Asus Zenfone Zoom is the latest edition of the Zenfone family of smartphones by the Taiwanese manufacturer. The company has introduced Zenfone Zoom as its most premium offering in the market. With Camera as its USP, let’s find out if the phone is worth buy or not?
Design & Build
The Asus ZenFone Zoom is a premium-looking phone built using a sturdy set of quality material. Despite having the back cover made up of leather, it feels rigid and somewhat plasticky. There is a micro USB charge port on the bottom alongside a primary microphone and the hand strap post. The left side of the phone is pretty much empty. A traditional 3.5mm headphone jack sits at the top. The volume rocker, power button screen lock, and still camera alongside video record button are placed on the right side.
A rounded camera module with a 13-megapixel sensor and dual-LED flash sits on the back. The removable back cover will let you access the phone’s SIM card slot and microSD card slot for storage expansion. However, the battery cannot be removed.
Overall, the Asus ZenFone Zoom features a premium design with metal frame alloy and leather upper back casing for maximum convenience.
Display: 5.5-inch IPS FHD 1080p
The Asus ZenFone Zoom sports a 5.5″ (65.9% screen-to-body ratio) full HD IPS capacitive touchscreen with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution and 403 PPI pixel density. The screen comes protected with the Corning Gorilla Glass 3, which is reasonably bright for both indoor as well as outdoor conditions. Even though the display doesn’t fit into a high-end category, it is conveniently bright and more than what customers could expect with the decent combination of contrast and saturation.
When it comes to analyzing the performance metrics of the Asus ZenFone Zoom, it leaves no ground to disappointment, especially while gaming. The gaming performance was OK, and no lag or frame rate drop was observed. I played several graphic-intensive games such as Asphalt 8: Airborne, Dead Trigger 2, Modern Combat 5: Blackout, etc., and I’m happy to report that the performance was enjoyable. However, a major heating issue remains to be born.
The Asus ZenFone Zoom is powered by a Quad-core 2.3 GHz CPU, Intel Atom Z3580 chipset, 4GB RAM, and PowerVR G6430 GPU. Even though the hardware combination might not result in faster performance, it’s ideal for everyday use i.e. web browsing, making calls, checking emails, etc.
The Asus ZenFone Zoom runs Android 5.0 Lollipop-based ZenUI out-of-the-box. Honestly, it is one of the most heavyweight UIs I have ever seen running on the phones that ultimately slows down the experience due to major software bugs and frequent built-in apps crash. Even though the immediate update fixed many issues, the software feels a lot creepy to handle.
As soon as I turned on the phone for the first time, it freaked me out upon finding a huge amount of useless junk pre-installed on it. Asus, we certainly do not appreciate you unnecessarily eating into the storage space, especially when your UI itself cannot handle a thing properly. Despite these cons, the phone has some nice customizable power-saving features onboard.
Talking about the camera, the Asus ZenFone Zoom sports a 13MP PixelMaster rear camera with 3X optical zoom packed inside measuring 5 mm around the edges. It comes with built-in Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) to capture sharper and steadier shots. It also has a 5MP selfie camera. The camera features several shooting modes and controls that can be found in other ZenFone series phones. i.e. manual mode.
The 3X optical zoom comes handy in need of taking closer shots, which is similar to that of 10X optical zoom in the Samsung Galaxy K zoom. Despite all these great offerings, there were no significant performance improvements observed.
In fact, the results were almost similar to that of earlier lighting conditions with OK looking shots in warmer colors. However, the major disappointment was no option for 4K UHD video recording as well as lacking continuous autofocus most of the time. Hence, it may not be suitable for professional video recording.
Asus has done a great job in this particular department — Yes, the battery! The ZenFone Zoom packs in a non-removable Li-Po 3000 mAh battery, which the company claims to offer 9 hours of talk time as well as 8 and half hours of video playback. However, the battery performance on this phone is fairly average, and you will certainly need to keep the backup plan ready if you are not a “one step at a time” type of person. Although, the battery will easily last up to 12 hours upon fair usage. The phone comes with an 18W fast charger that refills the juice within 85-90 minutes.
However, the battery drains quickly. Hence, you might end up finding yourself in continuous fear of running out of battery most of the time.
- BoostMaster Adapter
- USB Cable
- ZenEar (Headset)
- Leather Strap
- Warranty Card
- 128GB internal storage
- Premium leather back design
- 3X optical zoom
- The price
- No 4K video recording
- Sluggish camera experience
The Asus ZenFone Zoom is one of the great-looking phones available in the market. It has a premium design, quality display, and impressive 3X optical zoom. Despite having all these things, the Asus ZenFone Zoom doesn’t fulfill the promise of bridging the gap between professional and smartphone photography experience.
As I said in the camera review, it 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 as well as a smartphone, and you need a very strong reason to make a purchase.