The truth is that for many of us the camera we use the most is the one on our mobile phone, that is why Samsung is going to release the Galaxy S4 Zoom – an Android smartphone combined with a more traditional digital camera including optical zoom. Samsung are calling it a “revolutionary new device that converges the best of a high performance smartphone and camera.” The question is how good is the phone and how good is the camera? Is it a compromise or a convergence. Here is a “by the numbers” look at the new camera/phone.
That is the size of the optical zoom on the new Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom. When you look at an S4 Zoom it is the optics that you notice first as the phone looks very similar to a traditional compact digital camera. If you aren’t happy with the optics on your current smartphone but don’t want a DSLR or compact digital camera then Samsung have the very thing just for you!
The “normal” Samsung Galaxy S4 comes with a 13MP camera while the Zoom adds an extra 3MP making 16MP in total. Although 16MP isn’t unheard of on a smartphone (remember the HTC Titan II) it certainly is unusual.
That is how much bigger the S4 Zoom is when compared to the S4! The dimensions of the two phones are quite different as the Zoom is much thicker (15.4mm compared to 7.9mm) but the Zoom is actually shorter and narrower. But if you calculate the total volume of each device then the S4 Zoom is 63 percent bigger… And that is to be expected given that it houses a 10x optical zoom system.
A Samsung Galaxy S4 weighs just 130 grams, the HTC One just 143 grams and the iPhone 5 112 grams. All very respectable numbers. So how much more weight do all those optics add to the device? Not as many as you might think. The Zoom is just 78 grams heavier than the Galaxy S4.
The S4 Zoom comes with a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 960 x 540. The flagship Galaxy S4 comes with a 4.99 inch 1920 x 1080 full HD display. Quite a difference. In fact when you do the maths, the S4 Zoom has 300 percent less screen pixels than the standard S4!
The main feature of the S4 Zoom is the camera and since it comes with all those optics, Samsung are keen to underline the specs. The device has 24 smart modes to help capture images with the perfect settings, a built-in Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS), and a Xenon Flash. For those who understand F numbers, the range on the S4 Zoom is F3.1 to F6.3.
Is the difference in the battery size between the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy S4 Zoom. The normal S4 has the bigger battery as it has to power that amazing HD screen. The S4 Zoom has a much smaller screen but it does need to power the zoom mechanism. Is 2330mHh enough for it to be useful as a phone and as a camera during a day out the kids? Only time will tell.
Are you tempted by the S4 Zoom? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.