- 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."
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