Samsung Galaxy S4 variant with zoom camera outed

A document from a Bluetooth special interest group reveals the model number of the rumored Galaxy S4 Zoom, as cameras take on heightened importance as a standout feature on smartphones.

A variant of the Galaxy S4 with a zoom camera may be on its way. Shara Tibken/CNET

The rumored Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom may be a reality after all.

A Bluetooth special interest group document lists a new Samsung product with the model number SM-C101, which Unwired believes is the Galaxy S4 Zoom, a variant of the company's flagship phone that's supposed to be smaller and comes with a 16-megapixel optical zoom lens.

There has been a heightened focus on camera as a standout feature on smartphones. Nokia has pushed hard with its Lumia 920 and PureView camera technology, which it claims takes superior low-light pictures. HTC opted to forgo the usual megapixel game, instead using the term "Ultrapixel" for a 4-megapixel camera with larger sensors. Even Apple has gotten in the game, with recent ads touting the fact that more photos are taken with the iPhone than any other camera.

Jamming an optical zoom lens into a smartphone makes sense. No matter the progress made in smartphone camera technology, it can never really match a standalone camera or digital SLR.

Samsung is in a good position to add this kind of feature to a phone, as the company also manufactures and sells digital cameras. The Galaxy S4 Zoom, meanwhile, would represent just one of many different variants that Samsung has prepared as it looks to broaden the appeal of its lineup.

Unwired said that the company may release the phone in early June.

Samsung declined to comment on the report.

About the author

Roger Cheng is the executive editor in charge of breaking news for CNET News. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade. He's a devoted Trojan alum and Los Angeles Lakers fan.


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