Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Review – The Marriage of a Smartphone and a Camera

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Is the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom a smartphone or is it a camera?

If you’re not a techie/geek and you want a quick summary of the device here it is. The S4 Zoom is an unusual phone, it is the long awaited marriage of both a camera and a phone with a decent mid-range smartphone spec and a fantastic camera that delivers what you want. If you’re an amateur photographer this is certainly for you.

We’ll recommend it to photography enthusiasts, bloggers and others who love to capture images on the go without the stress of carrying a camera.  The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom goes for a premium price of roughly 110,000 Naira Only.

Now let’s get into detailed information of the device, scroll down lets begin.

samsung_galaxy_s4_zoom
Samsung Galaxy S4

360NoBS Ratings: 3.5 out of 5Stars

WHAT WE LIKE ABOUT THE S4 ZOOM
Excellent battery life, Superb for media, Excellent smartphone camera, Plays games well, Expandable memory

WHAT WE DISLIKE ABOUT THE S4 ZOOM
Heavy, Only 8GB for storage, Expensive for its mid-range smartphone specs.

IN BOX:
Uboxing the S4 Zoom, you’ll find the following:
1. The Phone
2. Wall charger
3. Micro Usb Cable
4. In ear stereo headphobe (Samsung GH9-11720A)
5. Warrant and information Leaflets

 HARDWARE
The S4 Zoom is quite similar to the Samsung galaxy S4 Mini than the Galaxy S4 itself. The S4 Zoom has an Exynos 4212 Chipset with a dual-core 1.5GHZ Cortex A9 GPU and 1.5GB RAM. It’s battery capacity is 2,330mAh which I must say is very impressive and necessary considering its a dual function device.

The S4 Zoom’s junior brother, The Samsung Galaxy Camera packs a 1,650mAh battery therefore we must commend Samsung for letting us have extra juice on its Senior brother, S4 Zoom.

Besides the beauty of this phone camera device, the most disappointing feature is the 8GB of built-in storage, although it comes with a Micro SD card slot which can take as much as 64GB in it.

The S4 Zoom is 15.4mm thick which is double the thickness of the S4(7.9mm). It also weighs 208g which makes it a bit uncomfortable when put into your  trousers/Skinny Jeans pocket but it’s surely not uncomfortable when held – there is no bulkiness.

The S4 Zoom measures at just 4.3 inches 540 X 960 with a SUPER AMOLED display structure which helps enhance it’s contrast and saturation. It also has a pixel density of 256 PPI (Pixel Per Inch) and spots the corning Gorilla Glass 3 to prevent it from any form of scratch on the screen.

Flipping the S4 Zoom over you’ll find a massive camera lens next to a powerful Xenon Flash and a pronounced “bump” to improve the phone’s grip when taking photos. There is a 1/2.33 inch, 16 Megapix BSI CMOS Senso with a 10X Optical zoom which is very handy for taking low light pictures. It also possess optical image Stablisation which also shoots 1080p video at 30fps. The S4 zoom has a 1.9MP front facing camera for your Skype calls, selfies and so on. Brilliant, I’ll say on the camera features.

I’ll like to say the S4 zoom is a very pretty device for a smartphone and a camera all in one but coming down to it’s smartphone spec it’s a bit of a mid-ranger.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom
Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom

SOFTWARE
The S4 Zoom runs on Android 4.2.2 Jelly bean OS behind the scenes of it’s camera capabilities and as usual Samsung has skinned it’s TouchWiz User Interface(UI) on top. Many software features from the Galaxy S4 have been ported to the S4 Zoom. Watch ON, Group play, Safety Assurance and Safety Assistance are all present. You can download lots of applications on the play store for editing your images and videos.samsung galazy s4 zoom softeware
By obvious default the S4 zoom is configured to be first a phone then a camera, so everything “phoney” that can be done with the Galaxy S4 can also be done with the Zoom. Google Now is also well present on the Zoom. Just in case you want to use the S4 Zoom for a camera primarily, and then a phone secondary you can set the phone to launch the camera rather than the regular home-screen you find on the Samsung phones.

Samsung has also kindly pre-installed power saving features to the TouchWiz User Interface, and like I said earlier it’s an Android device so you have access to the Google play store. Samsung has also bundled 50GB of free dropbox storage for the first year important to store images.

The Samsung keyboard portrait responds well when typing despite it being just a 4.3 inch screen. It also has a Swype support.

The Zoom camera has a SMART MODE where you can select Food, Macro, indoor, action freeze, rich tone, panorama, water fall, animated photo, drama, eraser, sound, light trace and so on. Smart mode is very useful given that the Camera can recommend several options based on the current scene. Advanced photography is also supported on the Zoom with an “EXPERT OPTION” available. The S4 Zoom also shoots High Definition (HD) Videos.samsung galaxy s4 zoom software 2

WRAP UP
zoom In lots of ways the S4 Zoom is a fantastic device with a solid long lasting battery. It has arguably the best camera on a   smartphone with lots of great features and apps.

You can also make phone calls without any problems which is normal with about any phone. For lovers of photography this will be your ideal smartphone plus camera all in one.

It has decent mid-range smartphone spec and camera delivers when called to action. The main selling point of the S4 Zoom is that it removes the need to carry around both a phone and a camera separately and like Samsung said in it’s official launch “ONE IS ENOUGH TO DO EVERYTHING”.

We won’t recommend the S4 Zoom to everyone but if you love Samsung’s idea then you’ll love the SAMSUNG GALAXY ZOOM.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Z00m Specifications

GENERAL    2G Network     GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 – all versions  
3G Network  HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 – all versions
4G Network  LTE (market dependent)
SIM  Micro-SIM
Announced  2013, June
Status  Available. Released 2013, July

 

BODY   Dimensions 125.5 x 63.5 x 15.4 mm (4.94 x 2.5 x 0.61 in)
Weight 208 g (7.34 oz)

 

DISPLAY Type Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 540 x 960 pixels, 4.3 inches (~256 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 3

 

SOUND     Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes

 

MEMORY   Card slot microSD, up to 64 GB
Internal 8 GB (5 GB user available), 1.5 GB RAM

 

DATA GPRS Yes
EDGE Yes
Speed HSDPA, 21.1 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps; LTE, Cat3, 50 Mbps UL, 100 Mbps DL
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetooth Yes, v4.0 with A2DP, LE
NFC Yes
Infrared port Yes
USB Yes, microUSB v2.0 (MHL), USB On-the-go

 

CAMERA Primary 16 MP, autofocus, Xenon flash
Features 1/2.33” sensor size, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection,10x optical zoom (24-240mm), optical image stabilization, HDR, panorama
Video Yes, 1080p@30fps
Secondary Yes, 1.9 MP

 

FEATURES OS  Android OS, v4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)  
Chipset Pega-Dual +XMM6262
CPU Dual-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A9
GPU Mali-400
Sensors Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Messaging      SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM, RSS  
Browser HTML5
Radio FM radio
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support and GLONASS
Java Yes, via Java MIDP emulator
Colors White, Dynamic Black
  – S-Voice natural language commands and dictation
– Dropbox (50 GB storage)
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
– TV-out (via MHL A/V link)
– SNS integration
– MP4/DivX/XviD/WMV/H.264/H.263 player
– MP3/WAV/eAAC+/AC3/FLAC player
– Organizer
– Image/video editor
– Document viewer
– Google Search, Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk, Picasa
– Voice memo/dial/commands
– Predictive text input (Swype)

What you think? Is this a phone you’ll buy? Leave your comments in the comment box.

Review by @Stamfordgeezer

TheTega

TheTega

"Tega is a writer/OAP, Lover of all things Tech, Sports and TV Series"

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