We've updated this hands on review with photography samples - is it impressive enough for a phone that's essentially a camera its heart?
When it comes to the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the South Korean firm had just taken the excellent Galaxy S4 and bolted the camera from the Galaxy Camera on the back.
In fact it's not done anything close to that - it's actually used the stripped-down Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini as the base for the handset and then bolted a 16MP camera on the back, which has all the usual goodies you'd expect from a decent compact, though isn't as photographically advanced as the new Android-powered Samsung Galaxy NX compact system camera.
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Let's talk design first: the phone that wants to be a camera should be a pretty blocky and unwieldy device, but in reality it's not that bad at all. It's not the greatest when it comes to sitting easily in the pocket, but given Samsung is pushing the S4 Zoom as the device for those that have been crying out for a top-end camera phone, it isn't too bad.
It actually slots easily into a pocket of bag - yes, there's some bulge you might want to explain on a first date, but it's not horrendous. When holding the phone 'normally' (ie in portrait mode) you can easily wrap your fingers around the lens and get a pretty comfortable grip.
The weight is well-balanced too, so whether you're using the phone in landscape mode for picture taking or just texting a mate, things don't seem inappropriate.
When it comes to the phone side of things, it's not a terrible spec sheet to read. Sure, we'd have preferred to see the Galaxy S4, with its Full HD 5-inch screen, used as the main driver for the Zoom, but the 4.3-inch qHD offering is at least Super AMOLED, which makes outdoor viewing (important for the Zoom) actually fairly decent.
It's running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, which is a nice choice for future-proofing the device. It's also packing a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and a healthy 1.5GB RAM, which showed in our tests, with quick rendering of pictures taken and easily blipping through the phone, opening and shutting apps with skill and speed.
It's important to not get too hung up on specs; while we expect the heavy lifting of photo editing to take a little longer than usual thanks to the lower-power CPU, we'll only find out the true extend in our full review.
There's also the likes of NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 and a 2330mAh battery on offer, which should be just about enough to keep you going for a day's snapping - that Xenon flash on the back isn't going to be kind on the power pack, but it should hold up pretty well given the smaller screen size.
The camera itself is where the Galaxy S4 Zoom actually shines - the phone is OK, but the camera comes out with some really good pictures. The first element is the shutter button that sits on top of the device - we'd expect to see it there, but it's a really nice implementation, with easy focusing through holding it down halfway.
It will also activate the camera from wherever you are in the phone, which is good given this is what the phone's USP is all about. There's also a spinning ring on the front, something Samsung says is a little 'retro' when it comes to cameras as it enables you to zoom in and out using the 10x optical zoom.
It's also supposed to start up the camera from sleep mode, according to the South Korean firm, but in our tests that didn't seem to work.
When you do use it in this way, you'll get the option to choose a number of shooting modes, from manual to automatic and more, which will flip around depending on how you spin the ring (or just jab at with your digit).
Actually, that pre-production ethos seems to prevail throughout the Galaxy S4 Zoom as we encountered a couple of times when the phone wouldn't let us do anything due to all of the updating that needed to happen. We've seen this with the Samsung Galaxy Camera, and we're worried that the same could happen here.
But the zoom works quickly and effectively, and the optical image stabilisation allowed us to get some decent (and quick) snaps on the go. You've also got Smart Camera 2.0 rolling along here, with 25 modes to choose from compared to the meagre amount offered on the original Galaxy Camera and the Galaxy S4.
If you don't know which one you want from the outset, then you can choose the automatic option that will allow the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom to select the best mode for you - in practice this worked as well as others we've found on the likes of the Sony Xperia Z, yielding clear and easy to see images with decent colour reproduction and even brightness.
All of these pictures are taken with the automatic mode - we'll delve into the 24 other modes in our full review.
The Samsung Galaxy Zoom is an odd device, and one we cannot see being a success. It's too chunky to be a phone you'd want to buy over something a bit sleeker, and it's likely to be a bit too expensive compared to a comparable compact camera.
The phone is only average in some places, and many will yearn for a little more power when you're happily snapping around. That said, it doesn't fail in any area specifically, and if you were someone desperate for a hybrid device then this would certainly be the phone for you.
But until Samsung works out a way to make a phone pack a camera with the power of this one, but without making it any thicker, we can't see this middle ground being a real success when it comes to sales.
Check out Samsung's Your Mobile Life to discover loads more about the infinite possibilities of the GALAXY S4, Note 8.0 and Note II