Asus Zenfone 3 Review – Allrounder with an Impressive look

Last Updated On : Saturday, September 24, 2016
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Asus has launched a different range of smartphones under its Zenfone series. They had a huge response for many of their Zenfone series smartphones launched earlier like Zenfone Max, Zenfone 2, Zenfone 5, Zenfone Zoom and much more. After the successful response to the series, they have launched the Zenfone 3 smartphones – their next generation of mobiles in India. These Zenfone 3 series smartphones were launched in Taiwan a few months back during the Computex 2016 event and now after 2 months, these were launched in India.

Asus Zenfone 3 was launched in a grand event held at Delhi on 17th August 2016. The launch includes Zenfone 3 [two variants], ZenFone 3 Deluxe, ZenFone 3 Ultra, ZenFone 3 Laser smartphones, ZenBook 3 Laptop, Transformer 3 Pro.

Asus Zenfone 3 series was one of the much-hyped smartphones this year. The phones pack a classy premium look and pretty decent specifications. It comes in two variants, the one with the 5.2-inch display and the other with the 5.5-inch display. Both variants feature almost same specs and the few difference is the display size, RAM, battery capacity and the internal storage. Check out the detailed FAQ post about Zenfone 3 both variants, which will give an exact difference between them.

I have been using the Zenfone 3 – 5.5 inch, 64 GB variant for few days and here is my detailed review about the phone.

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Asus Zenfone 3 Review:

The Design, Color Variant, and Weight:

The first impression of the Zenfone 3 is the design. The phone was designed with lots of metal and glass, which gives a classy premium look. The phone has rounded corners. 2.5 D-Corning Gorilla Glass protection was available on the front and back side of the phone. Sapphire glass protection prevents the phone from any kind of damage or scratches. Due to the glass finish on both sides, the phone will be slippery while handling, so hold the phone carefully :). The phone is very compact with the 7.69 mm thickness.

On the front, we have 8 MP camera with f 2.0 aperture, notification light, sensors, earpiece and 3 non – backlit navigation buttons. On the left, we have the hybrid SIM slot. We have volume rockers and power button on the right. Headphone jack and a mic are placed at the top. Bottom, we have the mic, USB type c charging port and speaker grill. 16 MP Camera with f 2.0 aperture, Dual LED real tone flash and fingerprint sensor is placed at the back side of the phone. Apart from this, we have ASUS branding on the back side of the phone. The dimension of the phone is 152.59 x 77.38 x 7.69 mm.

The 5.5-inch variant comes in 4 different colors Sapphire Black, Moonlight White, Aqua Blue and Shimmer Gold. I have been using the Sapphire Black variant and I love the color.

The Zenfone 3 5.5 inch variant is 155 grams in weight.

Display:

The display adds value to the phone. Yes, it has a 5.5 inch Full HD [1920 x 1080 pixels] display with 600nits brightness and 2.5 D-Corning Gorilla Glass protection screen. It has a brilliant viewing angle of 178 degrees. The screen gives a smooth experience. The phone has a 77.3% screen-to-body ratio. There is a Bluelight Filter for Eye Care. The screen also supports glove touch. But we have noticed that the glass finish reflects your face on the screen in the outdoor light.

Hardware and Performance:

The phone features a powerful Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 625, 64-bit octa core processor which comes with 8 Cortex A53 cores clocked at 2.0 GHz with Adreno 506 GPU. The processor is manufactured based on the latest 14-nanometer process and Zenfone 3 series smartphones are the first to adopt it. The manufacturer claims that this processor consumes nearly 35% lesser battery when compared to the previous version snapdragon 617 processor. With Adreno 506 GPU, all heavy games are working smoothly on this device and I haven’t felt over-heating or any lags while gaming. The phone features 4 GB LPDDR3 RAM, which works great while multi-tasking. Overall the performance is decent.

The phone has below sensors –

  • Accelerator
  • E-Compass
  • Gyroscope
  • Proximity sensor
  • Hall sensor
  • Ambient light sensor
  • RGB sensor
  • IR sensor
  • Fingerprint

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Software and UI:

The Zenfone 3 runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with ASUS ZenUI 3.0 on the top. The ASUS ZenUI has lots of preloaded apps, in which many of the apps are not usable for all. So you can uninstall and disable the apps you don’t want. ZenUI has a dedicated theme store where you can have thousands and thousands of themes online.

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ZenUI has many built features and modes. Few of them are

  • Lock Apps
  • Hide Apps
  • Unread Counts badge
  • Smart grouping of apps
  • Kids Mode
  • Easy Mode
  • Battery saving modes
  • DIY themes
  • DND Mode
  • Resizable keyboard

and more…

Battery:

This 5.5-inch variant has 3000 mAh battery and it lasts for a day on an average usage. The phone supports quick charging and it comes with 5V 2A charger. On my experience, it took 1.5 to 2 hrs approximately for a complete charge. The battery is non-removable.

Camera:

Another most noticeable feature of the phone is the camera.

Rear Camera :

The phone features 16 MP camera with 6 pieces larger lens and f 2.0 aperture. The camera has Sony IMX298 sensor, Dual-LED real tone flash and features like autofocus, laser auto focus, long exposure, 4-axis and 4 stops Optical Image Stabilization for steady photos. Asus has the preloaded PixelMaster 3.0 software which has plenty of modes to take stunning pictures. With Super-resolution mode you can take pictures up to 64 MP. You can also take Timp lapse, slow motion, and 4K videos in this phone. 4K videos don’t lag at any point in my experience.

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Below is the list of modes available for the rear camera.

  • Back Light (HDR) Mode
  • Low Light Mode
  • Manual Mode (for DSLR-like camera detail settings)
  • Real Time Beautification Mode
  • Super Resolution Mode (for up to 4X resolution photos)
  • Night Mode
  • Depth of Field Mode
  • Photo Effect Mode
  • Selfie Panorama
  • GIF Animation Mode
  • Panorama Selfie Mode
  • Miniature Mode
  • Time Rewind Mode
  • Smart Remove Mode
  • All Smiles Mode
  • Slow Motion Mode
  • Time Lapse Mode

Check out the Camera Samples taken using various modes.

Note : The pictures are resized in order to upload on the website.

Overall the camera is really good and one of the best feature which adds value to the phone. You may realize the camera effect after seeing the samples above.

Front Camera:

It has the 8MP front-facing camera with a wide angle of 84 degrees, f/2.0 aperture. The performance is above average and its good for selfie/snap chat lovers.

Below is the list of modes available for the front camera.

  • Back Light (HDR) Mode
  • Low Light Mode
  • Real Time Beautification Mode
  • GIF Animation Mode
  • Panorama Selfie Mode

Network and Connectivity:

The phone has Dual SIM hybrid SIM slot. Both SIM card slots support 3G WCDMA/ 4G LTE network band. But only one SIM card can connect to the 3G WCDMA/ 4G LTE service at a time. First SIM slot supports micro SIM card and the second slot is a hybrid one, which either supports nano-SIM or microSD. You can insert anyone on the second slot at a time. The phone has VoLTE support, so you can use Reliance Jio without any issues.

It has the other connectivity options like WiFi, WiFi Hotspot,Wi-Fi direct Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, A-GPS, FM Radio.

Storage:

It has 64 GB inbuilt memory and the memory can be expandable up to 2 TB using a microSD card. From 64 GB internal storage, the user will have nearly 52 GB for use. The phone supports OTG, where you can connect pen drives for additional storages.

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Fingerprint:

The fingerprint sensor works well and the device unlocks time is less than 5 seconds. You can also use the fingerprint sensor to unlock the device, answer the calls, launch camera and to capture a photo.

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Price:

The 5.5 inch 4GB/64 GB, 3000 mAh variants is priced at Rs.27,999 whereas the 5.2 inches 3 GB/32 GB, 2650 mAh variant is priced at 21,999.

Pros:

  • Build Quality
  • Glass finish on both sides
  • Battery
  • 64 GB inbuilt storage
  • USB Type C
  • Fingerprint Sensor
  • VoLTE Support
  • Camera
  • Expandable memory up to 2 TB
  • OTG Support
  • Fast Charging

Cons:

  • Little high priced
  • Zen UI needs more improvements
  • Non-backlit buttons

Conclusion:

Asus Zenfone 3 performs well in all aspects. To recall Camera, FingerPrint, Build Quality, Glass Protection, RAM, Storage, VoLTE and many more features are really good on the phone. What’s your opinion about the phone? Are you buying it? Please feel free to comment your opinion about the phone.


Disclaimer: The above review is all my personal opinion about the phone, finally, the decision is yours about buying the phone.


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