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Battle of the Galaxies: Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom and S4 Mini

By the time you read this, most of you would have already seen advertisements about the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom and S4 Mini. The two smart phones-cum-cameras, Samsung claims, sets the path for its future products, and takes its mission for convergence of technology a notch higher. But at R29,900 and R27,900, respectively, do they meet expectations? Let’s have a look.

Galaxy S4 Zoom
The Galaxy S4 Zoom is a toned-down version of the Galaxy Camera, with the addition of making phone calls

Galaxy S4 Zoom

Galaxy S4 Zoom

The Galaxy S4 Zoom
Firstly, despite the fact it’s slimmer and lighter than the Galaxy Camera, the S4 Zoom looks bulkier, perhaps, because of the metallic finish and the egg-shaped design. But then, looks can be deceptive. In this case, it holds true. The S4 Zoom has got a nice metallic finish, is 100 gm lighter than the Galaxy Camera, and offers much more, especially in terms of connectivity; the extras include NFC and 4G in the Long Term Evolution (LTE) version (Samsung hasn’t confirmed the availability of LTE version in India, though), and a more powerful battery. Although, there’s no information on sensor size, it comes with a maximum resolution of 16 megapixels. We like the touch screen, and the camera control User Interface (UI). Although you may struggle initially, once you get a hang of the UI, it’s quite easy to manoeuvre through. But then come the compromises. The processor in the S4 Zoom is slower (1.5 GHz dual core as compared to the 1.4 GHz quad core processor in the Galaxy Camera), and the lens offers half the zoom of the Galaxy Camera.

The Galaxy S4 Mini
It’s 2K cheaper than the Zoom, perhaps the lightest phone we have held in a long time. Apart from a less powerful camera (8 megapixel) and a slightly faster 1.7 GHz dual core processor, the S4 Mini is similar to the S4 Zoom and the Galaxy Camera. Even the user interface matches, but then it’s the case with all other Samsung phones as well.

Galaxy S4 Mini
The back panel of the Galaxy S4 Mini (below); the front (above). PICS/ HASSAN M KAMAL

Galaxy S4 Mini

Final Verdict
Overall, we found the S4 Mini a more appealing product, as compared to the S4 Zoom; the latter is more or less a toned-down version of the Galaxy Camera with the addition of making phone calls. While the S4 Zoom may appeal to a select category of professional photographers (those who don’t mind attending calls while taking photos) creating a niche market for itself, the S4 Mini comes across as a more likely candidate to be popular among buyers. The only problem would be the price. At R27,900, the S4 Mini is way too expensive, more so, if there is no LTE on offer. Watch this space for a detailed review soon.

Availability To be announced soon. 

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