Did you know that Samsung has been making phones with optical zoom cameras since 2004?
Alas, optical zoom is something we very rarely see on a phone's specs sheet. It's just too big of a trade-off as its inclusion requires the use of big, bulky optics. Nevertheless, there's a company who has been making phones with optical zoom cameras since 2004. That's Samsung.
3.2 megapixels and could zoom at up to 3x. Also, the snapper had auto-focus, an adjustable xenon flash, some manual controls, and could go up to sensitivities of ISO 400.
Now, if you're wondering why you've never heard about the Samsung SPH-S2300, that's because it launched solely on the Korean market. So did its successor, the Samsung SPH-V7800, which packed a 5.2MP camera and an identical 3x optical zoom lens. Also, it was less bulky and much easier to use as a phone, whereas the S2300's shape and button arrangement made it frustrating for one to use its phone capabilities.
Unsurprisingly, Samsung did not stop there and launched several more zoom-capable cameraphones over the following years. The Samsung SCH-V770 came out in 2005 and had a 7MP camera with 3x optical zoom. The Samsung SCH-B600, which was released in 2006, had an even more generous 10MP camera sensor with the same 3x optical zoom capabilities. Then the Samsung SCH-W880, also known as the AMOLED 12M, reached the 12MP milestone in 2009. It stood out with its 3x optical zoom lens, dedicated camera shutter button and controls, and a fair amount of manual settings.