London – Samsung unveiled what it called the cellphone’s industry’s first smartphone with optical zoom.
The Galaxy S4 zoom is positioned as offering the picture quality of high-end compact digital cameras, thanks to 10x optical-zoom capability, 16-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, optical image stabilizer, Xenon flash and other features.
A timeframe for availability in the U.S. and other countries wasn’t announced.
The Android 4.2 phone, part of the company’s Galaxy series, features 4G LTE, 4.3-inch qHD 960 by 540 Super AMOLED display, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1.5GB RAM, 8GB embedded memory and 64GB MicroSD Card slot. The 4.94-inch by 2.5-inch by 0.6-inch device comes with 2,330 mAh battery.
The zoom will support up to six bands of LTE, with bands varying by country. The LTE version will also support HSPA＋21 in the U.S. 850/1900MHz bands and foreign 900/2100MHz bands.
The front camera for video chats is 1.9 megapixels.
Other camera features include 24-240mm zoom capability, f3.1-F6.3, and 4 fps continuous shot with autofocus.
A new camera interface, called Zoom Ring, lets users access multiple camera modes with a twist of a ring. The modes include auto, gallery and smart mode. The ring also provides optical zoom control, replacing dials and buttons to deliver smooth operation, the company said. Consumers also use the zoom ring to activate the in-call photo share feature, which lets users capture and send an image via MMS to whomever the user is talking with on the phone.
Like select other Galaxy products from Samsung, the device features drama shot, which merges continuous shots of moving objects into a single composed image to capture high-speed action. Smart mode lets users choose pre-set modes while the camera automatically adjusts to the mode to capture the best possible picture, the company said. Smart mode suggest assesses a scene and recommends a list of the best mode options based on light level, focal length, or face detection.
Other camera features also available on other Galaxy products include HDR, panorama, waterfall, animated photo, eraser, and sound and shot.