Did you know that phones with optical zoom cameras are nothing new? Here's one from 2004

Did you know that phones with optical zoom cameras are nothing new? Here's one from 2004
You've seen the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom, now, haven't you? Of course you have – a phone as unusual as this can't go unnoticed. It is Samsung's ultimate cameraphone, packing all the bells and whistles one would expect out of a standalone camera, not a smartphone. You know, goodies like optical image stabilization, a xenon flash, and even a 10x optical zoom lens. Yet the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom is far from the first phone to offer a camera with optical zoom. Its predecessor, last year's Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, wasn't either.

In 2004, Vodafone Japan released the Sharp V602SH flip phone. It was the typical top-of-the-line handset for the time, featuring a large, high-res display, relatively fast data connectivity, video games, a multimedia player, as well as expandable storage. Its highlight, however, was its camera. The snapper offered 2 megapixels of resolution (an image size of 1600 by 1200 pixels) and 2x optical zoom. Remember, this happened 10 years ago, so the latter feature must have been really impressive to see on a phone back then.

Then the Nokia N93 – a phone that many have fond memories of – came out in 2006. It was nothing short of a multimedia marvel, and its 3.15MP camera was the prime weapon in its arsenal. Thanks to the handset's unusual form factor, it was possible to fit a 3X optical zoom lens in there. Again, quite impressive for a phone at that time.

And here we have the Altek Leo. If you can't remember what phone we're talking about, don't be embarrassed as the handset was practically unheard of outside of Asia. This Android-powered smartphone came with a 14MP CCD-based camera, both xenon and LED lights, and 3x optical zoom. Here's our preview of the Altek Leo, dating from March 2011.



1. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014


4. engineer-1701d unregistered

i remember that nokia phone it was in all the commercials people used them a lot to record subway b boy dance offs hahahaha its in a lot of movies also.

2. bradley8795

Posts: 64; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

That altek look pretty nice from the back.

7. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

right, looks a lot better than the Galaxy K

3. JC557

Posts: 1919; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

You're missing a Samsung flip phone from that era as well. It was available from Verizon and Sprint had their version. Not sure about GSM models: http://www.phonescoop.com/phones/phone.php?p=724 It was quite slim at the time and I remember it taking pretty awesome shots until I got my hands on a LG enV Touch (no zoom but the lens was quite good and better than my old Voyager). I don't remember what I did with it but I know I didn't sell it... I didn't hear of Craigslist in that time frame...

5. engineer-1701d unregistered

yup i had the model before this one one of my first samsung phones. i remember sitting in the hall ways in college before class.

6. GalaxyS5

Posts: 430; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

ahh these Nokia phones from my childhood and early teenage years. they were amazing. they never lagged despite very slow processors and were as solid as brick .. and no matter how strong and durable my GS5 is, my old 6630 (still have it, my first phone) wipes the floor with it

8. muhsen

Posts: 281; Member since: Jun 07, 2012

there's also Samsung G810 symbian phone from 2008 and before it the G800 but the G800 is not a smartphonehttp://www.phonearena.com/phones/Samsung-SGH-G810_id2606 the G810 was one of the Nokia N95 main competitors

9. dorianb

Posts: 617; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

You know you're an otaku when the only reason you want a N93 is because it looks like the phone Cloud has in FF7:Advent Children. :I am so sad:

10. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

Man. The only downsides of current smartphone cameras are the lack of optical zoom. How nice would it be if they could implement a small bulge just to fit at least a 2x optical zoom.

11. walkman800

Posts: 113; Member since: Aug 26, 2014

what the hell is wrong with this site? I'm barely 20 and I remember Nokia N93 and Samsung G800 like it was yesterday. That was 6-7 years ago, not 30.

12. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

The Nokia N93 was featured in FINAL FANTASY game

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