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Asus Zenfone 3 (ZE552KL) Review: An Elegant Design with Brilliant Camera
Asus Zenfone was launched way back in 2014 and since then it wasn’t really able to gain much of a success in India. Asus is now improving its Zenfone series and well that improvement can really give a tough competition in near future. With the launch of Zenfone 3, we were excited to have our hands on it and witness its refreshing design. Asus Zenfone 3 does stand out well than their previous devices and has improved a lot.
We’ve got the 5.5 inch Asus Zenfone 3 (ZE552KL) in Shimmer Gold. The device also comes in Moonlight White, Aqua Blue, and Sapphire Black.
If we look from the point view of an average consumer, a perfect smartphone will be the one which gives an ultimate piece of hardware at an affordable price. Is Zenfone 3 the perfect smartphone? Should you purchase this so called flagship device? We’ll be answering this questions for you ahead in this review article.
Specification of Asus Zenfone 3
- 5.5 inch Super IPS+ capacitive touchscreen with Gorilla Glass 3
- 2.0 GHz Octa Core Cortex-A53 CPU and Snapdragon 625 chipset
- Adreno 506 GPU
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow over Asus ZenUI
- 3 GB RAM, 32GB Internal Storage or 4 GB RAM, 64 GB Internal Storage
- 16MP rear and 8MP front camera
- 3000 mAH battery with fast charging
Build and Design
When all of the devices which are flooded in the market has the same old metal design, Asus Zenfone 3 comes to give you a refreshing change. When we first look at this device, we were not impressed by its design at all. But when you hold it in your hands, you are able to feel the seamless design of this piece of beauty. The combination of glass and metal truly makes this device “Premium” and we really praise Asus for such an improvement on Zenfone.
The device has some well-rounded 2.5D curved glass not only on the front but also on the back which makes this device quite premium while holding. Both front and the back is protected by Gorilla Glass 3. The back has the company’s signature design which consists of concentric-circle pattern dubbed as “Zen design” by the company.
While we were reviewing this device we met with various onlookers who calls this device stylish, sturdy and beautiful.
One thing to really look at, that this device is somewhat slippery thanks to its glassy back. You will have to pay a little bit extra care to this device. Apart from that, we haven’t found any single issues in terms of build quality and design.
Asus Zenfone 3 has 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display which comes with 401 ppi pixel density. Not only this the device has Gorilla Glass protection and highest 600 nits brightness level which is fantastic. The viewing angles are perfect here and watching movies or videos on this device is excellent. The display is sharp, crispy and offers vibrant and rich colors. We found no flaw in the display whatsoever. Every single detail in the display seems natural.
The device comes with a splendid app which lets you change your color mode. There is also a Bluelight filter which works superbly and reduces strain while reading especially in night time. The device also supports Glove touch which is definitely a life savior if you are living in the very cold environment. You can enable this in setting menu.
The touch response for this device is smooth and fluid. We loved using this device display. Asus Zenfone 3 does have an edge in display too.
While everything was working fine for Asus Zenfone 3, under the hood specs for this device snatches all the edge given. Asus Zenfone 3 comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon octa-core 625 (64-bit) chipset with 4GB RAM and 64 GB internal storage which is expandable up to 2 TB via microSD card. Though, we were not able to test this much amount of storage. The device also comes with an integrated Adreno 506 GPU.
The devices sports hybrid dual SIM card slot which lets you use either 2 SIM card or the pair of 1 SIM and microSD card. On the brighter side, Asus is offering 100GB of free storage on Google Drive with this device. While both SIMs support 3G/4G, only one can connect to 3G/4G networks at a time.
On the front, you will get the 5.5-inch display and 8MP front selfie camera while the back features a f/2.0 aperture, 16 MP Largan Lens with the Sony IMX298 sensor.
The smartphone features the usual radios including 4G, 3G, Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n/ac), GPS and an FM Radio.
The device is running on ZenUI on top of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. First of all, let’s talk about ZenUI. I am using this device for more than a week now and somehow is not disappointed with their UI. Yes! the UI is quite unusual and sometimes does not work at best. But it does gives you stock kinda look which if you like is the great thing.
What do I like about the UI? ZenUI gives you lots of great features such as built-in search functionality which can be used by swiping down on the screen. This feature allows you to search installed apps, contacts or trending terms. You also get the inbuilt theme store which lets you customize your device from icons to the font, basically everything.
The best thing about their UI is ZenMotion which allows you to enable some premade gestures, Double-tap to wake up or sleep and motion gesture too. You can also set quick trigger for One Hand Mode.
Apart from that, everything is quite similar to competitors UI. One of the worst things is that the device comes with pre-installed Asus apps which I guess no one hardly uses. You can uninstall some apps but others still occupy storage space.
The device comes with not so good chipset. All the other competitors are giving Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 which is a flagship processor. Although the processor is not so great but still it performs well. We haven’t faced any lag or issues while doing multitasking or playing heavy graphic needed games.
The fingerprint sensor works way too impressive. It works like a charm and has a quick response. It unlocks your devices without taking much time. The device comes with 3000mah battery which when combined with Snapdragon 625 gives moderate battery backup. All the other brands, on the same price point, are offering similar battery capacity. You will still be able to get a day battery backup easily and sometimes more than that depending on your usage.
Overall, Zenfone 3 works fine for daily use as well as heavy multitasking. Thus, we are not at all disappointed with its performance.
Asus Zenfone 3 best selling point after build and design is definitely going to be its camera. The 16-megapixel rear camera has a f/2.0 aperture which focuses on the subject really quick thanks to the TriTech auto-focus technology. According to ASUS, the TriTech auto-focus technology on the ZenFone 3 combines laser, phase detection, and continuous autofocus allowing the device to focus in just 0.03 seconds in all conditions.
It also has Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) which helps in recording stable video and still shots.
The Rear Camera works fantastically good with clicked images showing vibrant colors and great accuracy and detail. In low light, the camera does not work well. You will see a lot of noise sometimes in video recording too.
On the other hand, The 8MP front camera performs exceptionally well. In low lighting too, I was getting great selfies with negligible noise.
Below are the rear camera samples have a look at it. More images will be added soon.
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Asus Zenfone 3 is an excellent device in terms of build quality, design and camera performance. The design factor does boost the device premium look. But under the hood specs is not that too great. In Xiaomi Mi5, Oneplus 3T and LeEco LeMax you can get Snapdragon 820 which is a flagship processor and is one of the best processors out in the market. Oneplus 3T also has 3400 mah battery which is bigger than Asus Zenfone 3.
To conclude this review, If you are bored of trying old metal look and want to try something without compromising camera performance then you can go for this device without thinking for a second. If you are not a heavy user, you can definitely purchase this device as you will not get bad performance at all.
If you are already using this device don’t forget to share your views in the comment section below.