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Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Phone Coming With 10X Optical Zoom

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Samsung’s recently leaked Galaxy S4 Zoom is believed to be an Android smartphone that adds powerful camera features, and we now learn that the device will feature a 10X optical zoom. Thus far, most phones that feature cameras are limited to digital zoom, so photos that are zoomed in from far away will suffer from grain, noise, and a loss of detail. An optical zoom would prevent the loss of detail and will allow users to capture images from further away as if they were up close.

An optical zoom would be beneficial for capturing images and videos at venues like concerts. I know that when I had gone to Fox’s American Idol taping as a guest of sponsor AT&T Mobility and Meredith Red, I had wished that my iPhone 5 had optical zoom. With full digital zoom, my images lacked the details that an optical zoom would provide.

Image captured with iPhone 5 and full digital zoom; American Idol host Ryan Seacrest standing at very far end of stage and in lower right corner is judge and singer Mariah Carey.

Image captured with iPhone 5 and full digital zoom; American Idol host Ryan Seacrest standing at very far end of stage and in lower right corner is judge and singer Mariah Carey. Details are lost using digital zoom and image contains a lot of noise and grain, issues that would not be present with the use of an optical zoom. 

The device is expected to have a 4.3-inch qHD display, which means that the display is both smaller and lower resolution than both the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4 as well as the Samsung Galaxy Camera. The Galaxy Camera is a smart camera that uses Android and has a mobile broadband cellular modem, but cannot take cellular voice calls. That device has a 21X optical zoom.

So far, the only device on the market that has a lossless zoom with a phone is the Nokia 808, which combines a large imaging sensor with 41 megapixels. The phone is powered by the Symbian operating system and can capture images with a zoom of about 3X. Zoomed in, images would have a resolution smaller than 41 megapixels.

The Galaxy S4 Zoom is described to bear a similar form factor and design as the Galaxy S4 mini. Given the small form factor of the Galaxy S4 mini, the Galaxy S4 Zoom should be a very compact device that offers a bit more for those interested in photography. The device will can capture 16-megapixel images and is expected to be announced this month for a summer launch, according to a report on Sam Mobile

Tech enthusiast in Silicon Valley enjoying the possibilities of ubiquitous connectivity, information sharing, and collaboration enabled by mobile broadband. You can contact Chuong on Twitter @chuongvision or search +chuongvision on Google+.

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