This week we've been given the opportunity to take a closer look at the latest device to grace the Samsung Galaxy S4 family. That of course being the Galaxy S4 Zoom cameraphone. Rocking the GS4 name this smaller 4.3-inch device doesn't quite have top-tier phone specs, but with a 16 megapixel camera with 10x optical zoom attached it surely has the best smartphone optics. Lets take a brief look at the phone, as well as shoot some photos.
Revealed at the Samsung Premiere event and already available in Europe, we're still waiting for some US carriers to jump on board and offer this dual-core 4.3-inch packing smartphone with a camera on its back. We've heard reports of AT&T, but are still waiting for some confirmation. Before we jump into some camera tests, lets talk hardware.
Obviously the important part of this device is it's a quality camera, that doubles as a smartphone. So the phone aspects aren't the best. The smaller 4.3-inch display is only qHD 540 x 960 in resolution. No HD display here. Then instead of quad-core Galaxy S4 power we have a 1.5 GHz dual-core Samsung Exynos chip, 1.5GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage. However, that's plenty for most tasks.
We are working with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean here, so that's a plus, and the micro-SD slot allows for added storage for all those pictures you'll be taking and 1080p video recording. We basically have the Galaxy S 4 Mini with a 16 megapixel camera on board. The battery is only 2,330 mAh and we'll test that out in our full review.
The usual phone features are here. You have 4G LTE variants available, a front facing camera, Google Play Store access, and everything else TouchWiz offers on Android. Now lets talk about the camera.
The Galaxy S4 Zoom rocks a quality 16 megapixel sensor, and the image stabilization even after 10x optical zoom was much better than we ever anticipated. Below you'll see a sample too. The camera lens is 24-240mm, F3.1-F6.3, and supports full 1080p HD video recording at 30fps. It also works ok in low light and snaps photos from ISO 100 to ISO 3200 and up to 4fps of continuous shot with burst mode.
The image you see above, and all below, we're taken with the phones "smart mode" which is choosing all the settings and levels for you. Obviously Samsung has some serious software things going on, not to mention they've been compressed for the site. However, our initial impressions are quite favorable.
Next you'll see two photos. One from quite far away, and the other at full 10x optical zoom. Oh and the dedicated zoom ring does more than just zoom in, but we'll talk about that more in our full review. Here's the two photos. Take a look at how clear the 10x zoom image still comes out. No smartphone can do that!
We're not professional photographers here, but will be sure to test multiple different shots, all of Samsung's pre-made settings, as well as a few of our own and give this cameraphone a full rundown. For now we'll just say as a smartphone it works quite well even though it's a bit heavy on back, and for those who need the best of both worlds this might be perfect. There's a few more odd photos below, and stay tuned for a full review.