Why on Earth is Samsung making the Galaxy S5 Zoom?

Why on Earth is Samsung making the Galaxy S5 Zoom?
Great photos and calls in one plac...wait, why do I need that?

The term camera phone is a misnomer. it should be a phone camera, defining the bit of the handset that lets in light and then stores what it's seen.

A camera phone is something entirely different: a camera that can also double as a phone, and something that you'd struggle to work out why you'd ever need.

But Samsung didn't just try to solve the problem - it came at it from two angles: the Galaxy S4 Zoom, which was an S4 mini with a whopping lens stuck on the back. And the Galaxy Camera, which was a (pretty decent) snapper that packed a SIM card to give you the full Android experience.

Confusing? Yes. More so when you consider I've never seen anyone use the former, and only a couple of tourists packing the latter.

And Samsung's about to release a new version of its camera phone! The S5 Zoom. "Tumbleweed" is all I can say to that.

Given the effort made by Samsung to actually make the S4 Zoom, let alone refresh it, I've been racking my brains, opening and slamming the filing cabinets in my head shut to think of a time when I've heard anyone express an interest in it.

In fact, the only time I have ever seen the Galaxy S4 Zoom being used is in an electronics store, when a punter fingers one suspiciously. And every time they do the same thing.. follow the same procedure:

They pick it up, they feel it, have a play, then get their own smartphone out, compare the size, place the Galaxy back in its cradle and wander off, proud they didn't force an oversized handset into their pocket for the next 24 months.

Blurred lines

The whole point in camera phones is that they should be convenient. Why does the majority of the social media world post pictures and videos from its phones? Because they're always in your pocket - and fit it in too. It's not rocket science. It's easy.

So if you're going somewhere special - a wedding or a christening - somewhere you know you'll need a proper camera, you take that, not a small little companion device. What's the point? Your iPhone 5S or Galaxy S4 is already the point and shoot in your pocket.

Which means for those who want serious photos... those with the cash, they're going to have themselves a DSLR or something fancy. Not a little companion brick. It's too much of a compromise.

Flash in the pan

I can see why Samsung's releasing the Galaxy Zoom line. It's for the same reason it releases so many devices: because it can.

Sure, it probably brings in a few dollars to justify its existence, and shows the brand has aspirations to be a big player in the 'proper' camera market, but let's not forget - this is not a flagship device.

Samsung's strategy couldn't be further than Apple's. it doesn't concentrate on a few key niche products, it just chucks out a device for every conceivable market and micro-market and hopes for the best.

You could go on Mastermind with Samsung's various model lines as your chosen field of knowledge, there are that many of the damn things.

The Galaxy S5 is a phone that's being met with eager anticipation. The Galaxy S5 Zoom is not. Samsung should save the money it would have spent making it, and put that towards uncovering the next generation of camera phones that bring stellar performance in a slimline package. Nokia's Lumia 1020 is a nod towards this, but there's definitely another generation to be found.

So come on Samsung, focus. You've got some great ideas, but if you're going to make a dedicated camera phone, make it awesome - not just two devices stuck together.