In the age of smartphones, most smartphone manufacturing companies are now coming forward with devices that have special or advanced features in a particular area. For example, Gionee’s Marathon series smartphones are famous for their particularly large batteries while the Edge variants of the latest Samsung Galaxy S6 and Note 5 became quite popular for featuring a display that curves over the edge and performs as an extra screen. Asus has decided to join this race of smartphones with special features with the ZenFone Zoom review. So let’s get to reviewing the device and see what it has to offer for us.
In The Box:
- Asus Zenfone Zoom Smartphone
- ZenEar Earphones
- Micro USB Charging Cable
- USB Fast Charger
- Screen size: 5.5-inches
- Screen resolution: Full HD (1920×1080)
- Weight: 185 grams
- OS: Android 5.0 Lollipop
- Rear Camera: 13-megapixel w/ OIS, laser autofocus and dual LED flash
- Front camera: 5-megapixel
- Processor: 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Atom Z3580
- Memory: 4GB RAM
- Storage: 64GB/128GB. Expandable via microSD up to 64GB
- 4G LTE: Yes
- Bonus features: 3x optical zoom
Build and Feel
Asus smartphones are fairly well-known if not famous for their heavily plastic infused bodies and we expected nothing more from the ZenFone Zoom. However, we were taken by surprise. The smartphone features a premium feel metal body frame. The smartphone is available in two color tones, namely golden with white and black with gunmetal grey. The phone feels premium in hand and the rounded edges make it easier to hold in one hand considering the large 5.5-inch size.
The first thing you’ll notice when you see the smartphone is the circular bump on the back of the phone housing the 13 MP camera that is the main feature of the ZenFone Zoom. The bump is almost identical to the one we’ve seen on the Nokia Lumia 1020. However, Asus has done a pretty good job at keeping the smartphone just 5 mm thick inspite of the camera bump which really makes the smartphone stand out. Needless to say, the phone has a dedicated camera button.
The device features a 5.5 inch full HD display which in our view is quite brilliant. The color density and saturation is pretty good. The outdoor visibility too is quite good at full brightness. However, we feel the screen is under equipped when it comes to resolution. A 2K resolution screen would have performed better with the camera centred phone. The bezels on the phone too are not much but in the white/gold variant, a black band is visible between the screen and the bezels which is kind of eye sore. So keep that in mind before going for this variant.
Running on Android Lollipop 5.0 with ZenUI on top of it, the device performs decently. Equipped with the 64-bit quad-core Intel Atom chip paired with 4 GB of RAM, the phone works smoothly. The animations on the phone are smooth and so is the UI. We experienced absolutely no lags or freezes in our time with the smartphone. The ZenFone ZOOM handles multitasking well and also does not heat up to the point that it feels uncomfortable during multi-tasking or heavy usage.
The Asus ZenFone Zoom is equipped with a 5 MP camera on the front for all your social networking needs and we must say that it truly will deliver to your needs. However, it is the 13 MP camera on the back that makes the Zoom stand out. Wondering what makes it so special? To start with, if comes equipped with optical image stabilisation, laser auto-focus and a dual tone LED flash. This is where the bump on the back also proves to be significant as it houses a 10 element lens system that provides the user with 3X optical zoom.
The 3X optical zoom was probably the best feature about the phone. Unlike the standard digital zoom on most smartphones, optical zoom allows you to zoom in without losing any quality and the Zoom stood true to that. The photos clicked using the optical zoom were as detailed as any other photo. There was absolutely no loss of details when optically zoomed and the color reproduction was pretty good too. The camera app also allows you to zoom 12X using the digital zoom. However, the digital zoom causes loss of detail like on any other smartphone when zoomed to full 12X capacity. The phone performs well using the optical zoom when clicking landscape or macro shots too.
The availability for the ZenFone Zoom remains a question in many places. However, this offering from Asus is a pretty solid one and is up to offer solid competition to other camera centric smartphones such as the Lumia 1020 and Lumia 1040 and even those from Samsung and LG such as the Galaxy S6 and the V10. If you’re looking for a smartphone that is heavily equipped in the camera department and otherwise too, we suggest you give the Asus ZenFone Zoom a try.
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