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Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, best smartphone camera? Nope!

 
 
 
 
 
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Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is a new type of smartphone which tries to blur the line between smartphones and digital cameras. The S4 Zoom is somewhat related to the Samsung Galaxy S4 though in many ways it resembles the the old Samsung Galaxy S2 actually, and not even the S3.

Although this is not the first smartphone to pack a real camera with optical zoom, it’s indeed a rarity and a very welcomed one.

Back in 2009 Samsung released its first smartphone with an optical 12MP camera called Samsung SCH-W880 AMOLED 12. After 4 years Samsung finally released its second smartphone with an optical camera called Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, a part of market which seems to develop extremely slow.

The Galaxy S4 Zoom packs a 16MP camera with a huge 10x optical zoom. Even though the camera should be fantastic, it isn’t! Most photos taken with the S4 Zoom are actually worse and more blurry than the photos taken with a normal Galaxy S4 (I9500 or I9505) which only has a 13MP camera.

Photo sample cropped and resized taken with Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom’s 16MP camera.

The only benefit that comes out from this camera is the gigantic 10x optical zoom. It is important to understand that only the optical zoom is a real zoom and that the digital zoom featured in all cameras is useless. Digital zoom is nothing more than just image cropping and resizing which eventually ends up in quality loss.

Photo sample cropped and resized taken with Samsung Galaxy S4’s 13MP camera.

Even though Galaxy S4 Zoom has a great 10x optical zoom, it is however just a downgrade from the original Galaxy Camera GC100 which had a better 21x optical zoom.

The camera found on Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom C1010 is almost the exact same camera used in Samsung’s Galaxy Camera GC100, which is very similar to the S4 Zoom in almost every aspect except that the Galaxy Camera wasn’t a phone. The device lacked the ability to make direct phone calls even though it had a 3G SIM card slot. You could however install voice and video call apps and use it as a phone also.

The best camera ever built on a smartphone still remains the one found on Nokia 808 PureView and the future Nokia Lumia 1020 which will pack the exact same camera that the 808 PureView packed a year ago.

Photo sample cropped and resized taken with Nokia 808 PureView’s 41MP camera.

As you can clearly see from the above photos, which were all taken at full resolution with their settings set to full high quality, then resized and cropped so they can approximately look the same, Galaxy S4 13MP beats Galaxy S4 Zoom’s 16MP camera. There’s not even worth mentioning again that Nokia 808 PureView’s 41MP easily outperformed both Galaxy S4s in terms of photo quality.

Other features of Galaxy S4 Zoom

As we already said before, Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is more related with Galaxy S2 than with the S4. The S4 Zoom comes with a 4.3 inch screen, the exact screen size of the S2, but with a slightly better resolution 540×960 instead of S2’s 480×800 and 1.5GB RAM instead of 1GB RAM. S4 Zoom’s screen resolution and RAM quantity is identical to what S4 Mini offers, but not the rest of its features…

S4 Zoom’s CPU is also similar to S2’s CPU, it comes with a Dual-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A9, similar to S2’s Dual-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A9 and they both come with the exact same GPU, the famous Mali-400.

Samsung Galaxy S4 (non-Zoom) comes in two versions: one with a Octa Core (two Quad Core CPUs) called I9500 and one with a Quad Core CPU called I9505. Even the Galaxy S3 comes with a Quad Core CPU. So the Galaxy S4 Zoom doesn’t have a Quad Core… it has a Dual Core, almost identical with the one found in S2. Unfortunately though, the S4 Zoom comes with a tiny 8GB internal memory, which is lower than S2’s two versions 16GB and 32GB internal memory.

And there’s one more thing which we found to be quite similar to the S2… It comes with an FM Radio. For some stupid reason, the FM Radio was removed the original S4. None of the S4s, I9500, I9505, I537 nor the newest and fastest S4 SHV-E330S comes with FM Radio, except for I9190 (S4 Mini) and of course for Galaxy S2 I9100 which together with S4 Mini seem to be the base for Galaxy S4 Zoom.

Shortly said, S4 Zoom is not worthy of carrying the name of S4, instead it should have been called Samsung Galaxy S2 Zoom. Galaxy S4 Zoom is far from being impressive compared to its own predecessor Galaxy Camera GC100.

Even though the Galaxy S4 Zoom is almost a complete failure, we still salute the idea of bringing real cameras with real optical zoom on smartphones, that’s definitely a good step in the right direction.

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  • George

    I think samsung should continue copying Apple phones if they want to continue in the market.

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