Last year, Samsung tried something a little kooky: it made a mash-up of a middling smartphone and a solid point-and-shoot camera (you know, the kind smartphones have nearly driven to extinction). The resulting chimaera was called the Galaxy S4 Zoom, and it was… not great. To absolutely no one’s surprise, though, Samsung’s fixation on fusion is still going strong and the company’s trying to crack the code again with a new camera/phone combo called the Galaxy K zoom.
Mildly silly name aside (the “K” stands for “kamera,” seriously), the international K zoom packs 2GB of RAM and one of Samsung’s hexa-core Exynos chipsets into its chubby, dimpled frame. In this case, the chip combines quad-core 1.3GHz and a dual-core 1.7GHz processors — the pairing isn’t as snappy as a Galaxy S5, but it’s still beefy enough to handle most people’s daily routines. Toss in 2GB of RAM, 3G and LTE radios, 8GB of internal storage and a spacious 4.8-inch 720p screen and you’ve got yourself a package that’s a bit more robust than most. If the name wasn’t a dead giveaway though, the K zoom’s 20.7-megapixel BSI CMOS camera sensor is the star of the show here. Samsung’s rear shooter is kitted out with optical image stabilization, the ability to shoot 1080p video at 60 frames per second and a slew of software features that aim to make your on-the-go photos less terrible.
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Truth be told, Samsung appears intent on single-handedly bringing back the word “cameraphone,” if both the Galaxy S4 Zoom and Galaxy K Zoom are anything to go by. The newer of the two does a much better job of hiding its hybrid bloodline, and tomorrow (June 03) it arrives in Mzansi at various online and bricks-and-mortar outlets, including VodaShop, Incredible, DionWired and of course Samsung’s own Experience stores. If the official K Zoom product page is any indication, you’ll be looking at around R7 999 (R7 799 fo 3G) all-in with LTE, and we doubt they’ll be a wealth of carrier-subsidised deals on offer for the niche device. The K Zoom doesn’t quite rival the Galaxy S5 in terms of raw power, but it’s the 20.7-megapixel camera with 10x optical zoom you’ll be buying it for; and, how can you resist something with a Selfie Alarm mode?
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