Asus Zenfone series has recently got a flagship smartphone that aims to be a stand out in the competitive market. With the Zenfone 2 series, Asus has gained a potential market share in India and is now a well-established brand with an excellent price to value products portfolio. The Asus Zenfone 3 series is the latest entry in the country which aims to bank on its unique design language, So how well does the Zenfone 3 perform? Does it add the required fuel to the brand? Let’s find that out.
Asus Zenfone 3 Build and Design: One Best thing about the Zenfone 3 is its design, the glass back looks clean and elegant giving it a premium look. The device is slim at 7.7 mm though packing a massive 3000mAh battery. There is a metal rim running around the corners of the device which makes the device a bit heavier to hold.
Moving along to the design, on top you find the 3.5mm audio jack, a secondary mic for noise cancellation. On the front, you see a 5.5-inch 1080p display, primary microphone, an 8-megapixel front camera, three touch type capacitive buttons that aren’t backlit like any other Zenfone Smartphone, the usual set of sensors. To the right side, you just have the SIM tray, and on the left, you find Volume rockers and power on/off buttons that are tactile and give a good amount of feedback. Finally, to the bottom, you have the USB Type-C port, speaker grill, and mic.
Though there is no particular complaint regarding the design, one major complaint we have is that the device is slippery due to the glass build on the rear side. We have dropped the device twice by mistake. So, we recommend you to use cases so that you won’t damage it quickly.
Asus Zenfone 3 Display: The Asus Zenfone 3 sports a 5.5-inches 1080p display accounting to a pixel density of 401 PPI. The display is quite brilliant and bright with fantastic viewing angles. Watching content on the device should be a delight considering the excellent color reproduction. The display is visible in broad daylight which is a good thing. It comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection to protect it from drops and scratches. The 2.5D curved glass ensures that the phone fits comfortably in your hands.
Asus Zenfone 3 performance: The Asus Zenfone 3 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC with Adreno 506 GPU coupled with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. Talking about the device’s general day-to-day performance, we never really faced any significant lag or slowing down. However, things change once we start gaming. We played various games like Asphalt 8, Nova 3, Need for Speed run with highest graphic setting possible, and we did notice frame drops and lag here, and there but nothing like the games were unplayable.
The whopping 4GB RAM ensures proper multitasking, we had opened more than ten apps in the background but never saw traces of lag with the device. Regarding heating, during gaming, we did notice device getting a bit warm which has become quite common for most handsets these days but no heat in general usage whatsoever. Though the benchmark applications are there to calculate the device power, we never actually considered it as a bar to judge a smartphone. To put it in simple, The Asus Zenfone 3 shines with its performance too if you can manage to let go off the occasional frame drops and lag during Gaming.
Asus Zenfone 3 Camera: The Zenfone 3 comes with a 16-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0, laser/phase detection autofocus, OIS (4-axis), dual-LED flash and an 8-megapixel front camera. The device packs the very infamous owl mode which brings down the camera to 3-megapixel, but the owl mode ensures to give best possible result in extreme low-light conditions which is being proved earlier. It also comes with a Pro mode giving you full control over the settings like ISO, white balance, exposure and more.
Talking about the camera performance, the 16-megapixel sensor is a clear winner for Asus, the images shot with the camera are simply beautiful and have excellent color reproduction to them. The images shot under low-light has a right amount of details in them with fewer noise levels. We tried out the smartphone’s camera under various lighting conditions like low-light, daylight conditions and indoors. Except for the extreme indoor low-light, the device shined in every scenario. Same goes for the front camera; the selfies clicked have a decent amount of detail in them, and the wide-angle lens fits possible best detail in the image.
Asus Zenfone 3 Battery and OS: The Asus Zenfone 3 runs on Android 6.0.1 with Zen U.I on top. Just like earlier Zenfones, the ZF3 also comes with few bloatware apps but the good thing you can easily uninstall them to save up some space. The U.I comes with a theme store where you can install themes and change the look of your user interface once you feel bored with the previous look. The new icon pack looks cool, and when you change the theme, the icons will automatically switch to the newly applied theme. Though the user interface is near to stock, you can still personalize the device by changing Fonts, icon packs, themes, customized widgets and more.
The Zenfone 3 packs a massive 3000mAH battery, and it comes with battery saver options to save battery on the device. Talking about the battery performance, the 3000mAh battery was able to give us a day’s of battery life with a single charge, the standby time of the Zenfone 3 impressed us. With just 2-4% battery drain overnight, the Zenfone 3 standby time is simply amazing. However, one major complaint about the battery is that it doesn’t come with fast charge support meaning it will take over 2 hours to completely charge the device. Except for the fast charge, the battery performance on this guy is simply great.
Asus Zenfone 3 Fingerprint Sensor: The Zenfone 3 comes with a Fingerprint Sensor, and you can register up to 5 fingers. The fingerprint sensor is blazing fast and unlocks the device real quick. Apart from unlocking the phone, the Sensor can answer incoming calls if you tap and hold on the sensor, double tap on the fingerprint sensor will launch the camera, and you can click selfies with a single on the Fingerprint sensor.
Asus Zenfone 3 Connectivity and Other Features: The Asus Zenfone 3 comes with audio wizard app that allows you to customize the sound settings according to your liking. It comes with easy mode with a minimal U.I that will be easy to understand for aged users. The kid’s mode on board will limit the smartphone’s functionality that suits for kids. Other connectivity features like WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS function just the way you would expect.
Verdict: The Asus Zenfone 3 has a lot going but does it justifies the price tag the company is asking? Well, that’s a pretty big question. In this competitive market where companies are coming with flagship chipset like the Snapdragon 820 for a lesser price; Asus should have thought once before pricing the device. However, the beautiful display, above-average camera, though the device is slippery, the design sure is fantastic.
On the con side, the gaming on the ZF3 is not how one would expect, the slippery nature of the smartphone are a let down on some levels. To answer your million dollar question now, Zenfone 3 is without a doubt a decent smartphone but does it justifies the price tag? No. Asus should have priced it somewhere around Rs.15,000 to 18,000 which would have made it the best buy.