As expected, Samsung has unveiled the latest member of its Galaxy Zoom family that combines the a competitive digital camera and a decent smartphone. With the Galaxy K Zoom, Samsung tries to achieve the mobile photography prowess that its Galaxy S5 flagship, for one reason or another, fails to reach.
It is hardly surprising to hear of a new Zoom smartphone. The name that Samsung chose to go with, however, is still a bit puzzling. Nonetheless, there is no doubt about what the Galaxy K Zoom is: a camera-toting sibling of the Galaxy S5. This is most evident when looking at its rear, which sports the same textured back cover that will be distinctive of the Galaxy S5 and its kin for the rest of their existence. Of course, It does not bear the flagship’s sleek form, as the Galaxy K Zoom will naturally be thicker at 20.2 mm, around 0,79 inches, at the thickest point.
Of course, the main feature of this device, and the reason it is that thick, is the camera. Here you’ll find a 20.7 megapixel shooter at the back with a 1/2.3 Back-side Illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor. It is capable of shooting Full HD videos at 1920×1080 resolutions and at 60 fps frame rates. There is also the much coveted Optical Image Stabilization technology to keep things from getting blurry, no matter how fast they are or how unstable your hands are. Instead of the usual LED flash, Samsung splurged on a Xenon one for brighter lights. The Galaxy K Zoom also features Auto Focus/Auto Exposure Separation, Pro Suggest mode for optimal filter settings, and Selfie Alarm for perfectly timed selfies. If these technical features sound a tad familiar, it is perhaps because you’ve seen them on the Sony Xperia Z2 or even the Xperia Z1 before it. The difference is that these are all built into Sony’s flagship, whereas Samsung leaves the Galaxy S5 dreaming of even better pictures. However, the Galaxy K Zoom does have a trump card in the form of a retractable lens that provides 10x optical zoom.
The smartphone half of the Galaxy K Zoom is no Galaxy S5 for sure, but it is no less capable and, compared to the specs we saw earlier for the Galaxy S5 Mini, definitely worth a second glance. You get the same hexa-core processor that was spotted in the Galaxy Note 3 Neo, combining four 1.3 GHz cores with two 1.7 GHz cores. RAM is also on par with recent devices at 2 GB but internal storage is a measly 8 GB, unless you expand it with a microSD card. The screen is quite handy at 4.8 inches and the 1280×720 pixel resolution is nothing to laugh at. The rest of the spec sheet sounds slightly similar to the Galaxy S5, including Android 4.4 as well as support for Cat4 LTE. No mention of the Download Booster feature, however. On the software aspects, users will have access to the same Ultra Power Saving mode and a special S Health Lite version. Samsung is also throwing in a rather mysterious Studio app for video and photo editing.
Although the Galaxy K Zoom is definitely bulky, it looks less obnoxious than the Galaxy S4 Zoom and does manage to look a tad more stylish. This, coupled with the decent smartphone specs and, of course, the photography features, could make it an easier sell. Samsung has not yet made available the retail information for the Galaxy K Zoom, including the price tag. At launch, the camera smartphone will be available in three color options of Charcoal Black, Electric Blue, and Shimmering White.