For many years, I’ve come up with crazy hybrid device ideas. Some of them, like touchscreen laptops with detachable screens, kind of work. Others, like sticking phones onto cameras rather than cameras onto phones, haven’t really existed, so we haven’t had a chance to properly judge their viability and, as such, the level of my insanity. Samsung has decided to fix that with the introduction of the Galaxy S4 Zoom, which joins the Active and Mini alongside the regular S4 in Samsung’s vast product portfolio, and it takes inspiration from last year’s Galaxy Camera while also being, you guessed it, a phone.
Phone-wise, the S4 Zoom is nothing special. It pairs a 1.5GHz dual core processor of an unspecified nature with a Pentile 4.3″ qHD (960 x 540) Super AMOLED display, TouchWizzed Android 4.2 and a 2,330mAh battery. Oddly enough Mobile-Review, a Russian site that has (somehow) already reviewed the phone, states that there is 16GB of flash storage built in, alongside 1.5GB RAM and a clearly visible microSD slot, yet Samsung’s press release tells us that there is 8GB on board, suggesting that we could have multiple SKUs with different storage quantities. It’s also rather hefty, at 125.5 x 63.5 x 15.4 mm and weighing in at 208g.
As for the camera, the S4 Zoom has a 16MP CMOS sensor with 10x optical zoom along with a xenon flash and optical image stabilisation. It’s also got an aperture from f/3.1 to f/6.3, and goes all the way up to ISO 3200. It also has 25 different ‘SMART Modes’ stolen straight from the Galaxy Camera, which is rumoured to have a proper mirrorless successor at Samsung’s big event in London next week. The review from Mobile-Review says that the camera is not particularly impressive, but they have a ton of images up so you can judge for yourself. As for the pricing, they say that it will cost 19,900 руб, working out at around £393 and also a whole 10,000 руб less than the original Galaxy Camera.