Asus has introduced ZenFone 3 Zoom smartphone at CES 2017 back in January. This handset is known for its two camera lenses placed in the back of the device. And as what have been promoted by ASUS over the past five months, this smartphone focuses on two things – the camera and battery life.
Design, Display, Camera and Performance
The Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom looks like an evolved, slightly sharper looking version of the Zenfone 3. Asus claims that Zenfone 3 Zoom is the slimmest and lightest 5.5-inch smartphone with a slim chassis and weighs a mere 170 grams.
It is constructed of aluminum-alloy with a 2.5D-contoured Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protecting its 5.5-inch full HD AMOLED display.
The SIM card slot is placed on the left hand side of the device. The volume rocker and the power button are on the right side.
The USB Type-C along with the 3.5mm audio jack and speaker are at the bottom.
The display’s overall quality is very much satisfactory, the colors are lifelike, crisp and vivid. I am impressed with the touch response time, the scroll, touch flow and everything, all are snappy and I never find myself touching the wrong thing when using the phone.
ZenFone 3 Zoom is equipped with company’s SuperPixel Camera that enables it to shoot photos quickly and clearly at night or low light environments. I find it more light sensitive compared to the average smartphone. It comes with two rear cameras, a main 12-Megapixel Sony IMX 362 sensor with a f/1.7 aperture and 25mm wide-angle lens paired with a 12-Megapixel zoom camera that is capable 2.3X optical zoom and 12X total.
Another interesting feature is that, the ZenFone 3 Zoom’s cameras also allow recording of videos up to 4K UHD resolutions, though it takes a lot of storage space, it’s fairly awesome. As for the front camera, selfies with this phone isn’t the same anymore because the 13-Megapixel front facing camera is also a legatee of the Asus’ SuperPixel technology – I personally had fun with its front camera – taragis, it’s superb.
Zenfone 3 Zoom is as fast as you would possibly need a phone to be. Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 CPU coupled with 4GB of RAM supports the phone’s computing power. Though tagged as a processor for mid-range phones, this CPU has promised to be the core of power efficiency.
As I have experienced it first hand, it really excels on the battery-life department. And if I’ll be talking about its sharpness, it’s fast and snappy; I haven’t encountered lags or whatever issues related to speed performance. And if you enjoy casual gaming on the go, this phone won’t disappoint you.
And though I thought that the finger sensor in the back will be so difficult to access since I am accustomed to Samsung’s sensor at home button, I get used to it easily and it even reads my enrolled finger in less than a second.
Purpose of Dual Camera?
When I first got the phone, I am really curious about the functionality of the dual camera. It’s been said that Zoom’s camera setup is similar to that of the iPhone 7 Plus camera. It uses a second sensor to provide the 59mm focal length.
Here’s what I found; in automatic mode, the two cameras are always in use, and to test this out, I covered the secondary camera with my finger, and though nothing happens, its service isn’t in the visual capacity, instead, it works during the zooming function – it helps sustaining the zoom quality, it brings a 2.3 times magnification, reaching out to 59mm. And if you switch to manual mode, the two cameras operate independently. As what I have read, Asus clarified that this “trick” is to provide more quality to the photos “captured squeezed”, since the sensor that has zoom lens is simpler, has much smaller opening and therefore capture less light. The manual mode also brings you control over things like ISO, white balance, and shutter speed.
Summary of camera features:
- Two 12-megapixel cameras (one 25mm, one 56mm with 2.3x optical zoom)
- A 13-megapixel front-facing selfie camera, with screen flash
- Portrait mode to artfully blur the background in an image
- Support for 4K video
- Raw file support – comes in an Android 7.0 Nougat
- Full manual mode
- A GIF-maker built into the native camera app
Just like most of the Asus Zenfones, ZenFone 3 Zoom is all about power efficiency. It houses a relatively big 5,000mAh battery paired with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor. In paper, Asus has promised 48 hours of talk time and 42 days of standby time, 25 hour of Wi-Fi web browsing and 6.4 hours of 4K video recording. For my actual experience, from normal to heavy use, it took me nearly two days to totally drain the phone. And just like the Zenfone Max, Zoom 3 can act as a charger too for other devices via its bottom USB-C port.
So how’s it, a good one?
It is undeniable that ASUS has managed to craft a good design for ZenFone 3 Zoom. It gives a sense of fairness on the company’s pricing approach. Zenfone 3 Zoom is not an inexpensive smartphone and shelling out money for a device that’s above 20K isn’t longer an average move as competition among key players are really stiff and incomprehensible. Nevertheless, the phone zoom’s back what you deserve with your investment, it’s a snappy smartphone that has a pc-grade performance, good camera module that’s almost comparable with DSLR units, and a design that’s comfortable to hold, keep and live with. I’ve been using a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge for the last 8 months and been comparing with the Zenfone 3 Zoom for the past couple of weeks and what I could just say is that, Zenfone 3 Zoom exceeded my expectations.