Asus Zenfone 3: The Latest Launch
Asus has finally come up with their latest Zenfone series. The Zenfone 3 was launched recently in India and is expected to compete with the likes of One Plus 3 and Xiaomi Mi5. The device is available exclusively on Flipkart portal and Asus has priced the device keeping its competitors in mind. However, one does feel that Asus could have been a bit more aggressive with the pricing as the Zenfone 3 is powered by a midrange chipset. The base variant is priced at Rs 21,999/- while the top end variant is priced at Rs 27,999/-. The base variant sports 5.2 inch display with 3GB Ram, 32 GB onboard storage and 2650 mah battery while the premium variant comes with 5.5 inch screen, 4GB Ram, 64 GB internal storage and 3000 mah battery.
Asus also claims to have included additional features which would enhance the end user experience. Previous generation Zenfones belonged to the budget and midrange price category but Asus seems to be vying for the premium price segment with this launch.
Build and Design: Asus has really done a great job with the build and design of the Zenfone 3. The device uses a combination of glass and metal which lends premium feel to the device while the ergonomics make it comfortable to use. The phone is comparatively light considering the size although single hand use may not be possible. The frames of the device uses metal while the front and rear body is made of 2.5D curved gorilla glass which makes it pretty stylish.
It also has the oleophobic coating makes it a smudge resistant device. The 3 capacitive keys are placed at the bottom but unfortunately they are not backlit. The fingerprint scanner is at the back just below the camera lens.
The display on device is crisp with true color reproduction and decent viewing angles.
Battery Life: The phone comes with 2650/3000 mah battery which may be adequate for normal users but heavy users may require to charge more than once. The chipset used in this device is built using the 14mm nano process which is considered to be efficient in power management. One would have expected a larger battery on this device. However, the device does support fast charging and it would help the heavy users.
Features: Zenfone 3 comes with all the basic sensors along with IR blaster and Fingerprint scanner. The Snapdragon chipset used on this device is built using 14 nanometer (nm) technology which suggests it will be power efficient and won’t face any major heating issue. It also has the Sonic Master and Hi- Res certification which implies that sound output via the earphones will be great. Even the speakers are claimed to be using the latest technology for enhanced audio experience.
Overall, the Zenfone 3 is feature enriched device using advanced technology for great end user experience.
Hardware Specifications: Zenfone 3 is powered by the new Snapdragon 625 chipset and Octa Core Processor clocked at 2.0 ghz with 3/4 GB Ram. The Adreno 506 GPU is decent for gaming but will tend to struggle with graphic intensive games. The chipset used on this device is not very powerful as seen on other flagships, power users won’t be too impressed with device if overall performance is considered.
3/4GB Ram is sufficient to provide lag free performance on this device while 32/64 GB inbuilt storage will suffice most of the users. It also supports external storage in case one requires additional storage.
Camera: One of the strongest areas for the Zenfone 3 is the camera. It is one of the best in this price range and performs reasonably well even in artificial and low lighting conditions. The dual tone LED flash, f/2.0 aperture Sony sensor along with Optical Image Stablization (OIS) does capture decent images with good amount detailing. The front camera also does a decent job.
The rear camera also supports 4K video recording and thanks to Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS) the video recording is also decent with acceptable dynamic range.
Software: It runs on Android Marshmallow with familiar Zen UI 3.0 skin running on top. The Zen UI does offer a lot of features although it does come with loads of bloatwares. One can manually remove the bloatwares although it may take some time to get accustomed to the interface.
Service: Asus does have a network to provide after sales support but I believe they have scope for improvement in this department. Asus should look to have their exclusive service centres in metropolitan as well as other big cities.
Verdict: Asus has tried to enter the premium segment with this launch but in my opinion with a mindrange chipset they would struggle against the likes of One Plus 3 and Xiaomi Mi5. Zenfone 3 does have a very good camera backed by advanced features but somehow it just falls short of being the best device in this price range. Asus should consider dropping the price by atleast 4k-6k which I feel would be the ideal price range for this device.
Individuals looking for a good camera phone in this price range may have a look at this device. Even users looking for stylish and feature packed device should consider Zenfone 3.
Key Specifications are given below:-
Octa Core A53 Processor clocked @ 2 ghz), Snapdragon 625 chipset
32/64 GB (Hybrid SD Card Support upto 2TB)
Android Marshmallow 6.0
16 mp/4K Video Recording
8 mp /HD Video Recording
2650/3000 Mah Li ion
5.2/5.5 inch (Corning Glass 3)
Dual Sim (Micro & Hybrid Nano)/GSM 4G Support
146.9 x 74x 7.7 mm/144
152.6x 77.4×7.7 mm/155