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Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom - Call Quality, Battery Life and Verdict

Michael Sawh

By Michael Sawh


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Review Price £450.00

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom - Call Quality

Call quality on the Samsung Galaxy Zoom S4 is good. We didn’t notice any distortion issues or calls dropping out. The built-in speaker while not great for music, is loud and clear enough for speakerphone conversations. Things can start to get a bit tinny when you crank up the volume, though.

The only real problem with using the S4 Zoom as a phone is getting used to holding what looks like a camera to your ear. The jutting out lens takes getting used to but if you really like the idea of the phone with a proper camera lens then it’s a tolerable problem.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom - Battery Life and Connectivity

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom has a 2,330mAh battery – slightly less than the S4 (2,600mAh) but more than the S4 Mini (1,900mAh). Samsung claims the Zoom should get you up to seven hours of internet usage over 3G and nine hours over Wi-Fi.

Over a day’s use the S4 Zoom’s battery copes well browsing the web, playing games and taking pictures. It holds on for well over a day, but you will still need to charge it when you get home.

In terms of connectivity, the Galaxy S4 Zoom has the headphone jack, micro USB charging port and micro SD card support on the outside. Beneath the screen there’s 3G, Wi-Fi and 4G LTE support. Samsung has also included support for NFC, low energy Bluetooth 4.0 and both A-GPS and GLONASS navigation systems.

Should I buy the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom?

If a smartphone and camera in one is your dream come true then it’s an unequivocal, yes. The Samsung Galaxy Camera-inspired features really give the S4 Zoom the edge over the likes of the iPhone 5 and the HTC One for snapping photos – enough so to tolerate the extra bulk.

If you’re undecided on the idea, however, it’s not such an open and shut case. For instance, you could buy a Google Nexus 4 (£239) and a Samsung WB250F Smart camera and still have change left over from the Zoom S4’s circa-£450 asking price.

There is a trade-off on the design, too. The S4 Zoom is an S4 Mini with a big lens attached, but doesn’t fit as snugly in the pocket. That’s okay if you have a bag to pop it in, but not so if you always carry your phone in your pocket.

It will be interesting to see how it matches up with the Nokia Lumia 1020 as well. The new Lumia looks more jeans-friendly and has some promising camera features, but lacks the long zoom lens. Which is the better approach? We can’t answer that question right now, but it’s an interesting one.


The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is a great smartphone/camera hybrid – it’s a decent mid-range smartphone and camera delivers where it counts. We can’t recommend it to everyone, but if you love the idea then you’ll love the S4 Zoom.

Next, find out which phones we rate the best mobile phones of 2013.

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Jojo Carlos

June 26, 2013, 2:30 am

what about the Nokia 808? Is the S4 Zoom better than the N808?


July 5, 2013, 5:48 pm

I just bought the S4 Zoom in Dubai and already have the Nokia 808. The sensor isn't better but it is still 1.8x the sensor of a standard smartphone. Although it doesn't have a bigger sensor than the 808 it has a superior lens and physical OIS on the lens housing. It takes better pics on average and although it doesn't have the stereo mics of the 808 for video it still takes excellent 1080p footage. Please ignore TR, it is not awkward or clunky, it's a really innovative cameraphone and perfect hybrid.


July 5, 2013, 6:04 pm

Firstly let me say I think Trustedreviews is normally a very good review website but I believe you your initial preview of the S4 zoom has the totally wrong perspective.

This is not one of those super-slim smartphones with a camera function. It is a truly hybrid device with a larger zoom lens that houses a floating physical OIS component and a superior sensor (1.8x size) to the leading smartphones. It is not hard to pocket and as a camera it is extremely easy to grip. When reversed to use as a smartphone, the lens housing actually makes it very hard to let the phone slip from your hand because you can sit it on your index finger and type or navigate one-handed.

I bought the device in Dubai just 3 days ago. I'm sorry trustedreviews but it is unwise to speculate that it 'may' not be good in lowlight. Despite the lower aperture of the Nokia Lumia 920 or even a fully fledged compact camera like the Sony RX100 (1.8 aperture lens), the S4 Zoom takes good low-light and night shots. In full light it shows great versatility and the macro focusing is fast and much more capable than the RX100. Despite the Nokia 808 having a larger sensor (I have one), the superior lens and OIS of the S4 Zoom more than compensates and you get much better results on average. I've compared the S4 Zoom to my RX100 indoors and it actually uses the ambient light much better than the RX100. That's amazing given the very large sensor and lens quality on the RX100.

Finally as a phone it is pretty good and it's a shame they didn't have LTE/4G but the HSDPA is still very useful. It is a superb device for taking out to events where you need a phone and to point and shoot. If you get a foreign sim on holiday you can take great shots on the go and share instantlyand upload to the Web and have phone functionality when needed. Just like the Note a few years ago, a minority will view the S4 Zoom as odd but its hybrid nature will win through and it will be a successful niche seller for Samsung and very likely move a few million units.


July 31, 2013, 8:01 pm

I am really impressed to saw the photography of the camera is just awesome.

Aerial drone photography

July 31, 2013, 8:17 pm

I am really impressed to saw the photography of the camera is just awesome. I wish if i have one.

Diana Loginova

August 13, 2013, 3:51 pm

Saw one, got one. As a photographer enthusiast, sunday clicker and collector of analogue cameras I had to get one as soon as i saw it, yes it is quite bulky, and some people say i might as well talk into my shoe.. It comes in handy and the lens size just does not matter when you realize all the functions, exposures and apertures you can tweak with once you get it.


September 11, 2013, 3:02 pm

Nokia is better sorry that you wasted money :(

jim lewis

October 15, 2014, 9:47 am

i've had this for over a year now. Generally happy, the smartphone is as capable as I need, bulkiness is a minor issue.
However, one MAJOR problem is the ingress of dust inside the zoom/lens mechanism. this is inaccessible to clean but my pictures now all have noticeable artefacts due to objects on the lens which I can't remove.
I would NOT buy this again with this experience.

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