Samsung Galaxy K zoom review: Zoom-zoom

GSMArena team, 04 July 2014.

Introduction

The Galaxy K zoom speeds down right onto our review track, ready to take on any cameraphone contender. This speedster is equipped with a 10x optical zoom and OIS and if you were to see only its back, you would hardly recognize you are staring at an Android smartphone with a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED screen on the other side.

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Samsung Galaxy K zoom official images

The original Galaxy Camera didn't have phone functionality and was way too big for comfort. The Galaxy S4 zoom's specs were too low-end to deserve the "Galaxy S" badge. The Galaxy K zoom is reasonably sized (about as big as a Galaxy S4, except thicker and heavier) and offers solid midrange specs.

Key features

  • 20.7MP camera - 1/2.3" sensor, 10x optical zoom (24-240mm), optical image stabilization, xenon flash
  • 1080p video camera, 30fps and 60fps modes
  • 2MP / 1080p front-facing camera
  • 4.8" Super AMOLED, 720 x 1,280px, 306ppi; Gorilla Glass 3 with ambient light sensor
  • Android OS v4.4.2 KitKat
  • Exynos 5260 chipset with dual-core 1.7GHz Cortex-A15 and quad-core 1.3GHz quad-core Cortex-A7 CPU; 2GB RAM; Mali-T624 GPU
  • 8GB of built-in storage, expandable via the microSD card slot
  • Active noise cancellation with a secondary mic
  • 2,430mAh battery

Main disadvantages

  • Thicker and heavier than a regular smartphone
  • No 2160p video capture
  • Manual camera controls are hard to use

The days of taking several photos and handing over the roll at the local shop to be developed are long gone, these days a photo must be seen - and shared - the moment it has been snapped. There's more than a few social networks and services that change so often that even so-called "smart cameras" can't keep up.

This is half of the reason smartphones have displaced traditional cameras - posting on Instagram / Snapchat / Vine is a lot more common than collecting photos in a family album. The other half is just not having to deal with two devices - did you take the camera? Did you charge the battery, did you offload the photos?

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Samsung Galaxy K zoom stretching its lens at the office

Just using the "good enough" camera on your smartphone solves those issues but you lose the zoom and OIS even a cheap a point-and-shoot offers and the flash is usually a weakling LED.

The Samsung Galaxy K zoom offers the best of both worlds - it's an Android smartphone and it's a camera. The cost you'd pay is the increased thickness and weight but it still takes less space than a stand-alone camera and a phone.

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