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Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom hands-on | Mobilescout preview

09 January 2017 0

This year at CES 2017, Asus stole the spotlight of smartphones by announcing two innovative smartphones. Both the devices are targeted to special customers. The first innovative smartphone was Asus Zenfone AR which was first of its kind which is supporting Google’s Tango AR and DayDream VR. This device was highly anticipated and on announcement well appreciated by gadget experts and tech geeks. A couple of days ago we have a detailed look at this first Tango and DayDream enabled smartphone ZenFone AR.

The second device company announced at the event was ZenFone 3 Zoom. This device key focus is its camera modules. Asus stated that this device is “built for photography”. This smartphone is packed with 3 camera modules, two on the rear side and one stunning camera on the front facing side. Today we will have a detailed preview on each aspect of this handset.


At the moment, mostly smartphones announced in the last couple of years are featuring a candy-bar style. The newly announced ZenFone 3 Zoom is packed with an attractive design.

Without any doubt, the device design is inspired from Apple’s flagship phablet iPhone 7 Plus and the company officially confirms they are aiming at iPhone 7 Plus as far as camera quality is a concern. On the front facing side, the device bottom is adorned with three capacitive buttons including the home button. On top of the front side, there is a front facing camera alongside ear piece which is pretty traditional. The side bezels are not thick nor thin but instead round edges design makes device design quite attractive and it can be grabbed easily. There is a small hump on the rear side of dual read cameras like iPhone 7 Plus.


As far as display is a concern, the ZenFone 3 Zoom is packed with an average display. The AMOLED display panel screen size is 5.5-inches. The Panel screen resolution is 1920 x 1080 pixels. Though it’s not top of the line display but it features 404 ppi which are more than enough to counter daily tasks including photos and watching videos.


As I mentioned above, the main aspect of ZenFone 3 Zoom is its primary camera modules. Let’s start with the front facing camera. The front facing camera snapper is Sony’s IMX214 13MP module with a wide angle aperture f/2.0. This camera is packed with Asus SuperPixel tech which according to the company will be absorbing 2x light as compared to the normal camera that’s why it will produce stunning results even in low lights conditions.

The main primary camera sensors are featuring dual Phase detection autofocus which is further assisted with laser auto-focus. These focusing sensors will make sure all pixels of camera sensor are used for focusing. One of the sensors is Sony’s IMX362 12MP module with a wide angle aperture size of f/1.7. According to Asus, this camera sensor takes 2.5 times more light as opposed to iPhone 7 Plus camera.

The second camera module on the rear side is dedicated for Zoom so we can claim it as a Zoom camera. This sensor is also 12MP and it zooms 12x times. Its optical zoom size is 2.3x. It produces pretty good results even if the user is capturing the image of the wide range. The ZenFone 3 Zoom camera can be manually optimized as well. It is featuring a number of camera controls which can be set manually including white balancing, shutter speed, and lens. Users can easily capture raw images with Asus ZenFone 3.

Processor and Internal Storage

The ZenFone 3 Zoom is not a flagship smartphone but instead a mid-ranger with top notch camera modules. It is being powered with Qualcomm’s Octa-core Snapdragon 625 Soc clocking at 2GHz. The Adreno 506 GPU is on board as graphics processing unit. The Octa-core is accompanied with 4GB RAM.

In terms of storage, there are three variants with 32GB, 64GB and 128GB memory. All these variants internal storage can be expanded using external MicroSD card which is also the second SIM hybrid tray which can be either used for the second SIM or for the MicroSD card. The device didn’t lack in terms of performance and can perform daily tasks at a fluent speed without any delay.


The battery cell is pretty important for a smartphone which is camera-centric as it will be widely used for capturing images and videos. We have to give credit to Asus for fitting a gigantic 5,000mAH battery cell in a smartphone who thickest point is 8mm only.

As per Asus’s claim, the device battery can survive 42 days on a single charge in standby mode. In the case of continuous 4K video recording, its maximum strength is 6.4 hours. Last but not the least, it can use up to 8.5 hours on internet surfing including usage of social media. We have to admit all these stats are pretty amazing if we compared it with all other smartphones available in the market.

User Interface

Though most of the smartphones currently announced are pre-installed with Android Nougat but that’s not the case with Asus ZenFone 3 Zoom. It is currently running on Android Marshmallow with a thick layer of Zen 3.0 UI layer.

It is pretty thick on the stock version of Android OS but that doesn’t affect while using it. The user can navigate easily and as expected most of the changes are in camera UI with manual controllers. The best thing is company officially confirms that they will be rolling out Android Nougat pretty soon after release most probably in next few months.

Pricing and release date

As far as release is a concern, the company confirms the device will be released in February this year. However, the official price tag of this handset is still in dark. Not just that the company didn’t confirm which regions will be getting the ZenFone 3 Zoom. One thing which confirms device availability for the US buyers is device network support for the US carriers according to company’s website. Let’s have a look at device specs in a tabular form. So that you can have a sneak peak of specs in just a few seconds.

Asus ZenFone 3 Zoom specs in tabular form


Asus ZenFone 3 Zoom


5.5-inch full HD


154.3 x 77 x 8 mm


170 grams


Dual SIM

Operating system

Android Marshmallow 6.0.1

Front camera

13MP with f/2.0 aperture

Rear camera

12MP dual cameras with f/1.7 aperture

Fingerprint scanner

Rear side mounted




Black, Gold, and Silver


Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot


Apple will be celebrating 10th anniversary of iPhone lineup smartphones in 2017 and so far we have seen tons of attempt to take on company’s flagship but that didn’t affect iPhones at all but that doesn't mean we are saying Asus ZenFone 3 Zoom is not going to impress smartphone buyers who are looking for a camera-centric smartphone.

With the ZenFone 3 Zoom, the company paid special attention to a number of aspects and targets a couple of genres of smartphones including top notch cameras and gigantic battery. This device will be the perfect choice for those smartphone buyers who are looking to purchase a smartphone with top tier camera modules on both sides and also can survive much longer as compared to other smartphones on the single charge. Indeed these two features will create impact and become the best-selling feature of this handset. At the end, we would like to mention that it would be a pleasure to read our readers thoughts regarding the latest Asus camera-centric smartphone ZenFone 3 Zoom in the comments section below.

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