With many people using their smartphone's image capture capabilities as often as they use the device for making calls, it's not surprising that manufacturers continue to beef up the camera credentials of their smartphones. The latest device to blur the lines between smartphones and dedicated point and shoot cameras is Samsung's Galaxy K zoom.
The Galaxy K zoom joins Samsung's Galaxy line alongside other photo-centric devices, such as the Galaxy Camera, Galaxy Camera 2 and last year's Galaxy S4 zoom. None of these exactly set the world on fire, with the Galaxy Camera and Galaxy Camera 2 lacking the ability to make calls and the Galaxy S4 zoom suffering from poor battery life and less than zippy performance. With its latest offering, Samsung is aiming to finally provide a smartphone that will allow users to leave their dedicated point and shoot camera at home for good with no regrets.
The body of the Galaxy K zoom is more smartphone-like than the aforementioned devices, weighing 200 g (7 oz) and measuring 137.5 x 70.8 x 16.6 mm. This last figure extends to 20.2 mm when the 24-240 mm, F3.1-6.3 retractable lens is deployed, providing 10x optical zoom. Images are captured via a 20.7 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, with Samsung also boasting excellent low light performance for the device that also packs a Xenon flash.
Other features commonly found on dedicated point and shooters include an optical image stabilizer (OIS), auto focus/auto exposure separation to balance light and clarity, smile/blink detection, object tracking, various filters, and the ability to capture 1920 x 1080/60p video. There's also a "selfie alarm" that lets users take a 20.7-megapixel selfie using the rear camera rather than the 2-megapixel front-facing camera.
The device is powered by Samsung's Exynos hexa-core processor, which combines a 1.3 GHz quad-core and a 1.7 GHz dual-core processor, packs 2 GB of RAM and runs Android 4.4 (KitKat). The 4.8-inch AMOLED display packs 1280 x 720 pixels, while connectivity specs include 802.11 a/b/g/n dual band (2.4+5 GHz) Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 BLE, NFC, and A-GPS and GLONASS. It comes with 8 GM of internal memory, with a microSD card slot supporting micro SD, SDHC and SDXC cards to increase storage capacity.
Onboard sensors include a gyroscope, proximity sensor, geomagnetic sensor, light sensor and accelerometer, which enables with the included S Health Lite fitness tracker app. There's no word on battery life, but the device comes with Ultra Power Saving Mode to squeeze some extra time out of the 2,430 mAh battery when it gets low.
Samsung is yet to announce pricing details but is planning to release the Galazy K zoom in various European and Asian markets from next month. There's no word on if or when the device will get a release in the US.
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