As a family, we’re pretty divided when it comes to phones. Mr English is a sworn iPhone devotee. The rest of us are mad on Samsung. At the moment, Charlie and Sam both have a Galaxy S4, and I’ve got an S3 (I did have an S4 too, but then Sam dropped his in the sea on a Biology field trip and he was so gutted I gave him mine – motherly love eh?).
Regular readers will know that I’m Instagram crazy. I love the camera on the S4 and if I’m not photographing something I’ve baked or my dinner (slapping the kids’ hands away so I can take a perfect shot before they tuck in), I’m travelling somewhere and photographing beaches, Disney magic, or whatever I happen to be eating wherever I am. So when Samsung contacted us and asked if we’d like to try out the Galaxy K Zoom I jumped at the chance. In fact, I might actually have said: ‘this phone is MEANT for me!’.
The K Zoom is an odd hybrid – it’s kind of half camera and half phone. It’s got all the bits and bobs we’ve become used to with our current Galaxy phones, which meant it was really easy to pick it up and start using it. The biggest difference, obviously, is the 10x optical zoom lens, which makes for spectacular pictures, and makes it a bit top heavy. We took it to beautiful Whipsnade Zoo to test it out:
First of all, we tried a big, big sky. Enter my glamorous assistant, Charlie:
I think the colours in this shot are amazing. It was a weird day: one minute bright sunshine, the next dark clouds and rain.
Next, we tried the zoom function out. All you do is touch both fingers on the screen and pull them apart, just like you would do to enlarge any photo. Here’s the original. Spot the little dude by the tree (I’ve put a box around him)?
Well here he is when you zoom in. Crisp and clear, don’t you think?
I was keen to try and photograph something furry, as often I find detail like that is missing in phone pics:
Here’s that beautiful bear up close. In fact, I zoomed in so far I chopped his head off. But look at the detail of his fur, and we were pretty far away:
All this for a phone camera. I was really really impressed. We had such a lovely, lovely day. We even considered trying to smuggle this little dude out of the there under our coats. Look at his wittle face!!!
My favourite camera features of the phone were:
The selfie alarm mode: use the main camera for a selfie by tapping a square on the screen to show the camera where you’d like to be, then leaving the camera to wait until your face is in your desired location. It then beeps to tell you it’s detected you before taking three pictures – just in case you blink!
Instant camera mode: if you’re one of those people that misses the moment because you’re fumbling for your camera, the ‘one swipe from lock screen’ technique to open the camera is a godsend.
Pro suggest: use this mode and the camera will suggest the best mode for taking the picture, giving you little in-screen thumbnails of how the shot will look.
The verdict: there’s no denying the Galaxy K Zoom is slightly more bulky than holding a normal phone, but for me, it’s so much easier than juggling a camera with a decent zoom and a phone separately. It might not be for everyone, but it was definitely made with me in mind!
This summer, lots of families will be sharing their lives by taking pics on a Samsung Galaxy K Zoom just like us. Read all about Samsung’s 100 Days of Family here.