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Samsung Galaxy K zoom official: 20.7MP, 10X optical zoom, sleeker design
The Galaxy K zoom is now official, and it looks like a solid improvement over its predecessor, the Galaxy S4 Zoom. But will solid improvements prove enough to make the concept fly?
Released in June 2013, the Galaxy S4 Zoom did poorly in terms of sales, and one of the main reasons was its identity crisis. With its bulky frame, the device looked as if a Samsung designer had tacked a Galaxy S4 onto a point-and-shoot camera and called it a day.
The Galaxy K zoom (with “K” apparently standing for “Kamera”) attempts to rectify this issue with a sleeker design that’s more in line with what we expect from a smartphone. And, while the device sports the dimpled texture of the Galaxy S5, it’s no longer a part of Samsung’s flagship family, thus the new designation.
The biggest change in appearance is the pebble-like shape that replaces the more practical, but bulky profile of the S4 Zoom. Samsung did away with the bulky grip of the S4 Zoom’s and also shrunk the lens module, making the K zoom appear more like a general purpose smartphone. However, the device is all around larger than its predecessor, though it’s still smaller than, say, a Galaxy S5.
There are upgrades all around on the inside, starting with the SoC, which is now a hexa-core Exynos 5260 combining four 1.3GHz cores and two 1.7GHz cores, a setup we’ve previously seen on the middling Note 3 Neo. There’s 2GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, and a microSD card slot. Samsung upgraded the display of the K zoom both in size and in resolution, to a 4.8-inch 720p Super AMOLED. Powering everything is Android 4.4, along with Samsung’s multitude of additional features, including a rich collection of photo modes.
The core role of the K zoom is imaging, and Samsung improved the experience in this area as well. You get a larger sensor (20.7MP, compared to 16.3MP), though pixel size is actually smaller than on the S4 zoom, at 1.12 micron. The lens has the same specs as on the S4 Zoom: 4.4 – 44mm focal length, F/3.1-F/6.3 aperture, 10X optical zoom, a Xenon flash, and optical image stabilization. According to Engadget’s Chris Velazco, who got to try a pre-production model, the K zoom clearly takes better images than the first gen, though we’ll obviously reserve judgment until we get our own hands-on.
Samsung added more settings and image modes to the camera app on the Galaxy K zoom, including a new Pro Suggest feature, which recommends five filters from the app’s library depending on the shooting conditions. In total, the Galaxy K zoom features no fewer than 28 shooting modes.
Samsung has not yet released pricing and availability details for the Galaxy K zoom.
SINGAPORE – April 29, 2014 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, today announced the new camera specialized smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy K zoom. The Galaxy K zoom is a new smartphone that blends advanced digital camera technology with Samsung’s industry-leading Galaxy experience. It features effortless capturing ability, real optics, and a premium design, offering users the mobile solutions they need with the ability to create professional-quality visual content in a fun, easy–to-use device.
“With the introduction of the Galaxy K zoom, Samsung continues to demonstrate our commitment to creating products that meet the diverse demands of our consumers,” said Sun Hong Lim, Senior Vice President of Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics. “The new Galaxy K zoom empowers users to effortlessly capture and share their most important everyday moments in stunning clarity, with the convenience and connectedness of a Galaxy smartphone, for a unique, all-in-one mobile experience.”
As a camera-specialized smartphone, the Galaxy K zoom offers an advanced technical camera system designed to offer the control and functionality of a professional camera, ensuring that the important moments are never missed and always captured with complete clarity. The Galaxy K zoom is equipped with new retracting lens technology that provides 10x optical zoom in a remarkably slim and chic body. Other notable features include the 20.7 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor for ultra-clear, ultra-detailed images. It excels in low light conditions, and provides Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) to reduce blur caused by movement. These specifications ensure the device delivers pictures and video (Full HD) that are crisp and sharp, even when zoomed and in low light. In addition, the device’s Xenon Flash provides a brighter light than LEDs to improve the quality of the image with natural brilliance.
The new device also integrates the most advanced camera usability features and functions, including AF/AE Separation(Auto Focus/ Auto Exposure Separation) for the precise balance of light and clarity, next-generation Pro Suggest mode which offers 5 optimized filter settings, Selfie Alarm that allows users to take timed selfies with ease, and object tracing for a clear, focused shot of a moving subject. Each feature comes with a simple User Interface, allowing users to easily capture photos and videos with groundbreaking quality, in any situation.
The compact and highly portable Galaxy K zoom features an ergonomic grip and sleek, stylish lines that feel soft and comfortable in the hand. Additionally, the Galaxy K zoom offers all the features that consumers want in a flagship Galaxy smartphone, such as Ultra Power Saving Mode for minimizing the battery consumption, S Health Lite for personalized fitness and lifestyle coaching, and a Studio app to allow users to easily edit their pictures and videos.