Your essential guide to the GALAXY S4 zoom
7th Oct 2013 | 12:22
Samsung's ultimate phone and camera in your pocket
The Samsung GALAXY S4 zoom is a powerful device that cleverly combines the latest GALAXY S4 smartphone with some of Samsung's advanced photographic tech.
The S4 zoom is part of the GALAXY S4 family and is ideal if you are after a single device that works as a cutting-edge smartphone and a high-end compact camera.
Combining winning GALAXY S4 tech with a 10x Optical Zoom, 16 Mega Pixel CMOS Sensor and a Xenon Flash, the S4 zoom is the perfect mobile photography device. And here's why.
1. Zoom Ring
You don't have to be a camera fiend to get the most out of the GALAXY S4 zoom's stand-out feature: the Zoom Ring.
You'll find this superb zoom lens on the back of the handset and, as well as letting you zoom smoothly in on your photographic subjects, it enables you to do a whole lot more.
Firstly, why should being in the middle of a call stop you from snapping and sharing photos? It shouldn't – so a simple twist of the Zoom Ring activates the In-Call Photo Share feature, allowing you to take a snap and send it directly to whoever you're talking to via MMS.
When you're not on the phone, a twist of the Zoom Ring launches a camera menu enabling you to jump straight into whatever feature best suits the shot you're about to take.
2. Zooming in
Of course, the Zoom Ring serves a vital purpose. It houses a powerful 10x Optical Zoom lens that means you can get up close and personal with your subject without compromising on quality.
Your videos will also benefit from the Optical Zoom system – you can zoom in smoothly by twisting the Zoom Ring rather than having to rely on a button that could upset the shot.
Pro and amateur photographers alike will also appreciate the built-in Optical Image Stabilizer. This means your shot will stay steady with minimal blur, no matter how far you've zoomed in.
3. Sensor and lens
As well as that high-end Optical Zoom, you've got a powerful lens to play with on the GALAXY S4 zoom. Combined with an impressive 16-megapixel CMOS sensor, this allows you to capture high-quality, high-resolution photographs.
The camera is set up to handle low-light photography particularly well, thanks to the inclusion of a backside illuminated (BSI) sensor; so even those late-night pub selfies should come out well.
With a Xenon Flash on board too, there's no reason why even the darkest night-time shots shouldn't come out as clear as day.
4. TouchWiz user interface
As well as being a top compact camera, the Samsung GALAXY S4 zoom is a powerful smartphone, too.
It's running the latest version of Android, known as Android 4.2 or Jelly Bean, with Samsung's TouchWiz UI running on top. This means you get the best of Android, including access to Google Play and more than 1,000,000 apps, but you also get the opportunity to set the GALAXY S4 zoom up just the way you'd like it.
TouchWiz allows you to customise the look of your handset, so you can set up the lock screen and notification bar exactly as you want them.
5. Speedy 4G
Next-gen connection speeds are key to any smartphone experience – and the Samsung GALAXY S4 zoom leads the pack, with 4G LTE connectivity available if you opt for the right data package.
Also on board is high-speed 3G, as well as Wi-Fi connectivity for when you're ready to share those photographic masterpieces with the world.
Other connectivity options include Near Field Communication (NFC) for contactless data transfer and payments, and Bluetooth 4.0 for high-speed, low-power wireless sharing between devices.
The Samsung GALAXY S4 zoom has a 4.3-inch touchscreen, which will give you plenty of room to frame and focus shots as you take them.
It's also roomy enough to let you comfortably browse back through your gallery, which means that editing photos as you go is a breeze.
And as the handset's screen is a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED affair, you'll always be able to view crisp, high-res photos shot on the go.
7. Camera functions
The Samsung GALAXY S4 zoom may come with some impressive camera hardware, but it's not skimping on the software side of things either.
Not only is the camera interface incredibly easy to use, but it also comes with a host of options. Confident photographers will relish the opportunity to tweak ISO settings and shutter speeds in manual mode, while casual snappers will be happy with the auto settings.
There are also set-ups ready to go for certain types of picture, including settings for landscapes, snow scenes, indoor shots, fast-moving action snaps and more.
8. Memory and power
It's no good being able to take perfect photos if you've got no space to store them. Happily, the Samsung GALAXY S4 zoom comes with a microSD slot so you can expand its storage to up to 72GB – that's enough space for you to snap away to your heart's content without having to worry that you'll run out of room.
Another thing you won't have to worry about running out of is power, as the GALAXY S4 zoom features a 2,330mAh battery that should keep you snapping all day.
A touchscreen is great for most phone functions, but there are some things that simply work better with buttons.
That's why you'll find a dedicated shutter button on the top panel of the Samsung GALAXY S4 zoom, just as you'd find on a traditional compact camera. This will help you keep the handset steady as you take a shot.
There's also a tripod mount on the opposite side of the device, so you can set up shots that you yourself are in, which you can then trigger by using either the timer or voice control.
10. Group Play
Taking pictures is all well and good but sometimes you'll just want to kick back and let someone else entertain you.
Enter Group Play – a nifty feature that lets you share music tracks, photos and games between Samsung devices, so you can listen and play together with friends with consummate ease.
Meanwhile, you can search out the latest and greatest songs, videos, ebooks and games on the dedicated Samsung Hub, which is included on the GALAXY S4 zoom as standard.