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Review: Asus Zenfone 3 Looks Premium, Has a Delightful Camera

ASUS Zenfone 3 has got the looks backed by decent features. Should you buy it over the competition?

Published
Tech News
4 min read
Review: Asus Zenfone 3 Looks Premium, Has a Delightful Camera

This is a surprise package.

We honestly weren't expecting a lot from ASUS Zenfone 3, the brand's flagship device which has a legacy of being bogged down by bloatware and a complicated user interface.

We got the 3 GB version of the phone priced at Rs 21,999. So what exactly surprised us? Read on, and you shall find.

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Snapshot

Pros:

  • Metal and glass build – looks premium
  • Full HD display – crisp images
  • 3GB/4GB RAM – fast performance
  • Fast fingerprint sensor
  • Delightful camera

Cons:

  • Prone to cracks and smudges
  • A lot of unnecessary apps clog the system

What’s Good?

This smartphone looks beautiful. Period. Though, from the front and sides, the design cues are similar to Apple's iPhone and the back resembles Samsung's Galaxy 7. The smartphone has 2.5D Gorilla Glass finishing on both sides. The edges are rounded with silver chamfered edges. All of this effectively leads to a very handy and lightweight design. We resisted our urge to keep picking it up again and again.

Zenfone 3 runs a custom Android UI overlaid on Android 6.0 (Photo: Shiv Kumar Maurya/<b>The Quint</b>)
Zenfone 3 runs a custom Android UI overlaid on Android 6.0 (Photo: Shiv Kumar Maurya/The Quint)

Zenfone 3 has a long, rectangular fingerprint scanner on the back which is quite fast in recognising fingerprints. And once inside, the 5.2-inch Full HD screen takes over with crisp images. And games look vivid, playing on without any glitches, owing to 3GB of RAM coupled with the octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor.

The glass body at the back makes it slippery. (Photo: Shiv Kumar Maurya/<b>The Quint</b>)
The glass body at the back makes it slippery. (Photo: Shiv Kumar Maurya/The Quint)

The 2,650mAh battery again surprised us by lasting beyond a day, even when we were actively using it through the day. We also used it as a network hotspot because it had the Jio SIM. The call quality was good, and for the call drops, we can cast our doubts on Jio's network instability for now.

The 16-megapixel camera works to good effect. (Photo: Shiv Kumar Maurya/<b>The Quint</b>)
The 16-megapixel camera works to good effect. (Photo: Shiv Kumar Maurya/The Quint)

Now coming to the highlight of the smartphone – the camera. The smartphone is decently endowed with features here. An 8-megapixel selfie camera supports custom beauty modes, and clicks bright selfies.

The 16-megapixel camera on the back actually does good work in decently light surroundings. As the light drops, visible noise creeps in the photographs. We may be nitpicking, but all the photographs carry a bit of pastel look on deeper zoom levels, but that's passable for social media sharing requirements and other average usage.

Daylight photo sample on Zenfone 3 (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
Daylight photo sample on Zenfone 3 (Photo: The Quint)
Daylight photo sample on Zenfone 3 (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
Daylight photo sample on Zenfone 3 (Photo: The Quint)
Night photo sample on Zenfone 3 (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
Night photo sample on Zenfone 3 (Photo: The Quint)
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What’s Bad?

Bloatware. Bloatware. Zenfone 3, and we were aware. The smartphone runs a custom skin overlaid on Android 6.0, but it gets muddled by the various add-on apps which come pre-installed. There are a few other games and apps which were downloaded as soon as I finished setting up the device.

3.5mm headphone jack on Zenfone 3 (Photo: Shiv Kumar Maurya/<b>The Quint</b>)
3.5mm headphone jack on Zenfone 3 (Photo: Shiv Kumar Maurya/The Quint)

Since the device is mostly glass, it's basically quite delicate. It requires you to take good care while handling it, but then again you leave all your imprints and smudges across the phone. Hence, more cleaning needed per use.

The thinness of Zenfone 3 (Photo: Shiv Kumar Maurya/<b>The Quint</b>)
The thinness of Zenfone 3 (Photo: Shiv Kumar Maurya/The Quint)

Why Buy It?

Buy it for the quality of product, and the performance it delivers at a competitive price. In this segment it's head-on-head against LeEco Le Max 2, which comes with more RAM, bigger screen, more megapixels in the camera and a higher resolution screen.

The premium look, and handy design adds weight to Zenfone 3. But if your budget is flexible, have you heard about this device called OnePlus 3?

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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