Samsung GALAXY S4 Zoom – Now officially announced for launch!
Samsung has recently announced the launch of the Samsung GALAXY S4 Zoom, which is similar to the GALAXY Camera, but unlike its predecessor, it sports true working telephony features (GALAXY Camera only supports 3G and WiFi connectivity). According to CNET, the device will be available in the UK this summer, with a release in the United States and the rest of Europe planned for the fourth quarter of this year. Below are it’s full specifications:
- Form factor: Touchscreen bar phone with optical zoom lens
- Dimensions: 125.5 x 63.5 x 15.4 mm, 208 g
- CPU: Dual-core Cortex-A9 1.5 GHz processor, 1.5GB RAM, Mali-400 GPU
- Display: 4.25″ 16M-color qHD (540 x 960 pixels) Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen
- OS: Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)
- Memory: 8 GB (5 GB user available) of inbuilt storage, microSD card slot (up to 64 GB)
- Camera: (Back) 16 megapixel auto-focus camera with 10x optical zoom and Optical Image Stabilization, xenon flash and LED light, control lens ring; (Front) 1.9 Mega pixel camera
- Video Camera: Full HD (1080p) video recording at 30fps; 720p @ 60fps
- Network: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz; UMTS 850/900/1900/2100 MHz, HSDPA 21 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps; LTE (market dependent), Cat3, 50 Mbps UL, 100 Mbps DL
- Connectivity: Dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0+HS, NFC, MHL-enabled standard microUSB port, GPS receiver with A-GPS and GLONASS, 3.5mm audio jack, FM radio, USB-OTG
- Battery: 2,330mAh
- Misc: TouchWiz 5.0 Nature UX, XviD codec support, built-in accelerometer, multi-touch input, proximity sensor, gyroscope sensor, smart screen
In short, it is similar to the GALAXY S4 mini, but with bigger size, weight and obviously of course, the humongous 16 MP lens. Despite the integrated telephony functions, the main focus is still photography. Watch it in action here:
And more close-ups of this device here:
This ain’t an ordinary bulky camera lens fitted onto a smartphone, the lens has the revolutionary Zoom Ring, which is newly implemented by Samsung. By twisting it, you can access to a lot of shortcuts and zoom options, making it more like a semi-professional camera. And as usual, Samsung has implemented new software features on new devices such as In-Call Photo Share, Story Album, Smart Mode and Smart Mode Suggest.
In conclusion, this device is suitable for those who love photography, yet want to be light-weight (imagine wearing a gown and carrying a large DSLR) and keep connected. However, from my point of view, such sophisticated devices depend a lot on proprietary code, which means hacking or system-level customization (yeah, as most Android users like to do) will be very hard, plus Samsung is already well-known for being less supportive to the open source community (read this, a very good article by a CyanogenMod maintainer). So if you are keen in hacking and developing, having a Sony device would be better as they have grown into an open source community-friendly OEM and also been selected as the XDA-Developers OEM of the year 2012.