Over the last year or so, I've switched both my camera and smartphone over to Android-based devices from Samsung – namely the Samsung Galaxy Camera and the Samsung Galaxy S4. This week, Samsung took the wraps off the latest addition to the Galaxy range, which combines the two devices neatly – the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is a hybrid device, offering the best of the Galaxy S4 Smartphone with a 10 x optical zoom, 16MP BSI CMOS Sensor, OIS and Xenon Flash.
It leads to a device that is undoubtedly thicker than most modern smartphones, but that's likely to be an acceptable compromise for those who love taking high quality shots on the move.
Samsung have made attempts to integrate the phone and camera experiences with a feature called In-Call Photo Share – a twist of the zoom ring during a call allows you to capture and send a photo via MMS to the person you're calling.
The Galaxy S4 Zoom also includes a number of hardware features generally found on dedicated cameras – a 10x Optical Zoom and 16MP BSI CMOS Sensor allow you to take a range of photographs of subjects at far or close range, whilst an Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) keeps the image steady for those yet to have their first coffee of the day.
The device includes 4.3-inch display, and weighs 208g. It's powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor with Android Jelly Bean 4.2 on board. 8GB RAM (5GB available) is fitted internally, and like other phones, the Galaxy S4 Zoom will accept up to a further 64GB via an SD Card.
Expect to see the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom this summer – no pricing has been confirmed at this point, but it's likely that the device will be discounted by the networks with a contract. Until then, you can ponder the question – is it a phone, or is it a camera?