Conclusion: There will be a group of people that really like the Galaxy S4 Zoom, cling to it, and defend it rigorously. It will have a cult following. But like the Galaxy Cam, it’s kind of a strange tweener product. It’s too bulky and slow to be a great Android phone, but too restrained in image quality and optics to be a fantastic professional camera.
Pros: Very cool idea, Only phone with 10x optical zoom, MicroSD card support
Cons: Uncomfortable to hold, and bulky, Zoom wheel will annoy you, Weak processing power, Camera zoom doesn’t work with all apps, Photos didn’t look better than iPhone 5S, No full SD support, No external battery charging
Summary: The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is clearly meant for those looking at a camera with a calling functionality. That seems like the only way to put it thanks to the phone’s form factor and heft. The camera performance is impressive and with a 10x optical zoom, the S4 Zoom is the only phone of its kind with that offering. So if you are into photography, and are waiting for huge optical zooms in cameras and don’t mind the hefty phone-camera, go for the S4 Zoom.
Summary: The Galaxy S4 Zoom is a unique smartphone that offers a solid camera experience with a wide zoom. Unfortunately, because the handset isn't sold in the U.S., you'll have to shell out about $680 to get one of your own. Additionally, images shot in Auto mode didn't look as good as we expected. Connectivity on the Zoom is also limited to HSPA+ 21 -- no LTE here.
Pros: Powerful 10x optical zoom lens, Myriad camera options, Helpful camera tutorials, Bright vibrant display, Image quality suffers in Auto mode
Cons: Slow camera, Not available in U.S., Heavy, Uncomfortable to hold for long periods, Below average battery life, No LTE
Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom review: a messy marriage of smartphone and camera
12 July 2013
Summary: The Galaxy S4 Zoom is clearly the product of months of tweaking, collaboration and research at Samsung, but there's much work still to be done. We love that this year's model is a bona fide smartphone, in that you can use it to not only share images moments after they're captured from just about anywhere on the globe, but you can also make traditional phone calls without any hassle.
Pros: Compact design, Full smartphone functionality
Cons: Poor battery life, Mediocre image quality, Sluggish and inconsistent performance, Limited camera control in third-party apps
Summary: The Galaxy S4 Zoom is the only smart phone with an optical zoom -- a 10x one, in front of an impressive 16-megapixel sensor. Far from being the ideal camera phone though, it's let down by its fat, awkward body, unimpressive performance and low-resolution screen. Unless you crave that zoom, there are much better all-round camera phones.
Excerpt: The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is a phone… Or is it a camera? It's somewhere between both - a Galaxy S4 mini-alike with a 10x optical zoom compact camera strapped to its rear. Conceptually that's brilliant for snapping shots a step above many a standard smartphone and then sharing them on the go, yet it's equally comedic some of the time: awkwardly holding the Zoom to the face for a phone call being the prime example.
Pros: Responsive camera, physical controls make for ease of camera use, microSD card slot for expansion, Android OS is snappy, perfect for sharing shots on the go, optical image stabilisation works well, better screen resolution than a compact camera
Cons: Physical camera controls make it horrible to hold as a phone, shiny plastic exterior build, autofocus at 10x can be hit and miss, has lost sight that it should be a phone first and foremost, limited screen resolution
Excerpt: There isn’t another smartphone on the market at this price that can beat the 16-megapixel camera on the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, with its 10x optical lens, excellent features and modes. Lots of cool Samsung apps, although some like S Health is missing.
Pros: Feature-rich. superb, camera, 10x optical lens, impressive battery life. Vivid and rich gHD display.
Cons: Big, heavy phone that lacks 4G, and doesn’t have a full HD screen
Conclusion: The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is a camera first and phone second. That chunky build and lack of 4G support make it an iffy premium smartphone, although the camera and battery life are very impressive indeed.
Pros: Feature-packed camera with optical zoom; Incredible battery life; The qHD screen is colourful and bright
Cons: Chunky chappy; No 4G support; No Full HD screen
Summary: The Galaxy S4 Zoom offers great camera performance for a smartphone alongside full mobile functionality. However, its overly bulky design and middling processor and display mean those looking to use the Zoom as a phone more than a camera will be disappointed.
Pros: Decent camera, optical zoom is a serious bonus, runs Android
Cons: Awkward to hold as a phone, middling processor and display lead to average performance, only 5GB of usable inbuilt storage