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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 7 August 2013
I've had this phone for a week (on an upgrade) and I absolutely love it! I take many photo's and I've always been into photography so I thought I would give it a try. Obviously it's no DSLR but the whole point is to have something that can truly match a p&S in one device and Samsung have delivered.
Based on many opinions (from people who have not actually used the phone or seen it in real life), and, other various review sites, I was really hesitant to go for it but I'm so glad I did so. There really is an exaggeration when it comes to reviews regarding its size and I was dreading what I'd find in the box. However, in my opinion it's just little thicker than other smartphones and I found it comfortable to use. Having come from a Nokia 808 and Samsung Note 2, I found this to be the perfect device for my needs and I don't how people expect a slim device from a 10x optical zoom lens with image stabilization?!
Obviously if taking photos is more than for just casual use, it will be a good buy. The quality of the photos were amazing for a smartphone and especially moving objects/people. The zoom lens only protrudes when using the camera, otherwise it neatly tucks itself away. The overall build quality though plastic is very sturdy. In my opinion better built than the S4.
It's chunky but comparable to phones from a few years ago. I can still easily put it in my pocket and it isn't an issue (very slight bulge + I don't wear skinny jeans type clothes) . I wouldn't recommend it to people with small hands (as is the case with Note 2) or those who want sleek smartphones.
The battery life is excellent and the photo's are better than my Sony p&S camera.
I frankly don't care how I look or what people think when I use it. Too much emphasis on some reviews regarding this when using it as a phone. When the first Samsung Note came out they said the same thing. I've seen people using their tablets as phones and I honestly don't care! Besides, when I've used it as a phone, most of the lens is covered when holding it as its quite short (similar to S4 Mini). I'm a big fan of convergence devices and the S4 Zoom is very convenient for my usage. I do recommend you try it in a shop first before you purchase as it still is a niche device.
I've knocked a star off as there is no 4G support. HSPA+ speeds are fast enough though. Although there is a proper & powerful flash, the usual led (lamp) flash is absent so there is no use of an led lamp during video recording in dark environments. Also, the processor is dual core not quad core which has not made any noticeable difference to me compared to my previous Note 2. The screen is decent along with the many functions and features from Android. Overall a great product from Samsung.
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on 29 August 2013
This has had mixed reviews on the web -some positive and others commenting on the average quality etc. I've owned several cameras and many of my reviews are here on Amazon. Firstly I am using this device as a camera - no it hasn't got the 21 times zoom of the galaxy GC100 but the quality is better than that camera. Macro shots I have taken are just incredible and how anyone can complain about the poor quality of this camera to my mind either is comparing it to a DSLR or a Leica X2. The ability to upload via wi fi or if you are using the phone side via e mail is superb. I use Nikon Space rather than Dropbox - I just find it easier. There is a whole host of controls on the camera side too - more than enough for most normal people who want to take high quality snapshots -- notice I am not including the pros who do photography for a living - they have their DSLR or Leica --this camera/phone is for the average person who likes to carry a small pocketable camera for quick high quality snaps. The phone side is basically a Samsung S4 MINI -- It's great --again don't listen to those who compare it to the larger Samsung S4 --this thing rocks -plus the camera with its 10 times optical zoom runs rings around the S4--I've compared real life shots. Bottom line --this is an amazing piece of kit -yes expensive but prices will come down in time -you are getting 2 in 1 devices --A Camera with zoom and wi fi plus a Quality Mobile Phone that fits into your pocket. Thoroughly recommended -after using one and comparing it to many different cameras and mobiles.
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on 22 September 2013
The screen size of S4 Mini but much better camera due to a nice 16 mega pixel zoom lens with 10x zoom function. Note that the focus ring looking thing is meant for zooming only because it's a pocket camera. (Apps seem to be able to benefit from it too since it can be used to zoom web page view while using Chrome browser.)

Only con would be that it's a bit bulky for a phone but I personally don't care since it's a good thing you can feel it being in your pocket. Maybe for some people that screen size is a con too but it's still bigger than what my HTC Desire (and HTC ChaCha) had.

Get it if you are tired of the mediocrity of a normal camera and like zooming in instead of cropping later. Get it if you've felt like carrying a separate camera in addition to your phone.
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on 5 October 2013
I bought this firstly for the camera and optical zoom and the way it instantly uploads photos onto G+ and dropbox. And I have to say I have not been disappointed. I also own a Samsung GX10 SLR, and the Zoom takes just as good shots in auto as the GX10, Its also has great operation modes, and can takes good photos in low light, and if your into photography then you can switch to expert mode where you can control exposure and aperture settings. It wont replace my SLR, but I'll take more shots with it as it can easily fit in my pocket, and its also a smart phone. It has better features than my Galaxy S3 phone but the screen is smaller, it works for me as I have two phones, one for work.
Overall I think its a very product, but its more of a very good smart compact camera than a smartphone.
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on 11 February 2014
As a phone, it's a standard Samsung that does what it says on the tin. As a camera too, it excels; an impressive zoom and good controls allowing the more expert user (read: "my other camera's a DSLR") to override the presets. Combine the two and you save taking up space in a suitcase if travelling or in a bag if on a day out. You can also upload your photos directly to Flickr at the nearest wifi hotspot, saving time and SD-card space.

Well worth the money.
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on 3 January 2015
Well, what can I say! not being an avid mobile phone user but keen photographer it was always a toss up to which device I would take out and about with me, I'm a biker, so safety always comes first and the amount of callouts to breakdown services on my old bike made the phone a must. I like to travel light so one pocket of my leather cruiser jacket for wallet, visor wipes etc, the other for the mobile left no room for a decent camera. I got some photos off my old mobile but as I said I am a keen photographer so was never satisfied with the quality from that. I told my husband that I was looking for a new camera with a space for a sim card, hoping that someday, someone would come up with one, lo and behold, he did a bit of sniffing around the internet and informed me that someone or should I say Samsung did. He actually bought me a sim free one off Amazon for my Christmas.

I'm well impressed with the quality of the pics from this camera/phone but still yet to make a call, as I said not an avid mobile phone user. I have to admit I have used it for messaging, generally just to let a few people know my new number, because I got a new sim too, and for a wee bit of surfing and downloaded a few apps to make use of wifi for VoiP calls etc as I have a total broadband package which allows me to connect to wifi from nearly anywhere, I downloaded BT's Talk which allows my mobile to act as a second home phone either at home or out and about with wifi access. I like the idea of free messaging and international calls so downloaded Viber for this and of course Facebook, and a few games, including Candy Crush and Farm Heroes, not forgetting Kindle for android so I have something to read if I ever have to wait for breakdown services again!! There were more than a few apps pre installed that I haven't got round to mastering and I still haven't worked out how to change the ringtone, not that I have even heard it yet.

The screen is a decent size, but I find it a bit sensitive to touch, maybe that will improve with time as I learn to use it properly! It is a bit bulky compared to other phones and the protruding lens on the back makes me feel the need to rest it on the screen side so a screen protector is a must, as is a cover. The one thing missing from the box I feel is a wrist strap, okay so that is the photographer in me, I teach in further education and the first lesson my students get when I'm teaching photography is to use the strap so as not to drop the camera, yes this is a smart phone but it is still more camera than phone to me so the strap is a must!

I haven't had it long, just about a week, haven't been out on the bike yet (It is the middle of winter) but it has gone everywhere with me, my old phone sat in a drawer most of the time, maybe that will change when the novelty were off or maybe I have at last been sucked into the world of smart phones, who knows.

I've still got a lot of learning to do, my last phone was an original windows phone, slow, cumbersome, 2G with a qwerty keyboard and tiny screen with a 2mp camera (with no flash) and 2 gig of storage, this one 16mp camera, with 8 gig of storage and a 4.3 inch touch screen, I even thought that would be the downfall, not enough space to save photos, but they all upload to space provided by samsung so you keep them in the cloud, in my case also to BT's cloud and Dropbox so I have more than one backup :) freeing up what is left of the 8gb space to keep some photos and music on hand for those times when I don't have access to wifi and don't want to use up my 3g data allowance.

Between my old phone and the new one, there is no comparison, so why am I writing this, what can I contribute?..... lets just say in my opinion the Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom is the best point and shoot camera I have ever used and believe me I have used a lot..... this one has the added benefit of having a space for a sim card and allows me to access the world wide web not to mention that it does fit in my leathers, so I no longer need to choose between phone and decent camera when out for a ride on my Harley.
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on 3 February 2015
I'm loving is phone the camera is better than any camera I've ever had, the pictures are just amazing. Even when you have taken a close up on mamaximum zoom you can still finger zoom the photo and it does not lose anything in picture quality. A lot of people say it's too bulky to carry, it's not that bad at all, not finding it any trouble. The battery life is great better then most normal mobile phones I've had.
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on 18 December 2015
I got really tired of never having a camera to hand when I wanted one. Problem solved, its my phone. Good image quality meets a Samsung smartphone. If you are a mac head then c'est la vie but for those of us who dont care who makes the hardware, happy days :)
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on 31 December 2014
The camera is obviously the main item here - and it is good indeed. I do not need to carry any other camera anywhere, unless I am going to the Caribbean or Scotland, and want to do top photography. As a phone, some say its bulky - but hey, just a few years back they all were. Android working fine so far, nothing spectacular if compared to other operating systems, but nice. Battery lasts for one day in heavy use, and the browser really is one that eats it up quick, not the speaking.
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on 8 September 2013
hi there , thanks for reading my review , I am a bit of a phone addict and if you google the name buxz777 you will see me on many mobile forums .

I have a thing about a decent camera phone going back to the 6220c , n73 , n82 , n86 ,n95, n8 , 808 , 920 and I have owned many phones recently including the s3 , s4 and I also use ios on my ipad . I don't really have a fave o/s I just want a great convergence device so when I 1st heard about the s4 zoom I was intrigued and quite excited about it . After using the nokia 808 a camera centric device running a more up to date o/s then Symbian is exactly what i wanted

I ordered it from amazon and it arrived quickly and safely as always the packaging was great and amazon provided a great service , moving onto the phone it comes boxed in the same brown recyclable box as the s4 and the box contains the phone , battery , cleaning cloth , headphones and lanyard as well as a small bit of documentation .

the phone itself is quite large and quite heavy , I wear baggy jeans but the weight and thickness is still obvious and sometimes the camera lens can be seen through my pocket , now I don't mind a bit of bulk to my handsets as long as they do their job and do it well. I owned the Nokia n900 maemo device and anyone who remembers that will know its a hefty device but i loved it because it was a mini Linux computer in your pocket and it pulled it off well and I think that's the s4 zooms problem it doesn't do either of its jobs well , it isn't a great phone and it isn't a great camera.

for example the s4 zoom is basically a s4 mini with a £100 compact camera whacked on the back. As a phone it is heavy and for me akward to hold , the huge lens circle on the back gets in the way of my hand , the screen isn't the best and after using bigger screens the font and keyboards look a bit small , the internal memory has about 5gb to the end user which will easily be filled with apps and games and map data , meaning you will have to root the device to be able to transfer some app data to the sd card , the cpu and gpu are really quite old in terms of high end phones they will cope with most games and apps but expect a little stutter here and there when things are getting a bit taxing and for an android phone there are much better alternatives like the s4 , s3 , htc one , xperia z .... they are all better ''phones'' then the s4 zoom and offer a better phone package

as a camera the phone does a bit better although I find my s4 pictures look better most of the time and the s4 also seems to capture more detail then the s4 zoom , you see the zoom seems to use very hard jpeg processing and there is no way unrooted to change this. comparing it to phones like the Nokia 808 and lumia 1020 leaves the s4 zoom creeping in the shadows and hiding itself away as it just cant match the Nokia pureview phones ........ in fact the only time I found the s4 zoom to perform better then any other phone was when you needed say 5-10x optical zoom even then though the pictures can contain a lot of noise , blur easily or auto focus may struggle to lock on . Another time the s4 zoom will come in handy is when your out up the pub or club with friends and the lighting isn't great , the s4 zoom has a powerful xenon flash that freezes time well and is much much more useful then a led flash , i wish more phone manufacturers built phones with xenon flash units and the s4 zoom one does a pretty good job when required up to about 4m/5m max

I also found the auto focus in the dark is very frustrating and very hit and miss its a shame as the xenon flash can work quite well and freezes time well , but when you view the image after there will always be noise and over sharpening going on due to the heavy jpeg processing . I was pretty disappointed in the camera of the s4 zoom and stated asking myself how can Nokia fit such a high end sensor and lens into the 1020 and 808 and here we have the s4 zoom which is really thick compared to them and yet Samsung just cant match the quality of the optics and the end result just isn't that great , as I said above I often find photos to look better from my s4 then my s4 zoom. For reference the s4 zoom uses the same size sensor as the Nokia n86 that was released many many years ago and was in a much smaller slimmer design . Therefore you are not paying samsung for high quality optics and sensor , nor are Samsung using the thickness for that and you certainly arent paying for a high end specced android phone so the phone is only so big due to the optical zoom mechanism that you find on the s4 zoom which is a dam shame as i am sure Samsung could have fitted a much better sensor and optics into this device and made it a true camera phone rather then a half job wich doesn't do either of its jobs particulariy well

so I was quite disappointed with the s4 zoom to be honest I blew £400 on a device that I was hoping could replace my point and shoot and phone at the same time yet I honestly feel that the s4 does a better job , it has a better design , is more powerfull , has better features and hardware , the camera captures images as good and if not better then the s4 zoom with more detail and less blur , the only thing missing is the optical zoom and to be honest its clunky and as soon as its used auto focus suffers as does light into the sensor and other things due to a poor lens system that's found on budget £99 point and shoots

the camera software for me is the best thing about the s4 zoom camera , it has an array of features even including full manual mode where you can control shutter speed etc , i like the best shot mode where the camera senses the scene and gives you the best 3 modes to choose for that scene it will help novice photographers get the right shot 1st time , its just a shame that the quality of pictures aren't great , they look fine on screen but zoom in and you will be greeted with noise , artifacts and jagged edges from over sharpening and coming from an 808 it really stands out

I will be sending the s4 zoom back asap and saving my money for either the sony z1 or nokia lumia 1020 both have great camera tech and also great camera software ...... i would use my nokia 808 still but finding Symbian a bit clunky these days so hoping to see the z1 or 1020 on amazon soon

sorry if you found the mini review a little negative , the phone is a nice idea , however if a phone is going to look like a camera and cost someone £400 id expect it to produce better results then it does because i can achieve just as good from my s4 handset bar the zoom features and the phone actually looks like a phone not a hybrid device with loads of room for optics etc

There are mixed reviews online about this device some saying its a great idea , others saying its a frankestein of a device ..... to me i am gutted that Samsung didn't put more effort into the camera , bigger sensor and better lens for a start meaning that it was worth carrying such a device round with me because at the minute with the s4 zoom i honestly feel there isn't much point as i can just get as good a pictures from my s4 unless i need the extra zoom of course

for me its 3 stars .... its a great idea .... mixing camera and phone .... but with this set up there isn't much point as the design makes the device look like a camera but there are devices out there that look like phones and produce better results with higher iq like the nokia 808 and lumia 1020 and even phones like the s4 can match the quality of the s4 zoom so i have to ask myself what really is the point?? its not a bad device but with the current lens/sensor/jpeg software combo you can achieve same/better results from much better phones then a s4 mini mixed with a £100 compact :-)

hope you find this helpful and please remember its just my opinion based on useage of the device and useage of other devices , if you haven't used the s4 , 808 , 1020 you may be really happy with the s4 zoom image quality but for me it just wasn't worth carrying the s4 zoom with me and i look forwards to trying the 1020 and z1 sooner rather then later

EDIT
so the z1 xperia camera doesnt look great from reviews especially at night i opted for the nokia 1020 in yellow and wow what a device it is . Like i said at the start of the review i am not a lover of a certain o/s but more the device that the o/s is on i want a great convergence device with the best camera i can get and i am finding the 1020 gets me as close to that as possible and as i ever have been. The camera blows this s4 zoom away , the build quality is awesome , the phone is butter smooth , its just a great device and instead of being dissapointed like i was with the s4 zoom i am like a kid at xmas enjoying my new toy

keep an eye out for my 1020 review when amazon stock them
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