Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom review: Lights, Camera, Android!

GSMArena team, 23 July 2013.
Pages: 1234567891011

Tags: Samsung, Android

Introduction

Having cornered the Android smartphone market, Samsung now has smart cameras in its sights. The Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom is a crossover of an Android phone and a point-and-shoot camera, trying to put the best of both worlds in your pocket.


Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom official photos

It's a lot more compact than last year's Galaxy Camera and this year's Galaxy NX and, unlike both of them, it has full telephony features. So, it has the makings of a midrange Android smartphone but adds a big sensor, xenon flash, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and 10x zoom. These things are usually well out of the reach of a smartphone, which needs to be thin.

Thin the Galaxy S4 zoom isn't, but it's got other virtues.

Key features

  • Android-powered phone/camera hybrid with 10x zoom lens with OIS
  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE; quad-band 3G with HSPA; LTE
  • 4.3" 16M-color qHD (540 x 960)Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with Gorilla Glass 3
  • Android OS v4.2.2 Jelly Bean with TouchWiz UI
  • Dual-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A9 CPU, Mali-400 GPU; Exynos 4212 chipset
  • 1.5GB of RAM
  • 16 MP autofocus camera, 1/2.33" sensor, xenon flash, Optical Image Stabilization, 10x zoom, continuous autofocus and stereo sound; manual settings
  • 1080p video recording @ 30fps, 720p @ 60fps, 120fps slow-mo
  • 1.9 MP front-facing camera, 720p video recording
  • 8GB of built-in storage, microSD card slot
  • microUSB port with USB host and MHL 2.0
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct and DLNA
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • NFC
  • GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS
  • IR blaster for remote control functionality
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack; Smart volume
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • Smart screen: Smart stay, Smart rotate
  • Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
  • Ample 2,330mAh battery with great endurance

Main disadvantages

  • Thicker and heavier than a smartphone
  • Screen not HD, sunlight legibility could have been better
  • Old chipset
  • Shared camera interface makes framing tricky
  • No FM radio

It's like a Galaxy S4 mini and a point-and-shoot camera had a teleportation accident and merged together. Of course, the chipset is a bit older than what the mini has, but still benchmarks well enough. The Zoom even kept the IR blaster.

It used to be that people took a few dozen photos a year. Now they will do the same in a day or two and share them with the world in an instant. And all that thanks to the ever-improving photography skills of phones. The Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom takes this trend to an extreme - its long zoom, OIS and capable flash keep it relevant where a phone would be all but useless.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Review Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Review Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Review Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Review
Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom at ours

Combining two gadgets in one has its advantages - you only have to carry one device. You're buying only one device too. But just how good is the Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom at being both a phone and a camera? Read on and find out.

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Reviews > Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom review: Lights, Camera, Android!