Zenfone Zoom review: Why buy a DSLR when you can have a smartphone that can deliver an almost DSLR like experience?
In a picturesque Agra City, ASUS CEO Jerry Shen invited bloggers and media persons for the launch of world’s thinnest 3X optical zoom smartphone for that closer experience with the world! With a pocket sized DSLR experience and monster performance, let’s have a closer look at Zenfone Zoom and what this device has in store for us:
Design and Display:
ASUS Zenfone Zoom is a rectangular shaped sleek phone with rounded edges that comes with a 5.5 inch Full HD IPS display, something that is becoming a must have for smart phones these days. Designing such a phone requires innovative thinking. The device takes inspiration from point and shoot Cameras, with dedicated buttons for shooting, recording and zoom operations (volume rocker). A strong uni-body with metallic frames with a choice of premium black or cream white back side, Zenfone Zoom also comes with an integrated safety loop and many stylish strap options for confident shooting from any angle.
The expansive 5.5 inch display provides you with 178 degree viewing angles and fantastic 403 ppi pixel density to render every image in eye popping detail. The display is also embedded with TruVivid Technology which transforms the conventional four layer design into an innovative two layer construction with full lamination. There’s Corning Gorilla Glass 4 display that offers drop damage resistance along with retained strength of almost 85%, making it safer and stronger like never before! It’s almost similar to an erstwhile OneGlass Solution provided by Xiaomi in their Mi4i.
Software and Performance:
Zenfone Zoom comes packed with PC Grade 64-bit Z3590 Intel Super Quad-core CPU 2.5Ghz combined with operating system of ASUS ZenUI under Android 5.0 (Lollipop). In first few impressions, we were in awe of the device as the hardware is perfectly balanced with software, delivering sheer performance and nothing else. You might expect such a device to be bulky to use, but when you actually use it, you will feel it to be handy. The device works smoothly and without any lags that’s for sure, but also gives you computing pleasure thanks to the Intel’s new Tri-Gate transistors have three times (3X) more surface area than planar transistors, enabling the flow of more electrons to increase computing performance and reduce power leakage.
Here’s our gaming review along with heating tests for the Zenfone Zoom:
Zenfone Zoom also comes with a 4GB RAM and upto 128GB storage options. It is a device that delivers fast and fluid experience anywhere. We also liked the ZenUI which has some incremental small updates but nothing too fancy or subtle to excite us a lot.
Now, the camera is the main selling point of the device and is surely to capture hearts of million photography fans out there. It is really difficult to imagine how much R&D would have gone into making camera of this device because it is literally the pocket friendly DSLR! ASUS engineers rotated Zenfone’s zoom lens mechanism to create a compact, intricately made periscope style layout. Thanks to the Panasonic SMART FSI image sensor, the camera captures more light and more color, giving us the best DSLR quality photographs, whether in low light or normal light.
ASUS Zenfone Zoom front camera full HD video sample:
The camera has three dedicated buttons for shooting recording and telephoto operations, just like a DSLR has and also comes with super resolution shots that can go up to 52 MP. The rear camera stands at 13MP combined with f/2.7 aperture, 10P HOYA lens, 3X optical zoom/12X total zoom, with 4 stop optical image stabilization (OIS), laser auto-focus and dual-color Real Tone flash. The front camera is 5 MP and comes with features like Low Light mode, Backlight (Super HDR) mode, Beautification mode, Professional (manual-settings) mode etc.
Zenfone Zoom comes with 3000 mAh battery, which has left us a little skeptical as it wasn’t holding up throughout the day on above average usage. But on papers, Zenfone Zoom’s battery claims to last for more than a day. Also, ZenFone Zoom also benefits from exclusive ASUS BoostMaster technology for turbo-speed charging that takes the battery from zero to 60% in just 39 minutes. But still if the battery had been of a little higher capacity then it could have been really great for potential buyers.
The Zenfone Zoom is a capable smartphone with nice raw performance under the hood and enough camera firepower to satisfy photography enthusiasts. With it’s wide array of camera modes and manual photography modes alongwith 3x optical zoom it manages to live upto a lot of our expectations. Still this smartphone doesn’t have that great battery life and the ZenUI now feels dated, if and when this smartphone receives the Android Marshmallow update few of our woes would definitely be addressed. For a price of around 38K INR it’s a nice buy, but don’t go for it if you aren’t looking for that great camera experience and just want a fast performing phone.
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