Out of Samsung’s widely varied S4 lineup, the most intriguing is easily the company’s strange S4 Zoom. Sort of like a half point-and-shoot, half S4 Mini, the device attempts to provide avid photographers with a unique tool that’s capable of snapping quality images, while also providing typical smartphone functions. It’s like a younger, (potentially) more capable brother to Samsung’s tragically flawed Galaxy Camera.
This is a smartphone, make no mistake. It just so happens there’s a 16-megapixel camera with 10x optical zoom attached. It’s an odd hybrid, one that will no doubt only entice a specific set of consumers. The idea is good, definitely, but there are tradeoffs here that might ultimately overshadow the device’s raw potential. For one, the device’s 4.3-inch screen only has a resolution of 960 x 540, which is rather low by today’s standards.
When you look at the full picture, the S4 Zoom isn’t really being aligned as a flagship device. It stands out, sure, but its full spec sheet underlines a more mid-range feel, even though it does have an above-average shooter onboard. I can see teens in particular scooping this one up; it could be a nice tool for shooting and sharing pictures through social networks. As a flagship device, though? Leave that up to the Galaxy S4.
Full specs for the S4 Zoom include a 4.3-inch display, 16-megapixel camera with 10x optical zoom (24mm lens), 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 8GB of internal storage (microSD upgradeable to 64GB) and Android 4.2. It’s bulky, and a little awkward to hold on first impressions. Though, taking the camera alone into consideration, the S4 Zoom offers some great features that will no doubt attract a unique subset of customers.