Coming in just after a Russian site managed to review the device, Samsung has officially announced the Galaxy S4 zoom. Combining a fully featured Android 4.2.2 Galaxy phone (basically a Galaxy S4 Mini) with a 16MP point-and-shoot, it brings a 10x optical zoom lens to bear -- the first phone to do so. On the phone side, it sports a 4.3-inch qHD display, 1.5GHz dual-core CPU, 1.5GB RAM, 8GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD slot) and a 1.9MP front facing camera. The camera includes optical image stabilization and a Xenon flash, along with a special "Zoom Ring." That ring surrounds the camera, and when twisted (even while on a call) it can launch in-call photo sharing, or go straight to other camera modes. Extra software features are also on hand to advantage of the combo device's capabilities including Photo Suggest that shows great pics taken by others in the area, Smart Mode auto settings and more.
President and CEO JK Shin is pleased by the union, calling it "truly the best of both worlds, without compromise," for people who want to capture high quality images and share them, but don't want to carry two devices. We're told it will arrive in the UK this summer but have not been able to confirm a pricetag, while its early Russian reviewers mentioned a July release and local pricing of around $618, converted. Intrigued, horrified, or just want to compare it to Nokia's latest efforts? A press release, pictures and detailed spec sheet await you below.
Update: Samsung indicates to us that the Galaxy S4 zoom will come to the US and the rest of Europe as well, at some point in Q4.
Galaxy S4 Zoom
Samsung Introduces the GALAXY S4 zoom - the first smartphone to offer 10x optical zoom, for perfect picture taking
June 12, 2013
A revolutionary new device that converges the best of a high performance smartphone and camera, the GALAXY S4 zoom delivers the best of both worlds
LONDON, UK - June 12, 2013 - Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today announced the launch of the Samsung GALAXY S4 zoom, a powerful new device which combines the stylish heritage of the latest GALAXY S4 smartphone with advanced photographic capabilities.
Part of the GALAXY S4 family, the GALAXY S4 zoom is the realization of Samsung's mission to create a single device that can fulfill the role of both an industry leading smartphone and a high-end compact camera. Combining 10x Optical Zoom, 16 Mega Pixel CMOS Sensor, OIS and Xenon Flash with the very latest Samsung GALAXY S4 technology, the GALAXY S4 zoom sets new standards for perfect mobile photography. It is the ultimate smartphone and camera experience in one, and the only device you'll ever need.
"The Samsung GALAXY S4 zoom represents yet another step forward in the way Samsung is working to enhance the lives of our customers around the world," said JK Shin, President and CEO, Head of IT & Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics. "As communication continues to become increasingly visual in nature, people wish to capture and share their moments in the highest quality possible, but often do not have the space or inclination to carry a dedicated camera for this purpose. The GALAXY S4 zoom changes this forever, combining the industry leading functionality and connectivity of the GALAXY S4 with the high quality photographic experience you'd expect from a compact camera. The result is truly the best of both worlds, without compromise."
Revolutionary new interface
Do it all and miss nothing thanks to the revolutionary new Zoom Ring, a simple and intuitive way to access the GALAXY S4 zoom's key features. When you're in the middle of a phone call and you see something you absolutely have to share, a quick twist of the Zoom Ring will activate the In-Call Photo Share feature, letting you capture and send an image directly via MMS to whoever you are talking to simply.
For easy camera navigation, the Zoom Ring can be used to activate the Quick Launch andShortcut features, giving you instant access to multiple camera modes including Auto, Gallery and Smart Mode with a simple twist.
The Zoom Ring also revolutionizes conventional camera zoom controls. Optical zoom control replaces traditional dials and buttons with smooth, easy-to-operate digital controls. Professional-quality accuracy and unprecedented ease of use are just a twist away, making it easy to compose a scene and capture wide-angle shots or tight close-ups.
Capture the best images
When it comes to high quality photography, bigger isn't always better. The compact GALAXY S4 zoom's best-in-class 10x Optical Zoom and 16MP BSI CMOS Sensor lets you capture beautiful images from far away or up close and personal, in all light conditions, without having to carry heavy camera gear around with you. Furthermore, the built-in Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) helps keep the camera perfectly still even when you're not, reducing blur and stabilizing the image while zoomed in for high-quality photos and video.
Photo Suggest instantly connects you to huge libraries of images taken by fellow photographers, to help you find and compose your best shots anywhere in the world. Photo Suggest can even direct you to the ideal nearby location which will give you the vantage point you need for that perfect photo.
The GALAXY S4 zoom also features Samsung's popular Smart Mode, so you can stop worrying about settings and start taking professional-quality artistic shots. Simply choose from a series of pre-set modes and the camera will automatically adjust to ensure you capture the best photo possible. Use Drama Shot to merge continuous shots of moving objects into a single composed image, or Action Freeze to instantly capture high-speed action. If you aren't sure which Smart Mode to select, the Smart Mode Suggest feature can assess the scene for you and provide a short list of the best options for your consideration based on surrounding factors such as light levels, focal length, or face detection, ensuring you always get the best shot you want.
Unlimited entertainment in the palm of your hand
The GALAXY S4 zoom's heritage is evident throughout, from its sleek and stylish design to the powerful, yet intuitive user interface. Running on Android Jelly Bean 4.2, the GALAXY S4 zoom boasts many of the same features as the recently launched GALAXY S4, includingTouchwiz, which lets you fully customize various aspects of your device including the lock screen and notification bar, for a truly personal mobile experience.
When you return from your travel adventures, Story Album lets you arrange all of your treasured images and videos into one timeline to share with friends and loved ones. You can also edit images and even order prints directly from the device through a partnership withblurb＊. If you'd rather transfer your images to your laptop or tablet for safe keeping, Samsung Link lets you do so quickly and easily with just the touch of a button. Alternatively, you can sync all of your data in your own personal cloud through HomeSync, providing the ultimate peace of mind and ensuring your images and videos are waiting for you whenever you need them.
The GALAXY S4 zoom features the new Samsung Hub, a one-stop destination for all of the latest music, videos, books and games. Search, download and enjoy all of your favorite entertainment at the touch of a button, all directly from your device. When you find that amazing new track or game that you can't wait to share with your friends, Group Play lets you connect directly with their Samsung devices so you can all listen and play together, without the need for a Wi-Fi AP or cellular signal.