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

GSMArena team, 23 July 2013.
Pages: 1234567891011

Tags: Samsung, Android

Motion gestures and Smart Screen

The Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom comes with several advanced TouchWiz-exclusive features, though not as many as a regular S4.

The familiar Smart Display features, Smart Stay and Smart Rotate, are enabled too. Stay prevents the screen from locking as long as the front-facing camera can see your face (great for reading) and Rotate uses the orientation of your face rather than accelerometer feedback to decide how to rotate the screen (the accelerometer gets this wrong if you're lying on your side).

Samsung's older motion gestures are here too. There's direct call (dial the contact whose details you're currently viewing by lifting the phone up to your face), smart alert (makes the phone vibrate when you pick it up if there are missed events), zooming and panning in the gallery, a shake of the phone to refresh the list of Bluetooth devices and muting alarms or pausing music playback by putting the phone face down.

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The gestures from S III and Note II are on board too

You can also pause the music player by putting your palm over the screen. A palm swipe takes a screenshot (but so does holding down the Home and Power buttons, which we find easier).

S Voice and Google Now

S Voice is Samsung's answer to Apple's Siri and is preloaded on the Galaxy S4 zoom. S Voice can be used to initiate a call, dictate text, play music, open an app, change a setting, make a memo (including voice memo), add a reminder, schedule an event, set an alarm or timer, check the weather, do a search on the internet, look for local listings (e.g. nearby restaurants) and even get an answer to a question.

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S Voice

S Voice does duplicate parts of Google Now, but being less search focused it tries to do more on the actual phone and it has some added features. Some of these are available outside of S Voice too, so you can set the Galaxy S4 zoom to answer a call, snooze an alarm, take a photo and what not by voice commands even when S Voice isn't running. The problem with S Voice is not nearly as fast or as accurate at recognizing your speech input as Now.

Naturally, being a Jelly Bean smartphone, the S4 Active also comes with Google Now.

Google Now integrates with your Google account and can access your daily routine, internet searches, email, etc. and give you information relevant to you.

It provides traffic information to your work or home, knows the scores of sports teams you follow, and offers the weather forecast for your location.

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Google Now

Google Now also has its own separate widget for the homescreen or lockscreen.

Synthetic benchmarks

The Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom packs a relatively old chipset, an Exynos 4212, which is more or less what the Galaxy S II had except that the newer part is built on a slightly better process and has 1.5GB of RAM. Other than that you get two Cortex-A9 cores clocked at 1.5GHz (this is where the new process kicks in) and a Mali-400 GPU. We're not expecting miracles on the CPU front, but the GPU should be good enough for the qHD screen.

Single-threaded performance is no match for new Krait cores, but some phones (like the Nexus 4) still struggle with performance. Multi-threaded performance is not great, as can be expected out of two relatively slow cores.

Benchmark Pi

Lower is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    132
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    132
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    147
  • HTC One
    151
  • Sony Xperia Z
    264
  • HTC Butterfly
    266
  • Oppo Find 5
    267
  • HTC One X+
    280
  • LG Optimus G
    285
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    305
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    326
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    330
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    359
  • Nexus 4
    431

Linpack

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    791
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    788
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    743
  • HTC One
    646
  • Sony Xperia Z
    630
  • HTC Butterfly
    624
  • LG Optimus G
    608
  • Oppo Find 5
    593
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    214.3
  • Nexus 4
    213.5
  • HTC One X+
    177.7
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    175.5
  • HTC One X
    160.9
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    95.5

Geekbench 2

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    3324
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    3227
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    3040
  • HTC One
    2708
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2173
  • HTC Butterfly
    2143
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    1845
  • LG Optimus G
    1723
  • iPhone 5
    1601
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    1222

The system-wide benchmarks AnTuTu and Quadrant put the Galaxy S4 zoom near the bottom, though its Quadrant score is pretty close to the Galaxy S III. It's a relatively old benchmark, the newer AnTuTu sees a bigger (but still not 2x) performance gap between the two.

AnTuTu

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    26275
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    24716
  • HTC One
    22678
  • Sony Xperia Z
    20794
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    20056
  • HTC Butterfly
    19513
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    15547
  • Oppo Find 5
    15167
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    10630

Quadrant

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    12446
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    12376
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    12105
  • HTC One
    11746
  • Sony Xperia Z
    8075
  • HTC One X+
    7632
  • LG Optimus G
    7439
  • Oppo Find 5
    7111
  • HTC One X
    5952
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    5916
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    5450
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    4956
  • Nexus 4
    4567

GLBenchmark 2.5 and 2.7 were run in 1080p offscreen mode - four times the physical resolution of the screen. If nothing else, this test shows the S4 zoom packs about as much GPU power as the Galaxy Note II.

Epic Citadel, which runs at screen resolution, shows that the GPU is quite enough for qHD gaming. The 56+ fps result means that framerate rarely dips below 60fps.

GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt (1080p off-screen)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    43
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    41
  • HTC One
    37
  • Oppo Find 5
    32
  • Google Nexus 4
    32
  • Sony Xperia Z
    31
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    31
  • Sony Xperia SP
    31
  • Apple iPhone 5
    30
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    30
  • LG Optimus G
    21
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    17
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    16
  • HTC One X
    11

GLBenchmark 2.7 T-Rex (1080p off-screen)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    17.1
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    17.1
  • Apple iPad 4
    16.8
  • Google Nexus 10
    13.9
  • LG Optimus G
    13.9
  • Sony Xperia Z
    13.5
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
    13
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    12.8
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    4.9
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    4

Epic Citadel

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    59.8
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    57.1
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    56.6
  • HTC One
    56.4
  • Sony Xperia Z
    55.6
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    54.2
  • Nexus 4
    53.9
  • Asus Padfone 2
    53.4
  • LG Optimus G
    52.6
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    41.3
  • Oppo Find 5
    38.6

The Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom showed impressive performance when it comes to web browsing. Both JavaScript performance (SunSpider) and HTML5 rendering (BrowserMark 2) rival current flagships (the lower resolution helps in the latter test). Vellamo's browser test has it pretty close too.

SunSpider

Lower is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    804
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    810
  • Samsung Ativ S
    891
  • Apple iPhone 5
    915
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    910
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    972
  • HTC One X+
    1001
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1011
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    1056
  • Motorola RAZR i XT890
    1059
  • HTC One
    1124
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    1192
  • Sony Xperia Z
    1336
  • LG Optimus G
    1353
  • HTC Butterfly
    1433
  • Nexus 4
    1971
  • Oppo Find 5
    2045

BrowserMark 2

Higher is better

  • LG Optimus G
    2555
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    2438
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    2401
  • HTC One
    2262
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    2107
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2093
  • Nexus 4
    1794
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    1774
  • HTC Butterfly
    1475
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    1247

Vellamo

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2418
  • HTC One
    2382
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2189
  • HTC One X (Tegra 3)
    2078
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    2060
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    2056
  • HTC Butterfly
    1866
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    1721
  • Samsung Galaxy S III
    1641
  • LG Optimus G
    1522
  • Nexus 4
    1310
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