Samsung Galaxy K Zoom: A Crazy Phone-Camera Hybrid with Optical Zoom

Samsung has just announced the Galaxy K Zoom, a slim smartphone that looks like the offspring of a Galaxy S5 and a Samsung Galaxy Camera. It's half smartphone, half camera, with 10-times optical zoom via a retracting lens.

A slimmer, sleeker vversion of its predecessor, the S4 Zoom, the Samsung's new Galaxy K Zoom boasts a 20.7-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor on the back, complete with Xenon flash and optical image stabilization. It takes beautiful photos, but still retains all the ease of taking pics on a smartphone. You can still pinch to zoom, or hold the button to take a series of shots. The interface is all Galaxy, with the same beautiful screen of the S5, in a 4.8-inch, 20.2mm-thick package. The fact that Samsung has been able to keep it relatively compact is pretty impressive.

Samsung Galaxy K Zoom: A Crazy Phone-Camera Hybrid with Optical Zoom

It's pretty impressive as far as camera-centric features are concerned. This is a phone that—much like Nokia's Lumias— is made for photo-nerds. The Galaxy K Zoom lets you tinker with things like aperture and shutter speed, or your can default to the presets, as if it were a point-and-shoot camera.

And behind all these camera features, the K Zoom is also a full-fledged phone. The Android 4.4 KitKat-running device has a 2,430 mAh battery, 2.0GB of RAM, 8.0GB built-in memory, and is powered on a combination of a quad-core dual-core 1.7gHz processor. It's LTE-ready in Europe, but 3G everywhere else.

This device is not getting a U.S. launch, and it's well within the realm of possibilities that it never will. Still, it's impressive exactly how much Samsung has packed into this phone. Or camera. Which is it again?

Samsung Galaxy K Zoom: A Crazy Phone-Camera Hybrid with Optical Zoom