

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is rather bulky, with a grip bulge and huge protruding lens with a zoom ring at the back


Working the screen with that giant lens protrusion on the back is not comfortable at all with one hand. Well, at least you've got a good grip while talking on the phone, resting your index finger just underneath. Speaking of one-handed operation, the grip bulge on the right should be helping when using it as a camera, with quickly framing the shot and taking it with just your palm. However, in reality it is too small to securely grip the phone, and the on-screen shutter key is too close to the edge, so you may have to grip with both hands. Granted, there is a two-stage physical shutter key, but it is also very close to the edge of the phone, and can't be pressed comfortably without the risk of dropping the handset. That same physical shutter button enters the camera app directly when pressed, bypassing the lock and home screens, but only when you turn the display on with the power/lock key on the right. There is no sleep-to-snap function like on some Xperias for example.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Preview
Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Preview

Working the screen with that giant lens protrusion on the back is not comfortable with one hand - Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Preview
Working the screen with that giant lens protrusion on the back is not comfortable with one hand - Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Preview
Working the screen with that giant lens protrusion on the back is not comfortable with one hand - Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Preview
Working the screen with that giant lens protrusion on the back is not comfortable with one hand - Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Preview

Working the screen with that giant lens protrusion on the back is not comfortable with one hand


Thankfully the capacitive navigational keys below the display are turned off when you are in the camera app, so you don't worry about hitting the back and context menu keys when you take pictures.

Galaxy S4 Zoom sports a removable battery hidden under a lid on the side of the grip bulge, and released out by a sliding mechanism. That's where the microSIM card slot is as well, while the microSD one is covered with a protective flap on the left side of the phone/bottom of the camera, where the tripod mount is as well.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom sports a removable battery - Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Preview
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom sports a removable battery - Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Preview
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom sports a removable battery - Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Preview
Tripod mount - The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom sports a removable battery - Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Preview
   

Tripod mount

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom sports a removable battery



Display

There is a 4.3” 540x960 pixels Super AMOLED display on the phone, just like with the S4 Mini, so you can rest assured it has great viewing angles, deep blacks and pretty saturated colors. The display settings let you use the image mode, though – from Dynamic, through Standard and Movie, to the Professional Photo mode that allegedly represents directly a standardized color gamut.

Samsung has graced the display with the super-sensitive tech that allows you to operate it with gloves, so working the camera app on that ski trip won't be an issue.



66 Comments
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posted on 12 Jun 2013, 06:45 22

1. xperiaDROID (Posts: 4812; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


UGLY......

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 07:15 16

12. tiara6918 (Posts: 1242; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)


Samsung should fire their current design team asap before an even more ugly galaxy shows up

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 07:24 6

14. xperiaDROID (Posts: 4812; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


I agree! xD

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 07:51 2

18. EXkurogane (Posts: 863; Member since: 07 Mar 2013)


To improve the sales of other brands like HTC, Sony, Nokia, etc i think it is better for Samsung to stay on building ugly phones.

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 08:16 3

30. umadden (banned) (Posts: 90; Member since: 14 Apr 2013)


htc sony nokia etc can't even outsell ugly phones. rofl that's sad

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 08:25 3

33. tashreef (Posts: 475; Member since: 24 Nov 2012)


yes because the world is full of Mindless Fansungs like you ...

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 08:37 3

37. EXkurogane (Posts: 863; Member since: 07 Mar 2013)


Nope, it's because Samsung's products are only beautiful to Samsung fanboys. Those who ranted about Nokia making bricks, now they'll have to swallow those comments,

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 08:42 1

39. jdoee100 (Posts: 269; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)


Beautiful has nothing to do with it. It's just preferring function over form. Of course, people like you would want
your camera and phones to look like a work of art rather than devices.

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 16:43 1

61. felisberto (Posts: 32; Member since: 11 Feb 2013)


then how come samsung make 95% android profits?

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 13:02 1

54. Altair (Posts: 294; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)


Yes they should. Problem is that they DON'T have any design team. Havent you heard? Since 2007 Shamesung hired only industrial spies and those who are familiar with photoshop and can edit other OEM designs.

Then PR department calls it "Humans best companion"! laugh

Oh and yes, they hired a lot of lawmans as well!

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 16:59 1

62. willard12 (Posts: 544; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)


Its odd that there are so many comments about how a camera looks (which is a matter of opinion) rather than how well it works. I doubt anyone will look at a Cannon and comment "that is ugly." Has anyone ever discussed how beautiful the design of a camera is or do they discuss how beautiful the photos are? Its a camera with android functionality. I guess if you're one of the 15 people in world concerned with how your camera looks, this isn't for you.

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 07:56 1

22. TheBitterrTruth (unregistered)


Exactly! They should change their design ASAP

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 08:38

38. jdoee100 (Posts: 269; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)


Why? So they can catch up to HTC??
Samsung design could be better. But in this case, I'd rather have function over form rather than form over function.

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 09:22 2

45. haseebzahid (Posts: 1775; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


ugly as troll i must SAY and device layout is terible no plan just put all things randomly on the back what a jerk hired to make this garbage

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 09:44 1

47. xperiaDROID (Posts: 4812; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Samsung should fire their current design team ASAP.

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 13:06 1

55. Altair (Posts: 294; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)


This is what you get, when Shamesung can't copy others. Don't worry, next years model will be exactly like this years Nokia Lumia EOS.

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 15:49

60. haseebzahid (Posts: 1775; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


actully there was nothing to be copied here they made a stunt :D epic

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 06:47 7

2. phljcnth (Posts: 199; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


Physical shutter key, zoom ring, grip bulge, tripod mount; heck, this is more of a camera than a phone! Now I know why it looks like this.

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 06:52 7

4. ArtSim98 (Posts: 1104; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


This is useless. You can buy better phones and better cameras.... Stupid idea.

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 06:59 12

5. rency0722 (Posts: 42; Member since: 12 Jun 2013)


And the true cameraphones will be backed up by Nokia and Sony (Ericsson), just like the good old days.

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 13:08

56. Altair (Posts: 294; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)


Yeah, except there are no such thing as Sony (Ericsson) anymore. Besides Sony doesn't know how to make phones or cameras. They should focus to PS4.

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 06:59 10

6. bugsbunny00 (Posts: 723; Member since: 07 Jun 2013)


sony will make a slimmer one then this brick.

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 18:21

63. maccess (Posts: 478; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)


but much worse picture quality..

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 07:06 1

11. chunk1x (Posts: 248; Member since: 25 Jun 2011)


I don't like it. Too much design compromise for camera usage that camera phone experience is ruined. The Nokia N8 and 808 manages to be the best in class without too much sacrifice with the phone side(I wished that these two run on Android and it will be perfect.).

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 07:33 3

15. ArtSim98 (Posts: 1104; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


This is not a brick. Bricks are bulky but also very sturdy. So I don't know what this is then...

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 07:34 3

16. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2964; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


Brick...Brick...Brick...Brick....there, I said it!!! Thumb me down if you can!! Hahah

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 07:45 2

17. raunak (Posts: 490; Member since: 12 Oct 2011)


http://i.imgur.com/q3Y3JY7.jpg

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 13:10

57. Altair (Posts: 294; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)


HAHA yeah good picture.

Shamesung - "We like to make slim phones and such!" errr wait!

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 07:53 1

19. sergiobr (Posts: 307; Member since: 25 Feb 2013)


I loved it ! I was searching for a good camera and Android !

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 07:56 1

20. TheBitterrTruth (unregistered)


They can't compete with Nokia..

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 13:47 1

59. Rehankhan (Posts: 323; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)


xperiaDROID how many pa accounts you have?

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 07:56 1

21. hboy857 (Posts: 130; Member since: 03 Jun 2013)


Looks like a phone glued to a camera.

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 07:58 3

23. mamba (Posts: 18; Member since: 13 May 2013)


Sammy is playing game of one upmanship... Trying to beat both nokia and sony in bringing this phone first to market.... Sadly its gonna hurt them bad... They tried same with announcement of ATIV last year, tried to outdo nokia...

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 07:59 3

24. mamba (Posts: 18; Member since: 13 May 2013)


Sammy is playing game of one upmanship... Trying to beat both nokia and sony in bringing this phone first to market.... Sadly its gonna hurt them bad... They tried same with announcement of ATIV last year, tried to outdo nokia...

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 08:14 2

29. umadden (banned) (Posts: 90; Member since: 14 Apr 2013)


it's funny because they are beating them lel

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 08:23

32. tashreef (Posts: 475; Member since: 24 Nov 2012)


Beating? Ativ s ? Nokia owns 80% WP market.... may be it's 3% of world smartphone market share

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 08:35 1

36. EXkurogane (Posts: 863; Member since: 07 Mar 2013)


LOL
Ativ S is biting dust in windows phone department

Samsung tried to be first in everything in something that they are not good at, and camera in phones is one of them (in fact, i dont think there is anyone who will mention Samsung when you bring up the topic of digital cameras). First isnt necessarily the best. Samsung rushed ahead and announced the first windows phone 8 device, and guess what, it's selling worse than HTC 8X, let alone Nokia's Lumia phones.

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 08:46 3

41. jdoee100 (Posts: 269; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)


Sadly, window phones are biting dust. No wonder samsung is not interested in them.

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 09:06 1

43. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)


when samsung falls they will wish they had tried better in all area's, they wont be kings of android forever and with phones like the HTC one stepping up and matching there s4 it wont be long

why are you trying to defend samsung so hard? and why wont you comment on the design and average camera of this point and shoot.....nothing that catches your eye about this device

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 12:57 1

53. Altair (Posts: 294; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)


You don't know what you are talking about. WP8 is growing faster than anything else atm. Go away Shamesung copycat fanatic.

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 08:01 1

25. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 2095; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


How one would keep it in his pocket, so that lens or screen should not be damaged by outer force.

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 08:04 2

26. raj1402 (Posts: 6; Member since: 12 Jun 2013)


This is how samsung will end up when they think to create a compete with nokia EOS mobile !!! UGLY!!!

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 08:09 1

27. mottykels (Posts: 362; Member since: 15 May 2013)


Is this the new galaxy camera?

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 09:17 1

44. Nimit_Desai (Posts: 18; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


samsung galaxy zoom-"im the best camera phone"
nokia lumia eos-"BITCH PLZZZZ"

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 09:27

46. felisberto (Posts: 32; Member since: 11 Feb 2013)


youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=3RQp​QV9_3oM

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 09:54 3

48. preet27in (banned) (Posts: 173; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


damn ugly..... ugliest phone ever built. ugly phone of the year 2013

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 18:22

64. maccess (Posts: 478; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)


like your face??

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 08:03

66. preet27in (banned) (Posts: 173; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


if u making it personal dude., then NAA ITS LIKE UR MOM'S ugly face n ass. :P

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 10:20 1

50. Sonny_09 (Posts: 48; Member since: 24 May 2013)


I would say have fun with those dual core processor. :)

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 12:38

51. Muche (Posts: 14; Member since: 22 Aug 2012)


wakaflocka doing an ad for them would be in order BRICK SQUAAAAAAD!

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 12:53 1

52. Altair (Posts: 294; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)


Imagine yourself holding this ugly thing on your ear! Everyone will laugh for you!

This is what Shamesung does, when it does not copy. And why to release it as "S4" while it does not have specs S4 has?

Milking some S4 cow perhaps? Shame on you Shamesung.

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 13:12 1

58. jiezel91 (Posts: 55; Member since: 28 Jul 2011)


A bad move by Samsung really. Too much compromise is done just to emphasize the camera part of the device. Really now? And worse, they even incorporated the S4 name! By doing so, they are damaging the reputation of the "Galaxy S" line of products which is usually state-of-the-art and well-thought premium devices by Samsung. So far, Samsung has been releasing good Galaxy S products... until now. This one looks just like an ordinary smartphone slapped with optical zoom camera and xenon flash at the back in a rushed decision and then release it without further balancing some of the elements on the phone side.

You have to be a hardcore Samsung fan to buy this. This one looks ugly, let's face it. This is what happens when you are in a hurry and don't spend time perfecting your products. They think that because people are mad about the Galaxy line, they thought everything they release would sell like hotcakes, hence they no longer spend time making their products beautiful.

Seriously, this one hardly has the qualities of a "Galaxy S" product to begin with.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 03:25

65. cornerofthemoon (Posts: 485; Member since: 20 Apr 2010)


This is even more ridiculous than the Kyocera Echo.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 13:33

67. Seany (Posts: 8; Member since: 28 Sep 2012)


You seriously think anyone would carry this around as a phone?? Is it a phone with a camera or a camera with a phone?? pointless and silly and imagine making a call with that thing??

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Display4.3 inches, 540 x 960 pixels (256 ppi) Super AMOLED
Camera16 megapixels
Hardware
Samsung Exynos 4212, Dual core, 1500 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9 processor
1536 MB RAM
Size4.94 x 2.50 x 0.61 inches
(125.5 x 63.5 x 15.4 mm)
7.34 oz  (208 g)

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