Mobile phones have been becoming smart day in day out, better cameras, bigger battery capacity, more screen real estate, increased connectivity options, etc. But Samsung decided to go one step ahead and introduced Samsung Galaxy Zoom in an effort to merge a point to shoot camera within smartphone, although this interesting venture didn’t turn out to be as successful. Building upon the lacking factors, Samsung has launched the next iteration of their hybrid device i.e Galaxy K Zoom.
This time around, Galaxy K zoom has received a specifications bump viz. 20 MP camera sensor, larger screen, better processor and a number of software tweaks. Since the selling point of Galaxy K Zoom is its powerful camera, I’ll be focusing more on that. Let’s begin with our Samsung Galaxy K Zoom review!
For Galaxy K Zoom, Samsung hasn’t deviated much from the design language they adopted in Galaxy S5. Everything is the same for the most part. At the top you’ll find a speaker grill and sensors to its right. At the bottom there is the centered physical home button adjoining which are capacitive keys for back and recent apps. At the right side is the volume rocker, a power button below it, and dedicated camera shutter below them. At the left side is a microSD slot.
The front sports a 4.8″ inch super AMOLED display with a resolution of 720×1280 (effective pixel density of 306 ppi). The good thing about display is that courtesy the over-saturated nature of display, the screen looks bright and colors do pop out but this software tweaking also results in loss of actual color viewing experience. Also, when under direct sunlight the screen isn’t a delight to use (not that it is bad) but during night screen adapts very well thanks to its ability to attain very low brightness levels! On the back of the phone is where the prowess lies with the 20 MP camera lens supported with Xenon flash (on left side). The back has the same perforated back as that of Galaxy S5.
One thing that irks the most is the weight of device and especially when you have been using “slimmest” devices. Yes, the device is way heavier that majority of phones in market but the saving grace is that it’s weight has been distributed extremely well.
Hardware and Software Inclusion
Samsung Galaxy K zoom comes with a hexa-core Exynos 5 processor, supported by two 1.7 GHz Cortex A16 cores, four 1.3 GHz Cortex A7 cores, and a Mali-T624 dedicated GPU. In terms of memory availability, it comes with 2 GB RAM, 8 GB of internal storage (effectively 4 GB left for user) and support for external microSD card (up to 64 GB).
As far as included software is concerned, Galaxy K zoom comes with the latest iteration of TouchWiz UX which runs on top of Android 4.4 KitKat. The entire appearance of the software is the same as found on Galaxy S5 i.e flat appearance, rounded icons in the settings menu, et al. In short if you have been (or are) a Samsung user then using Galaxy K Zoom wouldn’t be an issue at all.
Camera is the focal point (irony!) of the device. Galaxy K Zoom features a 20.7 MP camera sensor made by Samsung, with 1/2.3″ sensor, 10x optical zoom (24-240mm), LED focus assist light, optical image stabilization, and a powerful Xenon flash. For the non-geeks who found this short technical description difficult to gulp, the camera hardware blows other android smartphones in the market by a big margin!
In order to ensure the user can make the most of the powerful lens, Samsung has included a plethora of pre-defined modes which includes the usual modes from other Galaxy devices and a lot more for special conditions such as Selfie Alarm, Rainy Day, etc. Approximately there are 90 modes to choose from (found in Pro Suggest app). With respect to image quality, with auto mode turned on, they turn out to be great, carrying good level of detail, brilliant color representation. And the best part is the same is also true for low-light conditions as well thanks to powerful Xenon flash!
Galaxy K Zoom is also capable of capturing high quality videos too. Under Full HD mode it can shoot videos at 60 frames per second, which results in extremely fluid videos with accurate colors reproduction. The additional plus point is that its auto-focus is quick to focus and adjust thus resulting in crisp videos (and image quality for that matter). The only downside of camera is that being a camera-cum-smartphone, Galaxy K zoom doesn’t shoot 4K videos.
Galaxy K Zoom comes with a mediocre 2,430 mAh battery. Mediocre because a powerful Xenon flash and 20 MP camera do rake up a sizeable amount battery whilst shooting and 2,430 just isn’t enough. Take too many photos and you’ll be longing for wall socket more often than not. This is true for someone who would be capturing lot of images, for others the battery tends to last almost 8-9 hours (again with image capturing at sporadic intervals). Nonetheless, I’ll advise you to carry a portable charger.
Samsung Galaxy K Zoom is without a doubt a hybrid device, a mix of point-to-shoot camera and android smartphone. It is capable of performing functions which a normal point and shoot camera can do as well as serve as a powerful android device with the ability to play high octane games, media playback, etc. All in all Galaxy K Zoom should be on you “To-Buy” list if you are a photo-taking enthusiast and don’t want to carry a camera but a phone with top notch specifications and high quality inbuilt camera.