Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Preview

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Preview

Flanked by rumored efforts from Nokia and Sony to resurrect the cameraphone market niche in a modern mobile OS environment, Samsung, whose recent goals appear to be presence in each and every mobile segment, decided to beat them to market with the Galaxy S4 Zoom.

Despite the flagship branding, the S4 Zoom is first a camera, then a phone. It expands on the idea started with Samsung's Galaxy Camera – a 16MP Android-powered camera, which has cellular connectivity but for data only. S4 Zoom jibes very similar in design and has the same 16MP resolution and Xenon flash, toning the optical zoom down to 10x, instead of the 21x on the Galaxy Camera, in order to keep the size relatively in check. On paper we have the first phone with a 10x optical zoom, but did Samsung manage to make a cameraphone, or did it simply slap a phone on a camera? Read on to find out...


In short, we get a Galaxy S4 Mini at the front, and a compact point-and-shoot Samsung camera on the back, and that's the best way to describe what you can expect with the Galaxy S4 Zoom.

This “phone” is rather bulky at 15.4mm, with a grip bulge and huge protruding lens with a zoom ring at the back, where the thickness goes up to 25mm. Apparently if you want 10x optical zoom, the sacrifice you have to make with your handset is that it will look and feel like a 7-ounce analog one from the dawn of mobile.

Working the screen with that giant lens protrusion on the back is not comfortable at all with one hand. Well, at least you've got a good grip while talking on the phone, resting your index finger just underneath. Speaking of one-handed operation, the grip bulge on the right should be helping when using it as a camera, with quickly framing the shot and taking it with just your palm. However, in reality it is too small to securely grip the phone, and the on-screen shutter key is too close to the edge, so you may have to grip with both hands. Granted, there is a two-stage physical shutter key, but it is also very close to the edge of the phone, and can't be pressed comfortably without the risk of dropping the handset. That same physical shutter button enters the camera app directly when pressed, bypassing the lock and home screens, but only when you turn the display on with the power/lock key on the right. There is no sleep-to-snap function like on some Xperias for example.

Thankfully the capacitive navigational keys below the display are turned off when you are in the camera app, so you don't worry about hitting the back and context menu keys when you take pictures.

Galaxy S4 Zoom sports a removable battery hidden under a lid on the side of the grip bulge, and released out by a sliding mechanism. That's where the microSIM card slot is as well, while the microSD one is covered with a protective flap on the left side of the phone/bottom of the camera, where the tripod mount is as well.


There is a 4.3” 540x960 pixels Super AMOLED display on the phone, just like with the S4 Mini, so you can rest assured it has great viewing angles, deep blacks and pretty saturated colors. The display settings let you use the image mode, though – from Dynamic, through Standard and Movie, to the Professional Photo mode that allegedly represents directly a standardized color gamut.

Samsung has graced the display with the super-sensitive tech that allows you to operate it with gloves, so working the camera app on that ski trip won't be an issue.

Invalid image meta



67. Seany

Posts: 94; Member since: Sep 28, 2012

You seriously think anyone would carry this around as a phone?? Is it a phone with a camera or a camera with a phone?? pointless and silly and imagine making a call with that thing??

65. cornerofthemoon

Posts: 620; Member since: Apr 20, 2010

This is even more ridiculous than the Kyocera Echo.

58. jiezel91

Posts: 67; Member since: Jul 28, 2011

A bad move by Samsung really. Too much compromise is done just to emphasize the camera part of the device. Really now? And worse, they even incorporated the S4 name! By doing so, they are damaging the reputation of the "Galaxy S" line of products which is usually state-of-the-art and well-thought premium devices by Samsung. So far, Samsung has been releasing good Galaxy S products... until now. This one looks just like an ordinary smartphone slapped with optical zoom camera and xenon flash at the back in a rushed decision and then release it without further balancing some of the elements on the phone side. You have to be a hardcore Samsung fan to buy this. This one looks ugly, let's face it. This is what happens when you are in a hurry and don't spend time perfecting your products. They think that because people are mad about the Galaxy line, they thought everything they release would sell like hotcakes, hence they no longer spend time making their products beautiful. Seriously, this one hardly has the qualities of a "Galaxy S" product to begin with.

52. Altair

Posts: 367; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

Imagine yourself holding this ugly thing on your ear! Everyone will laugh for you! This is what Shamesung does, when it does not copy. And why to release it as "S4" while it does not have specs S4 has? Milking some S4 cow perhaps? Shame on you Shamesung.

51. Muche

Posts: 17; Member since: Aug 22, 2012

wakaflocka doing an ad for them would be in order BRICK SQUAAAAAAD!

50. Sonny_09

Posts: 49; Member since: May 24, 2013

I would say have fun with those dual core processor. :)

48. preet27in

Posts: 173; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

damn ugly..... ugliest phone ever built. ugly phone of the year 2013

64. maccess

Posts: 742; Member since: Jan 16, 2013

like your face??

66. preet27in

Posts: 173; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

if u making it personal dude., then NAA ITS LIKE UR MOM'S ugly face n ass. :P

46. felisberto

Posts: 34; Member since: Feb 11, 2013​QV9_3oM

44. Nimit_Desai

Posts: 18; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

samsung galaxy zoom-"im the best camera phone" nokia lumia eos-"BITCH PLZZZZ"

27. mottykels

Posts: 387; Member since: May 15, 2013

Is this the new galaxy camera?

26. raj1402

Posts: 6; Member since: Jun 12, 2013

This is how samsung will end up when they think to create a compete with nokia EOS mobile !!! UGLY!!!

25. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

How one would keep it in his pocket, so that lens or screen should not be damaged by outer force.

24. mamba

Posts: 18; Member since: May 13, 2013

Sammy is playing game of one upmanship... Trying to beat both nokia and sony in bringing this phone first to market.... Sadly its gonna hurt them bad... They tried same with announcement of ATIV last year, tried to outdo nokia...

29. umadden

Posts: 90; Member since: Apr 14, 2013

it's funny because they are beating them lel

32. tashreef

Posts: 476; Member since: Nov 24, 2012

Beating? Ativ s ? Nokia owns 80% WP market.... may be it's 3% of world smartphone market share

36. EXkurogane

Posts: 863; Member since: Mar 07, 2013

LOL Ativ S is biting dust in windows phone department Samsung tried to be first in everything in something that they are not good at, and camera in phones is one of them (in fact, i dont think there is anyone who will mention Samsung when you bring up the topic of digital cameras). First isnt necessarily the best. Samsung rushed ahead and announced the first windows phone 8 device, and guess what, it's selling worse than HTC 8X, let alone Nokia's Lumia phones.

41. jdoee100

Posts: 334; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Sadly, window phones are biting dust. No wonder samsung is not interested in them.

43. chaoticrazor

Posts: 2347; Member since: Aug 28, 2012

when samsung falls they will wish they had tried better in all area's, they wont be kings of android forever and with phones like the HTC one stepping up and matching there s4 it wont be long why are you trying to defend samsung so hard? and why wont you comment on the design and average camera of this point and shoot.....nothing that catches your eye about this device

53. Altair

Posts: 367; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

You don't know what you are talking about. WP8 is growing faster than anything else atm. Go away Shamesung copycat fanatic.

23. mamba

Posts: 18; Member since: May 13, 2013

Sammy is playing game of one upmanship... Trying to beat both nokia and sony in bringing this phone first to market.... Sadly its gonna hurt them bad... They tried same with announcement of ATIV last year, tried to outdo nokia...

21. hboy857

Posts: 367; Member since: Jun 03, 2013

Looks like a phone glued to a camera.

20. TheBitterrTruth unregistered

They can't compete with Nokia..

59. Rehankhan

Posts: 323; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

xperiaDROID how many pa accounts you have?

19. sergiobr

Posts: 718; Member since: Feb 25, 2013

I loved it ! I was searching for a good camera and Android !

17. raunak

Posts: 507; Member since: Oct 12, 2011

57. Altair

Posts: 367; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

HAHA yeah good picture. Shamesung - "We like to make slim phones and such!" errr wait!

16. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Brick...Brick...Brick...Brick....there, I said it!!! Thumb me down if you can!! Hahah

15. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

This is not a brick. Bricks are bulky but also very sturdy. So I don't know what this is then...

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Galaxy S4 Zoom
  • Display 4.3 inches
    960 x 540 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP (Single camera)
    1.9 MP front
  • Hardware Samsung Exynos 4 Dual, 1.5GB RAM
  • Storage 8GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 2330 mAh
  • OS Android 4.4.2
    Samsung TouchWiz UI

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless