Following the release of the Galaxy Smart Camera late last year to middling response, Samsung has decided to release a successor to the Galaxy S III-based Android-powered digital camera in the Galaxy S4 Zoom, this one based on the current Galaxy S4. However, when I say the S4 Zoom is based off of the Galaxy S4, it isn’t based off of the flagship smartphone itself, but a variant in the S4 Mini.
Specifications for the S4 Zoom include Android 4.2.2 with a 16MP camera assembly with a 10x optical zoom lens and being the first smartphone to feature such an assembly outside of Asia. The phone itself features a 4.3-inch qHD resolution display, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1.5GB RAM, 8GB of internal storage with microSD slot and a 1.9MP front facing camera.
The camera includes optical image stabilization and a Xenon flash, along with a new Samsung-developed “Zoom Ring.” The ring surrounds the camera and when twisted, it can launch photo sharing during a phone or video call, or go directly to other camera modes. Additional software features are also built-in to advantage of the phone’s capabilities including Photo Suggest (that shows pictures taken by others in the area), Smart Mode auto settings and more built-in features without needing to navigate menus.
The device will launch later this Summer in Europe and Russia for the equivalent of $680, while Samsung has confirmed that the phone will see a US release sometime in the 3rd quarter of the year, although the conglomerate has yet to confirm whether the telephony features will remain intact in the US version, as the US carrier versions of the first Galaxy Camera did not feature full telephony support, but did support data access via built-in LTE and Wi-Fi radios.