Samsung Galaxy K zoom Review
Interface and functionality
The new, flatter TouchWiz with its Ultra Power Saving Mode has made its way onto the K zoom, but the Multi-Window mode hasn't.
There aren't any surprises in Samsung's latest TouchWiz interface layered on top of Android 4.4 KitKat in the K zoom. It's the same you'd find on the Galaxy S5, for instance, with the respective Samsung apps set, and stock widgets, like the new Toolbox floating apps set, the Ultra Power Saving mode, or the Magazine news aggregator. Following the recent trends, most design elements, such as the icons or the built-in widgets, now appear flat and more simplistic-looking, with less gradient effects, and more solid colors.
On the other hand, Samsung uses a totally different color and icon scheme for the settings app, which is a bit confusing and looks inconsistent. Still, those are categorized in sections, helping you navigate the maze of options that Samsung offers. That doesn't preclude the UI from having you tap a “Done” button each time an option change needs to be remembered. This two-step confirmation is a bit annoying if you aren't used to Samsung handsets, as most other overlays record and make the change the second you tap on an option.
The traditionally rich TouchWiz functionality is here as well – you can easily access notifications, connectivity switches, and a brightness slider from the pull-down status bar. There's no Multi-window mode here – the one that splits the screen in two, and enables you to run two separate apps at the same time. On a 4.8” display, however, we doubt that you'll have much patience for this kind of multitasking anyway.
The only new app that suggests this is a more special kind of phone, is Pro Suggest. It lists downloadable camera extensions like shooting modes, color effects, and artwork examples, which get added to the camera interface upon installation. Samsung has also partnered with Vine for a special app edition of its short video maker that has zoom buttons directly on the screen, for instance. In addition, the S Studio application lets you edit and trim images and video, then put them together as a slideshow, or a lively collage of sorts.
Processor and memory
With benchmark scores close to Snapdragon 800 handsets, the Exynos 5 Hexa proves a capable processor that runs everything on the Galaxy K zoom with ease.
Powered by Samsung's new midrange Exynos 5 Hexa processor, the Galaxy K zoom interface seems very fluid, with no hiccups along the way. This chip sports two 1.7 GHz Cortex-A15 cores, and four 1.3 GHz low-power Cortex-A7s for the mundane tasks, paired with an ARM Mali-T624 GPU. This processor and graphics combo might not beat the newest Snapdragons in a benchmarking fight, but we'd have to say it makes the K zoom household run smooth, and without quarrels.
Samsung placed the adequate 2 GB of RAM in the handset, which means you won't find the handset struggling for memory when many apps are running at once. There are 8 GB of internal memory in the K zoom (4 GB user-available), and a microSD slot on the left side for up to 64 GB storage expansions.
Internet and connectivity
Very fluid browser navigation and plenty of connectivity options await you with the K zoom, including a 4G LTE modem.
We've got no complaints about Samsung's stock TouchWiz browser, as it renders the pages very quickly, and panning around, as well as zooming or scrolling are fast, and without major interruptions.
The K zoom can offer 4G LTE radio and 42 Mbps HSPA+ download speeds, depending on the region and the carrier it is offered at. The other wireless options are a standard set – Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS, DLNA, and an NFC capability thrown in for a good measure. Wired connectivity is offered through the MHL port at the bottom, so you can hook the K zoom directly to your TV with the respective MHL-HDMI cable to preview your photos and videos, instead of counting on the smallish AMOLED display.