Taiwanese company Asus is well known for its ZenFone range of devices and especially the brilliant cameras featured on some of them. The company is known for taking its camera smartphones quite seriously. It is also one of the first companies to launch a phone equipped with laser autofocus.
This was named the ZenFone Laser and came with a very economic price tag. Not only that, Asus is also one of the first companies to launch a device that came with 13-megapixel front and rear cameras, the ZenFone Selfie.
The latter is a mid-range device and comes with a budget price tag as well. Asus has designed something unique with ZenFone Zoom. This is in fact, a true high-end offering from Asus and this is a phone that is firmly focused on camera performance.
The ZenFone Zoom was announced in CES 2015 and comes with an impressive set of hardware with a high price tag. Asus has declared it to be the world’s thinnest 3X Optical Zoom smartphone. Keep in mind that optical zoom in smartphones is not at all a new concept. However, cramming in a 3X optical zoom inside a 12mm body is certainly a new one.
It seems like Asus has placed a lot of thought on this particular device. Sadly, the device doesn’t come together all that well, in the end. Once you look at this device, you will understand this is not your typical ZenFone.
The device is quite different in a good way. The device is like Nokia Lumia 1020 meets Samsung Galaxy K Zoom meets ZenFone 2 and we love it. This is in fact, one of the best mash-ups to ever occur on a Zenfone device.
The Zoom’s shell is made up of bits of metal along with leather. The back panel is made up of leather and this is removable with the microSD card slot and non-removable battery located inside. The plush leather is responsible for a premium look and feel to this device. The device somehow reminds you of the LG G4.
However the center of attraction is the camera hump which has a certain Lumia 1020 camera hump feel. Thankfully, it doesn’t stick out as prominently as in the 1020. The metal remains restricted to the outer frame. The Zenfone has a dedicated camera shutter along with video recording buttons which are located on the right side.
The volume rocker and power buttons are placed above them. However, the left side remains totally vacant. Everything in the device, starting from tactile feedback to button placement is all spot on. The front has the characteristic Zenfone feel and sports chunky bezels and lower concentric semi-circles strip.
Sadly, the Zoom isn’t a slim device at all. At the same time, it isn’t feather light as well. It is bulkier and thicker than the Moto X Style, measuring at 185 grams and 12mm. You will feel the weight of this device on your hand. The phone is also quite slippery to hold on to. Thankfully, it comes with a wrist strap inside the box.
The ZenFone Zoom sports a 5.5inch Full HD IPS Display with a native resolution of 1920×1080 and comes with 401ppi pixel density. The device is further protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4. Compared to the Zenfone 2, the screen of this device looks brighter and punchier.
The viewing angles are decent but the problem is the cut-throat competition located at this price point. Samsung’s Galaxy S6, Huawei’s Nexus 6P and Motorola’s Moto X Style all come with QuadHD screens.