Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom review

Is it a phone? Is it a camera? Do you care?

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom review
Zoom! ZOOM! ZOOM! It's still a phone though.

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Battery life

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom review

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom has a 2330mAh battery. That's a pretty decent size and it's a lot bigger than the 1900mAh battery packed into the similarly specced Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini.

The battery is also removable, so if it ever wears out, or you just fancy keeping a spare with you, you can easily change it.

While your mileage may vary we were pretty impressed with the battery in the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom. Under heavy mixed use it lasted over a day - and that was under the rigours of being reviewed. We reckon that with moderate use it could probably stretch to two days.

The biggest drain appeared to be web browsing, followed by using the camera and then by watching videos. Actually making calls seemed to cause very little drain and listening to music didn't cause much either, presumably because the screen wasn't in use much.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom review

Obviously with the camera being such a major feature you're likely to want to use that a lot, but when using the camera heavily for about an hour, taking both photos and videos, the battery dropped less than 20 per cent, so you should be able to use it quite a bit without killing your battery.

We also ran our standard battery test on the phone, where we turn the screen up to full brightness, put Wi-Fi on, set emails and social networks to push notifications and run a 90 minute video from a fully charged battery.

At the end of the video the battery had dropped to 82 per cent which is pretty good. Samsung handsets tend to have strong battery life and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is no exception.

If you do find yourself running low on battery there's a built in power saver option which can limit the amount of CPU use, turn haptic feedback off and set the screen to a low brightness level.


The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom supports dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, HSDPA at 21.1 Mbps, HSUPA at 5.76 Mbps, DLNA, NFC, 3G, 4G and Bluetooth 4.0.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom review

It can also be used as a Wi-Fi hotspot and has an infrared port allowing you to control your TV with it. Setting most of these things up is fairly simple, as they can be found on the first settings screen and in some cases even on the notifications shade.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom also has 'S Beam' mode, which lets you use NFC and Wi-Fi direct to share files with another device, just by holding them close together.

There's even a screen mirroring mode which lets you share your handsets screen with another nearby compatible device.

The easiest way to get content on and off your phone is probably just to plug it into a computer using the included USB cable. It then mounts itself as a drive and you can just copy and paste files to and from the handset.

Alternatively you can also use Samsung's 'Kies' software. This works a bit like iTunes does for Apple devices letting you sync, backup and restore the phone and do firmware updates as well as moving content on and off it.

However while it requires computer software to work, plugging the phone in didn't prompt its install. Instead we had to manually find it on Samsung's site. Thankfully you're not missing much if you choose not to bother with it.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.