Samsung launches Galaxy K Zoom with Android 4.4 and 10x optical lens

The Galaxy machine keeps churning out smartphones, and Samsung’s latest is a doozy: a 4.8-inch 72op display, a hexacore processor and a 20MP rear camera with a 10x optical zoom lens.

The Galaxy K Zoom is the followup to the Galaxy S4 Zoom from last year, and this year’s model looks and feels a whole lot more like a traditional smartphone. Still relatively thick and weighty at 20mm and 200 grams, the K Zoom takes its design lineage more from Samsung’s mid-range line of devices than the flagship Galaxy S5, but it’s still instantly recognizable.

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The main attraction is the 20.7MP 1/2.3″ CMOS BSI sensor, likely the same one as found inside the Sony Xperia Z1 and Z2. Unlike those devices, though, Samsung has paired it with optical image stabilization and a 24-240mm (10x) F3.1-6.3 zoom lens and autofocus assist LED. While not quite in the same league as Sony’s range of 1″ point-and-shoot cameras, the K Zoom will likely be able to hold its own against every other Android device, offering great low-light photos and superlative zoom shots.

The Android 4.4.2 build is nearly identical to that of the Galaxy S5, and the hexacore Exynos processor — two 1.7Ghz Cortex-A15 cores and four 1.3Ghz Cortex-A7 cores — pair with 2GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage (plus microSD) for a decent hardware package. It would have been nice to see at least 16GB of storage, as this is designed for taking large photos, but we’re not going to complain too much.

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There’s something interesting about Samsung’s seemingly endless supply of Galaxy variants, but this one intrigues me the most: it is light and pocketable, and yet has the potential to extract some fantastic photography in places that a regular camera either wouldn’t be present, or wouldn’t be practical.

The Galaxy K Zoom will likely never get an official release in North America, but we’re holding out hope that it will be available for import through one of many online retailers.