Samsung Galaxy K Zoom is official: 20.7MP, OIS, and 10x optical zoom in a stylish body
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.