- Plenty of storage
- Huge battery
- Optical zoom
- microSD support
- Solid performance
- Old Android version
- Bloated UI skin
- No Band 12 LTE support
- No NFC
Looking to upset the mid-tier market, Asus’ latest release packs a dual-lens rear camera and a massive battery into an affordable package. But mid-tier phones often mean sacrifices. Did Asus make the right cuts with the Asus ZenFone 3 Zoom?
Reviewers have put the phone to the test and are chiming in!
Let’s see what they’re saying…
Asus’ earlier phones were flashy affairs with plenty of flair but questionable quality. The Zoom brings a subtler look with a sturdy build quality that reviewers loved. The all-metal chassis features a brushed finish with a fingerprint scanner on the rear of the case. TechRadar summed up opinions on the phone’s design well, saying, “It’s stripped down, simple and clean. There will be people who are looking for a bit more of an identity here, but coming off of last year’s phone, this is definitely a step in the right direction.”
Flipping the phone over, you’ll find a 5.5-inch 1080p AMOLED screen. Reviewers loved the display, applauding it for its wide color range and great contrast. Android Police said, “The ZenFone 3 Zoom's panel is mostly on-target from what I can see. The white balance is slightly warm, but not so much as to be immediately noticeable.”
However, the capacitive buttons below the screen are not back-lit. This annoyed many reviewers.
As a mid-tier phone, the processor in the Zoom is an older 2Ghz octa-core Snapdragon 625. However, pairing it with 3GB of RAM appears to have paid off for Asus. Performance reviews are positive. From email and messaging to the latest games, reviewers had no issues with stuttering, lag or overheating.
The software was a different tune. Reviewers were quick to point out that Android 6.0 Marshmallow is nearly a year old already. While Asus has mentioned a Nougat update on the horizon, there’s no guarantees until it’s released. To make matters worse, reviewers found Asus’ ZenUI cumbersome. Mobile Syrup summed up opinions well, saying, “But while the display is lovely, what’s underneath it is less so—namely, the mildly bloated ZenUI 3.0 skin running over Android 6.0.1 that is carried over from the Asus Zenfone 3.”
Fortunately, there’s 128GB of internal storage and microSD support. So even with the bloat, you should have no problem fitting your favorite apps, movies and other media on the phone.
One of the most hyped features of the phone is its dual-lens 12MP camera. One lens is a standard lens while the other is a 2.3x zoom lens. This allows the camera to provide optical zoom without having to slap a protruding lens on the back of the phone. Overall, reviewers were impressed with the camera. PC Magazine said, “In good light the phone takes crisp, detailed shots. Autofocus locks on quickly and noise is fairly minimal. Color reproduction is accurate, though perhaps a little dull if you prefer more saturated colors.”
Another popular feature is the phone’s 5,000mAh battery. The phone smashed most battery life benchmarks, with Tom’s Guide saying, “The ZenFone 3 Zoom's battery life is so good, it seems like a prank… In fact, the ZenFone 3 Zoom's battery life is long enough to catapult it to the No. 1 spot on our longest-lasting phones page.”
The only complaints found related to charge times. Without support for newer fast charging methods, the phone took many reviewers nearly 3 hours to top off.
Overall, reviewers had a lot of love for the Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom. Combining a unique camera with solid performance and a minimalist design, most felt it offered enough performance for the average user at a fair price. TechRadar summed up opinions well, saying, “While not perfect in its execution, it’s full of crowd-pleasing features and rocks a pleasing design that defies its price point, coming together as a smart buy for just about anyone."
What the Critics Are Saying...
- Edgar Cervantes, Android Authority
The ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom may not be your dream device in terms of optical capabilities, but the camera is pretty good and the phone excels in other areas. Its battery life is hands-down the best we have seen, and the price is nothing to scoff at.
- Stephen S., PhoneArena
The Asus ZenFone 3 Zoom is a smartphone in an uncomfortable position. None of its big features – neither its dual cameras nor its giant battery – end up really panning out in quite the way Asus clearly hoped, and while they don't utterly disappoint, they're far from the major selling poi...
- Robin Sinha, Gadgets Now
As an initial attempt at a dual rear camera smartphone, we appreciate what it has in store for photography enthusiasts and how well it the cameras are tied with the software.
- Hardik Singh, Digit
Overall, the Asus Zenfone Zoom S is a good phone. It has one of the best cameras we have seen from Asus and would easily be amongst the best in its price category. The build quality as well as performance is decent, but definitely could have been better. The design and UI of the phone are better tha...
- Roydon Cerejo, NDTV
The Asus ZenFone Zoom S is another good option in the sub-Rs. 30,000 price segment. It’s also attractively priced at Rs. 26,999, making it a tiny bit cheaper than the Moto Z2 Play. However, its biggest selling feature - the cameras - aren't what they are hyped up to be. While the rear camera d...
Prices (Where to Buy)
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Asus ZenFone 3 Zoom user manual here.
Asus backs up the ZenFone 3 Zoom with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your ZenFone 3 Zoom has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Asus support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Asus's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.
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