Call quality

With the K zoom's very good call quality, the only gripe with your phone conversations will be holding the hefty handset to your ear.

The earpiece of the Galaxy K zoom sounds strong, with good quality, and only a slight bit of echo prevents us from putting it in the above average category. The two noise-canceling mics, on the other hand, definitely do a stellar job in relaying our voice to the other end of the conversation in a very loud and exceptionally clear manner, weeding out the ambient noises around us. Our only complaint here is the actual holding of the comparatively thick and heavy device to your ear for a prolonged period of time.


Battery


With a 2430 mAh replaceable battery, we wouldn't expect some heroic wonders from the Galaxy K zoom. Still, Samsung cites 14 hours of talk time on a charge, 9 hours of Internet browsing, and 11 hours of video playback, which is a decent endurance. We, however, put these claims to the test, ran our own standardized battery test on the Galaxy K zoom, where it lasted 6 hours and 6 minutes of screen-on time. Nothing absolutely impressive, but still a decent result, or about as much as the Note III managed to endure in our test.

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.

hours Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy K zoom
6h 6 min (Poor)
Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom
4h 47 min (Poor)
Samsung Galaxy Note3
6h 8 min (Poor)

Conclusion


One chief cause for concern with a phone that carries 10x optical zoom lens, is a potentially bulky chassis, and unfortunately the Galaxy K zoom is not an exception. It's still as butch and hefty as its predecessor, yet the dimensions are bearable, especially if you are used to carrying large handsets. With that caveat aside, knowing that you have 10x optical zoom in your pocket at all times is a very strong incentive for photo enthusiasts to get the handset, as no amount of “lossless zoom” can near the tricks you can do with Samsung's hybrid device. Discounting the lack of 4K abilities, the Galaxy K zoom can also be considered one of the best phones for video recording, as OIS and 60fps footage stack on top of the optical zoom lens.

If you have no need for the optical zoom, though, the difference in picture quality with the current Android flagships doesn't warrant the purchase of the K zoom. This fact, together with the phone's bulk, make it more of a niche device, suitable for photogs, or for a second phone you would use when on vacation, rather than a daily driver.

One Galaxy K zoom alternative is last year's S4 Zoom, which also offers 10x optical magnification, and similar image quality for about $200 less, but is underpowered in comparison. If you can live without the zoom lens, then you can grab the Xperia Z2, which also has a 20 MP camera, or Samsung's own Galaxy S5. Both are much thinner and lighter than the K zoom, plus they take pictures with close quality. For an optically-stabilized camera, albeit with lower 13 MP resolution, you can check out the LG G2 and the excellent G3, or venture outside the Android world, where the Nokia Lumia 1020, and its large 41 MP camera sensor, will try to lure you away, even offering lossless zoom thanks to the huge resolution .

Software version: KOT49H.C115XXU1ANE1


Pros

  • 10x optical zoom lens
  • Good picture quality
  • Steady and fluid 1080p video, recorded with 60fps
  • Xenon flash
  • Clean call quality

Cons

  • Quite a bulky and heavy phone
  • No 4K video recording
  • Dim and very color-inaccurate display
  • Only 4 GB of user-available storage out of the box

PhoneArena Rating:

8.0

User Rating:

9.2
4 Reviews
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