At first glance, it’s a bit confusing to figure out if the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is indeed a compact camera or a smartphone with really large camera lens. We got a quick hands-on yesterday here in London just in time for the global launch we’re covering.
The design and form factor of the Galaxy S4 Zoom is geared towards a compact camera. It feels a bit bulky in the hands for a smartphone, but light enough for a hand-held camera. Event the posterior design really looks like a camera, with that protruding hand grip and the large, silver lens barrel.
The body has a glossy finish (comes in white and black colors) and has a plasticky feel to it.
At the back is the large, 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen with a size and design reminiscent of the Galaxy S4 Mini. Samsung admits the DNA of the smartphone is exactly similar to the S4 Mini:
Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom specs:
4.3-inch qHD S-AMOLED display, 256ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
1.5GHz dual-core processor
8GB internal storage
Expandable up to 64GB
16MP BSI CMOS Sensor
ISO Range: 100-3200 (full-stop increments)
Focal range: 24-240mm
Aperture range: f/3.1 – f/6.3
Built-in XENON flash
3G/HSPA+ or 4G LTE (selected markets)
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, dual channel
A-GPS w/ GLONASS
Li-Ion 2,330mAh battery
Android Jelly bean v.4.2
Dimension: 125.5 x 63.5 x 15.4 mm
And to make it more usable as a camera, aside from the grip, Samsung added a dedicated camera shutter button on the top side and a tripod socket when you want to mount it on regular-sized monopod/tripod. The lens ring ring can also be set up to do Manual Focus.
Because of the built-in NFC, Samsung also copied some of the features of the S4 and S4 Mini like Group Play. There’s an In-Call Photo Sharing that allows you to send and share a photo to a person you are currently talking to on the other line, without cutting off the call.
To make taking photos with the S4 Zoom, a bunch of features and pre-sets were created for new users — 25 Smart Mode presets for the usual scenes, a Smart Mode Suggest (gives recommendations for up to 3 scenes based on the subject or environment), and a Photo Suggest (tells you what nearby places to go to for getting good shots, powered by TourWrist, Panoramio, TripAdvisor).
A Story Album allows you to make properly laid-out albums of your photos for presentation and even allows you to send them to Blurb to print (available in 75 countries).
Samsung is expected to ship the Galaxy S4 Zoom some time later in 3rd quarter of this year. As for retail price, there was no information as of this writing but we’re guessing it will be between the S4 Mini and the Galaxy Camera.
Update: Overheard from local sales/dealer that estimated retail price of the Galaxy S4 Zoom is Php23,000.