ASUS’ First Dual Camera Phone – ZenFone 3 Zoom Unboxing and Full Review

The ZenFone 3 Zoom just launched here in the Philippines and we happen to review the device before its launch. Here’s what you need to know about it.

ZenFone 3 Zoom Unboxing

ZenFone 3 Zoom Review

Design and Build Quality

The new Zoom looks sexy. It has a premium metal design with its aluminum allow body. It feels lighter than most phones its size but is very solid. It is thinner than its predecessor which good.

ZenFone 3 Zoom

ZenFone 3 Zoom ZenFone 3 Zoom

The full HD AMOLED display certainly looks great and is protected by a Gorilla Glass 5. They also gave it a smooth contoured edge, giving it the illusion that the phone is curved.

Camera

The highlight of the device is its rear Dual Camera lenses. They are located at the top left of the back of the phone, making the transition from portrait to landscape orientation easy during a photography session. The two 12MP cameras are not made the same and can’t work side by side with each other. One is a SuperPixel main camera with a Sony IMX362 sensor and an f/1.7 aperture, while the other is a Zoom camera with a Samsing 3M3 sensor and an f/2.6 aperture.

ZenFone 3 Zoom

The Zoom camera has a very decent zoom; 2.3x optical and up to 12x digital. It is great for macro photography and shooting landscapes. The digital zoom, however, gets real grainy on low light. But it performs great on good lighting conditions.

ZenFone 3 Zoom

x1

ZenFone 3 Zoom

x2.3

ZenFone 3 Zoom

x12

The SuperPixel camera gets good overall pictures. It also takes great 4k video with a 3-axis video EIS. It takes great depth of field/bokeh photos, HDR, and also performs great on low light situations. The phone is also equipped with a Color Correction Sensor beside its flash. Sample photos below, taken during the Davao Food Appreciation Tour (DFAT).

ZenFone 3 Zoom ZenFone 3 Zoom ZenFone 3 Zoom ZenFone 3 Zoom ZenFone 3 Zoom ZenFone 3 Zoom ZenFone 3 Zoom

I have a bit of an issue with its Depth of Field capability though. It sometimes shoot great but most often than not, the bokeh of the photo looks awkward around the edges of the subject. Same goes for the iPhone 7 Plus’ Portrait mode. In my opinion, the Huawei P9, P10, and Mate 9 has them beat in this area.

The front camera also performs well, a 13MP Sony IMX214 sensor with f/2.0 aperture. It is more than enough to take great selfies with. You can also improve your selfies with its beautification mode. And it also has a selfie panorama mode for those awesome group photos.

Performance and Gaming

ZenFone 3 Zoom

I haven’t experienced any lag during my time with the device. The ZenUI is fast as usual, and gaming on it is so smooth. However, the device tends to heat up during a long period of camera use, but not to the point that it becomes uncomfortable. Benchmark results are as follows:

ZenFone 3 Zoom ZenFone 3 Zoom ZenFone 3 Zoom ZenFone 3 Zoom ZenFone 3 Zoom
  • Antutu: 62020
  • PC Mark (Work 2.0): 4701
  • 3D Mark (Sling Shot): 846
  • Geekbench: 848
  • Vellamo (Metal): 1460

Battery Life

Perhaps my most favorite feature of the ZenFone 3 Zoom is its battery life. It is equipped with a 5000 mAh battery, bigger than the ZenFone 3 Max’s 4100 mAh battery. As a power user, most smartphone batteries doesn’t last me a full day. But the ZenFone 3 Zoom lasted long enough even with Cellular data, Bluetooth, and Location enabled. Charging it is also a breeze, taking about 2.5 hours. It is also capable of charging other devices via OTG, much like the ZenFone 3 Max.

Other Features

The device also have some other features, one is a fingerprint sensor on the back. It is located at the center which is easier to reach with your index finger. The sensor is pretty fast but a bit too sensitive. The phone sometimes wakes up with just a very quick graze from my finger, which can be annoying at times.

It also has an Outdoor Mode for listening to music outdoors. You just simply turn up the volume and turn on Outdoor Mode when you see it on the screen. This can be draining to your battery though.

ZenFone 3 Zoom Specifications

  • Dimensions – 154.3 x 77 x 7.99 mm (6.07 x 3.03 x 0.31 inches)
  • Weight – 170 g
  • Display – 5.5” FHD, 1920×1080 AMOLED
  • CPU – Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 Octa-core 14nm processor, 2.0 GHz
  • GPU – Adreno 506
  • Memory – 4GB
  • Storage – 64GB (supports up to 1TB external)
  • Rear Cam – 12MP f/1.7 SONY IMX362 sensor + 12MP Zoom Lens (12x total zoom)
  • Front Cam – 13MP SONY IMX214 sensor, f/2.0
  • Battery – 5000 mAh
  • OS – Android 6.0 with ASUS ZenUI 3.0

Verdict

The ZenFone 3 Zoom is a pretty decent upgrade from the first ZenFone Zoom. It is thinner and sexy on my opinion. It is a bit pricey but you do get a lot of useful features for what you pay for. My most favorite features are the camera’s capability and the massive battery. The camera is so good that it can replace my DSLR on situations when it runs out of battery.

But it is still not perfect, it has flaws as well. Though taking great photos, its Depth of field doesn’t really leave me in awe. The bokeh on the edges of the subjects looks a bit awkward at times. It also comes with bloatware out of the box. While most of these bloatware are useful apps, there are some that most of use doesn’t really use and just takes space.

The ZenFone 3 Zoom is now available in the Philippines and is priced at Php 23,995. It will be bundled with a Clear Case, ZenEar earphones, and a JBL Clip 2 Bluetooth speaker.

 

 

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The Good
  • Feels light and solid
  • Great camera quality
  • Massive battery
  • Lots of freebies
The Bad
  • Depth of Field sometimes looks awkward
  • Comes with bloatware
4 Great

2 Comments

Write a comment
  1. Philbert Selda
    April 07, 12:49 Philbert Selda

    Hi sir Josef. Will just comment here coz blocked ang FB sa workplace, lol.
    So, now that you’ve tested both Huawei P10 and Asus ZF3Zoom, purely based on camera prowess (coz we know Kirin 960 blows SND625 out of the water), which do you think had the better implementation? You already mentioned 1 weakness of the Z3Zoom in depth of field. Any other noteworthy observations?

    Also, how accurate are the colors of the pictures between the transition from phone to computer, considering the unit’s AMOLED display?

  2. Josef Cagas
    April 07, 13:12 Josef Cagas

    Hello Philbert, thanks for commenting!

    If purely on camera capability, I’d go for Huawei P10. It’s on my opinoon lang ha, and purely based lang sa camera quality

    Yung depth of field naman, I rhink it can be fixed naman with a firmware update. Overall it’s a well rounded phone naman, medyo pricey nga lang.

    About the color naman, there’s no issue at all. The colors are great. Maybe because may color correction sensor sya right beside the flash.

    Hope I answered your inquiry. 😊

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