Back during the CES 2015, Asus announced its upcoming slim smartphone, ZenFone Zoom. Since, the company was not ready to launch its smartphone, decided to launch in India on January 22nd in Agra. Asus just took the opportunity of launching their multi-faceted smartphone in Agra and that’s where I got to spend some time with this awesome device. So, today, I am finally here with the review of Asus ZenFone Zoom.
At first, obviously, your focus would be on its camera, which exactly looks like a point-and-shoot camera. You will get a feel of an everyday, standard smartphone, once you will switch it over its camera on the front. Asus ZenFone Zoom is made up of plastic with a metal frame, which gives the device a feel of rigidity. The back cover is of plastic which is removable one and allows the access with MicroSD and SIM card slot.
ZenFone Zoom has been launched by Asus after a year of its announcement at a price tag of 37,999 INR. This is the most expensive Asus device till date because the company even announced a bundle of offers with the device, including ZenFlash and tripod with the ZenFone Zoom, priced at 39,999 INR. Since, I have got some time to spend with the smartphone, I would like to tell you about its design and other specs.
Design and Build
The Asus ZenFone Zoom features a plastic body with a metal frame or edge which is 5 mm in thickness on the sides. Also, the thickness increase because the rear side of the smartphone features a slightly rounded design. The left side of the device is void of any keys or slots, while the right side features the volume keys on the top, followed by a standby/power button in the middle and the camera shutter button and a video record button towards the bottom. On the bottom edge, this device features, ports for MicroUSB charging and data transfer, while on the top edge, you will see a 3.5mm audio jack.
The rear side of the ZenFone Zoom features a plastic flap with a soft leather cover. The back cover is removable and hides MicroUSB and SIM card slots. The majority of the portion of the rear is occupied by its camera. Though this device does features bezels on its edges, yet it feels good in hand. The placement of the camera is almost at the centre of the rear and your fingers would just keep brushing it on.
The new Asus ZenFone Zoom features a 5.5 inch full-HD display along with a protection of Corning Gorilla Glass 4. With its brightness levels, this device appears to be vibrant as well as displays good viewing angles. However, this device has a downside of its display, that it is very reflective. It means that it makes difficult to use under the direct sunlight.
Storage, RAM, Connectivity and Chipset
Asus ZenFone Zoom features a 2.5GHz quad-core processor, Intel Atom Z3590. The processor is perfectly combined with the RAM of 4GB (last seen on Asus ZenFone Deluxe). Though the processor ensured of performing smoothly, without any lags, yet it does require to be tested in the real world as well. This device features an internal storage of 128GB and gives you an option to expand using the MicroSD card. Apart from this, the connectivity options of this device, includes GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, AGPS, Bluetooth 4.0 and much more.
Software and Operating System
ZenFone Zoom has got the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop along with an Asus ZenUI, which is similar to the ones available on the other ZenFone models. This device comes in with numerous apps loaded in it, but we have yet to check out that whether we can delete all the unwanted apps or not. Apart from everything, this device features a new app, Laser Ruler, which helps in measuring the distance of a person from its subject. Also, the UI design as well as the other features is similar as that in other ZenFone models.
ZenFone Zoom features its own dedicated app drawer along with preloaded apps, included Do It Later and Amazon Kindle, which users can easily uninstall. Besides these, the device is loaded with the custom apps, including ZenTalk, Asus Mobile Manager and ZenCircle, which users cannot uninstall, yet they can disable them. The notification panel on ZenFone Zoom is one of the most highly customizable and it doesn’t resemble the one, which is seen in the smartphones with basic Android Lollipop. Overall, the software and the operating system of this device is interesting and works smoothly.
Asus ZenFone Zoom is the first smartphone in the market with a 3x optical zoom. It features 13 megapixel rear camera along with a 5 megapixel front camera. In the past, I have even reviewed Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, which does supported an optical zoom, yet it performed more like a camera, less than a smartphone. But. ZenFone Zoom has all the features of a smartphone as its camera also supports a configuration of 10-element Hoya lens, which significantly used a periscope modular design of a dual prism for capturing light.
The camera of ZenFone Zoom features few bells and whistles, includes super resolution, manual shooting modes, autofocus and many more, which are even available in other ZenFone models. The lens of the rear camera is being arranged in the side wards so as to keep the device slim. It also supports an exposure mode of 32 second, which is specifically used while using a tripod. For ensuring the stutter free handheld, ZenFone Zoom’s camera supports 4 stop OIS (optical image stabilization).
I have even clicked few pictures with ZenFone Zoom and I must say that it clicks quite well and high-quality pictures, whether in dim-lit or well-lit areas. The colour production in the images seems to be unchanged, even on zooming as well. The front camera does really well and it comes with few editing options, which makes your selfies better. Overall, the camera does offer, what it actually promised.
The new ZenFone Zoom smartphone holds a Li-polymer battery of 3000mAh, which is non removable. It comes along with a power adapter of 18W and charges the devices in 39 minutes from 0% to 60%.
Though it is the most expensive ZenFone by Asus till date priced at 37,999 INR, yet brings in the most amazing feature of 3x optical zoom. But, in terms of its software, nothing has been changed, yet it has got a fabulous camera with manual mode features and much more. Personally, I feel that it is one of the sexiest smartphones ever launched in Indian market. From every nook and corner, this device feels and looks the most premium one with its killing looks. Overall, it is a great Asus device, though expensive, yet a worth to buy.