Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom

A Galaxy S4 in name only, the Zoom is perhaps better related to the Galaxy Camera

The launch of the original Samsung Galaxy Camera brought to the table a different class of product. An all-in-one device for people who wanted to take decent photographs yet have all the benefits of a smartphone at their disposal. The Galaxy S4 Zoom is very much in this same vein; a point-and-shoot camera with smartphone capabilities. Only this time around, you can actually use it to call people. 

The design of the Galaxy S4 Zoom in one regard will be instantly recognizable as a Galaxy class device. Looking at it display side on, we're basically looking at a Galaxy S4 Mini. A 4.3-inch qHD (540x960) display sits atop Android 4.2.2 with the latest iteration of Samsung's Touchwiz interface. 5GB of user available storage, 1.5GB of RAM and a 1.5GHz dual-core processor leave us with a capable, but still decidedly mid-range smartphone. But, this isn't just a smartphone. 

Round the back we have the real meat of the S4 Zoom. A 16MP F3.1 - F6.3 camera with a 10x optical zoom, and full HD 1080p video recording capabilities. This isn't a smartphone with a good camera on the back. This is a point-and-shoot camera with a smartphone on the back. Sadly, the display is a let down when you're taking nice, big 16MP photographs and can only view them on a qHD screen. 

From every angle other than looking at the display face on, the S4 Zoom is designed less like a phone, and more like a camera. Big physical shutter button on the top, a nice grip area to hold with your right hand while shooting, and a much more camera sized Xenon flash. 

The branding is the most misleading part of the Zoom. This is not a Galaxy S4, nor is it a Galaxy S4-class device. The S4 Zoom is so much closer to the Galaxy Camera. A slightly niche product? Possibly. But this is perhaps what the Galaxy Camera should have been all along. Pricing could still be an issue -- the Galaxy Camera was overpriced at launch -- but we have to remember that the Zoom is a full smartphone as well. And that means carrier subsidies for those who don't want to drop a big wad of cash up front. It's an interesting device for sure, and we're deeply curious to see how well it takes off.


Reader comments

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom hands-on


I want a photo of someone holding it up to his ear, just to see if we have another N-Gage situation on our hands.

Hey !!! The N-Gage wasn't nearly as awkward as this one !
I know, because I had an OG N-Gage back in the day , The N-Gage "situation" happened because people were "Holding It Wrong" lol (Cliche , but true)

Me too! This gadget will spend significantly more time in my pocket than it will up in front of my face. Getting an idea of what it looks like with lens retracted would be helpful.

If this had Galaxy S4 specs I would snatch it up in a heartbeat, tisk tisk Samsung. You should never release a product with a name that it doesn't live up to.


If this had the high end specs I would be all over this, but with these defiantly not. Also only 5GB of storage...... really Samsung

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I didn't know you wanted a smartphone/camera that would cost close to $1000 dollars then.

Most point and shoot cameras are around $200-$400 depending on specs. A Galaxy S4 unlocked comes to about $600+. The S4 only seems cheap because it's subsidized by carrier contracts. These are considered mid to high for a point and shoot now. I believe the top of line 2013 Sony DSC-HX50V is a 30x zoom, with a 20 megapixel CMOS sensor.

This is 10x zoom, with a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor. But it goes beyond much of the top end point and shoot cameras. You get a much bigger screen. Most point and shoot cameras come with 3" LCD.

It's only 5 gb internal storage. Much like any camera, you need your own memory card. Most point and shoot camera's barely come with 100 mb or so internal.

This is great for most people, who want a decent camera, with great zoom or video recording, but still have the ability to call or text people.

What does it have to live up to? They just said it's not an S4, it's phone part is more d-range cause its not designed to be a full smartphone, all it has to live up to is other point and shoots which even these days isn't gonna be hard for Samsung considering it's a point and shoot with full phone capabilities.

Maybe you should read and think before you post.

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If it's not much thicker than the original Droid, then I can actually see this product doing VERY well with the female market who generally carry their phone around in a purse anyway so bulk isn't as big of an issue.

As a woman, I must say I wouldn't be caught dead with this thing. Its freaking ugly. Plus, women don't always carry around their purses. I don't carry my purse around with me in the lab I work in. I don't take my purse with me to walk the dog. I don't carry my purse from room to room as I'm cleaning house and listening to music with my headphones. So you see, often women need to carry their phones around in their pockets too. Most women's pants have horrible pockets by the way. We don't get awesome pockets that go halfway down to our knees like guys do. We get tiny little slash pockets. And they suck. I'm not saying there won't be any women who will buy this, I just don't see it being a big hit.

We have been seeing these for years mocked up by creative photoshoppers...Its funny that their misguided visions have finally become a reality!

I kinda want this. Would love to see comparisons between this, the iPhone 5, the One, and a Lumia.

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Love the concept, will have to see how the reality is. I hope it does take off because it will encourage more innovation in this area. Maybe next year we'd get one with REAL S5 specs.

Totally fugly phone, wouldn't be seen dead with it, specs are rubbish too for it to have the GS4 branding

Posted via Android Central App on my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 LTE

I'm going to wait for the HTC version of this(Hopeing they make one next year), if any one can make a camera thats a phone look good, it's probably them.