Samsung Galaxy K Zoom is official: 20.7MP, OIS, and 10x optical zoom in a stylish body
posted by Nick T. / Apr 28, 2014, 11:51 PM
Is it a smartphone, or is it a camera? Well, the Samsung Galaxy K zoom is actually a mix of both. Announced at Samsung's event at the Red Dot Design Museum in Singapore, the gadget is here to succeed last year's Galaxy S4 Zoom and to meet the needs of those in search of a zero-compromise cameraphone. At the same time, it is a full-fledged, 3G/LTE-enabled Android smartphone sprinkled with a generous dose of Samsung's software goodies.
Design-wise, the Samsung Galaxy K zoom has drawn inspiration from the Galaxy S5 as it features the flagship's distinct perforated pattern and shimmering finish. What's new, however, is the dedicated camera button on the side, which is a must-have for any camera-centric handset. With a weight of 7.05 ounces (200 grams) and thickness of 0.8 inches (20.2 millimeters) at its thickest point, the Samsung Galaxy K zoom ranks among the bulkier smartphones out there. On the other hand, its proportions seem perfectly acceptable for something packing a 10x zoom optical system.
The screen on the Samsung Galaxy K zoom measures 4.8 inches in diagonal. It is of the Super AMOLED variety, meaning that we can expect vivid color reproduction and excellent viewing angles out of it. The resolution of 720 by 1280 pixels produces a pixel-per-inch figure of 306 ppi, which is more than acceptable.
Under the hood of the Samsung Galaxy K zoom beats a hexa-core SoC – an Exynos 5 model featuring a 1.3 GHz quad-core Cortex-A7 setup handling lighter tasks and a 1.7 GHz dual-core Cortex-A15 CPU which kicks in when extra power is needed. Two gigs of RAM have also been thrown in for good measure. On-board storage capacity is limited to only 8 gigs, but a microSD card slot allows that to be expanded with cards of at least 64 gigabytes.
As for the most exciting part of the equation – the device's camera – Samsung has chosen to go with a 20.7MP BSI CMOS camera sensor that is 1/2.3" in size, which about as big as the one in the Sony Xperia Z2 and the Galaxy S4 Zoom. Aperture size varies between F3.1 at 1x zoom and F6.3 at 10x zoom. To eliminate motion blur caused by shaky hands, the Galaxy K zoom features optical image stabilization. Furthermore, the Galaxy K zoom packs a powerful xenon flash accompanied by an assistive LED light, just like its predecessor.
Camera modes and settings can be configured manually, of course, which should be great news for experienced photographers. Auto-focus and auto-exposure can be controlled separately for superior image control, and the object tracking feature will allow you to snap clear shots of moving objects. In addition, the Pro Suggest mode built into the camera UI allows the camera to pick the optimal settings depending on the scene being captured. There is also a neat Selfie Alarm mode for taking high-quality self-shots with the main camera – point the snapper at yourself and the camera will let you know when you're in the frame.
On the software side of things, the Samsung Galaxy K zoom will ship with Android 4.4 KitKat. Samsung's TouchWiz UI will be layered on top, to no surprise, bringing extras like Ultra Power Saving mode, Kids mode, and the S Health Lite fitness companion. The pre-loaded Studio app will let users easily edit and manage images taken with the Galaxy K zoom and then share them online for the world to see.
And this, guys, is the new Samsung Galaxy K zoom. It is scheduled to launch in May, yet we are still unsure whether or not we'll ever see it released on a US carrier. Pricing isn't known, but something tells us that the gizmo won't be cheap.
Samsung Introduces the Galaxy K zoom, a New Camera Specialized-Smartphone
April 29, 2014
The Galaxy K zoom incorporates industry-leading camera features with the Samsung Galaxy mobile experience
SINGAPORE – April 29, 2014 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, today announced the new camera specialized smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy K zoom. The Galaxy K zoom is a new smartphone that blends advanced digital camera technology with Samsung’s industry-leading Galaxy experience. It features effortless capturing ability, real optics, and a premium design, offering users the mobile solutions they need with the ability to create professional-quality visual content in a fun, easy–to-use device.
“With the introduction of the Galaxy K zoom, Samsung continues to demonstrate our commitment to creating products that meet the diverse demands of our consumers,” said Sun Hong Lim, Senior Vice President of Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics. “The new Galaxy K zoom empowers users to effortlessly capture and share their most important everyday moments in stunning clarity, with the convenience and connectedness of a Galaxy smartphone, for a unique, all-in-one mobile experience.”
As a camera-specialized smartphone, the Galaxy K zoom offers an advanced technical camera system designed to offer the control and functionality of a professional camera, ensuring that the important moments are never missed and always captured with complete clarity. The Galaxy K zoom is equipped with new retracting lens technology that provides 10x optical zoom in a remarkably slim and chic body. Other notable features include the 20.7 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor for ultra-clear, ultra-detailed images. It excels in low light conditions, and provides Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) to reduce blur caused by movement. These specifications ensure the device delivers pictures and video (Full HD) that are crisp and sharp, even when zoomed and in low light. In addition, the device’s Xenon Flash provides a brighter light than LEDs to improve the quality of the image with natural brilliance.
The new device also integrates the most advanced camera usability features and functions, including AF/AE Separation (Auto Focus/ Auto Exposure Separation) for the precise balance of light and clarity, next-generation Pro Suggest mode which offers 5 optimized filter settings, Selfie Alarm that allows users to take timed selfies with ease, and object tracing for a clear, focused shot of a moving subject. Each feature comes with a simple User Interface, allowing users to easily capture photos and videos with groundbreaking quality, in any situation.
The compact and highly portable Galaxy K zoom features an ergonomic grip and sleek, stylish lines that feel soft and comfortable in the hand. Additionally, the Galaxy K zoom offers all the features that consumers want in a flagship Galaxy smartphone, such as Ultra Power Saving Mode for minimizing the battery consumption, S Health Lite for personalized fitness and lifestyle coaching, and a Studio app to allow users to easily edit their pictures and videos.
Don't confuse superior zooming capabilities with superior picture quality as that is what most people do. The K Zoom will wipe the floor with the 1020 in a zoom contest due to physics of the optical zoom and the same can be said of the 1020 wiping the floor with the K Zoom with image quality (no zoom used, pure image quality comparison) due to the physics of the much larger sensor.
I hope reviewers and writers that compare realize that an optically zoomed photo has a frame proximity advantage and not necessarily an image quality advantage.
For majority of consumers, zooming in = better image quality when actually on only means a clearer and closer image. If both phones take photos without zoom, you can directly compare the actual image quality otherwise you will be comparing the zoomed imaged quality and for that, the K Zoom's optical zoomed image will be superior due to zoom alone.
As you point out, "digital zoom" is a somewhat misleading term as it is not the same thing as "optical zoom".
"Digital zoom is accomplished by cropping an image down to a centered area with the same aspect ratio as the original, and usually also interpolating the result back up to the pixel dimensions of the original. It is accomplished electronically, with no adjustment of the camera's optics, and no optical resolution is gained in the process. This enlargement of the pixels also creates a pixelation/mosaic effect in the image."
For reasonable comparison of say a Nokia 1020 vs. this new Samsung, a variety of photography scenarios should be used, some where optical zoom is the common technique for getting the shot, some where digital zoom suffices for the shot, and some where no zoom is required for the shot. And these scenarios should include a variety of focus distances spanning macro to various longer range uses. Furthermore, the scenarios should include a range of "shot times", from stills to slow action to fast action.
My guess is that this new Samsung is going to produce superior results to the Nokia 1020 in many common usage scenarios -- especially considering the 1020's long lag time to first shot and relatively long shot to shot lag time.
Hmmmmm.... 4.8" 720p is good enough....at least it's 4.8" with off screen capacitive buttons AND it has this generations multitasking button instead of a stupid menu button! I really want an amazing Android camera. 20 MP, 10x optical zoom. If this thing had a Snapdragon 600 or better and 16 GB of internal storage on AT&T in the USA I'll give up my Note 3 and get a Galaxy K Zoom in a heartbeat. I was satisfied with the Galaxy S 3's 4.8" 720p screen; I can put up with that for a great camera.
The Exynos 5 Hexa is actually a good SoC..comparable Snapdragon 600, or even a bit better.
Read the Note 3 Neo review on gsmarena. With 720p resolution it has performance comparable to that if Snapdragon 800 at 1080p
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