ASUS ZenFone 3 is a powerful and elite handset. The looks of ZenFone3 are bound to impress you, much before you put hands on the devices and feel it.
The handheld device is a perfect blend of hardware and software. The user experience is far better than any of its competitors at the same price point.
The phone is part of ASUS’ recently launched third generation of smartphones ranging from Rs 18,999 to Rs 49,999. ASUS, which was most commonly known for its personal computers, debuted in the smartphone market in 2014 and has been since upping its game with every model.
The new range of phones are all set take ASUS to the next level and establish the brand strongly in smartphone segment.
We have tested ZenFone 3 which is being sold by the company at a starting price of Rs 21,999.
Here is our take on ZenFone 3:
Design and build quality:
Much thought has been given to the design and look of the phone. The phone boasts a slim and shiny body with the perfect blend of metal and glass.
ZenFone 3 comes with a narrow bezel. The front and rear of the phone feature scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass and its curves make the phone’s edges completely smooth. 2.5D” contoured edges and metal frame gives the phone a glossy look. The phone is so sleek and smooth that is difficult to hold it often, especially with moisture around. We advise users to protect the device with some extra covering to ensure a firm grip.
Metal volume rockers (up and down) and power button are incorporated on the right while the left side holds only the SIM tray.
The phone is available in four colours: Sapphire Black, Moonlight White, Shimmer Gold and Aqua Blue.
In terms of appearance, Asus ZenFone 3 is the best-looking smartphone available in the market at this price.
Display and Audio:
ZenFone 3 is built around a 5.5-inch Full HD (1920 by 1080) Super LCD IPS display with up to 600cd/m2 brightness. 400 ppi (pixels per inch) display are protected by scratch resistant Gorilla Glass 3. Matching the ZenFone 3’s impressive display is its impressive audio performance, made possible by its SonicMaster technology, featuring a new NXP “Smart Amp” and Hi-Res Audio support.
High density of pixels gives an incredible visual experience that makes apps, videos, and games look their best.
The phone provides a 77.3 per cent screen-to-body ratio for a maximized viewing area in a slim and compact body.
Asus Zenfone 3 is not just a beauty, it has also got the power to put any smartphone to shame.
The processor uses 14nm finFET process technology that makes it more power efficient than 28nm processors. The processor is clubbed with Adreno 506 GPU and 3GB RAM. 32 GB of internal memory is expandable by up to 2TB via microSD card.
The phone supports 4G LTE and dualSIM via hybrid card slot.
The mid-level chipset makes the phone heat-efficient than its counterparts.
The camera of Asus Zenfone 3 is the second best thing after its design. The company, while launching the phone had boasted of its superior camera quality.
The phone’s PixelMaster 3.0 camera is one of the world’s first smartphones to use three focus technologies (TriTech) to achieve fast focus, thus making clicking pictures faster and sharper.
Asus Zenfone 3 features PixelMaster 3.0 camera. The front camera houses 16MP with the latest Sony IMX298 sensor, six-element Largan lens with a large f/2.0 aperture, laser autofocus v2.0, OIS (Optical Image Stabilization), PDAF (Phase Detection Auto Focus) and a dual-tone LED flash.
A good number of control options are available to enjoy and experience professional photography. However, one needs to know the nuances of professional photography, otherwise the results may disappoint you. For the amateur, auto modes are recommended; the outcome will impress you for sure.
During our testing, we were able to shoot stunning images with Zenfone 3 on Auto mode in daylight conditions. Even in dark, the phone's camera gave us good quality images despite its limitations in absorbing the light.
The camera also supports 4K UHD video recording.
With 8MP, the front camera also fares well and gives a good selfie experience. Even video calling is made better with the front camera.
Battery and charger:
The ZenFone 3 is the first smartphone worldwide to be powered by the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor — the first Snapdragon 600 Series processor with 14nm FinFET process technology that increases power efficiency by 35 per cent compared to the last generation Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor, resulting in dramatically improved battery life.
A fully charged battery lasted the whole day for regular usage which included a few voice calls, irregular WhatsApp messaging, internet usage, emails, besides other apps.
However, as one can expect, High Definition, graphics-intensive games drain the battery faster.
The charger provided with Zenfone 3 is highly efficient and charges the phone 100 per cent in around 1 and a half hours. However, the phone does not support the universal charger, meaning you have to carry the charger along.
In its price range, Asus Zenfone 3 has to compete with Mi 5, LeEco Le Max 2, Samsung Galaxy S5, Honor 7, Oppo R1 R829 and Moto X among others.
Even before you get your hands on it, Zenfone 3 wins your heart with just its looks. Comparing the specifications may give the phone a little less favour, but the user experience is unmatchable. The phone provides the best touch experience in its range - in terms of sensitivity and accuracy.
Asus Zenfone 3 gives better experience than many other devices available in this range.
Asus may not be known for smartphones like iPhone or Samsung is, but the user experience is at par with any of the brands, even better on a few parameters.