- Battery life
- Slow camera boot time
- Lack of manual camera controls
- Mid-tier specs and performance at flagship prices
- Inconsistent video quality
The previous Galaxy S4 Zoom was met with lackluster reviews and only mild acceptance. However, Samsung is back in the camera phone game with a new challenger--the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom. Will this be the one to carve out a dedicated niche for these beastly phone/camera hybrids? Let’s see what the reviews have to say!
As far as phone specs go, the K Zoom is firmly in the mid-range bracket. The 4.8-inch 720p AMOLED display is a good size compared to flagship devices but lacking in the resolution department. Unfortunately, the PenTile technology used in the display doesn’t seem to be earning it any points with reviewers either. TrustedReviews was the harshest of the crowd, stating, “if you’re expecting a real top-end display you’ll be disappointed.” Wired UK elaborated a little further saying the screen “appears a little fuzzy” and called the color balance “a bit over-saturated.”
The phone is powered by a 6-core Exynos processor. While you might think this is providing a real edge to the device, most benchmarks found the phone to perform on par with last year’s flagship, the Galaxy S4. However, reviews noted that performance was smooth and overall very enjoyable. Trusted Reviews stated, “Ensure there’s enough room on-board and there’s very little lag.” Just don’t expect it perform well on resource intensive tasks.
Of course, the star of the show is the K Zoom’s 20.7 megapixel camera with 10x optical zoom. When it comes to mobile devices with built-in cameras, there simply aren’t any (other than the previous S4 Zoom) that can even think of competing in the zoom department. Wired UK states, “Use the zoom and it's instantly head and shoulders above its digital zoom rivals.”
That isn’t to say there aren’t a few concerns about the camera. Trusted Reviews noted that it takes “4-4.5 seconds to get from the phone’s main interface to the point where you can take a photo.” If you’re looking to capture those one-in-a-lifetime shots, the K Zoom might be a bit slow. The other concern is video quality. Engadget put it through the ringer at the Taipei Zoo and found, “Video quality is generally rather poor, particularly at longer focal lengths.”
The final weak link is the battery life. The 2430mAh battery seems plenty to power it on paper. However, many reviews note that it appears the Exynos 5 processor simply fails to preserve power in standby mode. The result? Most reviews found the phone steadily drained throughout a single day. Trusted Reviews noted “The battery drains fairly quickly even if you barely use the phone.” While Engadget found that shooting more than an hour of video and a few hundred pictures completely drained the battery. If you’re looking for a dedicated vacation camera, you might need a spare battery.
When it comes to final verdicts, most were rather bittersweet. TrustedReviews said, “this phone is all about the optical zoom.” GSM Arena called the phone a device for “people who take tons of photos each day, but aren't into the nitty-gritty.” Engadget was perhaps hardest on the device, stating, “you'll probably be better off buying a separate camera and smartphone.”
Prices (Where to Buy)
Samsung released the Galaxy K Zoom on May 31, 2014.
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom user manual here.
Samsung backs up the Galaxy K Zoom with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your Galaxy K 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.