I’ve got chance to play with the Asus ZenFone Zoom, the smartphone that is in talks right now because of its camera. And I must say that it’s clearly visible that Camera is the selling point of this particular model of ZenFone series, but is it appealing enough? Let’s find out!
It’s not always the case when we see new phones of current generation launch with photography in mind. I agree, the camera is something imperative to a lot of customers. However, it’s not the only aspect people should focus while buying any camera-centric phone.
The reason is 2-in-1 thing hardly works, and if you remember, Lenovo had set a good example to my point with its epic failure Lenovo Vibe Shot camera earlier. As the smartphone industry in India is flooded with countless companies and their products, their R&D teams invest a necessary amount of time and effort after market research to know the consumer requirements better. i.e. camera, battery, price, etc. Are they (companies) doing enough? Well, it’s probably the state of mind for few companies and their PR agencies. In reality, it’s always the innovation which climbs companies the ladder of success.
If you’re wondering why I’m boasting these hard-hitting terms all of a sudden, as I talked earlier that Asus recently launched ZenFone Zoom, which it’s marketing as “DSLR-level camera, PC-grade performance” on its website, convincingly making it a camera-centric phone as far as the branding is concerned. In reality, Asus is craving a lot more than that.
Asus ZenFone Zoom is evidently aimed at bridging the gap between a DSLR and a smartphone photography experience. However, the question remains whether folks at Asus mean it or just playing another marketing gimmick by launching a new or I’d say so far costliest ZenFone in India. And even if they do, will ZenFone Zoom manage to feed up the hunger of photography professionals and enthusiasts? Is it worth 38K for a camera? Isn’t it a bit overpriced considering its camera features and specifications? Is Asus trying to bridge the gap between a DSLR and a smartphone photography experience or actually replace the DSLR-level technology with its camera phone? These are few important questions that are haunting my mind since I’m using it, particularly for the camera experience.
Asus ZenFone Zoom sports a 13MP PixelMaster rear camera with 3X optical zoom packed inside a body measuring 5 mm around the edges. It has a built-in Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) that produces fairly sharper and steadier pictures. Despite it, I couldn’t understand the motive behind just a 13-megapixel camera in contrast to 21-megapixel, especially when the camera is the only selling point of this phone for Asus. The OIS works like a charm and produces good-quality images in direct sunlight.
Talking about comparatively darker conditions, the camera failed to disappoint me with its instant focusing abilities. However, the images turned out to be slightly grainy. In order to match the experience of DSLR photography, Asus packed in slower shutter speed for maximum exposure. Most of the times I found shutter speed way too inconsistent and annoying, but it might be a firmware problem.
Asus ZenFone Zoom is burdened by a sluggish ZenUI, which leaves no chance to make the camera experience even slower. The camera numerously crashed while zooming in/out. However, Asus has apparently fixed this problem in a software update as I found no issues with zoom in/out later on. As I’m talking about its 3X optical zoom, the camera produces clearer images upon complete zoom in direct sunlight, and you cannot expect the similar output in darker conditions for obvious reasons.
Few Asus ZenFone Zoom Camera Samples:
The 13-megapixel rear camera is backed by a dual-LED real tone flash and laser auto-focus. Asus ZenFone Zoom features a 5.5″ IPS capacitive touchscreen with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution and 401 ppi pixel density. The display comes protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection. It’s powered by a 2.5 GHz 64-bit quad-core Intel Atom Z3590 CPU, PowerVR G6430 GPU, and 4GB RAM. It comes in 16/32/128 GB internal storage options (expandable up to 128GB via microSD). Asus ZenFone Zoom features a 5-megapixel front camera, and 3000 mAh non-removable Li-Po battery, and weighs 185 g.
List of Asus ZenFone Zoom camera features
- 10P HOYA lens 13-megapixel rear camera
- 3X optical zoom / 12X total zoom
- Level 4 OIS (Optical Image Stabilization)
- 0.03-second laser auto-focus
- Dual color rear tone LED flash
- 3X optical zoom
- Laser Focusing ability
- Optical Image Stabilization
- Dedicated Keys for Camera functions
- Super detailed images in normal lighting conditions
- 13-megapixel Sensor
- Slower shutter speed
- Sluggish camera experience
- Grainy pictures in low light conditions
Asus ZenFone Zoom camera is not meant to be used for indoor photography. If you are not into outdoor photography, this phone will hardly excite you, and you’ve no reason to shell out Rs. 37,999 for its camera.
Asus has done a great job of bridging the gap between these two methods of photography, and the experience is pushed closer to quality to some extent. Despite having good-quality camera capabilities and features, Asus ZenFone Zoom can neither feed up the hunger of professional photographers nor replace the DSLRs. Asus ZenFone Zoom is undoubtedly overpriced at Rs. 37,999 for what it offers as a camera, and you need a strong reason to make a purchase.
Stay tuned for my detailed review, focusing other important aspects such as design, hardware, gaming/battery performance, software, and UI, etc.