Samsung unveils Galaxy K Zoom smartphone

Michael Josh Villanueva
Samsung returns to Asia to debut its latest smartphone with 10x optical zoom

SINGAPORE — The United States and Europe are usually venues of choice, but for the first time since the launch of the original Galaxy S in 2010, Samsung is launching a new smartphone in Southeast Asia. 

Without the usual pomp and fanfare, the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer unveiled the Galaxy K Zoom at its “Kapture the Moment” event at the Red Dot Design Museum in Singapore on Tuesday, April 28. 

HANDS-ON REVIEW: Galaxy K Zoom teases future of smartphone photography

The misspelling an intentional nod to its new zoom lens equipped smartphone and successor to the Galaxy S4 Zoom. Unlike its predecessor, the K Zoom falls under a new product line – Samsung says “K” stands for camera (Kamera in German) much easier to roll off the tongue than Galaxy C.  

While the Korean tech giant is mum on future plans, the move hints of an expanded lineup of smartphones with specialized cameras.

The headline feature of the K Zoom is its 10x optical zoom, a feature currently not found on any other smartphone in the world. While the level of zoom on the new device is exactly the same as its predecessor, the technology on the new K Zoom is different. The smartphone features a new retractable lens element that folds up when not in use, bringing down the size of the device by 6.8mm (from 27mm on the S4 Zoom to 20.2mm on the K Zoom with the lens retracted).

Cutting down on bulk was one of Samsung’s biggest priorities with the K Zoom, underscoring its emphasis that the device is a smartphone more than it is a camera. The K Zoom’s redesign echoes this philosophy with a front panel that’s reminiscent of the Galaxy S5 and a rounded faux-leather back that humps ever so slightly.  

The original S4 Zoom looked like a phone on one side and a digital camera on the other. Of course the shift in design and reduction in size comes at a cost, gone are the phone’s built-in grip and tripod mount. 

Upgrades include a 20.7 megapixel camera with a 1/2.3-inch sensor, a hexa-core processor made up of a 1.3 GHz quad-core and a 1.7GHz dual core processor working in tandem, 2GB of RAM, 8GB of built-in storage, and a removable 2430 mAh battery. The K Zoom (and the S4 Zoom which it replaces) is also the only Samsung smartphone camera with optical image stabilization (OIS) built-in.  

 

Galaxy K Zoom

Galaxy S4 Zoom

Processor

HexaCore
(1.3 GHz Quad + 1.7Ghz Dual)

1.5GHz Cortex A9 dual-core

Memory

2GB LPDDR3

1.5GB LPDDR2

Storage 8GB 8GB
Main Camera

20.7MP (f.3.1 – 6.3 OIS)

16MP (f.3.1 – 6.3 OIS)

Secondary Camera 2MP 1.9MP
Sensor Size 1/2.3-inch 1/2.3-inch
Flash Xenon  Xenon
Battery 2430 mAh 2330 mAh
Display

4.8-inch, 720p
(1280 x 720)

4.3-inch, qHD 

(960 x 540)


The phone runs the latest version of Android 4.4.2 KitKat and the new TouchWiz which debuted on the S5 when it launched last March. Exclusive to the K Zoom is a camera mode called “Pro-Suggest” that suggests filters based on lighting conditions, and a feature called AF/AE separation that allows users to pick separate focus and exposure points when composing a shot. 

The Galaxy K Zoom will be available globally this May. The smartphone comes in blue, white and black. — Rappler.com

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