The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is a direct spin-off of the original Samsung Galaxy S4 but there are major changes in the design to ensure the ultimate compact camera experience. The touchscreen display has been shrunk from 5-inches to 4.3-inches to ensure its ergonomic shape sits naturally in the hand, as a stand-alone compact camera would.
The chrome zoom lens protrudes slightly from the back of the phone and adds a little weight to the product at 208 grams. From the front it is impossible to distinguish the true nature of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, which looks like any other smartphone.
A hands-on experience with this device will soon have users forgetting that it is in fact a smartphone. The camera side of this hybrid device is pretty impressive with a 16 megapixel lens and more importantly there is a 10x optical zoom. I mention this as most camera phones have a digital zoom which leaves them lacking when compared to a stand-alone compact camera.
The zoom is operated by twisting the lens that protrudes from the back of the device and this is a much more natural experience when compared to camera phones that operate via pinch-and-zoom on a touchscreen display.
During my time spent creating a review of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom I was truly amazed at the quality of the images and these were in a league of their own when compared to results from other camera phones.
Just like a compact camera there are many modes to choose from to ensure the best image is captured. The auto mode will suit most circumstances but the night mode is well worth activating in the evenings as the results far exceed those taken in auto mode. There is also an expert mode for those who want a little more control and from here I could adjust the shutter speed, ISO, aperture and brightness.
This smartphone performs extremely well and incorporates many of the features enjoyed on the original Samsung Galaxy S4. These include Samsung apps such as S Translate, S Travel, S Voice and Story Album.
There is a dual core 1.5GHz processor to handle complex tasks and the same Android v4.2 operating system is included and this gives access to Google Play for new app downloads.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is advanced as a compact camera and performs well as a smartphone, although the original exceeds it when the phone specifications are viewed side-by-side.
This is probably the first camera smartphone that I have seen where I would suggest, hand-on-heart, leaving your compact camera at home as this phone/camera combo is up to the task.