Asus Zenfone Zoom Review

Once again an attempt has been made to present old technology in a new style. Many years ago, Nokia launched N90 smartphone with optical zoom smartphone camera. But due to this the weight of the phone increased and due to being heavy these smartphones were not liked.

About two years ago, Samsung also launched Galaxy ‘K Zoom’ with the same technology. 10X optical zoom was the most special feature of this phone but in appearance it was more of a digital camera than a smartphone.

Asus often experiments with its hybrid devices and now the new name in this series is Zenfone Zoom. Optical zoom has been provided in this smartphone and it is a matter of relief that its remain as a smartphone has not been compromised to a great extent. Will the Zenfone Zoom be able to give a new lease of life to this ‘new’ smartphone segment? Is Asus Zenfone Worth Buying? Today we will review this smartphone of Asus.

Look and Design
asus zenfone zoom It has been launched at the price of a premium smartphone and its looks also give the same feel. The unibody aluminum frame of the phone looks good and also gives good grip to the phone. Apart from this, its rounded edges also make it convenient to hold. Overall the look of the phone is good.

The 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display is surrounded by thick bezels. The capacitive navigation buttons are not backlit and there is a notification LED.

A standard Micro-USB 2.0 port is provided at the bottom of the phone. On the right side there is a two-step camera button and a separate button for video recording. Pressing any one slightly will open the camera app. Volume and power buttons are given at the top which are easy to use.

The rear cover made of real leather is removable although it can easily be mistaken for faux leather. There is a large disc in place of the camera where Asus has beautifully fixed the zoom lens. Which means that it does not have a protruding lens like Samsung and other phones. For this reason, the Zenfone Zoom is quite light and some good photos can be taken with it.

This phone from Asus comes with single micro-SIM and expandable storage (via microSD card) support. The battery of the phone is non-removable. The Zenfone Zoom comes with a lanyard, data cable, charger, and in-ear headset. Considering the price of the phone, the quality of the accessories that come with Zenfone Zoom is quite good.

Overall, the phone looks different from other phones because of the camera placement on the rear. But apart from this it is similar to other Zenfone smartphones. The build and looks of the phone are quite good and Asus should be praised for making a smartphone that is just 11.9mm thick with an optical zoom lens.

Specifications and Software
Asus is probably the only smartphone manufacturer that is continuously offering Intel processors in its smartphones. The ZenFone Zoom is powered by a quad-core Intel Atom Z3590 processor. The phone has 4 GB LPDDR3 RAM and 128 GB internal storage. The inbuilt storage provided in the phone is quite good and if you want more storage then it can be increased by 128 GB. For connectivity in the phone, features like Wi-Fi B/G/N/AC, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, USB OTG, FM Radio, GPS and GLONASS are available.

The phone comes with slightly older Android Lollipop while Marshmallow has started coming now. ZenUI 2.0 skin has been given on top of Android 5.0 and like previous Asus phones, you will get many Asus apps pre-installed in this phone too.

There is a Splendid app for adjusting the color temperature and toggling the blue light filter and an AudioWizard app for sound profiles for movies, music, games and voice calls. Apps like Auto-Start Manager to control the apps during boot, Mobile Manager to get rid of junk files, Power Saver to save battery as per your usage, ‘Do it Later’ as Task Manager are provided. Apart from this, some third-party apps also come pre-installed in this phone which can be removed as per your need.

Some default Android apps like the Gallery app will always show you photos and videos from cloud services. Asus apps like PhotoCollage and MiniMovie for sharing and customizing photos and videos are included with the Gallery. Apart from this, you can also customize the interface through themes, animations and icon packs.

Talking about performance, Zenfone Zoom is like any other smartphone with premium features. Apps run on the phone without any hassle and even heavy games can be played easily. However, while playing games, the phone gets a little hot and due to this, the battery of the phone also gets drained quickly. 4G works well on Band 40 and we did not face any issues while using it. Along with a software update, we got to see a new feature called Quick Find which can be accessed by swiping down on the home screen. This is a universal search tool with which you can not only access files on your phone but can also search web and apps easily.

The benchmark figures of Zenfone Zoom were also excellent. However, it lagged far behind today’s top hardware phones.

Although the phone cannot record 4K video, it can play 4K video. The default video player is decent but the music player is better. You can collect songs into folders, change the player’s theme, and set the audio through the Asus Audio Wizard. The headset that comes with the phone provides good quality audio.

Now we have reached the most special feature of the phone i.e. the camera of the phone. The phone has a 13-megapixel camera and comes with a 10-element Hoya lens. The lens is arranged in such a way that you can enjoy 3X optical zoom without taking the lens out. The camera has features like laser autofocus and optical image stabilization to capture great photos.

In daylight, landscape and macro photos appear with detail on the phone screen. Colors are good, although during auto optimization the colors definitely become more saturated. Lens blur-free shots can be taken even with 3X zoom. At maximum optical zoom, a slight loss of sharpness can be seen in the object, but this is visible only when the photo is zoomed.

Photos taken indoors in artificial light also come without noise. But in low light the pictures come with less detail. The focus speed of the camera is also very good but while zooming the picture in the viewfinder, it takes some time to reach the zoom level. In good light, great selfies can be taken with the 5 megapixel camera.

Asus’ camera app is well designed. Some shooting modes and manual modes are given just above the software shutter button. The physical button also works quite well. Good quality video recording can also be done up to 1080 pixels. There is also an option for slow-motion video in the camera. But, 4K video recording cannot be done. The dual LED flash also works quite well but only for short distances.

battery life
The 3000 mAh battery provided in the phone lasted for 6 hours and 58 minutes in our video loop test, which is below average. During normal use with a lot of shooting and on 4G, we were able to use the ZenFone Zoom for 18-20 hours without charging. The good thing is that the phone supports fast charging and the battery gets charged up to 40 percent in just half an hour.

our decision
The Asus ZenFone Zoom is a premium all-rounder and the only phone in the market with optical zoom. Priced at Rs 37,999, it competes with the Samsung Galaxy S6 range and the Nexus 6P. Both these smartphones have cameras equipped with great features. Talking about innovations, Zenfone Zoom is indeed better than others but if we talk about image quality, it lags behind both these smartphones. Apart from this, low-resolution display, old Android version, weak battery life and lack of 4K recording are also shortcomings of Zenfone Zoom.

The high price of the phone can also become a hindrance in its sales, but if the company reduces the price then there is no harm in buying a new phone. Asus has done a good job with the design and build of the phone. Due to optical zoom, a lot of compromises have to be made in phones and this is the reason why these types of phones never became popular.

This camera is definitely a good idea but we feel that a camera with a larger sensor and better image quality would be better in its place. Whose Zenfone Zoom is not the flagship smartphone of Asus. It seems that before the arrival of the company’s next generation phone, the company has tried to give something new to the customers.

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