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We go hands-on with Samsung's quirky Galaxy S4 Zoom smartphone
We've just got our hands on Samsung's new Galaxy S4 Zoom, a wacky looking Android smartphone with a 16-megapixel camera, optical zoom, and a xenon flash. Is it practical to use as a phone? Let's take a first look!
The retail packaging for the Galaxy S4 Zoom. It's similar to the regular Galaxy S4 with a timber look on the front and a recycled paper style inside, and on the back.
Our review unit of the Galaxy S4 Zoom is an 8GB 3G-only model, but [[artnid:465555|Samsung is likely to release a 4G model in Australia]] in the coming months.
Yep, that's the back of the Galaxy S4 Zoom. It looks entirely like a dedicated point-and-shoot camera from the back.
The Galaxy S4 Zoom has a 2330mAh battery. Samsung also includes a cleaning cloth to wipe the camera lens along with the regular documentation.
Our review unit came bundled with an AC adapter, a micro-USB to USB cable, headphones with inline microphone and three different sized silicone tips for the headphones.
As you can see, the Galaxy S4 Zoom looks like a regular Galaxy phone from the front. At the right angle, you can't tell what lies behind.
The Galaxy S4 Zoom has a 16-megapixel CMOS image sensor, uses optical image stabilisation, and comes with a xenon flash rather than the standard LED flash used on most smartphone cameras. It also has 10x optical zoom.
The bottom of the device houses a regular micro-USB port for charging.
There's a standard 3.5mm headphone jack and an Infrared port on the top.
Samsung has positioned both the power/lock screen key and the volume rocker on the right side. As you can see, the lens makes the Galaxy S4 Zoom very thick.
On the left is a tripod mount, along with a microSD card slot hidden behind a plastic flap. There's also a slot for a lanyard strap, though Samsung doesn't include one in the sales package.
Our review unit of the Galaxy S4 Zoom only has 8GB of internal memory, so the microSD card slot will come in handy. You can see the chunky grip here, which gives the S4 Zoom a real camera feel.
The zoom ring is also morphed from a traditional, stand alone camera.
A Zenon flash is a significant upgrade over the LED flash used on most smartphone cameras.
The Galaxy S4 Zoom's speaker is positioned on the back, above the protruding lens.
A tripod mount is a nice touch.
The dedicated shutter button for capturing photos and video.
The battery slides into the bottom of the Galaxy S4 Zoom, behind a removable plastic flap.
Above the battery slot is a micro-SIM card slot.
The Galaxy S4 Zoom's camera interface borrows some features from both the regular Galaxy S4 and Samsung's Galaxy Camera.
You can capture photos on auto, smart and expert modes. There's also an option to create your own mode using a variety of parameters and settings.
Smart mode includes settings like macro, best face, continuous shot, best photo, beauty face, drama and animated photo.
The real fun is to be had in expert mode, where you can adjust shutter speed, apeture, exposure, ISO, white balance and metering.
The on-screen dials are pretty intuitive and easy to adjust.
Samsung has confirmed that the Galaxy S4 Zoom will be released in Australia "later this year". We will have a full review of the device in the coming week, so stay tuned!