Samsung launches Galaxy S4 Zoom, with 16MP camera and 10x zoom (Video added)

Samsung Galaxy S4 ZoomCheck out our review of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom camera/smartphone.

Samsung just can’t stop announcing new smartphones, and today’s device is the Galaxy S4 Zoom. Yes, it’s the third Galaxy S4 spin-off phone, after the Galaxy S4 Mini and the Galaxy S4 Active, and while the latter targeted Sony’s Xperia Z, the S4 Zoom is headed straight for Nokia’s territory, as it’s Samsung’s most advanced camera phone yet.

The Galaxy S4 Zoom is all about the camera, so let’s get right into its specs. A monster 16-megapixel backside illuminated camera is fitted to the phone, but that’s not the most impressive part, as it’s the first smartphone ever to feature a 10x optical zoom. That’s right, not a digital zoom, but an optical one, just like on most regular cameras. It’s controlled using Samsung’s Zoom Ring, which twists to not only zoom in and out, but also to quickly access the camera feature, even during a call.

Other camera specific specs include a xenon flash, HDR, optical image stabilization, ISO 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, and 3200 settings, plus an aperture length of f/3.1 to f/6.3. It’ll also record 1080p video, and comes with Samsung’s Smart Mode, which offers various scene settings, plus it will suggest the best option if you’re not sure. Other software enhancements such as Sound and Shot, a Panorama mode, Best Face, and Continuous Shot can also be selected. One interesting new feature is Photo Suggest, which connects to libraries of images to help provide inspiration, and can even guide you to the best place to take a picture based on your current location. Story Album is also on hand to organize your collection.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Rear

Impressive camera, not so impressive smartphone

As you can see from the pictures, all this camera tech means the Galaxy S4 Zoom is a bit of a beast. Samsung claims the phone is 15.4mm thick, which sounds thinner than it looks and could relate only to the slimmest part, but at 208 grams, you certainly won’t be losing it in your bag. To put it into context, the S4 Zoom is heavier than the Galaxy Note 2, and only a few grams less than a compact camera such as the Canon Powershot SX280 HS.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom SideAfter reading about the high-spec camera, you may be expecting the S4 Zoom to also impress with its phone-related spec. Sadly though, it’s has more in common with the Galaxy S4 Mini than Galaxy S4. It has the same 4.3-inch, 960 x 540 pixel, Super AMOLED screen as the S4 Mini, plus an unspecified 1.5GHz dual-core processor, and 1.5GB of RAM. There’s 8GB of internal memory, a microSD card slot, GPS, NFC and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. The Galaxy S4 Zoom also has 3G and 4G LTE connectivity, along with a 2330mAh battery, which will probably be needed if the phone is to make it through a tough day snapping pictures.

Samsung hasn’t provided a release date or any details on the S4 Zoom’s price, but this will probably come during its June 20 event, where it’s looking like there won’t be any phone surprises at all.

Updated on 06/13/2013 at 06:00 by Andy: Samsung has released what it calls a, “Lifestyle demo video,” featuring the Galaxy S4 Zoom. This means it features attractive, fashionable people wandering around Milan, Italy, snapping pictures with the new camera phone. Lifestyle nonsense aside, it does give us a look at how Samsung’s Zoom Ring works, the new camera interface, and also the overall size of the device.

Updated on 06/18/2013 at 07:00 by Andy: UK online retailer Handtec has put the Galaxy S4 Zoom up for pre-order, giving us our first indication of the phone’s SIM-free, unlocked price; and it’s not cheap. To secure Samsung’s camera phone, you’ll need £468 in your wallet, which is around $735.

Article originally published on 06/12/2013

Photography

Lens Rentals zooms in on the most popular cameras of the year

As 2018 comes to a close, Lens Rentals is taking a look at most popular cameras of the year, based on rental data. While Sony and Panasonic saw more rentals than the previous year, Canon is still the most-rented brand on the platform.
Mobile

Upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10 models may have two, three, or even four rear lenses

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Mobile

The best weather apps for the iPhone

Don't rely solely on your local meteorologist to stay up to date on the weather. Take matters into your own hands with one of these weather apps, each of which brings something unique to the table.
Web

Google’s updated Santa Tracker entertains and teaches coding throughout December

Google's Santa Tracker is in its fifteenth year and is back again with even more features. You can have fun with more than 20 games, learn about different holiday traditions around the world, and enjoy some festive animations.
Wearables

The $200 TicWatch C2 smartwatch is now being sold in the U.S. and U.K.

Digital well-being and disconnecting from your phone is one of 2018's big trends. Mobvoi wants you to think about its TicWatch C2 smartwatch as a great way to help you use your phone less.
Mobile

The Palm has been revived, and is now available in the U.S. and U.K.

A reboot of the classic Palm is finally here and it's tiny. It syncs to your phone and acts as a secondary device -- with a feature to help you disconnect from technology. The Palm will be available exclusively through Verizon for $350.
Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Mobile

Yes, we really are getting a special McLaren edition of the OnePlus 6T

OnePlus has announced a partnership with McLaren F1, emphasizing a shared interest in speed. The phone company is known for producing special edition devices. Here's what we know about the OnePlus 6T Mclaren Edition.
Deals

Simplify your life with one of these wireless smartphone charger deals

Banish nightly cable fumbling with a wireless smartphone charger. If your smartphone is compatible with wireless charging, the simplicity of placing it on a pad is a beautiful thing. Wireless chargers are also excellent gifts for coworkers.
Mobile

Microsoft Outlook for iOS gets big redesign, with Dark Mode coming soon

Microsoft has deployed a huge redesign for its Outlook for iOS app, which includes new blue branding and some quality-of-life improvements. Dark Mode isn't included, but it's coming soon.
Computing

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

Vanquish lag for good with the best routers for gaming

Finding the best routers for gaming is no easy task. With so many out there, how do you know which to pick? We've looked at the many options available and put together a list of our lag-free favorites.
Mobile

Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5 now available on the Apple Store

The Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5 is now available on the Apple Store for $150. The sensor strip, which is only 2 millimeters thin, automatically tracks a wide array of sleep data when placed under the user's sheets.