GALAXY S4 zoom (6)

We're starting to wonder if Samsung will have anything left to announce at the London event next week - they've made three new phones and two new tablets official in the small amount of time since the event was scheduled. The latest is the Galaxy S4 Zoom, an update to both the never-ending string of Galaxy S4 variants and last year's Galaxy Camera that's been caught in the wild already. This time around, the device is a phone first: the S4 Zoom has smartphone capabilities as well as pretty respectable point-and-shoot specs.

GALAXY S4 zoom (6) GALAXY S4 zoom (8)

On the phone side of things, the S4 Zoom shares quite a lot with the Galaxy S4 Mini, including a 4.3-inch 960x540 screen (super AMOLED), a 1.5Ghz dual-core processor (which may be slightly altered by market), and both 3G and LTE versions. The phone uses Samsung's ubiquitous 4.2 build of Android with all the bells and whistles. Storage is a rather disappointing 8GB, plus an open MicroSD card slot, with 1.5GB of memory. Battery capacity is 2330mAh and removable. Dimensions are basically like a chunky S4 Mini, at 125.5 x 63.5 x 15.4mm.

GALAXY S4 zoom (4) GALAXY S4 zoom (7) GALAXY S4 zoom (3)

As far as the camera goes, the S4 Zoom roughly matches the Galaxy Camera. That big honking lens on the back grants the 16 megapixel sensor 10x optical zoom and optical stabilization, with a decent F-Stop range of F3.1-6.3. ISO goes from 100 all the way to 3200, though hopefully you won't need to go that high thanks to a true xenon flash (not just an LED, like most phones). Users can take photos at to 4 times a second with auto-focus, and video recording tops out at full 1080p at 30 frames per second. The front-facing camera is a decent 1.9MP.

When it comes to software, the camera gets most of the standard point-and-shoot auto modes, along with various specialty functions. The hardware includes a physical shutter button and zoom controls, and the lens zoom ring operates some interesting options, including a quick launch feature and the ability to take photos while in a call and automatically send them to the person on the end of the line via MMS.

As usual, Samsung didn't mention a timeframe or price for the Galaxy S4 Zoom. Russian website Hi-Tech.Mail.ru got some hands-on time with the hardware, and quoted a release date in July with a price of 19,990 rubles (about $620 USD).

Source: Samsung Mobile Press

LONDON, UK - June 12, 2013 - Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today announced the launch of the Samsung GALAXY S4 zoom, a powerful new device which combines the stylish heritage of the latest GALAXY S4 smartphone with advanced photographic capabilities.

Part of the GALAXY S4 family, the GALAXY S4 zoom is the realization of Samsung’s mission to create a single device that can fulfill the role of both an industry leading smartphone and a high-end compact camera. Combining 10x Optical Zoom, 16 Mega Pixel CMOS Sensor, OIS and Xenon Flash with the very latest Samsung GALAXY S4 technology, the GALAXY S4 zoom sets new standards for perfect mobile photography. It is the ultimate smartphone and camera experience in one, and the only device you’ll ever need.

Revolutionary new interface

Do it all and miss nothing thanks to the revolutionary new Zoom Ring, a simple and intuitive way to access the GALAXY S4 zoom’s key features. When you’re in the middle of a phone call and you see something you absolutely have to share, a quick twist of the Zoom Ring will activate the In-Call Photo Share feature, letting you capture and send an image directly via MMS to whoever you are talking to simply.

For easy camera navigation, the Zoom Ring can be used to activate the Quick Launch and Shortcut features, giving you instant access to multiple camera modes including Auto, Gallery and Smart Mode with a simple twist. 

The Zoom Ring also revolutionizes conventional camera zoom controls. Optical zoom control replaces traditional dials and buttons with smooth, easy-to-operate digital controls. Professional-quality accuracy and unprecedented ease of use are just a twist away, making it easy to compose a scene and capture wide-angle shots or tight close-ups. 

Capture the best images

When it comes to high quality photography, bigger isn’t always better. The compact GALAXY S4 zoom’s best-in-class 10x Optical Zoom and 16MP BSI CMOS Sensor lets you capture beautiful images from far away or up close and personal, in all light conditions, without having to carry heavy camera gear around with you. Furthermore, the built-in Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) helps keep the camera perfectly still even when you’re not, reducing blur and stabilizing the image while zoomed in for high-quality photos and video.

Photo Suggest instantly connects you to huge libraries of images taken by fellow photographers, to help you find and compose your best shots anywhere in the world. Photo Suggest can even direct you to the ideal nearby location which will give you the vantage point you need for that perfect photo.

The GALAXY S4 zoom also features Samsung’s popular Smart Mode, so you can stop worrying about settings and start taking professional-quality artistic shots. Simply choose from a series of pre-set modes and the camera will automatically adjust to ensure you capture the best photo possible. Use Drama Shot to merge continuous shots of moving objects into a single composed image, or Action Freeze to instantly capture high-speed action. If you aren’t sure which Smart Mode to select, the Smart Mode Suggest feature can assess the scene for you and provide a short list of the best options for your consideration based on surrounding factors such as light levels, focal length, or face detection, ensuring you always get the best shot you want.

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Michael Ta

    oh wow a sucky camera that can make phone calls! I wonder what to call it.

    I know!!

    Galaxy S4 ZOOM!

    • Haunter

      I wouldn't call a standard 16MP point and shoot "sucky". The Galaxy camera actually takes pretty nice pictures.

      • Michael Ta

        pretty yea, but I don't see the use of this. I'm an amateur photographer and if i ever want to have a point and shoot cam with a phone, I'll get nokia pureview. Otherwise I'll stick to a phone that I can put in my pocket and a dedicated camera bad/pouch.

        • Haunter

          That's like saying earbuds are useless because you're an audiophile and prefer a pair of $400 headphones. If you're an amateur photographer, that's cool... you're obviously not a part of the demographic they're going for... but TONS of people like taking solid pictures without lugging a DSLR around with them at all times (or even pay the expensive premium of owning a DSLR)... and this (among other point-and-shoots) will deliver convenience to that group of people, seeing as how this is still very portable and DOES easily fit in a pocket. Personally... I'd be happy if this caught on and all those really shitty fBook cellphone pictures people post got a huge boost in quality.

          • Michael Ta

            well i just hated the fact samsung is flooding the market with "GALAXY" but good points, probs for that :) but i dont think this would fit easily in a pocket.

    • porter86

      Quite bad yeh, it's more like the S4 Mini than the actual S4 - http://versusio.com/en/samsung-galaxy-s4-mini-vs-samsung-galaxy-s4-zoom

  • Nico
    • Jeremiah Rice

      Ah, thanks. Updated.

      • Aleksey_US

        Wow what an awesome and detailed review! Thanks for bringing this site to my attention.

  • naduh

    ill be more interested if it was just a camera part that i can attach my gs4 to take better quality pictures.

    • Rob Mahon

      You know, with the back being removable, perhaps there WOULD be a market for a clip on camera such a this. Use NFC to send to the phone, share battery? or it's own to top up? Don't know. Hmm, then you'd be duplicating processor/memory.
      Perhaps for the S5, Samsung offers some pins out to 'hook' the phone into to enable such a device.

    • Jeremiah Rice

      That's an interesting idea you've got. A modular smartphone with a small swappable bay - one module for a high-powered camera, one with an enormous battery, one with a huge SSD, another with radios for different regions. Could be cool.

  • Kashmieer

    Bet lumia 920 can take a better picture :)

    Is this only me who found this thing disgusting?

  • mynamedoesnotfi

    I still don't understand why Samsung continues to flood the market with different phones with similar names. What does this have to do with the s4? Nothing. I'm a phone geek compared to the regular person, and even I can barely keep track. Is it just to fool people into thinking it's 'that galaxy phone?'

    • flosserelli

      "Galaxy" is an umbrella label for all Samsung android devices.
      "S4" because the hardware is similar to the S4 Mini.

  • Jason Moody

    I'm currently on the Galaxy S3 with an upgrade coming soon. I plan on sticking to a Samsung device but the choice is becoming so hard now. Would you guys get the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S4 Zoom or wait for the Note 3?

    • Downtoearth2

      me Galaxy S4 Zoom.

    • http://www.thinknetbook.com Eloquescence

      The Galaxy S4 takes wonderful pictures -- TODAY. If you need that phone now, get the S4. If you can wait -- Note 3. However, don't get the S4 Zoom -- How many updates do you think it'll get? Seriously?

    • milksop held

      How bout galaxy s4 active?

    • flosserelli

      Depends on your priorities. Which is why Samsung "continues to flood the market with different phones" (to quote mynamedoesnotfi). Different people have different needs. I don't get why some people find that so hard to understand. This is not directed at you, but to everyone else complaining about the slew of Samsung devices.

      • vdweerd

        INDEED !! I am so surprised about all those people who say this is a stupid idea of Samsung etc., just because it doesn't fit their particular taste. It DOES fit mine, very much ! Have been waiting for years for a camera with 10x optical zoom combined with a phone. GREAT !

        • Gabby Greene

          thing is you can get a great phone a good handheld point and shoot that fits in the purse or pocket for less than what this phone will eventually cost.

    • Master Flash


  • ScottColbert

    Not sure I want a phone that looks like it has an erection.

  • Downtoearth2
  • tomsliwowski

    Am I the only person who saw this mutant hybrid and thought of Flight of the Conchords? http://images1.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/Camera-Phone-flight-of-the-conchords-1118337_300_300.jpg

    • flosserelli

      Yes you are the only person.

    • http://my.opera.com/rafaelluik Rafael

      You're the only person but wins an upvote for bringing this pic! LOL
      Cameraphones are hilariously ugly.

  • Fuck America, I <3 Australia

    Looks weird.

  • jonathan3579

    How the fuck does this thing deserve the name Galaxy S4 in it's title? You know what, Samsung, I'm done trying to understand you. Keep flooding the market and consequently watering down your flagships.

  • NoNoBot

    SONY, where is your Xperia CyberShot ?

  • instagram-addict

    I've been thinking abt this galaxy s4 zoom, the galaxy camera and the galaxy camera 2 as options because I wanna take decent photos and instagram them right away.

    For this purpose, I think that these products are good. Probably not for a super serious photographer.

    I take a lot of shots (especially in tricky scenes - dark etc), where I need a decent flash or low light options. And All I want to do is use my photos in social media, ie - hashtagging it and sharing on instagram.

    I don't think the Nokia pureview has the OS to do that. And no other smartphone has a good enough camera.