Asus; A company that kept its focus on budget segment until last year. This year the company looks like it has started to up its game by launching premium smartphones that are a bit out of their strong zone. The Asus Zenfone 3 series went official in India a while ago now, and the company has started launching devices under the same series since then just like it does every year. Asus Zenfone 3 Laser is the successor to the last year’s Zenfone 2 laser which was a smash hit not just because of its camera, but because it was affordable, unlike this year’s laser which is more of a mid-ranger. So, how well does the new pricing and combined with new design language helps the Zenfone 3 laser? Let’s check out.
Asus Zenfone 3 Design and Build: Up until Zenfone 2, Asus stuck with plastic & leather build, but with Zenfone 3, the company moved to the metal and same goes with the Zenfone 3 laser. The Asus Zenfone 3 Laser is all metal unibody build. The typical candy bar design of the Zenfone 3 Laser is not something we haven’t seen, so it’s clear that the company is just playing safe without tweaking around much with the design. On the top, we have the 3.5 mm Audio jack and a secondary microphone for noise cancellation. On the bottom, it has the microUSB port along with speaker grills and primary microphone.
On the right, it has the volume rockers, power on/off button. To the left, it has the SIM tray which takes in either Dual SIMS or single SIM and a microSD. Up front, an 8-megapixel shooter, usual set of sensors, earpiece, 5.5-inch 1080p display and three touch type capacitive buttons which do not light up which is the case with most Asus smartphones.
Asus Zenfone 3 Laser Display: The Asus Zenfone 3 Laser sports a 5.5-inches 1080p display. The display is bright, and the color reproduction is perfect, so are the viewing angles. As it is an IPS grade display we never had a problem with the color contrasts and viewing angles. As we said, the display is bright enough to use it under broad daylight. Media consumption on the Zenfone 3 Laser was never a problem. Overall a decent display to vouch for.
Asus Zenfone 3 Performance and OS: The Asus Zenfone 3 Laser is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 SoC clocked at 1.4GHz Octa-Core processor with Adreno 505 GPU. It packs 4GB RAM and 32GB storage, However, you can expand the internal storage via a microSD card. Coming back to the Zenfone 3 Laser performance, the general day-to-day usage is more than decent with no lags or stutters. Checking emails, push notifications, a couple of phone calls include our standard usage. Multitasking at the same is also a bliss with no lags noticed while switching between apps; RAM management could have been a bit better as we noticed Apps running out of memory more often than not.
Talking about the Gaming, we played games like Asphalt 8, Nova 3, Need for Speed Run and few low-end games like temple run 2, Subway surfers. Though the list of games includes high-end games, we felt games like those define the real performance. With highest graphic settings, we noticed frame drops and lag with games like Asphalt 8, Nova 3. Need for Speed Run ran just fine without any lag or frame drop. And just like you would expect, Subway Surfers and Temple Run 2 worked out brilliantly. To put it in simple, Gaming performance of the Zf3 Laser is a hit or a miss, when you have fewer apps running in the background, Games ran just fine with no lag. Expect for high-end gaming, the Zenfone 3 laser’s performance is brilliant.
The Zenfone 3 Laser runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Zen U.I on top. Just like any other Zenfone smartphones, Laser also comes with enough bloatware to hate the device. However, Asus gives you an option to uninstall them without having to root. The new updated Zen U.I 3.0 comes with brand new updated icons packs, theme support, wallpaper collection, font changer support, font resize and much more. The Zen U.I 3.0 is very close to stock, and we have nothing to complain about except for the fact that bloatware apps are annoying.
Asus Zenfone 3 Laser Cameras: The Asus Zenfone 3 Laser features a 13-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0, laser autofocus, dual-Tone Dual LED flash and on the front, there is an 8-megapixel shooter with f/2.0 for better selfies and video calls. Talking about the camera performance, the 13-megapixel shooter does an excellent job in natural lighting conditions and outdoors which is the case with any mid-ranger smartphone. The laser autofocus helps in focusing objects nearby very quickly.
However, the indoor shots and low-light shots come out just average with too much noise and lack details. On the front, the 8-megapixel shooter takes care of your selfies and video calls. The front camera performance is decent for selfies and video calls and is strictly limited to outdoors. We hope a serious OTA update might improve the camera performance in the coming days. When compared with the Zenfone 2 lasers camera performance, we think the Zenfone 3 Laser is not on par with its predecessor.
Asus Zenfone 3 Laser Fingerprint Sensor: Coping up with the current situation, Asus has included the Fingerprint sensor on the Zenfone 3 Laser and it is super fast. We have nothing to say about it. It’s quick in unlocking, and you can register up to 5 fingers.
Asus Zenfone 3 Laser Battery: The Asus Zenfone 3 laser packs a 3000mAh battery that lacks fast charging support. However, the battery performance is good enough; it gave us a screen on time of about 4:00-4:45 minutes with normal usage with WiFi/4G always on, push notifications, a couple of calls, emails, etc. Once we get into gaming, the battery started to drain faster than normal as the device started getting warm. As the device lacks fast charge support, it took us over 2:30 to charge completely from 0 to 100. Stand by time of the Zenfone 3 Laser is something that amazed us the most, the overnight drain is very minimal, and that’s a good thing about it.
Asus Zenfone 3 Laser Connectivity: Connectivity features include 4G VoLTE, Hybrid Dual SIM, WiFi 802.11b/g/n, GPS, microUSB port. As the device supports VoLTE, Jio SIM will work on it.
Conclusion: Now will I suggest the Zenfone 3 laser which is priced at Rs.18,999 currently? Well, to be frank, the device’s price seems ridiculously high when compared to likes of other brands like Xiaomi, Lenovo, etc. But, the Zenfone 3 laser sure seem like a good device though the higher pricing won’t justify it, the performance, decent battery life, fast fingerprint sensor, good display are some of the strong aspects of the Laser. However, average camera and laggy gaming experience should be a deal breaker for some who specifically require them.