One of the frustrating things about smartphone cameras can be the fixed focal point. But Samsung is promising to change that with the new Galaxy S4 zoom.
Catering to those who’d like a point-and-shoot compact camera to be built into their mobile, Samsung’s new gizmo combines an Android smartphone with a 16-megapixel camera, complete with 10x zoom lens.
On the smartphone side, the Galaxy S4 Zoom comes complete with a 4.3-inch display, a 1.5GHz dual processor, 1.5GB of RAM, 8GB of inbuilt storage, which you can expand via a microSD slot, and a 1.9MP front-facing camera.
Turn it over and you have an impressive point-and-shoot that should appeal to a range of consumers from mums who want to take pictures of their little ones while out-and-about to travelling gap year students and teenagers who want to snap their friends without also carrying a compact camera around.
It’s the first every smartphone to feature a 10x zoom lens and Samsung is certainly proud of its new invention, describing it as a device which “combines the stylish heritage of the Galaxy S4 smartphone with advanced photographic capabilities”.
Samsung set out to create a gadget which fulfilled the role of both an industry-leading smartphone and a high-end compact camera. And, the South Korean multinational says the finished result “sets new standards for mobile photography”.
Simon Stanford, who is vice president of the IT and mobile division at Samsung Electronics UK and Ireland, said: “Combining our industry leading expertise in digital imaging and smartphones, the Galaxy S4 Zoom is a converged device that delivers on all fronts and is a product we are excited to be bringing to the market.”
Galaxy S4 zoom Images
The Galaxy S4 Zoom incorporates an impressive sensor which Samsung promises will allow users to snap gorgeous images from far way or in close up, in all light conditions. There’s also a built-in optical image stabiliser which should help to keep the camera still, even if you’re not.
A clever idea called Photo Suggest links you up to extensive libraries of pictures taken by other photographers, to provide you with inspiration when it comes to composing your shots on location. It can even direct you to the ideal vantage point if you’ve spotted an image you’d like to try to emulate.
There is also a plethora of special features available in Smart Mode, such as Action Freeze, to capture high-speed action like sporting events and Drama Shot, which merges continuous snaps of moving objects into one image.
Galaxy S4 Zoom ring
Not just a way to compose your shots, the Zoom Ring offers a way to share images with friends. Even if you are in the middle of a phone call, you can share your images, with a quick twist of the Zoom Ring activating the In-Call Photo Share feature so you can immediately capture and share shots.
The Zoom Ring is also a way into accessing various camera modes and is designed to give you greater accuracy when taking your shots, by replacing traditional dials and buttons with a method Samsung claims is smoother and easier to operate.
Galaxy S4 zoom Saving and sharing
Ideal for keen travellers or those living away from loved ones, a Story Album feature allows you to arrange your shots and videos in one timeline to share with friends and family. You can also order prints directly through your smartphone, or transfer your photographs to your laptop or tablet to keep them safe with Samsung Link.
Already, Samung has come in for a bit of criticism for developing a product that is too niche. But tech forum users have spoken about eagerly anticipating the chance to buy an S4 Zoom. As one succinctly put it: “I’m a big fan of convergence. I want my phone to do everything.”