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Summary:

The Zoom is part camera, part phone, but I wouldn’t call it a Galaxy S 4.

Galaxy S 4 Zoom
photo: Samsung

AT&T has announced that Samsung’s Galaxy S 4 Zoom will be making its way to the carrier’s lineup later this week. It features a 16-megapixel camera with 10x optical zoom and looks like a standard digital camera from the back, while the front looks more like a typical Samsung Galaxy phone. And while the camera part looks cool, judging by the specs I wouldn’t quite call this phone comparable to a Galaxy S 4.

The Zoom features a 4.3-inch, 960 by 540 display and is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor. You get the same Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) software as the Galaxy S 4, along with the same customizations from Samsung, but those specs actually place this phone much closer to the two-year-old Galaxy S II.

I’m not a huge fan of naming new devices after a flagship while delivering lower-performing parts than the original. When I first heard about the Galaxy S 4 Zoom, I expected to see a Galaxy S 4 with an upgraded camera, which would’ve been super. Instead, this looks like a high-quality camera attached to mid-range hardware. Samsung has also done this recently with the Galaxy S 4 Mini, and HTC has done the same with both the HTC One Mini and HTC One Max. I like to see manufacturers offering more variation in phone size and features, but I think the specs should remain relatively similar across the board.

On the plus side, the Zoom features a 16-megapixel camera with a 10x optical zoom. The lens has a manually adjustable spinning ring that allows you to zoom in and out, just like a dedicated digital camera. It also uses optical image stabilization and there’s a dedicated shutter button, which should make it a lot more photo friendly than your typical camera phone.

If you’re interested, the Galaxy S 4 Zoom will be making its way to AT&T starting November 8 for $199.99 with contract.

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  1. Stupid idea…but Samsung is quickly becoming known as the sort of company that likes quick cash-ins. And considering the downgrade in specs, this is definitely a quick cash in. From reviews I’ve already read about the device, the camera isn’t all that good and the phone itself is unwieldy. Nice move, Samsung. You screwed up bunch of morons.

    Also, they’re douches for hiring someone to poorly review HTC devices. That’s just low.

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