Samsung Galaxy K Zoom review – the smartphone compact camera

After the Galaxy S4 Zoom, Samsung Mobiles have launched the Galaxy K Zoom (SMC-111) in India. This is a smartphone that comes with 20.7MP rear AF camera with 10X optical zoom. This single SIM handset runs on Android KitKat and is loaded with Exynos 5260 hexa core chipset.

Box Pack: It is a small box that contains the handset, user guide, warranty card, data cable, travel charger, standard Samsung earphone with ear plug cap and battery of 2430 mAh capacity.

OS, Design and Display
The K Zoom sails on Android 4.4.2 with the usual TouchWiz UI. K Zoom is a smartphone integrated with a compact camera with built in zoom lens, for this reason it is bulky, but comfortable to hold and weight is 200 grams. The weight is acceptable as we have seen smartphones of bigger size weight around 160 to 190 grams.

The handset is no way slim for obvious reasons. The camera lens part is 20.16mm thick and the other slimiest part is 16.07mm thick. Breadth is 70.25mm and length is 136.68mm. In spite of the dimensions the handset can easily slip into you jeans pocket.

Samsung Galaxy K Zoom box pack

Build quality is really good, though I am not sure if it can handle a drop, most likely the lens part may easily get damaged, so you need to be extra careful with it. The back panel is matte finish made of plastic with dotted textures as seen on Galaxy S5. It is rather soft to touch.

Samsung Galaxy K Zoom review and unboxing

The back side actually looks like a compact camera. The Xenon flash makes it even more convincing. There is a dedicated camera button on the right along with power button and volume rockers. On the left side there is micro SD card slot – it is easily accessible, you will be using it a lot for you photographic needs.

There is micro USB port at the bottom and 3.5mm audio jack on the top. There are dual Mics for noise cancellation. The dedicated navigation buttons do light up. Screen is super AMOLED of size 4.79 inches supporting resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. Viewing angles are great; touch is very, very smooth and responsive. There is accelerometer, light, gyro, magnetic and proximity sensors.

Memory and Storage
The K Zoom comes with 2GB RAM and 8GB storage (optional 16GB also available). Of the 2GB RAM you get around 1.2GB free on the first boot and of the 8GB storage there is 4.8GB available for apps/ as internal storage.

Samsung Galaxy K Zoom side view

Apps cannot be installed directly on the external card, however you can move some of the apps to external card once it is installed on the internal card. High end games like MC4 / Asphalt 8 will always remain on the internal storage.

OTG is not supported, but the handset is able to detect the cable probably keyboard, mouse etc might work.

Samsung Galaxy K Zoom review

Performance
Samsung Galaxy K Zoom is powered by Exynos 5260 hexa core (1.3GHz quad core – cortex A7 and 1.7GHz dual core – cortex A15) chipset coupled with Mali-T-624 GPU. Performance is very good, lag free. The hardware even does very well when it comes to gaming.

Benchmark scores

App Result
Quadrant 14074
Antutu 32706
Vellamo Browser (NA) Metal (1286) Multicore (1284)
Nenamark 2 59.2fps
Multi Touch 10 point

Gaming
As already mentioned apps / games will install on the internal storage and you get just about 4 gigs of storage. I installed Dead Trigger 2, MC4 and Asphalt 8. All of these games worked pretty well in the highest of visual modes. I had to remove MC4 to install Asphalt 8 (limited internal space).

Others
Sound is loud and clear. No issues found with 3G, Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth. The GPS (GLONASS) lock was almost instant. The smart network switch option in Wi-Fi will make use of Wi-Fi or 3G when available to provide uninterrupted browsing experience. The handset comes loaded with few apps related to the photography, you can edit images and even videos.

There is a single SIM slot – you need a micro SIM. When you are using the camera and in case you get a call it will show up on the screen but the smartphone will not ring, you can ignore the call and continue working with the camera or can pick the call, the lens will retract .

Camera
The camera is the most important part on the K Zoom, hard to find on other brands. There is a 20.7MP rear AF camera with OIS (optical Image stabilizer) and Xenon Flash for excellent low light photos. There is 2MP on the front too for selfies and it can shoot 1080p videos at 30fps. The rear camera can shoot 1080p at 60fps. There is voice control option for capturing still images and videos.

Samsung Galaxy K Zoom with Xenon Flash

When you tap the camera app the lens will pop out, make sure you are not covering the lens part. There is a glass on top of the main lens, but it is not finger print resistive so make sure you keep it as clean as possible.

When you close the camera app the lens will retract. You can also activate the camera by pressing the dedicated camera button for about 2 seconds. Use pinch to zoom or make use of the volume rockers for zooming.

Samsung Galaxy K Zoom 10x zoom

Is there any chance that the camera app gets activated and the lens will popup when the smartphone is still in your pocket?
Well not really. Most likely it could happen when the dedicated camera button is accidentally pressed, however the button will only work if the handset screen is on and the handset is unlocked. As long as the handset is unlocked it will never happen.

The K Zoom as the name suggest comes with 10X optical zoom and 10X digital zoom a total of 20X zoom. Picture quality is fantastic and works great even in low light conditions. Check the sample images / videos at the end. Do check the HDR Street light sample and do leave your comments below. The Xenon flash will only work if the battery is over 20%.

You will find many features on the camera apps – do check the video review. I would particularly want to highlight the tap to focus option that comes with focus + exposure option. When you focus the subject you will get a green square and just above that (on the right) you will find a white arrow, tap that and drag it away from the green square – what you get is a green square + a white square. The green is focus point and the white is exposure point. You can now control the light in your photos, what’s more you can actually see it live on the screen as you play around with the exposure box.

There is also the Pro Suggest mode that will give you suggestion for taking the best shot. Selfies looks good, it will take 5 shots and you can choose the best one. You can shoot 1080p video at 60 fps using rear camera for max 10 minutes.

There is AF assist lamp next to the Xenon flash light that helps focus in low light conditions.

Battery
This K Zoom handset comes with a 2,430 mAh removable battery. And here is the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom battery performance.

Task Time Battery drop (%) (max temp)
Moderate usage with benchmark apps + camera 44 minutes 13% (37)
1080p video with Wi-Fi on + full brightness 26 minutes 6% (34)
Used the camera to shoot 1080p video @ 60fps for 10 + 5 minutes (Without the Zoom feature and with flash off) 15 minutes 10% (43)
Dead Trigger game 10 minutes 3% (38)
MC4 + Asphalt 8 10 minutes 6% (44)

With moderate usage you can expect battery life between 4 to 6 hours. Video playback up to 7 hours with full brightness / Wi-Fi on. When using the camera for video recording the max battery backup will be 2 to 3 hours. And depending on the game you are playing can expect battery backup between 2 to 4 hours.

Samsung Galaxy K Zoom 2430 mAh battery

Verdict
You can either buy a compact digital camera with 10X zoom from the market with near about the same specification for Rs. 6K to 10K and in addition buy a smartphone probably octa core. But if you want both of these in a single device the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom is the best option.

Since it is running on the android back-end you can always share the images / videos on social networks. The K Zoom comes with a good quality camera though you cannot really compare it to the DSLR’s but it does give you a lot of options and control.

Samsung Galaxy K Zoom hands on back view

If you are into photography or love shooting photos, it could turn out to be a good sidearm, and of course you can use it as smartphone too.

Samsung Galaxy K Zoom is currently priced at Rs. 29,999 available in charcoal black, shimmery white and electric blue color options.

K Zoom Image Gallery


Sample Image shot using this handset


Front camera sample


Samsung Galaxy K Zoom review, gaming, camera and Benchmark

K Zoom video sample 1080p @ 60 fps

K Zoom video sample Slow Motion

19 Comments

  1. Amit December 15, 2014
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