Asus launched its ZenFone series smartphones in a new avatar with variants like ZenFone 3, ZenFone 3 Deluxe, ZenFone 3 Ultra and ZenFone 3 Laser in August. Though ZenFone is a popular series of Asus, the new ones launched last month come with a breath of fresh air amidst the current generation smartphones irrespective of any brand. The ZenFone 3 series phones, the moment you hold, will give you an impression of a complete phone – a wholesome package of build, beauty and performance, though price of the phone can be debatable.
The Asus ZenFone 3 comes with 5.5 inch screen, 2 GHz octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB internal memory, 16 megapixel rear camera with auto-focus and dual-tone LED flash, 8 megapixel front camera, fingerprint sensor, Type-C USB, 3000 mAh battery and runs on Android Marshmallow OS.
Look & Feel
The ZenFone 3 (ZE552KL) comes in four colors – Moonlight white, Shimmer Gold, Aqua Blue and Sapphire Black and is priced Rs 27,999. Let’s keep the price away from our eyesight, for the time being, and look at what the device offers us. We will then put a price tag to it.
The moment you see the ZenFone 3, if you have been an Asus user, the first thing you will notice is the striking difference it carries than its predecessors. It looks elegant with the 2.5 D curved Gorilla glass at front as well as back side- a different treatment than Asus’ earlier phones, those have either plastic or metal at the back panel. The front side of the phone has the standard sensors, ear piece and the selfie camera on the top of the display. At the top left corner there’s a LED light to indicate battery charging and blinks to indicate the phone is ‘on’. This LEd indicator lies beneath the glass coating and is not visible when it is not blinking or ‘on’. This has been done keeping the aesthetics in mind. At the bottom of the display, there are three soft buttons indicating ‘back’, ‘home’ and ‘Recent’.
The back side has the camera module, dual tone flash and fingerprint sensor. The camera is in a protruded model which we did not find any justification for besides giving the ZenFone 3 a distinct look. The Asus logo is put at the bottom of the rear panel.
Both the front and rear panel are held by a metal frame giving the device a sturdy feel, at the same time giving you the feel of sleekness and classiness.
What amazes is Asus’ eye for details with the ZenFone 3. The color combination with each variant is near perfect. The white variant has a slight gold metal frame which perfectly matches with the back and front white panel, at the same time gives a sophisticate look.
The right arm of the phone holds the power button and the volume control; the left arm is used for the SIM tray, the upper portion has the audio jack and the bottom part has the speaker grill, microphone and the Type-C USB port.
The Asus ZenFone 3 sports a 16 megapixel camera at the rear. The camera output is one of the best we tested in similar categories. The camera with aperture of f/2.0 and 6P Largan lense gives even much better result than Asus’ much touted and camera focused phone ZenFone Zoom with optical zooming feature. The ZenFone 3 camera is snappier than some of its peers as it focuses in less than 0.3 seconds. The optical image stabilization behaves perfectly in sync with the claim as we tested the phone in a high-speed moving vehicle and the results came out without any distortion.
Taking good photos in extreme low-light is also one of the best features of this second-generation autofocus camera. The 8 megapixel selfie camera gives sharp and grain-less images under normal light. We can tell you, the front camera is one of the best selfie cameras in the market today.
While the front camera can record HD videos, the primary camera supports 4K video and full HD videos.
The ZenFone 3 is powered by 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor with clock speed of 2 GHz, one of the fastest in the industry. It carries a 4GB RAM and 64 GB internal storage capacity. The boot time of the phone is not long and the device behaved fast in all other aspects like, app launches, gaming and during multi tasking. The phone has not shown any sign of slowness or lag of any kind so far – in the last one and half months, that too with heavy usage. The finger print sensor is fast – just a touch and the phone is all yours. Though the company has not claimed but the fingerprint sensor works perfectly well even with wet fingers.
The 3000 mAh battery gives you decent amount of time to recharge your phone. A fully charged battery can sustain your power back up needs on an average working day with all voice calls, video, 4G data usage, even an hour of exposure to WiFi hotspot, and some amount of gaming. With fast charging option you can get your back up with even 5 minutes of recharge. So, battery will not bother you as far as ZenFone 3 is concerned but I would have preferred a battery power of 4000 mAh with this price.
The Asus ZenFone 3 is one of the best phones in the market today in that price range if display, looks and camera are concerned. The nearest best could be OnePlus 3. The phone is sleek, stylish, sophisticated and gives you all that you want to buy a phone for- fast, great camera, decent battery, brilliant display and the looks that you would like not to hide. Asus, with the ZenFone 3, certainly found its calling right in the over-crowded Indian smartphone space.