Welcome back to part 3 of my review of the Samsung K Zoom. To recap on specs and a video highlighting the K Zoom click here https://gavinsgadgets.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/introducing-the-new-samsung-galaxy-k-zoom-video/
To recap and part 1 of the Samsung K Zoom click here https://gavinsgadgets.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/samsung-k-zoom-review-part-1/ and part 2 click here https://gavinsgadgets.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/samsung-k-zoom-review-part-2/
To see the full resolution photos shown below head over to my Flickr K Zoom album. There are other shots there too https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100/sets/72157644532639249/
Let me start by saying this will be a longer than normal article and will be the only one today as a consequence. Well, apart from a 10 x zoom separate post.
Over the last few days I mentioned some issues with phone signal strength. I live on Dartmoor, and phone signal inside my home can be zero, one or two bars at most. The K Zoom was losing signal often and seemed to be weaker when out and about. However, after discussing with @stevelitchfield, @1pynt21gigawatt @mobilemandan and @richardcyates on twitter, we came up with a setting adjustment which seems to make a marked improvement. In other network settings, I changed the network from auto select carrier to selecting my carrier 3 UK, and then the band to just WCDMA instead of LTE, WCDMA and GSM. Simple, but effective. It is still not the strongest signal, but it now has signal more times than not!
This in turn left me investigating my universal GPS mount and realised the side arms moved up and down as well as inwards. So I have now tested the GPS and this works fine, especially as I have resolved the signal strength to an acceptable working level.
So from top to bottom, Camera widget, My Magazine which is accessed by swiping to the left on the first home screen, and finally, my main home screen with folder and widgets. The Camera widget is very useful for accessing key camera and photo apps.
Camera studio is an excellent photo editing app with loads of options. With this app you really should not need another photo editing app. Any amendments can be saved as a high resolution 8mp or lower 5mp file.
The Pro Suggest Market app is where you can download shooting mode effects based on what the camera identifies your scene to be. You can either when shooting photos let the K Zoom give you a range or options or use your own. More on that below.
I mentioned in part 1 of my review there was nearly no Samsung bloatware. Well, there is an optional My Galaxy app to download with only Samsung Apps installed. Below is screen shot of My Galaxy and the Galaxy Gifts available for the K Zoom. Warning if you have used some of the free trials already on another Samsung device, you may not get the full trial periods on offer if they have expired. If so, use a different email for your Samsung account.
And of course you can manage the modes as mentioned above.
Below are screen shots of the camera settings available.
As you can see from above, selecting the Pro Suggest mode and half pressing the camera shutter button and releasing brings up some suggestions based on the shot in the view finder. Apart from the pre selected modes you can choose Program or Manual mode. The manual range of adjustments in these modes offers a finer control as shown below.
So lets take a look at the impact of using the Zoom feature. Standing in the same spot I took the following 3 shots. One of the front view of Exeter Cathedral, then a close up of the front architecture and finally the top spire which I could have zoomed in even closer!
If you want to see some more examples from the camera click here for my Flickr album https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinfabl100/sets/72157644532639249/
I have also taken many other photos in all conditions from darkness to daylight and all have been good shots. Without a doubt, this phone is one of the best, if not best cameras on any phone at this time. To give you an idea of its benchmarking score see screen shot below.
Even with some of the issues or weaknesses it has, I am more than likely going to carry on using this as my main device or driver and end up selling the Samsung S5.
In a few weeks time, I will report back with my feelings to see if anything has changed.