It’s that time again – which I must admit, I hate – #MissionSamsung is almost over and I need to hand back the gems that are Samsung’s Galaxy KZoom and the Levels Over headphones. Before that, let me tell you all about these gadgets.
A phone-camera hybrid, the Galaxy K Zoom is not Samsung’s first; in 2013 we were introduced to the Galaxy S4 Zoom. A premium set of headphones; I’m surprised it has taken Samsung this long to come out with these babies.
The two devices – KZoom and the S4 Zoom – may share similarities, but in all honestly, the K Zoom offers better specs and sensibly distances itself from the Samsung Galaxy S5 in its naming. A mesh up of a compact camera and a phone, the Galaxy K Zoom has the dimpled back styling of Samsung’s latest phones, and looks just like a normal phone from the front. Turn it around, and you find the key feature; a giant lens housing that sticks out and alters the weighting of the phone substantially. It is a 10x optical zoom, offering the kind of focal range you get in a super zoom compact, not just a standard one. It’s 20mm thick by its lens, and 16.6mm thick across most of its middle and I can imagine a lot of had to be done to get it to this size. The lens posed a slight problem in the getting – leading to many “hope the screen didn’t crack” moments. You see, the lens housing sits where your hand naturally wants to lie, this felt very odd in the beginning. The lens is actually covered by a layer of Gorilla Glass 2 to keep it safe.
The Level Over is a big pair of headphones, and the first hint at that is the case that they come in. A well reinforced case; you get the impression of the size when you see it. The case itself is designed to keep the ‘phones from getting crushed in luggage or backpacks, but it’s bulky. Inside the case, you will find an oval-shaped zippered pouch which conveniently fixes to the case’s lining thanks to Velcro backing. Inside the case is a headphone cable with three-button inline microphone, a USB charging cable, and an airline adapter.
I used the headphones, with the phone; at home and at the office. And they worked perfectly on whatever device I chose to use them in. Another surprise for me was the on-board controls on the phones. So inconspicuous, I didn’t even know about them until I read through the manual. The controls – located on the outside of the right ear cup – allows users to swipe up and down to adjust volume, forward and back to advance or reverse tracks, and press/hold to play/pause or answer phone calls. There is a catch, though: The swipe control features will not work with non-Samsung devices via wired connection – Bluetooth only.
The KZoom has seen Samsung move away from adding extra apps, if there happen to be apps you don’t like/use, you have an option of hiding these. A fair number of new apps relate to photography, which makes sense considering the device. My favourite app has to be Pro Suggest. The app gives combinations of filters and photo settings, giving you that ‘Instagram’ effect, but with more specificity. Studio was also used frequently. This is a camera-centric app that lets you edit photos and video, and make collages of some of your favourite shots. But, to be honest, I didn’t rely too much on filters.
The Samsung Galaxy K Zoom effectively has a compact camera jammed onto its phone core. A 20.7-megapixel main sensor that’s 1/2.3-inch in size, to be exact! The zoom is phenomenal, really! You can often get shots that simply wouldn’t be possible with a fixed zoom and a pair of legs. For shooting faraway objects while retaining detail, it’s essential.
A gripe I had had to be with the battery life. Those looking to replace a dedicated camera with the Galaxy K Zoom may want to think about carrying around a spare too, as battery stamina is pretty poor. Charging took me about 3hrs, and the battery, if used lightly – turned on, and with occasional Wi-Fi – I only managed a day and a half out of the phone.
With all that, would I want to own my own Samsung Galaxy K Zoom? The answer is a resounding YES!
Make the most of the powerful 20.7MP back camera for selfies. Just touch the screen to set where you want to appear, then turn it around and wait for the beep. It even gives you three shots to choose from!