The Samsung Galaxy K zoom melds a pro-level camera with a mid-level smartphone—complete with a Selfie Alarm to allow you to take timed selfies with ease—in the hopes of creating a whole new product category.
Anyone who follows Samsung's fortunes or its ever-growing range of handsets may beg to differ. After all, less than a year ago, the company launched the Samsung Galaxy SIV zoom, a pro-level camera that also works as a smartphone.
But, according to Sung Hong Lim, Senior Vice President of Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics, the SIV zoom wasn't as good as it could have been in meeting the needs of consumers who are happy to compromise on smartphone specs but won't take second best when it comes to imaging and optics.
All of which makes the Galaxy K zoom not just a totally new product category, but a world-first too.
The K zoom (the K stands for Kamera!) is a pretty serious imaging device. It has a 20.7 megapixel BSI (backside illumination) CMOS sensor and optical image stabilization which, with an optical zoom that can easily unbalance the handset, is a necessity. And that optical zoom offers 10x magnification, auto focus and auto exposure -- which can be set on screen prior to taking a shot -- and sits much more snuggly in the phone's housing than it did on the SIV zoom.
As a phone, it doesn't have the horsepower to outperform the company's latest flagship, the Galaxy S5, but it does have a very nice 4.8-inch full HD super AMOLED screen, uses a hexa-core processor and has 2GB of RAM. And, like all new Android devices landing in 2014, runs KitKat out of the box.
A potentially strange decision is to only offer the handset with 8GB of in-built storage. Yes there's a slot for a microSD card so expansion for storing images won't be a problem, but finding space for apps focused on the phone's performance rather than the camera's performance might be an issue.
Unless of course, Samsung has tweaked the OS so that the phone can access apps stored on removable media.
The company is yet to confirm when the phone will be arriving in different territories, or how much it will cost when it does.