Galaxy K Zoom: what I want from Samsung’s next camera-smartphone hybrid


In typical Samsung fashion, the South Korea-based company is rumored to continue its “fire hose” method of saturating the market in every way possible. Not only does Samsung manage to cater to every last consumer imaginable through creating dozens of similar-yet-different products, it likes to bend the likes of its staple brands to appeal to different consumers, as well.

For instance, last year, we saw the Galaxy S 4 mini, Galaxy S 4 Zoom, and the Galaxy S 4 Active, all of which were actually very little like the original device they each were derived from. Samsung also revealed the Galaxy Note 3 Neo, a slightly watered-down version of the flagship Note 3. And the year before, we also saw the Galaxy S III mini.

To no surprise at all, this year’s flagship is rumored to also bring a bevy of offshoots of the flagship Galaxy S 5.

s5Some of those rumored models include a premium Galaxy S 5, which is looking less likely by the minute, a miniature model, an Active model (though we’re not exactly sure why that’s necessary anymore), and the Galaxy S 5 Zoom, of course.

This purported Galaxy S 5 – Galaxy K Zoom, as we’ve also seen it called, even hinted at through Samsung’s own presser invitation – appears to be approaching quickly. Yet the details seem scattered, sparse, and … lacking.

According to GFXbench, the Galaxy S 5 Zoom is alive and well, and its logged specs leave a pretty bitter taste in our mouths. It will allegedly come with a 4.8-inch 720p AMOLED display (~306ppi), 2GB RAM, 8GB storage with expansion via microSD, and a hexa-core Exynos chipset.

A leaked image of the device also surfaced earlier this month, though we’re uncertain of its legitimacy. Some things about the picture seem … off.

Either way, as the smartphone camera space is heating up, this camera-smartphone hybrid could be Samsung’s ticket, a legitimate way for another OEM to actually give Nokia a run for its money. We know what the Galaxy S 5 Zoom or Galaxy K Zoom is rumored to be, but that doesn’t mean some of us aren’t holding out hope for something so much more.

Hey, the rumor mill has been wrong more than once before. As such, these are the Galaxy S 5 Zoom features we hope to see.


Actual Galaxy S 5 specs


Several of us here at Pocketnow have made our stance on the so-called “adaptations” of flagship devices very clear. We don’t really like the idea – not because it’s a bad idea, but because the manufacturers’ execution isn’t usually what we would like to see.

gs4-zoom-good-sizeCase in point, the Galaxy S 4 mini really wasn’t all that much like the Galaxy S 4. The same could be said of the Galaxy S III mini. Likewise, the Galaxy S 4 Zoom and Galaxy S 4 Active weren’t really direct translations of the original device.

Unlike the Galaxy S 4, a respectable, high-end device in its own right, the Galaxy S 4 Zoom came with a much smaller, 4.3-inch (960 by 540 pixels) Super AMOLED display, 8GB storage, 1.5GB RAM, 1.5GHz dual-core CPU, and a 2,330mAh battery. These specifications were dated from the time the phone was announced and not anything near what the Galaxy S 4 offered.

At the very least, the Galaxy S 5 Zoom needs to maintain the same level of quality and specs expected of the Galaxy S brand. Period.

That means we’d like to see a 5.1-inch 1080p Super AMOLED display, 2GB RAM, 16/32GB storage, Snapdragon 801 SoC, and a 2,800mAh battery. Are the odds of that actually happening high? Not even, but for this device to really make an impact, that’s exactly what it needs.


Slimmer, less hideous design


Last year’s Galaxy S 4 Zoom was … chunky, to say the least. With the zoom lens tucked away, the phone was still over 15mm thick – or nearly double the thickness of the Galaxy S 4.

Rumor has it, this year’s model will be much slimmer. It’s said that the optical zoom will remain flush with the back of the phone, rather than stick out a few millimeters like last year’s model. If that’s true, it means it’s probably safe to assume there will be no ring control on this year’s model, but we won’t lose any sleep over that.

Now, we don’t expect a smartphone with a rumored 20-megapixel camera with 10x zoom to fit in the same 8.1mm-thick chassis as the standard Galaxy S 5, but it’d be nice to see something a little more appropriate than 15.4mm.


More robust imaging chops

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Review

apple-oisOptical image stabilization (OIS) is a feature most of us look for in mobile cameras. Low-light is a particularly common and troublesome atmosphere to shoot in, and OIS can definitely make dark scenes easier to deal with.

The leaks and rumors point to this being included this time around, which definitely makes us more excited to get our hands on the device and see what it’s really made of.

I’d personally also like to see the phase detection autofocus and all the incorporated features from the Galaxy S 5, as well. All of those features crammed into one, tiny package would certainly be worth a look.


Interchangeable lenses … maybe?


One can dream, right?

Okay, this is a huge stretch (and that monstrosity above is hideous). But that doesn’t make it any less cool. Interchangeable lenses are one of the major factors (aside from sensor size) which separate serious professional cameras from your run-of-the-mill point and shoot and smartphone cameras.

Will the Galaxy S 5 Zoom have interchangeable lenses? I wouldn’t bet on it. But with 10x optical zoom in its list of features, a prime lens or premium glass would be rather fitting. At the very least, it’d give Samsung to brag about, whereas everything else about the Galaxy S 5 Zoom seems pretty hit or miss.


What say you, ladies and gents? Is the Galaxy S 5 Zoom/Galaxy K Zoom going to be another flop? Or could Samsung get it right this year? We know the rumors and leaks don’t look terribly promising, but we have our fingers crossed this is one of those times the rumor mill couldn’t be more wrong.

Can the Galazy S 5 Zoom give the Lumia 1020 a run for its money … finally?

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About The Author
Taylor Martin
Based out of Charlotte, NC, Taylor Martin started writing about technology in 2009 while working in wireless retail. He has used BlackBerry off and on for over seven years, Android for nearly four years, iOS for three years, and has experimented with both webOS and Windows Phone. Taylor has reviewed countless smartphones and tablets, and doesn't go anywhere without a couple gadgets in his pockets or "nerd bag." In his free time, Taylor enjoys playing disc golf with friends, rock climbing, and playing video games. He also enjoys the occasional hockey game, and would do unspeakable things for some salmon nigiri. For more on Taylor Martin, checkout his Pocketnow Insider edition. | Google+