Smartphone imaging components have improved a lot in recent years but the lack of an optical zoom is still a major disadvantage compared to traditional compact cameras. Samsung tried to bridge the gap with last year's Galaxy S4 Zoom but the device ended up being bulkier than its smartphone cousin, the Galaxy S4, without offering the same high-end specification. It also didn't convince us in our smartphone shootout either.
Now Samsung is aiming to make its hybrid model more attractive to consumers and has launched the second generation of the Galaxy Zoom series. The new model offers a slimmer body than the S4 Zoom (18 vs 28 mm) and most of the smartphone components have been upgraded. The Super AMOLED screen has grown from 4.3 to 4.8 inches which brings it close to the 5-inch displays of many current top-end smartphones. That said, the 720p resolution cannot match the 1080 displays of the Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 or Sony Xperia Z2.
Android 4.4 is powered by an Exynos 5 Hexa SoC with six CPU cores and 2GB RAM. There are only 8GB of internal memory but it can be expanded, thanks to a microSD slot. LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi and NFC are all on board and power is provided by a 2,430 mAh battery.
On the camera module, the most obvious change is the increased pixel count. The 1/2.3-inch BSI CMOS sensor now captures 20.7MP images versus the S4 Zoom's 16MP. The 10x zoom lens offers the same 24-240mm equivalent focal range and F3.1-6.3 maximum aperture as the S4 Zoom and comes with optical image stabilization. There is also a xenon flash and a 2MP front camera for the occasional selfie. We're looking forward to getting a Galaxy K Zoom into our hands for testing.
Key Photographic/Video Specifications:
- 20.7MP 1/2.3-inch BSI CMOS sensor
- 10x zoom, 24-240mm equivalent focal range
- F3.1-6.3 aperture
- Xenon flash
- 2MP front camera
- 1080p video
- 1.3GHz quad-core, 1.7GHz dual-core Exynos Hexa processor
- Android 4.4
- 4.8-inch 720p Super AMOLED display
- 2GB of RAM
- 8GB storage
- 2,430 mAh battery