This is Not an (official) review of the Galaxy K zoom [Editorial]

on May 15, 2014
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Galaxy K zoom is not just a new camera with some apps and Wi-Fi features, it’s a camera-specialized full-on smartphone. Well, we can clearly see that as it runs on Android 4.4 (Kitkat), supports Hexa core AP (1.3GHz Quad-Core + 1.7GHz Dual-Core Processor), 2GB RAM, Super AMOLED display and LTE Cat 4, various sensors and features of Galaxy smartphones. However, that wasn’t something I, an editor at Samsung Tomorrow, was interested when I had a chance to play around with it for a less than an hour a so. (As you may have noticed from the previous unofficial review of the Galaxy S5, unfortunately, we don’t get much time to play around with new gadgets.) To make the best of the time, I decided to test out how ‘Camera Specialized’ Galaxy K zoom is with my ‘camera unspecialized expertise.’ 


Galaxy K zoom front side


As superficial as it may sound, the first thing that I noticed is the look. Galaxy K zoom seems like a regular smartphone from the front, but when you look at the back or side of it you’ll notice a difference. I’m sure that a lot of people may expect the Galaxy K zoom to be bulky considering that it has the optical zoom functionality. The official measure of the Galaxy K zoom’s slimness of it is said to be 16.6mm at its slimmest and 20.2mm thickest. However, feelings cannot be measured in numbers, so here is an honest ‘impression’ of the dimension of it. If there was a contest for ‘the slimmest smartphone’, it definitely won’t win, however, the size of it is not something that is overwhelming. The grip of the Galaxy K zoom feels pretty familiar and comfortable; it is ergonomic. (I don’t think it needs to be mentioned that the perforated pattern of the back cover of the Galaxy K zoom seems pretty familiar, as well.)


Galaxy K zoom all around


I don’t think it needs to be mentioned that the perforated pattern of the back cover of the Galaxy K zoom seems familiar, as well.

Galaxy K zoom back side


So let’s start talking about the cream of the crop: the lens. The main reason for the comfortable grip is the retracting lens system of the Galaxy K zoom, which enables all lens groups to contract to nearly the same plane. Personally, the one thing that really separates Galaxy K zoom from other smartphones is the 10x optical zoom (supports up to 20x zoom digitally), because this optical zoom allows you to zoom in and out while filming a video or taking a photo, which is pretty cool. (It is also the only smartphone in the world that offers the optical zoom)

Galaxy K zoom Camera


One thing I noticed is that, similar to Galaxy S5, you can unlock the phone and access the camera features directly by swiping the camera icon on the bottom right side to unlock the phone. However, when the camera feature is activated, the optical zoom lens on the back of the Galaxy K zoom pops out, like it’s eager to take some photos. I have to say that the sound of the optical zoom popping out is very strangely satisfying; and as soon as it does, it blurs the line between a smartphone and a camera.


taking photos with Galaxy K zoom


Now that I had activated the camera feature, it was time to play around with it. This was really when the description ‘camera-specialized smartphone’ started to make sense. First of all, it has 15 setting options and 27 different smart modes (28 including the auto mode). There really wasn’t enough time to go over them all in detail. However, I did find couple interesting modes and features that I would like to comment on.

If you don’t really consider yourself a professional photographer, the mode that is probably best for you is the ‘Pro Suggest Mode’. When taking pictures, it recommends variety of smart modes and films automatically. You can also check out other various effects from ‘Pro Suggest Market.’  


 Galaxy K zoom Camera option


If you are someone who knows about the camera functions, ‘Program mode’ might come handy. It adjusts the exposure by automatically setting the shutter speed and aperture value for the camera. 

The auto mode, which I’m a big fan of, offers Auto Focus (AF) / Auto Exposure(AE) Separation that lets you balance light and sharpness. This concept is pretty easy to understand especially after you play around with it for a little while. To utilize this function all you have to do is tap to adjust focus and exposure values separately, then press and hold a focus or an exposure frame to lock it into place.

Galaxy K zoom 20x Zoom out then in


Personally, the most impressive thing about the Galaxy K zoom was the OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) functionality. The OIS reduces blur caused by camera movement during exposure, which helps users when shooting in low light and recording videos. However, the OIS function comes in really handy when you are shooting while zoomed in. You’ve probably experienced a difficulty shooting zoomed in because the camera or smartphone camera was shaking too much. The OIS of the Galaxy K zoom keeps the camera impressively steady and focused. Personally, this is the functionality feature alone which makes the Galaxy K zoom stand out from other camera phones or smartphones when you are taking photos or shooting videos. The optical performance is no doubt superior. (Unfortunately, I didn’t really have the time to play with the Xenon flash, which is supposed to support better quality of the image in environments compared to LED illumination.)


UI of Galaxy K zoom

What little time I did have left, I spent browsing around the UI. The UI is very similar to the Galaxy S5, however it had a widget that the Galaxy S5 doesn’t provide, the ‘Camera Studio’.  It is a widget that lets you aggregate various camera related apps and features for you to easily access, which seems like an adequate widget considering the primary characteristic of the Galaxy K zoom.


I didn’t have much of a chance to go over the ‘smartphone’ side of the Galaxy K zoom, but the smartphone functionality of it seems to be pretty self-explanatory. Similar to the Galaxy S5, it offers including Ultra Power Saving Mode, Kids mode and Fitness with Gear. It also offers various pre-paid and discounted subscriptions for apps through Galaxy Gifts widget. It is said that Samsung has partnered with Vine to develop a specially optimized version of the app for Galaxy K zoom. This is very happy news if you are a Vine user because it will allow you to utilize the device’s 10x optical zoom capabilities to zoom in and out while recording your six second movies. In general, the OIS and the 1080/60P Full HD recording with 24mm wide angle are going to make recording videos a lot more fun.


So that is pretty much it for the unofficial review of the Galaxy K zoom. In conclusion, if you consider the ‘camera’ as one of the most important features of a smartphone, you might want to consider this phone. You don’t have to worry about it being bulky, because it really isn’t. The optical zoom and various options and modes give you so much more freedom in terms of the kind of photos and videos you can take. You don’t have to worry about lacking any smartphone functionality because it offers pretty powerful specifications as a smartphone, while the UI carefully considers the characteristic of the phone. Oh and by the way, the ‘K’ stands for ‘Kamera’, which is camera in German.  So would it be too cliché to say, ‘Danke for reading’?   


We’ve updated some photos that are taken with the Galaxy K zoom. (Special shout out to Ralf)

You can also check out more official looking ones at

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* Nothing to do with Galaxy K zoom, Star Wars has. Herh herh herh. Disturbance in rights, if someone has felt, hmmm, removed, the GIF can be.

** Oh, the same goes for Lego. The editor just happened to have a Lego 75002-1: AT-RT set on his desk. May the Force be with you all.

*** All functionality features, specifications and other product information provided in this document including, but not limited to, the benefits, design, pricing, components, performance, availability, and capabilities of the product are subject to change without notice or obligation.

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