Samsung Galaxy K zoom Review

Samsung Galaxy K zoom Review

Samsung Galaxy K zoom Review
Samsung Galaxy K zoom Review
Samsung Galaxy K zoom Review
Samsung Galaxy K zoom Review
Samsung Galaxy K zoom Review
Samsung Galaxy K zoom Review
Introduction


Last year, Samsung created another new market niche, outing the first handset equipped with a 10x optical zoom – the aptly named Galaxy S4 Zoom. It has a 16 MP sensor, protruding lens, and a bulky body, making it more of a camera with phone functions you'd take on vacation, rather than something suitable for the everyday grind.

This year Samsung doubled down on the new market niche it created, by introducing the Galaxy K zoom, whose naming scheme breaks away from riding on the flagship's coattails this time. The second edition is better equipped in the specs department, both on the phone, and on the camera side: it now sports a 20 MP sensor, larger screen and better processor. Does the K zoom stand a better chance of becoming something else than a niche device for camera enthusiasts? Let's find out...

In the box
  • In-ear stereo headphones
  • Wall charger
  • MicroUSB cable
  • Warranty and information leaflets

Design

The 10x optical zoom lens makes for a bulky and hefty phone, but it is still more comfortable to use and carry than a 6” phablet.

At 5.41 x 2.79 x 0.65 ” (137.5 x 70.8 x 16.6 mm), against the 4.94 x 2.50 x 0.61” (125.5 x 63.5 x 15.4 mm) of the Galaxy S4 Zoom, the K zoom is one taller, wider and slightly thicker handset, making it less suitable to operate with one hand than its predecessor. The huge lens area on the back sticks out a bit more, and gets in the way while operating the phone, but one can quickly get used to that. Due to the protruding lens part, the phone also looks funky when placed on a table, with the upper part propped by the camera, and the phone rocking left or right when you tap on the screen.

At 7.05 oz (200 g) of weight, you'll always notice that the K zoom is in your pocket or your hand, but still the heft and dimensions are manageable, considering that you carry a 10x optical zoom device with you at all times. The thing weighs as much as some of those 6-inchers that are flooding the market, so if you are willing to put up with that lack of comfort, you won't have trouble gobbling up the K zoom, too. 

Samsung has opted for the perforated look that first appeared with the Galaxy S5, and uses the same soft-touch material for the back. The phone hence feels solid in the hand, providing a good grip, and the weight distribution doesn't lean on the lens part, so you don't need to carefully balance it when operating the screen with one hand. The dimpled battery cover is easily removable, revealing a replaceable unit underneath it. This might come in handy for those photogs that the K zoom is aimed at, since they can carry a spare juicer or two with them at all times, when shooting in the boondocks.

Samsung has outfitted the K zoom with its signature physical home key below the display, which flaunts a good tactile feedback, and the same goes for the volume rocker, lock key, and camera shutter on the right hand side. The left is occupied solely by the microSD slot, which lets you extend the internal storage with up to 64 GB cards.


Samsung Galaxy K zoom

Samsung Galaxy K zoom

Dimensions

5.41 x 2.79 x 0.65 inches

137.5 x 70.8 x 16.6 mm

Weight

7.05 oz (200 g)

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom

Dimensions

4.94 x 2.5 x 0.61 inches

125.5 x 63.5 x 15.4 mm

Weight

7.34 oz (208 g)

Nokia Lumia 1020

Nokia Lumia 1020

Dimensions

5.13 x 2.81 x 0.41 inches

130.4 x 71.4 x 10.4 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Dimensions

5.95 x 3.12 x 0.33 inches

151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm

Weight

5.93 oz (168 g)

Samsung Galaxy K zoom

Samsung Galaxy K zoom

Dimensions

5.41 x 2.79 x 0.65 inches

137.5 x 70.8 x 16.6 mm

Weight

7.05 oz (200 g)

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom

Dimensions

4.94 x 2.5 x 0.61 inches

125.5 x 63.5 x 15.4 mm

Weight

7.34 oz (208 g)

Nokia Lumia 1020

Nokia Lumia 1020

Dimensions

5.13 x 2.81 x 0.41 inches

130.4 x 71.4 x 10.4 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Dimensions

5.95 x 3.12 x 0.33 inches

151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm

Weight

5.93 oz (168 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page


Display

Typically incorrect colors and disturbingly low peak brightness.

Samsung opted for a larger display diagonal, compared to the 4.3” S4 Zoom. The K zoom sports a 4.8” 720x1280 pixels Super AMOLED display with good 306ppi pixel density. That's fine for most scenarios, including reading smaller text.

Typical for an AMOLED panel, the colors are very inaccurate – not only oversaturated, but also tone-incorrect. The color temperature is also way on the cold side at 8326 Kelvins, so what should be a white background, for instance, is actually light-blue. Thus, you can't trust the K zoom's display accuracy if you go shoe-shopping online, or want to preview your photos on the phone itself.

Moreover, at 294 nits, the panel's peak brightness is pretty low, even compared to the current Super AMOLEDs from Samsung, like the ones on the S5 or the Note 3. Outdoors the screen doesn't reflect much light, so you can tell what's on the display, though if the sun shines directly on it, you'll be in trouble. Viewing angles are pretty good, as the screen keeps its deep blacks from an angle, but the color inaccuracies deepens even further with the slightest tilt. About the only good thing that can be said about the quality of the K zoom's display is its low minimum brightness of 4 nits, so it won't burn your eyebrows if you have to read something on it in the dark.


More content with (Galaxy K zoom)

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40 Comments

1. refillable

Posts: 1071; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

I think it's fair, just as similarly as with the Nokia 1020, I find this 'innovation' to be awkward and does 'worst in both worlds', in both smartphone world and camera world I don't find this to be good at all. I'd go with a flagship+RX100 instead, that's best of 2 worlds.

2. mousesports

Posts: 286; Member since: Feb 28, 2013

no way , no camera will be ever similar to 808 or lumia 1020 . Keep dreaming samasugi fanboy

3. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Read the comment carefully nokia shill. :)

5. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

The best Nokia camera phone take 10 second to take a picture. As if having wp os is not problematic enough they have to go all the away out to make it the slowest possible phone to snap a picture. This is a money grab to me and I will throw it into Microsoft's window!

7. mousesports

Posts: 286; Member since: Feb 28, 2013

i dont really care

23. T.Law

Posts: 423; Member since: May 10, 2014

Because you're biased.

13. adwienc

Posts: 136; Member since: Mar 26, 2014

With new Nokia Camera it takes 5 seconds.

15. muhsen

Posts: 281; Member since: Jun 07, 2012

The 1020 takes 5 sec on the nokia camera, which is not far from the k , considering that the 1020 has to push double the amount of pixels. "WP is problematic" is really becoming invalid at the time being. Most of the apps on android are on WP. Ironically, it's android here that's problematic. Many photography apps like hipsmatic oggl are not present, also there is no special apps that take advantage of the special features of the k or the s4 zoom before it, like the oggl pro or the instagram app on the 1020 where they take advantage of the oversampling tech and lossless zoom, there are alot of other examples for the 1020. Another major factore is price, considering that the 1020 hardware wise is on par with the k (actually it's better thanks to more Ram), it costs 50 -60 % of the k, and when you consider that the 1020 has the upper hand photography wise, features and quality, it seems that pouring money on the k is really a bad and unwise deal. Also, we can also throw the updates factor. As history tells us, when android gets upgraded a whole new digit up ( from 2.xx to 4.xx, and now from 4.xx to 5.xx), only handful of flagships device make it to the update. Even if the k makes to android L, it won't get anymore. Whereas, the 1020 will get WP8.1 and its 2 sucessive GDR updates. There's also an 80 % chance it will make it to the next big release for WP, thanks to its 2 GB ram. All in all, whether you like it or not, the 1020 is the better deal hands by a big margin. Choosing the k over it is silly actually. The k is definitely a big improvement compared to its predecessor though.

17. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Meh, TL;DR LMAO.

32. iushnt

Posts: 3037; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

But 8.1 is not as good as current android..also k zoom defimately clicks better pics than 1020.. I have checked both in person. I agree with the price point that 1020 is a better deal

4. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

It's a very good camera phone.

6. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

But it's a bad phone and a bad camera.

8. maccess

Posts: 742; Member since: Jan 16, 2013

still much better camera than the z2..

9. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Maybe a little. But any real camera beats the shi* out of the K.

12. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Proof? And its not designed to rival DSLRs, but it can still beat cheap point&shoot cameras.

16. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Do YOU have proof for that? I doubt this beats any of the compact digital cameras you can get starting at around 200 euros from Canon, Nikon or Sony. May compare to the cheaper ones.

18. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

My 925 takes better shots than my samsung point and shoot that we got on sale that was originally 180 down to 120. So much so that we have literally given it to 8yr olds as a toy

19. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Ok whats your problem then? Its an awesome camera and smartphone combined!

20. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

I don't remember having any problems right now :)

25. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Those that want K would read the review carefully and I thinks its a detailed review. Based on the review the k would match any point and shoot camera with the bonus having manual control good for user know their camera parameters. Do you guy actually read the review before heading straight to comment. Since we are talking about lumia i would like to point out their current strength which is its cheap, priced to move. There seem to be a fire sales going on everywhere. A brand-new non contract Lumia 1320 cost $250 A new lumia 1520 cost less than $500. Pretty cheap no wonder the bottom 5% bought one. Enjoy your cheap lumia phone and hope that Microsoft will add value to your purchase. Cause no one else would. Lol!

27. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Cheap? you rant about cheap, not the first time before... Yet how many droids are subpar crap phones? Care to take a gander at the $50 android 2.3 brand new phone you can buy today?! CHEAP. Talk about a fire sale, these aren't even old their BRAND NEW. And 480 is not pretty cheap for a phone that came out late in 2013. Oh no i Can get a nexus 5 for even cheaper, must be fire sale since droid has so much bugs they cant get rid of them fast enough, ohhhhh nooooooooooo's. And yes lets talk about the lumia. Watch the Old 1020 match this 'new' phone or even the 808. Seen the youtube video of side by side of the K vs 1020? other than optical zoom the video was not that great when going up against the 'King'.

29. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Genius, he was talking about new lumia phones losing value quickly. Not about ultra cheap from start. *sigh*

36. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

*sigh* the 1320 is not old. the 1520 release 2 months after the note 3. I can find both devices for 400-550 on amazon. Yes they are so cheap...

33. iushnt

Posts: 3037; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

I have checked in person! The picture quality is better than many point and nshoot cameras

35. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Which camera do you have? I mean judging by these photos in the review the photos are nothing special. S5 takes better ones. The only advantages seem to be the OIS and optical zoom.

39. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

That's a pretty dumb comment. Your saying that any real camera therefore beats the crap out of the Z2, M8 cause K Zoom is better than it. Tch.

11. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Explaination please.

31. ktonlai

Posts: 12; Member since: Mar 29, 2010

Name any other android phone with xenon flash... now slap on optical zoom and decent specs. It's not the best at anything, but the sum is greater than it's parts.

10. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

i wonder why they didn't put the isocell sensor here.

14. enthasuium

Posts: 150; Member since: Nov 21, 2013

to minimize cost
Galaxy K zoom
  • Display 4.8" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 20.7 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 5 Hexa, Hexa-core, 1700 MHz
  • Storage 8 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2430 mAh(14h 3G talk time)

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