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Asus ZenFone 3 Laser Review : Improved Device But I Need More For This Price

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For sure, this Taiwanese smartphone firm is getting better with its age. If you closely look at all the phones the company has brought to the market over the years, you can notice a consistent overall improvement in its product line up. The design, the built, UI, upgrades and then the price – all has been improving with every new phone it brings to the market. And the Laser breed of the Taiwanese firm tops it all. The latest phone – Asus ZenFone 3 Laser is no exception.

First, let’s see what the device has in it.

Asus ZenFone 3 Laser (ZC551KL): Tech Specs
Size                         : 5.5 inch
Display                   : Full HD (1920×1080)
Processor               : Qualcomm Snapdragon 430, Octa-core
RAM                       : 4 GB
Internal Storage   : 32 GB (Expandable upto 128 GB)
Front Camera        : 8 MP
Rear Camera         : 13 MP
Battery                    : 3000 mAh
OS                            : Android Marshmallow
Type                         : Dual SIM 4G with VoLTE Support

asus-zenfone-3-laser-back

Look & Feel
When I said the device manufacturer is showing improvements with every new phone it brings to the market, it becomes apparent when you see the ZenFone 3 Laser. It has a much better design and the built quality has also improved over some of its predecessors. From a plasticky ZenFone Laser (the 1st laser series phone) to a completely metal body Laser 3 (ZenFone 3 Laser), I believe Asus has started realizing what appeals more to customers.

The front of the smartphone sports the selfie camera, ear piece and the proximity sensor at the top, and at the bottom, it has 3 capacitive buttons – back, home and recent activity. Overall, the front part of ZenFone 3 Laser looks neat, uncluttered and minimalist.

The back panel of the smartphone looks more beautiful than the front – the addition of two metalic bands, one on top and one on bottom, offers that zing to the overall design. This design is nothing new to the industry, others are doing this for ages, its just new for Asus. Just below the top metalic band, also serves as antenna, there reside laser autofocus module, the camera, and the LED flash – neatly placed side by side. Below that is the finger print sensor, and this time, the sensor is really fast. However, what I’m unable to fathom is why the company is going with a protruding camera module at the rear? It really does not solve any purpose, and even if it solves, it still can be solved having that inside of the phone – you don’t need to create a hump for it!

The display is vivid. With full HD with 1920*1080 pixel resolution, the display is amply bright and color rendition on the screen looks natural. At 77% screen-to-body ratio, asking for more would sound greedy. The sunlight legibility is decent and you can clearly see the contents on the screen even direct uner the Sun!

What’s In?
The smartphone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 chipset. This is a big downer for an otherwise ‘smart’ phone. Though the phone lags nowhere during normal use (that’s what it is meant for), hardcore gamers will buy a separate phone. Simply its not cut out for that. Overall, at this age of heavy data consuming applications, including HD videos and all, the ZenFone 3 Laser appeared little slow. Even with the 4GB RAM. Internal storage capacity of the phone is 32 GB though it can be expanded upto 128 GB. A 4GB/64GBmakes would have made more sense. The finger print sensor is one of the fastest in the market.

As mentioned earlier, the company is trying to improve itself from all corners. Its proprietary ZenUI has also improved with the ZenFone 3 Laser. This time appeared little lighter than its predecessor and uncluttered too. But the ZenUI has too much ‘Zen’ insnide it – ZenSync, ZenCircle, ZenFone Care etc. Then, Game Genie, Mini Movie etc – I really do not need it. I can get what I want and when I want!

Camera
Perhaps one of the best cameras Asus got in its smartphones. Trust me, with 13 megapixel, the output and snappiness is better than the ZenFone Zoom! In amply lit environment you don’t have to tell the snapper what to do, it will take better photo than you thought of. And in low-lit environment, the images look comparable with any good camera phones available in the market. However, I expected a faster camera. Though the snapper locks the focus just in time, the output appeared it bit delayed.

The front camera, though good, is bit mischieveous. It takes a beautified-image of you without your permission. I do not understand why the camera keeps the beautify mode on by default. At times, on a selfie mode, you can’t recognise yourself! Of course, you can change the settings.

Finally..
At times Asus confuses me. The company behaves abruptly many a times. In this case, the firm went ahead with a Snapdragon 430 chipset with the close-to-Rs20,000 ZenFone 3 Laser. Why on earth one thinks to do this? A $300 phone, metallic uni-body structure, a good camera but a slow processor. Again, a 3000 mAh battery but no fast charging! A great design but some sharp edges at the bottom that gives you a feel as if the phone was completed in a haste. These are some flaws that the firm needs to look at if it wants to find itself in the league of perfectionists.

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