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Tech Talk: S4 Zoom – part smartphone, part digital camera

by Doug Delony / KHOU 11 News

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 3 at 12:11 PM

HOUSTON -- This holiday season, Samsung may have the perfect gift for anyone who needs not only a new smartphone but also a digital camera.

On one side, the Galaxy S4 Zoom looks like a regular smartphone – about the size of an iPhone. But when you turn it around, you’ll find a big camera with 10X optical zoom and 16 megapixels.

Like other Samsung mobile devices, the S4 Zoom is based on the Android platform, so you can download apps, play games, and use Facebook. Other smartphones, however, don’t have an optical zoom.

The phone also touts a “Xenon flash” instead of an LED flash. This means nighttime shots have richer color instead of being washed out due to the bright white flash.

Overall, the S4 Zoom is a good smartphone and a good point-and-shoot camera, but it is a little bulky and certainly weighs more than most digital cameras. It’s perfect for people who need to take and send high quality photos on-the-go (e.g. real estate agents, car dealers, decorators, etc). For the casual user, however, a regular smartphone’s camera is probably enough.

When AT&T first launched the S4 Zoom on its network, the price was $200 on a two-year contract. As of Dec. 3, a web-only special had it at $75 on a two-year contract.

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