The Android operating system is incredibly versatile, and has found its way onto a large number of diverse hardware platforms, not just smartphones. Samsung offers a number of photo-centric devices that combine smartphone convenience and access to the Google Play store with optical zoom lenses and other camera functionalities, and still fit in your pocket. Having a mobile OS on your camera – or a full featured camera on your smartphone – provides a number of benefits, including faster image processing, in-camera tools like easy cropping and retouching, as well as the ability to upload photos and videos directly from the camera to your favorite social media site without having to transfer them to a computer first.
The recently unveiled Samsung Galaxy K Zoom marks the most updated in Samsung’s series of Android-based digital camera/smartphone crossovers, packing a 10x (or more) optical lens into a body that more closely resembles the smartphone shape we’ve come to know.
Check out our product announcement to read about all the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom‘s features, as well as keep updated on release information as it becomes available. If you’re looking for something a little more serious, Samsung also offers the Galaxy NX, an interchangeable lens camera running Android 4.2.2.
Samsung Galaxy K Zoom
Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom
Samsung Galaxy Cam 2
|Size||137.5 x 70.8 x 16.6 (mm)||125.3 x 63.3 x 15.25 (mm)||132.5 x 71.2 x 19.3 (mm)|
|Weight||200 grams||208 grams||283 grams|
|Screen||4.8-inchSuper AMOLED||4.3-inch Super AMOLED||4.8-inch TFT-LCD|
|Resolution||1280 x 720||960 x 540||1280 x 720|
|OS||Android 4.4||Android 4.2||Android 4.3|
|SD Card Slot||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Processor||1.3 GHz Quad-Core, 1.7 GHz Dual-Core||1.5 GHz Dual-Core||1.6 GHz Quad-Core|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, NFC||Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, NFC||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth|
|Camera||Front 2MP, Rear 20.7MP||16MP||16.3MP|
|Bluetooth||Yes, Version 4.0||4.0||4.0|
|Battery||2,430 mAh||2,330 mAh||2,000 mAh|
|Marketplace||Google Play||Google Play||Google Play|
|Availability||TBD||Verizon, AT&T, Unlocked||Wi-Fi Only|
|DT Review||Coming soon||Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom||Coming Soon|
Power and Productivity
When it comes to processing power, the K Zoom comes out ahead, but not by much. Its Hexacore architecture is built from a 1.3 GHz quad-core and dual-core 1.7 GHz chip working together, so one can handle the operating system while the other acts as a dedicated image processor. The RAM and storage options are nearly identical across all three devices, with the exception of the S4 Zoom, but the difference probably won’t be noticeable to the end user. Both the K Zoom and the S4 Zoom offer the cellular connectivity you’d find in a smartphone, while the Galaxy Cam 2 instead opting only for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
All three devices are nearly the same size, with the biggest difference in build coming from the Galaxy Cam 2’s construction, which has a grip that’s more common on a digital camera (after all, the Galaxy Cam 2 is camera first, smart device second). In exchange for a little bit of the bulk, the Galaxy Camera 2 has a 21x optical zoom, more than doubling the 10x zoom on the other two devices. The S4 Zoom has a smaller, lower resolution screen than the K Zoom and the Galaxy Cam 2, and is more in line with the screens you would find on a lower-end point-and-shoot digital camera. The K Zoom is the only device of the three with a flat back (or front, depending on your point of view), with an optical zoom lens that fully retracts so that it’s basically flush with the rest of the phone.
The camera in the K Zoom is a step up from the two other models, offering an additional 4 megapixels to the CMOS sensor. Having an Android-based software in a high-resolution camera isn’t just about processing power – the easy access to photo editing and sharing programs make these devices particularly useful for the avid photographer, selfie-taker, and artsy black-and-white-phone picture snapper who wants to share his or her craft with the world. Because it bears more similarities to a smartphone than a digital camera, the K Zoom also features a front-facing camera for video chatting or taking pictures of yourself without using the bathroom mirror.
At the end of the day, all three devices have their own niche to fill, and there’s no one device that truly beats out the others. If you’re more interested in a digital camera backed that runs Android, the Galaxy Cam 2 has a better zoom, at the cost of cellular connectivity and a larger size. The Galaxy S4 Zoom is a cost-efficient option that will satisfy basic smartphone users who want an optical zoom. The upcoming Galaxy K Zoom is an impressively-featured Android phone with an optical zoom lens that lies totally flush when not in use, and offers superior camera performance without sacrificing much of anything.