GADGETS | Quickie Review: ASUS Zenfone 3

Our rating

"Great product!"

What is it?

The continuing smartphone series from ASUS under the Zenfone branding, which has become a surprising success for the Taiwan-based tech manufacturer.

The Zenfone 3 model that we have has a 5.2-inch (a 5.5-inch display is also available) with 1920 x 1080 Full-HD resolution encircled on the sides by an ultra-slim 2.1mm bezel, giving a somewhat wider display area.

Its main 16-megapixel camera comes with the latest Sony IMX298 sensor, a six-element Largan lens with a large f/2.0 aperture, plus a capable subject-tracking auto-focus for “variable distance and lighting clarity” — all protected by a sapphire glass that could prevent scratches and damage. It even has 4K UHD video recording. The camera specs alone is enough to convince anyone that this smartphone is worth it.

Who’s it for?

This class of smartphone is for people looking for an Android phone but a bit cautious on spending too much on a mobile device. Who isn’t?

It’s almost half the price of premium phones, yet you still get that premium look and feel, which seldom come with mid-end smartphones. Asus, however, is actually dipping into the high-end arena with the Zenfone 3 Ultra and the Zenfone 3 Deluxe, but that’s another story.

As for the Zenfone 3, the specs and price are very much in line which each other.

The good

Reasonably priced
Build and quality
Clean design
Full-HD display
Fast charging

The bad

Non-removable battery

Our verdict

Only a couple of years ago, the mid-end smartphone almost disappeared, leaving consumers with only two options to choose from: either go ultra high-end (P20k up) or go for the cheap ones (P10k below). Somehow, ASUS changed that perception and again redefined the mid-end market by introducing smartphones with great specs at reasonable prices. The Zenfone 3 will definitely get the attention of the discriminating but budget-conscious mobile phone user.

Quick specs:

Model – Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL
OS – Android OS, v6.0.1 (Marshmallow)
Chipset – Qualcomm MSM8953 Snapdragon 625
CPU – Octa-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53
GPU – Adreno 506
Display – 5.5-inch Full-HD IPS display with 77.3% screen-to-body ratio; Corning Gorilla Glass2.5D contoured
Memory – RAM 4GB LPDDR3
Capacity – eMCP 64GB
MicroSD -up to2 TB
Google Drive: 100GB free space (2 years)
Battery – 3000mAh (non-removable)
Video – 4K video recording
Wireless – 802.11b/g/n/ac; Bluetooth V 4.2; Wi-Fi direct
SIM Cards – Dual SIM card
Camera – Front: 8MP Camera , f/2.0 aperture; Rear: 16MP Camera, f/2.0 aperture
User Interface – ASUS ZenUI 3.0
Finish/Color – Sapphire Black/Moonlight White/Shimmer Gold
Dimensions – 152.59 x 77.38 x 7.69 mm
Weight – 155 g

SRP: 18,995 (64GB)