A few days back Asus launched the Asus Zenfone Zoom, A phone with a beastly performance, Awesome Camera and a lot more which we will find out in the Zenfone Zoom review.
Asus Zenfone Zoom Review
On the launch itself, Asus’s CEO Jerry Shen mentioned that the box of the Zenfone Zoom will itself give a premium feeling and the box actually feels very premium. Unlike the other Zenfones, Zenfone zoom case opens vertically and has a flap.
The first thing we see is the phone itself along with a small string to attach along. Taking the phone out we see the USB cable as well as some booklets. Under the string, we find a pair of in-ear style headphones, the fast charger as well as some extra ear tips for the headphones.
The Asus Zenfone zoom features a 5.5″ full HD display giving it a PPI density of ~403. The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4 which provides optimal protection. In the course of use, I kept the device in my pocket which also had my keys as well as some coins but the phone got no scratches what so ever. If you want to see a specific scratch test video, do let me know in the comment section below. The display panel is sharp and the colour saturation is also on the point. Out of the box the display is a bit cool but we can easily make it nuetral with just the “Screen Colour Mode” settings in Zen UI. We can turn the display a bit warmer, a bit cooler, select preset modes or even customise it with any colour tint user wants.
The user can also enable Bluelight filter which removes the bright blue colour which is the main reason for eye stress. On my other devices I used to download an App called Bluelight filter but in this, It is inbuilt to the system which is very much appreciated.
Design and Built
The Zenfone Zoom comes with a premium look and feel. It has metals on the sides with chamfered edges and leather on the back. It is not the pure leather which we saw in the Moto X second gen but rather a hard leather engraved over a plastic shell.
On the front, as usual, there is an earpiece, the front camera, the full HD display, the three non-backlight keys and a chin with the shiny metallic look. The front of the phone is similar to every other zenfone out there.
On the back, You have a circular budging ring for the camera even though the camera actually does not touches the surface. Under the camera is the Asus logo and just below it is an elevated bar which supports the camera hump. Because of the bar, phone can lie straight on the table and won’t shake if you use phone there. There is also a small grill for the speakers.
On the top there is a microphone and a 3.5mm jack while, on the bottom, you get another mic, micro USB port and a two-way hole to add the string. On the right side of the phone, there are several buttons, Volume rockers, Power button, a tiny button to start recording and a two-level shutter button.
Coming to the build quality, The phone feels really robust and strong. The phone is also on the heavier side weighing around 195gms. Though I do not have guts to do a drop test but I am pretty sure it would handle some easily.
From day 1 this phone is performing flawlessly and that is what you would expect after spending 40K on a phone. The phone comes with Intel Atom Z3590 processor clocked at 1.33GHz and PowerVR G6430 GPU coupled with “4GB” of RAM. I played many games like Real Racing 3, Asphalt 8, Need for speed most wanted and it gave no problem at all. The Asus Zenfone Zoom runs on a highly customizable Zen UI which I think, does not use the hardware to its fullest. The experience wasn’t the best, Sometimes the wallpaper goes and comes back after 2-3 seconds when coming to the home screen from an app. If you do a little multitasking like opening around 4-5 apps in the background the Zen UI starts to become a little laggy and such other problem. What I did find something exceptionally good was the RAM management, even though the Zen UI starts to lag a bit but the Apps work smooth and I was able to multi-task between 13 apps before any app started to restart.
After this, I tested some other apps and I came to a conclusion that the GPU, as well as the RAM, are doing good but the processor is becoming a letdown. TO prove this fact, I ran some benchmarks.
I first ran Antutu Benchmark which is more of a GPU intensive benchmark and I got a pretty good score.
Now I ran GeekBench 3 and the scores were very similar to 2-year-old Samsung Galaxy S5.
As you can see the scores aren’t that great but still the Zenfone Zoom performs great overall and that is what is most important.
The camera is the most important aspect of this phone as 90% of the buyers will buy this guy just for its camera. In a Digital camera, With optical zoom the camera comes outside but in Zenfone zoom, the lenses lie inside the phone vertically.
Even with the camera fully zoomed-in (Optical) the pictures comes out to be clear and sharp. It has a 13MP front sensor while a 5MP front sensor. I would first like to show you the samples then do the talking.
So as you can see the phone captures flawlessly in good lighting. I image saturation, as well as contrast, is good and there isn’t anything to complain. I took a few low light pictures but have to take some more to comment on it. I will be adding the images in coming days.
The Zenfone Zoom has more than average battery life. I was getting around 4 and half hours of screen on time which for a phone with full HD display is really good. The added bonus is the turbocharging which charges the phone from 0-60% in just 40 minutes. The full charge took approximately around 1 hour 20 mins. You can judge the battery from the screenshots below.
The Asus Zenfone Zoom runs on Zen UI which is a custom skin over the Android lollipop. Zen UI gives the user a number of customizability options like changing the font, changing animations, One handed Mode, Custom lock screen wallpaper, smart group, gestures, zen motion etc.
Storage and Sim
The Zenfone Zoom has 128GB of internal memory which I am pretty sure will never be full, I doubt If I will be able to consume even one forth of it. I would have liked if Asus would have released a model with maybe 16 or 32GB of internal storage cutting a few thousands bucks. The phone also has an option for SD card by which you can add another 64GB on your phone.
Unlike other Zenfones, The Zenfone Zoom is Single sim which in countries like India is much required. The phone is 4G compatible which means that the phone is not going to be obsolete in coming year. There have been some rumors that the company will be launching a model with less internal storage as well as dual sim compatibility.
Call quality and Antenna Reception
My room is a little deep in our home and has rooms on all the sides. This makes the signal reception really low. I was using Moto G 3rd Gen before and I was never able to talk properly from the room. Even with the Zenfone laser, I faced the same issue but with the Zenfone Zoom, I got full bars at my room and the call quality was exceptionally good. Even the other guy on the phone was hearing me crystal clear. This is may be because of the uni-body antenna which Asus mentioned in the launch. The earpiece of the phone also produces clear audio. Also the Zenfone zoom has all latest connectivity options like Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi and NFC.
Overall The Zenfone Zoom is a feature packed phone, The camera captures beatifull images and I see the Optical zoom as a new inovation in out tech industry. Inspite the great camera, the phone performs well too. The build as well as the display of the phone also does wonders. This phone is absolutly a best buy under 40K though it faces stiff competition from the Nexus 6p and Samsung Galaxy s6.
Do let us know what you feel about Asus Zenfone Zoom Review