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.

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Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom review

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom comes with the standard Android mapping apps, specifically 'Maps' and 'Navigation'.

The former is Google Maps while the latter, as you probably guessed, is a sat nav. We won't go into detail on these as they're the same on every Android phone, but both lock onto a GPS signal quickly and work brilliantly well, particularly considering they're free.

The handset also comes with 'Local' which uses Google Maps to show you nearby restaurants, cafes, pubs and attractions.

The only Samsung offering that's loosely related to mapping is 'Photo Suggest'. This brings up a map of the area you're in and litters it with user uploaded photos of nearby places, letting you discover interesting sites and attractions by viewing photos of them.

It's a nice idea and as most of the photos are of scenic views and walks it doesn't really overlap with 'Local'.


The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom comes with a whole host of apps preinstalled. There are the basics like a calculator and clock- which can be used to set alarms, timers, activate a stopwatch and view the time in different cities across the world.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom review

Then there's 'S Memo', which is a notepad app. You can send notes via email or back them up to Dropbox and you can also handwrite notes with your finger if you want, rather than using the keyboard.

Next up there's 'S Planner', which is a calendar. It will automatically sync with your Gmail calendar and it can also link up to Facebook or other email accounts to add events from them to it.

There's also 'My Files' which lets you dive into the folders on your Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom and move things around. It works quite well but there are more feature rich alternatives available to download from Google Play.

A Dropbox app comes preinstalled, letting you easily link that up to the phone and share files between Dropbox and your handset.

There's also a Flipboard app installed, so if you use Flipboard you can access all of your feeds from that and there's a TripAdvisor app making it easy to hunt for holiday ideas and nearby attractions from your phone. Of course these are all things that are available from Google Play anyway.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom review

Among the things that aren't available from Google Play is 'S Voice', which is a voice based personal assistant very much like Apple's Siri. It lets you do things such as launch apps, play music, call or text contacts and more all with your voice

It works pretty well, there's a fair bit of overlap between it and Google Now, but we'd say that for voice commands 'S Voice' actually works better.

'S Translator' is another Samsung app. This one lets you translate words and sentences either by speaking into the phone or typing out what you want to translate. It's a useful travel tool with support for a number of languages.

Most of these apps can be used as widgets, making it even easier to access their functions and features. Getting new apps on the phone is primarily handled by Google Play, which is the standard Android app store and it has hundreds of thousands of apps available.

However Samsung also has its own app store, called 'Samsung Apps'. There's a lot of overlap between the stores and the Samsung store has far fewer apps overall, but it does have a handful of Samsung specific ones.

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.