THERE are now many mobile phone brands and models available in the market, but ever wondered what makes a good smartphone? In my opinion, a mobile device which has a good display and design, decent camera, long battery life, and most important, is comfortable to hold and fits easily into your pocket—such a mobile device ought to be the ideal companion. I am also of the view that mobile phones from Asus tend to tick most of the boxes I have mentioned above. Especially the devices from ZenFone series, which are feature-packed and bring a good mix of design and performance.
Recently, the Taiwanese device maker debuted its ZenFone 3 smartphone with a lot of fanfare in the capital. Asus’ latest device packs a premium design and materials into an easy-to-afford package. Its beautiful looks, good build and satisfying camera give it an advantage over other phones in the R25,000-30,000 price band; the ZenFone 3 retails for R27,999. Let us check out the finer details of the new Asus smartphone.
Built around a gorgeous 5.5-inch Full HD (1920 by 1080) Super IPS+ display with up to 600cd/m2 brightness, ZenFone 3 delivers a nice visual experience that makes apps, videos, and games visually appealing on the screen. The phone has a narrow bezel and this provides a 77.3% screen-to-body ratio for a maximised viewing area in a slim and compact body. The front and rear of the phone features scratch-resistant 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass that gently curves to make the edge of the phone completely smooth.
Switched on, the 5.5-inch full-HD display is bright and vibrant, and the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor is snappy. Company officials claim this is the first 600 tier processor using 14nm finFET process technology that makes it 35% more power efficient than 28nm processors. The phone also features an integrated X9 LTE modem, 802.11ac MU-MIMO Wi-Fi connectivity, PC-grade graphics and upto 4 GB RAM that together deliver good performance with improved efficiency and battery life.
Camera wise, the 16-megapixel rear lens with its four-axis optical image stabilisation does a good job with low-light shots. I took some sample shots in daylight and the snaps were crisp and clear with a lot of detail. On the front, the 8-megapixel shooter has the Asus Beauty Mode, which I feel selfie addicts might enjoy when playing around with some of the features.
Technical-speak, the phone is equipped with the latest Sony IMX298 sensor, six-element Largan lens with a large f/2.0 aperture, and subject-tracking TriTech auto-focus. The latter (TriTech auto-focus) technology combines three focusing technologies—laser, phase detection and continuous contrast-detection auto-focus—to achieve clear focus in 0.03 seconds, up to 10x faster than the blink of an eye. In simple words, the ZenFone 3 is a photographer’s delight.
Other than that, I liked the Sapphire-glass lens protection which ensures clarity and is resistant to scratches and damage. The ZenFone 3 offers both optical and electronic image stabilisation for blur-free shots and video. There’s a colour-correction sensor for true-colour photography and 4K UHD video recording too. ZenFone 3 also has a built-in fingerprint sensor that’s perfectly positioned on the rear of the phone to sit underneath the user’s finger and unlocks the phone in just 0.2 seconds.
During my week-long experience with the ZenFone 3, the phone came across as a nifty device that is powerful and versatile. Internet browsing is fast and there is no lag whatsoever while switching between apps. I had no issues with making calls; voices were clear and crisp.
Overall, the ZenFone 3 is a sturdy and powerful phone and designed to impress. Definitely a good choice if your priority is photos.