Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom

6.3/10 AVG.
RATING



6.3/10
Informr score
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom currently has an Informr score of 6.3 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 16 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review

What's good

  • Excellent 10x zoom quality
  • Good screen color quality and viewing angles
  • Good battery life

What's bad

  • Sluggish performance when running multiple apps
  • Bulky and uncomfortable design
  • Inconsistent image quality in auto-mode

Unlike other smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom’s main attribute revolves around its rear-facing 16MP camera. While the Nokia Lumia 1020 might boast a higher resolution camera, the Zoom offers an impressive 10x optical zoom. According to reviewers, the zoom quality was impressive without much loss in image fidelity though CNET noticed it occasionally failed to focus on objects and suffered in the macro function.

Image quality itself was a mixed bag for many reviewers. For most, auto-mode produced inconsistent images that were often overexposed in bright light and underexposed in indoor situations with the occasional balanced picture occurring occasionally. The Zoom comes preloaded with different preset modes like food, indoor and action, which yielded better quality images than auto for most critics.

Unfortunately, reviewers found the Zoom difficult to wield. At its thinnest, the device measures 0.6 inches wide, but it doubles in thickness at the zooms lens at the top and large bottom hand grip and weighs a hefty 208 grams. The added thickness and weight made it difficult for many reviewers to use normally as a smartphone. When used in camera mode, critics still had issues as they found the side grip too small to hold and the plastic body too slippery.

On the front of the phone is a 4.3-inch AMOLED display. Resolution is 960x540 with pixel density of 256ppi. Reviewers noticed a slight loss of sharpness when playing HD video or games, but go on to praise the color quality and viewing angles. Trusted Reviews also compliments the screen's responsiveness and states that it reacts "just as smoothly to touch and gestures…as any other top end smartphone…"

Powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1.5GB of RAM and with 8GB of storage, performance is middle-of-the-road. Gotta Be Mobile observes that the phone can easily handle light processing tasks; however it ran into problems with heavy usage and suffered slowdown when numerous apps were running in the background.

Battery life, on the other hand, was slightly above average. Tech Radar drained the 2,330mAh battery after a full day of mixed heavy use and points out that web browsing and camera usage were the biggest battery killers. Engadget warns that at 5% battery life, the phone drops brightness and also ceases non-critical functions, which includes the camera.

Overall, experts are a bit torn on the Zoom. TechRadar states, "We really want to like the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom…but right now it's a poor compact married to a mid-range phone at a high end price tag." Android Central adds that it "doesn't do any one thing poorly…but we're far from compelled by the package as a whole."


Operating system
Android
Processor
1.5 GHz
Screen Size
4.3"
Camera
16+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Digital Trends

The Galaxy S4 Zoom is half camera, half phone, but it's uncomfortable to hold and disappointing to shoot with.

- Jeffrey Van Camp, Digital Trends
GottaBeMobile

The Galaxy S4 Zoom is a versatile device that allows users to ditch their telephoto zooms and smartphones for an all-in-one device that can still fit into your pockets. As a jack of all trades device, the Galaxy S4 Zoom excels at its photographic ability providing mobile photographers with additiona...

- Chuong Nguyen, GottaBeMobile
NDTV

The Galaxy S4 Zoom is anything but a mainstream device. It's clearly targeted at the shutterbugs, people who like taking pictures all the time and want their pictures to stand out above the rest and don't mind the extra bulk that comes with the device.

- Anupam Saxena, NDTV
The Inquirer

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is a good cameraphone let down by a clunky design that we found makes the device fairly unusable day to day. The handset does features some good specifications, including its AMOLED display, a number of useful software features and, of course, its 16MP camera with opt...

- Carly Page, The Inquirer
Digital Spy

Despite the ergonomics being fairly bad, we have a soft spot for the S4 Zoom. There is no way it would replace our phone for day-to-day use, simply because we don't see the image quality as a necessity.For those who want a compact camera and a mobile, with space saved in their pockets for something...

- Hunter Skipworth, Digital Spy


Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


Samsung released the Galaxy S4 Zoom on June 28, 2013.


We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom user manual here.


Samsung backs up the Galaxy S4 Zoom with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your Galaxy S4 Zoom has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Samsung support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Samsung's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.



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Quick view

Screen Size
4.3"

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom's screen size is 4.3 inches with 540 x 960 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.5 GHz

There is a ARM Cortex-A9 1.5 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean (Update Available: 4.4.2 KitKat) operating system (OS).

Camera
16+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 16+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 1+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
8 GB

Internal memory is 8 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 64 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
2330mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2330 mAh battery. Samsung's performance ratings are 23.8 days standby time, 780 minutes, 540 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Galaxy S4 Zoom Specs

Overview
Release date June 28, 2013
Regions available USA, UK
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1900/2100 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+ 21.1
variations
SIM card Micro-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 4.2 Jelly Bean (Update Available: 4.4.2 KitKat)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor ARM Cortex-A9 1.5 GHz
Internal Flash Memory 8 GB
RAM 1536 MB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Digital compass Yes
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation No
SAR Head: 0.35 W/kg
Body: 1.05 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Data Cable, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 2330 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 600 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 540 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 780 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 23.8 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors White, Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 12.6 x 6.3 x 1.5 cm (5 x 2.5 x 0.6 in)
Weight 208 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Antenna Type Internal
Changeable Faceplates No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology Super AMOLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 540 x 960 pixels
Pixel density 256 pixels
Size 4.3 inches
3D No
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, Google Talk
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared Yes
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 64 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support Yes
NFC Yes
UMA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
PictBridge No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
16+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
10x optical
Flash
No
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Brightness control, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, ISO, Multi-shot, Night mode, Exposure value, Macro, Metering, Voice recognition, Anti-shake, HDR
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps, up to 25 minutes
Front Camera
Resolution
1+ megapixels
Zoom
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MP3, eAAC+, AAC+, AAC, AMR-WB, WMA, OGG, AMR-NB
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringtone Composer No
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Viewable document types No
Weather No
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed (Dropbox, Google Play Store, YouTube)
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Samsung SM-C101

Related Links Manual (PDF)
Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Reviews
Where to buy Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom
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Critic Reviews


Digital Trends

A nice point-and-shoot camera with a full Android phone interface built into it

from Digital Trends

There will be a group of people that really like the Galaxy S4 Zoom, cling to it, and defend it rigorously. It will have a cult following. But like the Galaxy Cam, it’s kind of a strange tweener product. It’s too bulky and slow to be a great Android phone, but too restrained in image...More

There will be a group of people that really like the Galaxy S4 Zoom, cling to it, and defend it rigorously. It will have a cult following. But like the Galaxy Cam, it’s kind of a strange tweener product. It’s too bulky and slow to be a great Android phone, but too restrained in image quality and optics to be a fantastic professional camera. At $100 with a two-year AT&T contract or $550 alone, it’s not super expensive for a high-end smartphone, but it costs hundreds more than a comparable point-and-shoot.

Read full review

Less

GottaBeMobile

Essentially a phone glued to a camera

from GottaBeMobile

The Galaxy S4 Zoom is a versatile device that allows users to ditch their telephoto zooms and smartphones for an all-in-one device that can still fit into your pockets. As a jack of all trades device, the Galaxy S4 Zoom excels at its photographic ability providing mobile photographers with additi...More

The Galaxy S4 Zoom is a versatile device that allows users to ditch their telephoto zooms and smartphones for an all-in-one device that can still fit into your pockets. As a jack of all trades device, the Galaxy S4 Zoom excels at its photographic ability providing mobile photographers with additional features to help them capture the best moments of life, aided by a 10X optical zoom that provides an equivalent focal range of 24-240 mm, optical image stabilization that helps with night shots when not using a tripod and for recording handheld videos, a high resolution sensor that captures more light, and the best of the Android ecosystem.

Read full review

Less

NDTV

Offers average performance and a low-resolution display

from NDTV

The Galaxy S4 Zoom is anything but a mainstream device. It's clearly targeted at the shutterbugs, people who like taking pictures all the time and want their pictures to stand out above the rest and don't mind the extra bulk that comes with the device.

Read full review

The Galaxy S4 Zoom is anything but a mainstream device. It's clearly targeted at the shutterbugs, people who like taking pictures all the time and want their pictures to stand out above the rest and don't mind the extra bulk that comes with the device.

Read full review

Less

The Inquirer

Great cameraphone let down by an awkward design and poor performance

from The Inquirer

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is a good cameraphone let down by a clunky design that we found makes the device fairly unusable day to day. The handset does features some good specifications, including its AMOLED display, a number of useful software features and, of course, its 16MP camera with optical zoom...

More

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is a good cameraphone let down by a clunky design that we found makes the device fairly unusable day to day. The handset does features some good specifications, including its AMOLED display, a number of useful software features and, of course, its 16MP camera with optical zoom.

For those desperately wanting a cameraphone with a good optical zoom, there's little alternative on the market to the Galaxy S4 Zoom, although we'd advise buyers to hold out for the Nokia Lumia 1020, which squeezes a 41MP image sensor into a smaller and easier to hold package. 

Read full review

Less

Digital Spy

It feels like a top quality web-connected camera

from Digital Spy

Despite the ergonomics being fairly bad, we have a soft spot for the S4 Zoom. There is no way it would replace our phone for day-to-day use, simply because we don't see the image quality as a necessity.

For those who want a compact camera and a mobile, with space saved in their pockets...More

Despite the ergonomics being fairly bad, we have a soft spot for the S4 Zoom. There is no way it would replace our phone for day-to-day use, simply because we don't see the image quality as a necessity.

For those who want a compact camera and a mobile, with space saved in their pockets for something else, it's ideal. For us, it feels like a top quality web-connected camera.

Read full review

Less

TechDigest

A jack of all trades smart phone with a built in compact camera complete with optical zoom lens

from TechDigest

You know what they say about Jack of all Trades. Well never has this been more true of a device than than the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom. You have to applaud the manufacturer for continuing to innovate. If nothing else it gives journalists something to get their teeth stuck into. It's just this parti...More

You know what they say about Jack of all Trades. Well never has this been more true of a device than than the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom. You have to applaud the manufacturer for continuing to innovate. If nothing else it gives journalists something to get their teeth stuck into. It's just this particular model doesn't quite work. As a camera phone it's not bad, but there are better. As a camera it's much better in terms of quality than any other smart phone I've ever used. But there are limitations - most notably that it adds considerable bulk/weight to the phone and the camera takes much longer to switch on than a standard compact camera

Read full review

Less

Tech Advisor

The overall feel then is of reasonable quality, solid build, and a certain clumsy ugliness

from Tech Advisor

It's almost impossible to score the Galaxy S4 Zoom. It is such a niche product. £400 buys you either not much phone or a lot of camera. Actually, it buys you both. But whether that makes it a good deal depends on your needs: do you want a superzoom camera that can make calls and send and re...More

It's almost impossible to score the Galaxy S4 Zoom. It is such a niche product. £400 buys you either not much phone or a lot of camera. Actually, it buys you both. But whether that makes it a good deal depends on your needs: do you want a superzoom camera that can make calls and send and receive emails? If so this is the phone/camera for you. Otherwise, look elsewhere.

Read full review

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Android Authority

A smartphone geared towards photographers

from Android Authority

I wouldn’t use the S4 Zoom as a daily driver because of its somewhat awkward form and, of course, I’ve already got my own setup. If you truly want your daily smartphone photo adventures to get enhanced without losing the phone part, then that’s what this device can do. But someh...More

I wouldn’t use the S4 Zoom as a daily driver because of its somewhat awkward form and, of course, I’ve already got my own setup. If you truly want your daily smartphone photo adventures to get enhanced without losing the phone part, then that’s what this device can do. But somehow, I don’t think there are too many of you out there.

Read full review

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Cnet

Good point-and-shoot, oddball smartphone

from Cnet

On paper, the Zoom has all the elements of a really great smartphone: a recent Android version, hardware goodies like a fast processor, and the advanced camera. But the whole is less than the sum of its parts, and the Zoom's bulky shape is enough to be a deal breaker.

Read full review

On paper, the Zoom has all the elements of a really great smartphone: a recent Android version, hardware goodies like a fast processor, and the advanced camera. But the whole is less than the sum of its parts, and the Zoom's bulky shape is enough to be a deal breaker.

Read full review

Less

T3

If you are planning to take a lot of photographs, it's worth it

from T3

The real thing about this phone is the size that the zoom lens attaches to an otherwise slim smartphone. It's chunky. But if you are planning to take a lot of photographs, it's worth it.

Although it's a bit of a gimmick and you shouldn't expect every manufacturer to ditch its super-thi...More

The real thing about this phone is the size that the zoom lens attaches to an otherwise slim smartphone. It's chunky. But if you are planning to take a lot of photographs, it's worth it.

Although it's a bit of a gimmick and you shouldn't expect every manufacturer to ditch its super-thin models for beefy machines like this, the photographic results are excellent and the camera is much more versatile and efficient than on other phones.

Read full review

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