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Zenfone 3

Pros

  • Premium Design and great looks
  • Brilliant material and finish
  • Affordable price
  • Good Front and Rear Camera

Cons

  • Cluttered UI
  • Back Panel easily gets fingerprint smudges and scratches
  • Large number of Bloatware

Specifications

Operating System Android 6.0 Marshmallow with ASUS ZenUI 3.0
Display 5.2-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080)
Processor 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon Octa-Core 625 2.0GHz | Adreno 506 GPU
RAM 3 GB
Internal Storage 32 GB; expandable up to 2TB with microSD card
Battery 2650mAh
Rear Camera 16 MP PixelMaster 3.0 camera | f/2.0 aperture | Dual-LED real tone flash
Front Camera 8MP | f/2.0 aperture
Dimesions 146.87 x 73.98 x 7.69 mm
Weight 144 grams

Design

With a refreshing look the Asus Zenfone 3 brings a change to the monotonous world of plastic and all metal design phones leaving apart a couple of the smartphones which carry the same looks as this device. The polished metal chamfers on the front and the rear of the device gives this device a premium look which can hold your attention for a little while. The size of the device is pretty compact with just 7.69mm of thickness and it is a treat for your hands, though at a couple of occasions I found it slipping through my hands however I understand that when the device comes with such looks and glass design it is pretty obvious that the device would be slippery and would need some extra attention while carrying. The device comes in a variety of colors and I got my hands on this golden color, though the smudges were not so evident at the back of the device on this particular color, they were very clear on the darker colors. It certainly has a back panel which acts as a fingerprint magnet. Looking at the device at first definitely gives you an idea that the company as focused a lot on the design and it really deserves a round of applause.

Coming on to the back panel, the prominent features are the protruding camera and the fingerprint sensor aligned centrally. Though the camera provides a great looks to the device but it makes your phone rock from side to side while typing when the device rests on the table which certainly is not a good feature. Plus, the camera is prone to more scratches. In short, the devices scores well when it comes to looks and the design.

 

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Display

With 5.5-inch; 1,920×1,080 pixels, the display of the device is vibrant and bright. It offers good clarity and crispy visuals. It is definitely a treat to watch the high resolution videos and play games like Asphalt 8 without any hiccups. The display offers a brightness level of 600 nits therefore if performs pretty well in direct sunlight. The inbuilt app allows you to control the display and set it to Balance, Blue light, Filter and other customized modes. The device also supports touch through gloves which gives it an extra point in this section.

 

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Camera

Camera has been one of the key focus for the Asus especially the Zenfone series, considering the devices they have come up with under this series like the Zenfone Selfie, Zenfone Zoom. And Zenfone 3 being their flagship devices, Asus could not afford to go wrong with the device in this section. The device’s 16 MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture and 6P Largan Lens accompanied by PixelMaster 3.0 is fast as a bullet when it comes to focusing the subject. TriTech auto focus technology has a major role to play in this which makes the device to focus on the subject in as less as 0.03 seconds. The camera has been equipped with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and the Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) which is beneficial for the Vloggers and for the shots under low light conditions. The photos captured with the devices display vibrant colors and have a sufficient amount of details and accuracy especially for the landscape and close up shots.

When it comes to the 8MP front camera it does manage to amaze us with the kind of details and sharpness it offers in the pictures. The device has a large variety of options and modes which enables you to set the perfect settings for your picture in any conditions. One of the interesting features that I was personally addicted to was the GIF animation mode which stiches a series of captured images to create a GIF. There is another mode in there, using which you can ramp up the resolution of your pictures to 64MP.

In a nut shell, the camera in the Zenfone 3 is a justified upgrade to the predecessors in the Zenfone series and offers a lot of power and capabilities to any photographer. Though it does have some limitations which you will come across when you will use the device in day to day situations.

Software 

The Zenfone 3 runs on the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out of the box accompanied by the company’s flagship ZenUI 3.0 on top. Comparing this with earlier versions of the ZenUI, it offers a much more neat look and is not that cluttered however it still comes with bloatware which can be pretty frustrating at times, further, you can uninstall only some of the pre-installed apps. Zen UI offers many interesting features such as the ZenMotion which allows you to configure a variety of motion and touch gestures.

In and all the software of the device offers Android like experience and is free flowing. The hardware of the device compliments the software and you would not face any hiccups while using the device until you fill the devices with a lot of unwanted apps. There were no major instances where I felt any lag or dropped frames while playing graphic intensive games.

 

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Hardware and Performance

Fitted with the mid level Snapdragon 625 accompanied with 3GB of RAM the device is a powerhouse ecosystem. Though it does not offer a high end spec sheet but it manages to suffice all our needs pretty well. One of the major reasons for using the Snapdragon 625 is because of the less power consumption which bundled with 2650 mAh battery gives more than enough battery life of 14-15 hours with heavy usage of the device.

The fingerprint sensor fitted in the device has a decent response time and pretty decent. There were no instances where it failed while I was using the device. It at times recognized my fingerprints when my fingers were wet and it impressed me a lot. As mentioned in my review of the previous Zenfone variant, the fingerprint sensor in the device has a lot more to do than just offering a security feature, you can also use it as a shutter button while taking selfies and double tap it to open the camera.

 

 

Final Verdict

Premium design, good looks and a balanced camera gives you some good reasons to go for this a bit overpriced device when with such a spec sheet in this price segment, there a lot more options available and in cases they are cheaper than this. The ZenUI, a custom skin is a bit cluttered and you might find it difficult to use in the initial phase of usage. There are features which might impress you as well just like the inbuilt camera app and the finger print sensor which offers a lot more usage than the conventional fingerprint sensor.

The device does have a great prospect provided the customers are ready to cough a comparatively bigger amount.

Do let us know what you feel about the device in the comment section below!

 

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