Samsung likely to debut Galaxy S4 Zoom with 10x optical lens

Daniel Bader

May 10, 2013 5:04 pm

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Samsung is poised to release a camera-focused Galaxy S4 model with the Zoom title affixed to the end. The device is expected to be visually similar to the upcoming Galaxy S4 Mini, but thicker and with a retractable 10x optical lens attached to the back.

The smartphone will have mid-range specs for a modern device, including a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display (960×540 pixels), 8GB internal storage, 1-2GB RAM (most likely 1GB) and a dual-core processor. It will be running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean as well. Of course, the biggest focus will be a 16MP rear shooter with an optical zoom, something that few phone manufacturers have been able to properly implement.

The Nokia PureView 808 is an example of a high-profile camera-focused phone, but it lacked an optical zoom lens. Instead, it had a 41MP sensor and a fixed-focus lens that offered relatively lossless digital zoom. Using a combination of sharpening algorithms and a technique that combined several pixels into one, it produced sharp 5MP photos that suffered little when zoomed.

Samsung doesn’t need to utilize such a high-resolution camera sensor, though 16MP is still denser than the Galaxy S4. It will be interesting to see whether the company uses a sensor with larger individual pixels than the Galaxy S4, something more akin to its Android-powered Galaxy Camera.

Speaking of the Galaxy Camera, the Galaxy S4 Zoom is expected to take a bunch of cues from the point-and-shoot, including a dedicated camera button and a highly-optimized photo and video UI. The Galaxy S4 Zoom, which has been outed by the certification body Bluetooth SIG, will go by the model number SM-C101.

Samsung’s S4 strategy — releasing a flagship model and then a variety of more focused variants — is intriguing, as its capitalization of the ‘Galaxy’ brand may have the undesired affect of diluting its reputation. With a Galaxy S4 Active and Galaxy S4 Mini on the way as well, it will be interesting to see how the company markets these various devices.

Source: Hi-Tech@Mail, Bluetooth SIG
Via: SamMobile, UnwiredView

  • jonny

    stick that on a high end S4 and I will buy it. I dont want a small screen and crappy phone with a great camera. i want everything.

  • Super_Deluxe

    I don’t get it. Why not put this in the high end S4 and not the lower end. Would’ve been another marketing advantage and another reason to upgrade. I don’t get this idea at all Samsung.

    • EvanKrosney

      It would be too big, and possibly too expensive. However, I do agree that they’ve compromised a bit too much on this one, it doesn’t even have a 720p display.

  • kevin c

    I was wondering when we would see smart phones with optical zoom. This is the only reason why I still have a DSLR camera. Bring it on.

    • Anthony Chuang

      if the only reason you hold onto your DSLR is for optical zoom, I suggest you go get a point and shoot and forget about your DSLR

    • EvanKrosney

      +1, I only have one zoom. Fast primes are where it’s at!

  • solomonsright

    It’s like, if Ferrari sold the Red ones with a 4 cylinder and the puke green ones with a V-12.

  • ryhm

    agreed, should have been on the highend s4…maybe it would have swayed me from buying the One.

    • EvanKrosney

      That would make for a MASSIVE phone. Besides, I’m sure the price would be outrageous.

  • J. W.

    So that they can sell their Galaxy S5 in the future.