At its keynote event in the opening of Computex 2016, Asus introduced the third generation of the ZenFone series, and it looks like the long wait was worth it.
The new ZenFone 3, ZenFone 3 Deluxe, and ZenFone 3 Ultra bring beautiful designs and attractive features, without breaking the bank. Starting prices range from $249 to $499, and considering what these phones bring to the table, we’re inclined to bet on their success in the market.
Meet the ASUS Zenfone 3
The entry in the range is the eponymous ZenFone 3, but this is no entry-level device, despite what the $249 price tag would have you believe. The good impression starts with the design, which graduated from plastic to a luxurious-looking brushed metal and glass combination. Asus’ trademark circular brush pattern is present, but it’s encased under a layer of Gorilla glass with curved edges that should make for a very nice feel in the hand.
Perhaps following LG’s lead, Asus replaced the rear mounted volume rocker with a simple fingerprint reader, while volume controls now accompany the power button on the phone’s metallic frame.
If you like the ZenFone 3’s looks, its brains won’t disappoint. You get a Snapdragon 625 processor – the chip that emerged as a popular second option for flagship devices from LG and HTC – coupled with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. A higher-end version features 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage respectively.
The display is a 5.5-inch IPS LCD (no change here from the ZenFone 2), but the other half of the media stack, audio, has received a nice boost thanks to a loud 5-magnet speaker and a NXP smart amp. You also get a USB Type C port (USB 2.0 connectivity though), 16MP and 8MP cameras, a fingerprint scanner on the back, and a 3,000 mAh battery. Camera features include laser-assisted autofocus, phase-detection autofocus, 4-axis OIS, a dual-tone flash, and super resolution mode (64MP).
ASUS’s ZenFone 3 looks and feels twice its price
Intel may have already quit the smartphone market, but its buddy ASUS continues to fight the good fight with a slightly different approach this year. At Computex, the Taiwanese giant announced not just one, but three new Android M smartphones: ZenFone 3, ZenFone 3 Deluxe and ZenFone 3 Ultra. The three share a common design language, though in our opinion, it’s the $249 base model that has the best appearance thanks to 2.5D Gorilla Glass on both sides, as well as the spun-metal finish on the back (underneath the glass). Together, these work well with any of the four color options: Shimmer Gold, Aqua Blue, Sapphire Black and Moonlight White. The sandblasted metallic frame around it adds a nice touch too.
Asus Zenfone 3 Specifications
- Launch Date December 27, 2016 (Expected)
- Brand Asus
- Model Zenfone 3
- Operating System Android v6.0 (Marshmallow)
- SIM Slot(s) Dual SIM, GSM+GSM
- SIM Size SIM1: Nano SIM2: Hybrid(Nano)
- Network 4G: Available (supports Indian bands)
- 3G: Available, 2G: Available
- Fingerprint Sensor
- Dimensions 152.5 (H) x 77.3 (W) x 7.6 (T) mm
- Weight 155 grams
- DISPLAY Type Super IPS+ capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
- Size 5.5 inches (~70.6% screen-to-body ratio)
- Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels (~401 ppi pixel density)
- Multitouch Yes
- Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 3
- Asus ZenUI 3.0
- OS Android OS, v6.0.1 (Marshmallow)
- Chipset Qualcomm MSM8953 Snapdragon 625
- CPU Octa-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53
- GPU Adreno 506
- Card slot microSD, up to 256 GB (uses SIM 2 slot)
- Internal 32 GB, 3 GB RAM or 64 GB, 4 GB RAM
- Primary 16 MP, f/2.0, laser/phase detection autofocus, OIS (4-axis), dual-LED (dual tone) flash
- Features Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, panorama, HDR
- Video 1080p@30fps
- Secondary 8 MP, f/2.0, 1080p
- Sensors Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
- Messaging SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
- Browser HTML5
- Java No MP3/WAV/eAAC+ player
- MP4/H.264 player
- Document viewer
- Photo/video editor
Zenfone 3 Laser and Zefone 3 Go TV
In mid-July, a series of model numbers turned up while passing through Bluetooth certification, pointing to two devices being added to the Zenfone 3 lineup. The model numbers suggest that these new family members will be the Zenfone 3 Laser and the Zenfone 3 Go TV, or at least adaptations of those from the Zenfone 2 series.
The specs list for the Zenfone 3 Go TV provides the device with a 5.5-inch 1080p display, a 13 MP rear camera and 5 MP front-facing camera.
There is little else to be gleaned from the listing – no release date or further specifications – but the Zenfone 2 Laser appeared in August last year, so it’s safe to assume the new duo aren’t far off.
Asus Zenfone 3 3D Video Rendering Based on Image Leaks at youtube