Latest ASUS Phone 2016 – ASUS Zenfone 3 (ZE552KL), An Amazing and Affordable Smartphone from ASUS
ASUS finally unveiled the ASUS Zenfone 3, the latest ASUS phone in 2016. I was definitely impressed with the ASUS Zenfone 2 that was released last year considering its then awesome features relative to its affordable price.
So now I am really excited with the release of the Zenfone 3 (ZE552KL) in August 2016.
What are the new features of the ASUS Zenfone 3? How is it compared with Zenfone 2 and other excellent smartphones around? Let’s find out.
Device Type: Smartphone
Display: 5.5 inches (1080 x 1920 pixels)
Hardware: Snapdragon 625, Octa-core 2.0 GHz, 3 GB RAM (32 GB) | 4 GB RAM )64 GB)
Battery: 3000 mAh
Price: US$ 350
Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon.com
A New Exquisite Design with Better Display Quality
The overall design of the Zenfone 3 was changed and it was a lot more beautiful and stylish compared to Zenfone 2. It is now made of glass and metal unlike the Zenfone 2 which has a metal-brushed design but made of plastic material.
The front and the rear of the Zenfone 3 is protected by 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The Corning Gorilla Glass is twice more durable than other glass designs. The Zenfone 2 is also protected by the same glass design but only at the front.
The Zenfone 3 reminds me of Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge which are also protected by Corning Gorilla Glass on both sides. This only means that the beauty and durability of Zenfone 3 are almost similar to these more expensive and awesome flagship smartphones.
The 2.5D glass gives a slight curve at the edges for a comfortable grip and more stylish look. This slight glass curve can also be found in flagship smartphones like iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.
I also like the silver metal stripes at the sides which make the Zenfone 3 even more stylish. Aside from Sapphire Black and Moonlight White colors, it also has Shimmer Gold and Aqua Blue colors that you can choose from.
The glass and metal build are not the only major change in the design. When it comes to dimensions, there is a significant reduction in thickness compared to Zenfone 2. At only 7.7 mm, it now has a very thin profile compared to the 10.9 mm thickness of the Zenfone 2.
To give you an idea on how thin it is, it is similar to the thin profile of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and only 0.4 mm thicker compared to the iPhone 6s Plus.
At only 155 g in weight, it is only as light as the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and almost 25% lighter compared to iPhone 6s Plus.
When it comes to display size and sharpness, it packs a 5.5-inch Full HD display with 401 pixels per inch. Any smartphone with a pixel density above 400 pixels per inch is already too sharp that you won’t see the individual pixels at a normal viewing distance.
The size and sharpness of the display are exactly the same with the iPhone 6s Plus.
It also features Super-IPS display technology which has better response time and color reproduction compared to the IPS display technology of the Zenfone 2.
Performance – A New Level
The Zenfone 3 comes with Snapdragon 625 chipset which is far better than the Intel Atom chipset of the Zenfone 2. The new chipset has an Octa-core 2.0 GHz CPU and Adreno 506 graphics processor.
It will give you with a smoother and faster performance for apps and games compared to the quad-core CPU of the Zenfone 2. The chipset of Zenfone 3 may not be as groundbreaking as the flagship smartphones, but it is definitely one of the best around for upper mid-range smartphones.
The RAM size depends on the internal storage variant. The 32 GB variant has a 3 GB RAM while the 64 GB variant has a 4 GB RAM. The Zenfone 2’s RAM size ranges from 2-4 GB depending on the model.
Like the Zenfone 2, you can also expand the storage space with a microSD card up to 128 GB.
It also comes with the latest Android OS 6.0.1 (Marshmallow) which has an improved user interface, a built-in power saving feature called Doze, Android Pay, and more.
Camera – Higher Specs
Other smartphones within the same price range normally have a 13 MP resolution with the exception of Sony Xperia Z series which has a 20.7 MP resolution.
It has a large aperture size of f/2.0. Aperture size is the feature responsible for providing a dimensional effect on photos. This is done by focusing on the subjecting while blurring the background.
If your hands are shaking or the subject of your photos is in motion while taking the pictures, you don’t have to worry about captured images that are blurred.
The Zenfone 3 both has an OIS (optical image stabilization) and EIS (electronic image stabilization) feature that significantly reduce or even eliminate blurs due to hand or image subject movements.
Also, according to ASUS, Zenfone 3 has Tritech auto-focus technology which allows the camera to auto-focus in just 0.03 seconds even in varying conditions.
The length of time to auto-focus is one of my disappointments before even in the camera of the flagship smartphones of Samsung.
No information was provided for pixel size and sensor size, but it has real-time HDR for improved image quality in a low-light condition plus a color correction sensor.
The front camera has an 8MP resolution which is also high enough for good selfies and it has the same aperture size. Both rear and front camera can also capture Full HD videos.
For an upper mid-range smartphone, the Zenfone 3 camera is an excellent one.
Battery Life, High-Res Audio, and Other Cool Features
The battery capacity is 3000 mAh which is non-removable. This is the same battery capacity in Zenfone 2 which can last up to 16 hours of talk time on 3G, 8 hours of web browsing, and 8.5 hours of video playback.
What I also like about the Zenfone 3 is the beautiful fingerprint sensor located at the rear. You can use it to unlock your phone and it can also be used with the OS and apps to secure transactions in your apps.
Another awesome feature that I really like is the High-Resolution audio with 24-bit/192 KHz playback which is four times better than the usual 16-bit CD quality audio of other smartphones. You will enjoy the amazing sound while on loudspeaker or with the use of a headset.
It can also use GPS with A-GPS for US satellites, GLONASS for Russian satellites, and BDS for Chinese satellite connection (may vary with region). This provides a more accurate global positioning compared to GPS alone and is very useful when used with Google maps.
NFC support and FM radio were not mentioned, but this feature is in Zenfone 2 so I expect it to be present. Other basic features that are included are Wi-Fi connectivity, acceleration sensor, proximity sensor, gyroscope, and compass.
Zenfone 3 is Definitely Worth It!
The ASUS Zenfone 3 is an excellent smartphone. Many were impressed with the Zenfone 2, but with the Zenfone 3, that amazement will be taken to another level.
It now has a metal and glass build from the plastic material of Zenfone 2. It is also a lot thinner and sleeker. The processing power got a huge boost to a Snapdragon chipset. The camera also has significant improvements. I really like the fingerprint sensor and the high-resolution audio playback.