Samsung launches Galaxy K zoom, its selfie-aware camera smartphone

Samsung slims down its zoom lens camera smartphone and brings selfie-features across from its camera line.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer
The Galaxy K zoom. Image: Samsung

Samsung is taking another shot at the camera-centric smartphone with the Galaxy K zoom, a handset that packs both a zoom-lens camera and high-end phone specs into one device.

Nokia's Lumia 1020 might have a 41-megapixel sensor, but what it doesn't have is Samsung's retractable zoom lens, which features in its second "camera specialised" smartphone.

The Galaxy K is a thinner, lighter "camera specialised" smartphone than its predecessor, last year's Galaxy S4 Zoom. The devices sit alongside Samsung's Android-powered wi-fi camera range, which includes the Galaxy NX and Galaxy Camera 2.

The new smartphone-cum-camera addresses some of the complaints about the S4 Zoom — chiefly about how thick and heavy it is, which made it a good camera but a clumsy-to-handle smartphone.

Samsung has kept the 10x optical zoom it had in the S4 Zoom, but has equipped the Galaxy K zoom with a new retracting lens in a body. However, at 200g, the device is still heavy compared to the Galaxy S5, but it's still 8g lighter than the S4 Zoom and nearly 1cm thinner.

The Galaxy K's main rear camera comes with 20.7-megapixel camera and 1/2.3 BSI CMOS sensor combination compared with the 16 megapixel camera on the S4 Zoom, which had the same sized physical sensor.

The new device also runs Android KitKat, has 3G and LTE support, 2GB RAM, a 4.8-inch display at 1280 x 720 pixels and comes with Samsung's Exynos hexacore application processor, which is made up of a combined 1.3GHz quad-core and a 1.7GHz dual-core.

Comparing the S4 Zoom and Galaxy K, the main improvements are the newer device's larger screen, more powerful processors, higher pixel density and larger capacity battery. Reflecting the timing of its release, the device also comes with the perforated backplate seen on the recently-launched Galaxy S5.

Given the 20.7-megapixel camera is the main draw for the Galaxy K, Samsung has also included a number of features to enhance photography, including auto-focus and auto-exposure separation as well as its optical image stabiliser.

The device also employs a Xenon Flash instead of the usual LED set up in most smartphones and brings across a feature from the Galaxy Camera 2 called Selfie Alarm for easier timed selfies.

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