Samsung officially announced the Galaxy K Zoom during a press event in Singapore today. The firm made it very clear that, while this device looks similar to the Galaxy S4 Zoom, it’s a totally new product category, which is reflected by its new “Galaxy K” naming scheme. Samsung did, however, put a big focus on creating a smartphone with a highly capable camera.
The Galaxy K Zoom offers a 20.7-megapixel camera in a body that’s just 20.2mm thin. It’s slightly bulky, but a much better attempt than what the overly large Galaxy S4 Zoom offered. The device offers 10x optical zoom and takes advantage of 9 retracting lenses. It includes other camera-focused features like a Xenon flash, though unlike the Galaxy S5 it’s not capable of recording 4K video. Instead, you’re limited at recording 1080p clips at 60 frames per second.
We did like the camera experience, however. There are unique and smart features, like “Pro Suggest” which make suggestions on pre-set modes you should use based on the environment you’re trying to shoot in. Also, there are 33 different settings to select from and, if you want more, you can download additional ones from an online market. In other words, users can upload settings that they think are the best for shooting in sunlight, or in the dark, and you can download and install those as camera presets.
Another mode lets you separate your auto exposure and auto-focus. That allows you to choose one part of your shot that you want used for the exposure, and another where you want the camera to focus. It seemed to work pretty well with our brief hands-on with the phone.
Meanwhile, there’s a fun and unique selfie option onboard, too. Simply choose Selfie Alarm mode and then turn the camera around to face you. Once your face is framed properly, you’ll hear a few loud alarm sounds just before the camera grabs 3 pictures. This allows you to use the much better camera for selfies instead of the 2-megapixel front-facing shooter.
Now for the specs. The Galaxy K Zoom has a 4.8-inch display with a 1280 x 700-pixel resolution, a 2,430mAh battery, support for Cat. 4 LTE, a hexacore Exynos processor that includes a 1.3GHz quad-core chip and a secondary 1.7GHz dual-core processor, 8GB of storage (some markets will have 16GB options), support for 64GB microSD cards, Android 4.4 KitKat and 2GB of RAM.
The phone will make its debut in Asia and will follow in some European markets and Canada. Unfortunately, Samsung said it has no plans to sell the Galaxy K Zoom in the U.S. Pricing details have not yet been shared.