Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom – Review Part 1

Yesterday, I provided my early impressions of the S4 Zoom. Click here.

Today, I am going to start reviewing the device, and at the same time will answer the many questions I have already received about this device. As I mentioned yesterday, I got my Samsung Galaxy S4 from Clove Technology.

The official specifications of the S4 Zoom are –

-Xenon Flash, 16MP BSI CMOS Sensor, 24-240mm 10x optical zoom
-Optical Image stabilisation, F3.1-F6.3 Lens, 4fps Burst Shot, ISO 100-3200
-1080p video recording, Dedicated shutter key
-Zoom Ring for quick sharing of photos and access of the handset’s interface 1.9MP front facing camera
-Expert Mode for you to change shooting parameters,Smart Modes to help for your photos
-HDR Mode, Panorama,Best face to adjust smiles and eyes
-Multiple filters and modes to enhance your photos
-8GB Internal Storage (5GB user-accessible), possible to move apps to micro SD card
-MicroSD slot (expandable up to 64GB)
-Bluetooth, WiFi, 3G
-IR Blaster with Peel software
-3.5mm earphone Jack
-Accelerometer, Geomagnetic, Proximity, Gyro, RGB Light
-A-GPS and GLONASS for navigation
-Li-Ion 2330mA
-Up to 7 Hours Internet Usage Time (3G)
-Up to 9 Hours Internet Usage Time (Wi-Fi)
-Up to 10 Hours Video Playback Time
-Up to 46 Hours Audio Playback Time
-USB Chargeable
-Up to 13 Hours Talk Time (W-CDMA)
-Up to 570 Hours Standby Time (W-CDMA)
-1.5GB RAM
-125.5 x 63.5 x 15.4 mm
-208 g weight
-USB v2
-Super Amoled Display , 4.3 inches qHD resolution of 540 x 960
-GSM 3G, EDGE / GPRS (850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900MHz)
-HSPA+ 21Mbps / 5.76Mbps (850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100MHz)
-802.11a/b/g/n 2.4+5GHz, Wi-Fi Direct available
-NFC available but not available Mobile Payment
-DLNA (Samsung Link), MHL 1.2 support
-KIES, KIES Air support
-Dual Core Processor
-1.5GHz CPU Speed
-Video Format: MPEG4, H.264, H.263, VC-1, WMV7 / 8, Sorenson Spark, VP8, MP43
-Full HD (1080p) Video Playback available
-Recording up to 30fps
-Audio Format : MP3, AMR-NB / WB, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, Vorbis (OGG), FLAC, WMA

So being a Samsung device, everything including the kitchen sink in terms of specifications are included, but actually one key feature is missing. And that is the notification LED. That means no charging light too. I do miss this at the moment.

The apps Samsung include with the Zoom are WatchOn (the infra red blaster and TV Peel software), S Planner, Gallery, Samsung Apps, Samsung Hub, S Translator, Internet, TripAdvisor, Group Play, Video, Story Album, Music, Flipboard, Photo Suggest, Paper Artist, Video Editor, Calculator, Clock, Help, Downloads, My Files, Voice Recorder, Voice Search, Settings, Samsung Link, Dropbox, S Memo, Polaris Office 5 (the viewer is included but the full version is free when you log in to Samsung Apps). That is quite a decent bunch but not a massive bloatware either.

The settings of the S4 Zoom reveal quick toggles of which you can select from wifi, gps, sound, screen rotation, bluetooth, mobile data, blocking mode, power saving, screen mirroring, wifi hotspot, s beam, nfc, driving mode, smart stay, sync, and flight mode. As you can see, considerably less from the standard S4.

Further within the settings the key areas are security. Within here you can encrypt device and sd card, set up the remote controls, sim change alert and find my mobile and a few other options. On the accounts tab, you can control you various accounts from email , dropbox, Samsung and the backup options. You can choose to backup to Google, Samsung or dropbox. Under the My Device section in settings, there is lock screen, display, sound, home screen mode, open camera, call, block mode, driving mode, safety assistance, power saving mode, accessory, accessibility, language and input, motions and gestures, smart screen and voice control. The connection tabs handles wifi, bluetooth, data useage, more networks, NFC, S Beam, DLNA, Screen mirroring and Kies. The above list does not include all the setting options, as I have only included the relevant ones. 10% got left out. But even just listing the options is a task in itself.

Anyone using a Windows Phone, should now understand why WP8 is so far behind android. Anyway, back to the settings. Lockscreen – here you can select the type of screen lock preferred from swipe, face, pattern, pin or password. With swipe selected, you can have multiple widgets on the lockscreen, customise apps, app shortcuts, pick your unlock effect, and more.

Display – options for wallpaper including live wallpapers, notification panel options, screen mode options which include adapt, dynamic, standard, professional photo and movie. I use adapt so it changes according to your environment. Daydream options include colours, flipboard, photo frame and photo table. Fonts – options for font size from tiny, small, normal, large and huge. Font styles include default, choco cooky, cool jazz, rosemary and Samsung Sans plus the option of downloading tons more. Other options for touch key light duration from 1.5 seconds, 6 seconds, always off and always on. Options to display battery percentage, edit after screen capture, and auto adjust screen tone which saves battery.

Sound settings options have everything from volume controls for media, ringtone, notifications and system levels. Vibrations intensities can be set for incoming call, notifications and haptic feedback. You can select all your different tones and ringtones of which there are loads to choose from. You can also turn on or off keypad, touch, screen lock tones, haptic feedback on or off and also use the adapt sound option to find the best sound for you during calls and music. This is a very good option to setup. Make calls clearer. If you are a novice the home screen mode allows you to switch from the standard android setup to easy mode. There is also an option to open the camera everytime you press the power button. Call setting options have about another 20 options from call rejection options, call reject messages, alerts and more.

Blocking mode is excellent. You can use this to disable incoming calls, notifications, alarms and timers. You can have this setup as on or off or to work between certain times. I have this on permanently between 10pm and 6am with the exception for calls allowed from my favourite contacts.

Driving mode has options to read out aloud caller information, messages, alarms and schedules. And with Samsung S Voice you can reply too. S Voice is a whole subject on itself.

Safety Assistance – in an emergency by holding the volume up and down keys for 3 seconds will send messages at your selected interval to your selected emergency contacts with a message your setup and your exact location. Super clever stuff.

Power Saving mode – options for CPU reduction, screen lowering, and haptic feedback off or on.

Accessory – there is a special flip case coming out, and you have the option to unlock the screen with this case in accessory setting. Also the HDMI output audio can be changed from stereo to surround.

Motions and gestures – these include direct call (lift phone to call contact displayed on screen), smart alert , tilt zoom, pan an icon, pan images, turnover to mute calls or pause sounds. Smart screen – smart stay keeps screen on when you are looking at it, smart rotation keep screen rotated according to your face orientation. You can turn these on or off.

And finally Voice Control settings – incoming calls can be rejected or answered, Alarms can be snoozed or turned off, Camera can take photos by voice and operate a lot of the features, and control music playing too eg next, stop, pause, volume up , volume down. The Voice settings are in addition to S Voice app which does considerably more.

Anyway, that is a summary of what is included within the S4 Zoom. There are plenty more features within each of the apps, of which the camera is most fascinating. Just to give you an idea of the camera quality have a look at this photo I took on my Flickr account.

More tomorrow. But in the meantime, below are some screenshots of the various settings and items mentioned above.

2013-07-28 09.40.572013-07-28 09.41.102013-07-28 09.41.212013-07-28 09.41.362013-07-28 09.41.422013-07-28 09.41.552013-07-28 09.42.282013-07-28 09.42.352013-07-28 09.42.532013-07-28 09.43.022013-07-28 09.43.122013-07-28 09.43.272013-07-28 09.43.33

3 thoughts on “Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom – Review Part 1

    1. I don’t have the phone anymore, but from memory and like all Samsung’s it is in Settings, Sounds, Keyboard clicks. Or go to type something, and hit the keyboard settings icon on the keyboard, and turn it off that way in the actual keyboard settings. Gavin.


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