Is it a camera or a phone?: Samsung announces 16MP Galaxy S4 Zoom with 10X optical lens and image stabilizer


posted Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 11:13 AM EDT


Samsung continued to blur the lines between cameras and smartphones today by announcing the Galaxy S4 Zoom, which features a built-in, 16-megapixel camera with 10x optical zoom and an optical image stabilizer. Other photo-centric features in the S4 Zoom include a Xenon flash and, for previewing and playing back images, a 4.3-inch, qHD display.

While the S4 Zoom is still, primarily a smartphone -- unlike the Samsung Galaxy Camera, which is mainly a camera with cellular connectivity -- you might not know it at first. Along with the telescoping, 10x zoom lens -- which makes the S4 Zoom bulkier than most smartphones -- the Galaxy S4 Zoom is designed to let you easily switch between taking calls and shooting pictures. When you're on a phone call, just twist the zoom ring on the device to turn on the In-Call Photo Share feature. This feature lets you snap an image and send it directly to the person your talking to via MMS.

You can also use the zoom ring to activate several of the S4 Zoom's other camera features including Auto shooting mode, Smart Mode (which offers and suggests pre-set shooting options including Drama Shot and Action Freeze), and Gallery. Meanwhile, the S4 Zoom's Photo Suggest feature connects the device to the photo libraries of other photographers, to help you compose better shots of your own. Photo Suggest also gives you tips on the best places to shoot nearby. The S4 Zoom's Story Album feature helps organize your photos and videos into a single timeline to share with friends and family. You can also edit your shots on the device and print them via Blurb.


The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and runs Google's Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) operating system. It has 8GB of internal storage and accepts microSDXC cards of up to 64GB, for removable storage. The S4 Zoom is equipped with LTE for 4G connectivity and has WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC.

Of course, all these features, particularly the 10x zoom lens, make this latest multi-tasking device from Samsung bulkier than most competing smartphones. The S4 Zoom has dimensions of 125.5 x 63.5 x 15.4 mm and while it should still fit in a pocket, you'll probably need a big pocket.

No pricing has been set yet for the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, but it's expected to go on sale this summer.