Asus ZenFone Zoom Review: Best Smartphone Camera?

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Asus Zenfone Zoom Review

Who wouldn’t want to buy a smartphone which can capture more details than one can see with the naked eye? With the optical zoom technology, also called ‘real’ zoom by most in the industry, Asus ZenFone Zoom is here to make its way to the top smartphone cameras. Optical Lens technology isn’t something new but we have seen Nokia implementing the same in their Nokia N90, Samsung doing it in their Samsung Galaxy K Zoom but the only reason they couldn’t capture the market was that the phone was too bulky and many people didn’t choose camera over the build. But when it comes to the ZenFone Zoom, Asus has proved to done a brilliant job with the construction of the phone. So let’s just dig a little deeper and explore in a little more detail about the device.

Design

The ZenFone Zoom does deliver a good product design to its customers, which makes the expensive purchase absolutely justified. The back comes with Italian stitched leather on a plastic back, which not only makes it good to hold but also offers the right grip to hold a big phone. We have been using the back variant of the back, but the white one looks much better! The unibody aluminium frame running all around the phone adds to the grip, with curved edges making it look better. We can notice chamfered edges and chrome accents on the curved edges, which is a clear addition to the wonderful design analogy.

On the back, the majority of the space is taken by the Hoyalens, which makes every image taken by the ZenFone Zoom worth appraisal. In addition to the lens, we have Asus and Intel branding on the leather back. Micro-USB, Volume rocker and the power button is found at their standard locations, and to make Zoom worth buying, Asus has included a camera shutter button and a video record button on the right edge. It definitely does make the process of clicking pictures convenient.

Display

The 5.5-inch full-HD IPS display looks good while using, but is surrounded by thick bezels, which makes it less cool. Screen on the ZenFone Zoom has a pixel density of 401ppi, with a really vibrant display which does not really perform good indoors, but is an overall performer since the visibility under sun is not bad. Asus has made a point to include their Splendid application which allows the user to set the screen colour mode, as well as the colour temperature as per the need.

Asus Zenfone Zoom

Performance

You don’t really need to worry about the performance on flagship smartphones, but it’s essential for us to describe the way ZenFone Zoom performs. Almost every application works perfectly, without any lags on the ZenFone Zoom, but the only issue which we faced was the heating up of the device, especially the metal frame and rear lens body, which is made out of metal. Games like Asphalt 8 caused the device to heat up in under 10 minutes, while casual games like Candy Crush forced the device to heat up after 20-25 minutes of usage.

The Zoom scores a 63,682 in the AnTuTu benchmarks, which is pretty good. The 128GB internal storage is more than sufficient to carry almost all your multimedia files and documents, and the super fast Intel Atom Z3580 Quad-core CPU clocked at 2.3 GHz takes care of every aspect on your phone!

Camera

Camera should definitely be the most anticipated part of this device, for everyone who is willing to buy this phone. Well, to be very honest Zoom has set a benchmark in the smartphone camera industry, and the industries’ top performing phones like the iPhone 6s are not even near to Zoom when it comes to image quality. The indoor images clicked by the 13-megapixel camera, with the 10-element lens arrangement by Hoya is mind blowing. There’s very little noise at times in the images, when clicked indoor. The laser autfocus and the Optical Image Stabilisation adds up to the list of factors for a perfect shot. Following are some shots which were taken indoors.

iPhone 6s vs Asus ZenFone Zoom Camera Zoom

iPhone 6s vs Asus ZenFone Zoom (3x Zoom)

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Coming to the outdoor shots, under day light. The phone’s camera is one of the best for macros, but landscape photography carries a little question mark along with it. The 3x Optical Zoom deserves an applause for portraying such a brilliant technology. The 3x zoomed-in shots were really good, as one can expect them to be.

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Battery

Battery on the ZenFone Zoom comes with a capacity of 3000mAh and is non-removable. We could easily make the phone last for 20 hours, on an average use which included casual gaming, clicking pictures, 4G connectivity and making phone calls. The quick charging support is a huge boon for the people who are always moving around, and we could easily obtain about 50% of the battery in half an hour. You can refer to the following chart to get a better idea about how the battery drains on the ZenFone Zoom.

Task Duration Percentage Drop
Cellular Call  25 minutes  2%
Streaming YouTube videos on WiFi at 1080p 20 minutes  3%
Gaming (Medium)  10 minutes  4%
Browsing the web  15 minutes  1%

Verdict

At Rs. 37,999 the Asus ZenFone Zoom faces a tough competition from Samsung’s Flagship S6 Series, which offers a much better and vibrant display and has an edge over the ZenFone Zoom in terms of battery life. The Optical Zoom technology is undoubtedly the best on the device, and there’s no smartphone which can match upto the image quality of this one. So, at the end of the day you’ll be paying a premium price for an amazing camera, the one which majority of the people don’t really need and a good design & build.

Asus Zenfone Zoom 8

The Asus ZenFone Zoom runs on older version of Android, out of the box which counts as a disadvantage in terms of user interface, functionality and features offered. The low resolution display might also disappoint you at times. But if there’s a price drop in the near future and this device retails out for anything around Rs. 33,000, one should not miss out the opportunity to grab it. At the premium price, you should go for it if you will be able to make full use of the Optical Zoom and other jaw dropping camera lens technologies that Asus has invested in this device.

Asus ZenFone Zoom (128GB)

Rs. 37,999
Asus ZenFone Zoom (128GB)
88

Design

9/10

    Display

    8/10

      Performance

      9/10

        Camera

        10/10

          Battery

          9/10

            Pros

            • Brilliant camera, with Optical Image Stabilization and Optical Zoom Technology
            • Looks really sturdy and the device is visually appealing
            • ZenFone Zoom has a solid build, with aluminium frame around it

            Cons

            • The screen, with a density of 401ppi doesn't really suffice your needs
            • Front Camera could've been better
            • Asus should have provided with a few more cooler colour variants

            Karan Uppal

            Karan Uppal is the Editor-in-Chief for Virtuaniz. He is currently a bachelor student of Computer Science at Bangalore and is working with a few start-ups. Karan is a keen learner and loves to travel. He loves reviewing gadgets and claims them to hold an important part in his life. Follow him at @freezethinker to get his updates.

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