Power Packed Smartphone with Good Looks & Awesome Camera: ASUS ZenFone 3

ASUS has launched its new smartphone ZenFone 3 few days back in India. Built around 5.5-inch Full HD (1920 by 1080) Super IPS+ display with up to 600cd/m2 brightness, ZenFone 3 delivers an incredible visual experience that makes apps, videos, and games look their best. With a narrow bezel, ZenFone 3 provides a 77.3% screen-to-body ratio for a maximized viewing area in a slim and compact body. The front and rear of the phone feature scratch-resistant 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass that gently curves to make the edge of the phone completely smooth.

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Spec

Operating system: Android 6.0 Marshmallow With ASUS ZenUI 3.0
Display: 5.2 Super IPS+ LCD, 1920×1080
Back Camera: 16MP ASUS PixelMaster 3.0 Camera (Sony IMX298 sensor)
Front Camera: 8MP, 84-degree wide view
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 Octo-core – 14nm 8×2.0GHz ARM Coretex A53
GPU: Adreno 506
RAM: 3GB
Storage: 32GB, expandable up to 2TB via microSD card
Battery: 2650 mAh
Connectivity: 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Dual-SIM
Fingerprint sensor/Rear sensor: 5-finger registration /  360 degree recognition / 0.22 second unlock

In the box

Inside the box user get Handset, USB Cable Type C, ZenEar, Adaptor, User Manual & Warranty Card.

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Design

ASUS has changed its new ZenFone 3 design this time. They leaved last year ZenFone 2, ZenFone Laser, and ZenFone Deluxe design, where volume rocker keys were placed back side of smartphone and power button was on the top of smartphone. This time ASUS has changed ZenFone 3 design.

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Camera with flash and fingerprint sensor are placed backside of the smartphone. Speaker and charging port are placed bottom side of the smartphone. ZenFone 3 comes with Type-C port. For FM or Music lover, 3.5mm audio jack is placed on the top of the smartphone. Volume rocker key and power buttons are placed on the right side of the smartphone. SIM tray is placed left side of the smartphone. Battery is non-removable and it is attached inside smartphone. Toggle keys are placed on the bottom of front side, and front camera and LED notification are placed on the top of smartphone.

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Front and rear Gorilla Glass 3 panels – The front and rear of the ZenFone 3 are fully covered with protective sheets of tough Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Under the rear glass panel is etched the iconic ASUS hairline spun metal concentric circle pattern that is reminiscent of the water ripples of a pond, or the gravel circles of a Japanese Zen garden. This attractive pattern is especially prominent when viewed at an angle, with the light creating dynamic wedge-shaped reflections of the concentric circle pattern that shift as the viewer’s gaze changes.

Both the front and rear glass panels have “2.5D” contoured edges that, from the side, look like the meniscus of a water drop on a flat surface. This contouring fuses the panels seamlessly into the diamond cut metallic edges of the phone’s aluminum alloy frame.

Fingerprint sensor – The ZenFone 3’s fingerprint sensor is conveniently positioned near the top of its rear panel, allowing the user’s index finger rest naturally on it. The fingerprint sensor allows for rapid unlocking of the phone in just 0.22 second, and can also be used for authentication by other apps. It lets up to five fingerprints to be registered, and it can detect them regardless of the direction of the fingers placed on it.

Rounded, sandblasted aluminum alloy frame – The aluminum alloy frame of the ZenFone 3 is rounded and has a finely sandblasted surface. The contoured edges of the glass, combined with these rounded edges make the ZenFone 3 a delight to behold with the eye, and pleasure to hold in the hand.

Display

The display of the ZenFone 3 is composed of a 5.5-inch, Full HD (1920 x 1080) Super IPS+ panel. FHD 1920 x 1080 is the most common resolution of high definition Blu-Ray movies available today, making the ZenFone 3 ideal for playing them in their full high-resolution glory. With a brightness of 600nits, the display is also one of the brightest for the ZenFone 3’s screen size and among smartphones in its price class. Being an IPS panel, it has a wide viewing angle of 178 degrees, making it clearly readable from any direction.

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The display also has a very slim bezel of that is only 2.1mm wide. This pushes the screen-to-body ratio to a high 77.3%, meaning that the screen area is maximized while the phone’s body and bulk is minimized. This is much higher compared to even the Apple iPhone 6 plus which has a screen-to-body ratio of 68%, and makes the ZenFone 3 one of the world’s smallest phones with a 5.5-inch display.

Hardware

The ZenFone 3 is the world’s first smartphone to use Qualcomm’s latest SnapDragon 625 processor and its accompanying Adreno 506 graphics engine.

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Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 CPU and Adreno 506 GPU – The Snapdragon 625 is a powerful mobile processor featuring eight ARM Coretex A53 cores and a speed of 2.0GHz. It is based on the industry’s very latest 14 nanometer processor manufacturing technology that makes it powerful, yet super-efficient. In fact, it uses about 35% less power per day compared to the older Snapdragon 617 processor.

The Snapdragon 625 is accompanied by the Adreno 506 GPU which gives avid mobile gamers realistic 3D imagery and developers with support for the latest graphics APIs.

It also has an integrated X9 LTE modem, and 802.11ac MU-MIMO Wi-Fi connectivity, PC-grade graphics and 3GB RAM that together deliver outstanding mobile performance with improved efficiency and battery life. The ZenFone 3 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 0.22 seconds.

Software

The ZenFone 3 runs on the latest version of Google Android 6.0 (Marshmallow), and features the latest ZenUI 3.0 interface.

New UI – ZenUI 3.0 features a new interface with better customization, and useful appearance tweaks that include the following:

ZenMotion Touch Gesture allows the rapid launch of apps from standby simply by writing a letter on the ZenFone 3’s blank screen. Default apps and their associated letters are

  •  “W” for browser
  • “S” for calendar
  •  “e” for email
  • “Z” for ASUS boost
  •   “V” for phone

GameGenie – GamGenie is a new game supporting app that automatically starts when a game launch is detected. Pressing its discreet floating icon will allow users to stream live game screens to social media platforms, and provides an in-game browser which is useful for finding tips, walkthroughs, guide videos and cheats.

Camera

PixelMaster 3.0 is the brand of the entire camera system in the ZenFone 3. It is a combination of advanced hardware – sourced from the industry’s best experts as well as developed in-house, coupled with proprietary ASUS software tuning and tweaks.

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The ZenFone 3’s main rear camera uses Sony’s latest 16-megapixel Exmor RS IMX298 sensor. Its 16-megapixel resolution is higher than many cameras of top-of-the-line models from competing brands, not to mention smartphones in the same price range as the ZenFone 3. This enables the ZenFone 3 to either zoom in more clearly, or create more detailed full-resolution photos than its competitors. This high resolution also allows the ZenFone 3 to have its photos printed onto large photo media or cropped in post processing with minimal detail loss compared to smartphones with lower resolutions.

ASUS ZenFone 3 camera Samples

Deep Trench Isolation (DTI) – The ZenFone 3’s sensor features a technology called Deep Trench Isolation or “DTI”. DTI produces clearer and finer photo details by preventing light hitting the surface of a pixel on the sensor from leaking to its neighboring ones through its transparent structure below. DTI does this by using embedding the rows and columns of pixels in microscopic trenches with walls that separate them. These trench walls prevent photons of light from leaking from one to another and isolate the light hitting the surface of the pixel to that pixel only – hence the technology’s name.

Color Correction Sensor – Photos shot in overly strong warm (yellowish) or cool (bluish), or mixed lighting environments often
appear with inaccurate colors. The ZenFone 3’s color correction sensor resolves this by first detecting the lighting in the scene and
automatically adjusting the resulting colors in the photo to look natural and accurate.

0.03 Second “TriTech” Autofocus – The ZenFone 3 is also among the very few phones to offer a triple technology autofocus system that combines 1) an advanced second generation laser, with 2) phase detection and 3) conventional contrast detection for continuous focus, that achieve extremely rapid 0.03 second autofocus in any environment. The advanced system is also able to achieve continuous autofocus on moving subjects.

The ZenFone 3’s laser focusing is one of the technologies of the phone’s “TriTech” autofocus system.  Now into its second generation, this laser focusing system has a longer range of 1.5 meters – which is over three that of typical laser focus systems found in other phones.

4-axis Photo OIS – Handheld shooting of photos with slow shutter speeds in environments that need them often result in blurring. The ZenFone 3’s optical image stabilization (OIS) system detects hand movements along four axes – 1) up and down shifting (Y-axis), 2) left to right shifting (X-axis), 3) pitch (up-down pivoting), and 4) yaw (left-right pivoting) – and instantaneously moves the sensor in the exact magnitude and direction of the movements detected. This OIS system enables the photographer to use shutter speeds that are up to four stops slower, and can mean the difference between blur or sharp photos shot with slow shutter speeds. Furthermore, OIS is a very rare camera feature for phones in the same price range as the ZenFone 3. Even then, those with OIS can only achieve a three stop slower shutter speed.

3-axis Video EIS – Handheld videos shot with the ZenFone 3 are kept steady during recording using its electronic image stabilization (EIS) system. The system senses movements along three axes – 1) pitch (up-down pivoting), 2) yaw (left-right pivoting) and 3) roll – and
automatically corrects them with its powerful imaging processor by comparing frames and removing the shaking motion.

4K Video Recording – The EIS video output of the ZenFone 3 has a maximum resolution of 4K (3840 × 2160). Made possible by the phone’s high resolution sensor, 4K videos offer incredible detail that is a whopping four times that of Full HD (1920 x 1080) and
also matches the resolution of the highest resolution TVs currently in the market.

HDR Pro and Real Time HDR – In HDR Pro mode, the camera is able to analyze photos and create the perfect exposure by intelligently lowering the brightness in overexposed sections, and increasing the brightness by up tp 400% in underexposed parts. The result is a photo with greater detail and well exposed sections throughout. This mode is good for taking photos with extremely contrasting lighting – like shooting a subject in the shadows against a bright background. Unlike the HDR modes of other smartphones, the ZenFone 3’s HDR photo results are shown in real time on the display when framing the shot – so what you see is what you get as the
resulting photo.

HDR Pro and Real Time HDR – In HDR Pro mode, the camera is able to analyze photos and create the perfect exposure by intelligently lowering the brightness in overexposed sections, and increasing the brightness by up tp 400% in underexposed parts. The result is a photo with greater detail and well exposed sections throughout. This mode is good for taking photos with extremely contrasting lighting – like shooting a subject in the shadows against a bright background. Unlike the HDR modes of other smartphones, the ZenFone 3’s HDR photo results are shown in real time on the display when framing the shot – so what you see is what you get as the
resulting photo.

Low Light Mode – In low light conditions, the ZenFone 3’s Low Light Mode can combine four adjacent pixels on its sensor to work as a single large pixel that has far greater light sensitivity. This mode increases the light sensitivity of the sensor by up to 400%, allowing photos to be shot in low light conditions at faster shutter speeds that prevent blurring, and/or without the harsh, overpowering light of a flash. Although using this mode causes the photo resolution to be reduced to a quarter of the original sensor’s resolution, it is better to
be able to shoot in dark environments than not at all, and the ZenFone 3’s high resolution is still able to produce a decent 4 megapixel photo in this mode. This low light mode, combined with the OIS of the ZenFone 3, allows it to shoot clearer photos in dim conditions compared to other smartphones.

Professional manual creative controls – A scene can be interpreted in many ways, and the phones’ auto or preset modes may not always render the photo you want. For this, the ZenFone 3 offers users a set of manual controls. These professional creative settings include custom white balance, Exposure Value (EV), ISO sensitivity, shutter speed and focus, making the ZenFone 3 a powerful tool for learning the fundamental skills of photography, and allowing users to creatively shoot scenes in many different interpretations.

32 second slow shutter mode – The most impressive of the ZenFone 3’s manual creative controls is the slow shutter mode that allows photos to be shot with up to 32 seconds of exposure time. Typically used for low light or night photos, this mode is ideal for shooting night landscapes, capturing the light streaks of passing traffic or capturing stationary subjects in very low light conditions without the harsh lighting of a flash. This mode needs the phone to be shot from a stable, non-moving platform, and is best used with a self-timer so that the pressing of the shutter button doesn’t cause shaking that will blur the resulting photo.

Comprehensive Preset Modes – The ZenFone 3’s camera provides a comprehensive collection of pre-set modes that optimize it to shoot in just about any environment and any subject. Highlights include special effect filters, a miniature mode that makes subjects appear like mini toy figures, automated unwanted element removal, an automated beautification mode for human portraits as well as an automated time-lapse mode. In particular, the HDR Pro mode is able to display the resulting HDR photo during live framing – so you can see the results before you even shoot – which is unique among smartphone cameras that can also shoot HDR photos.

Panorama Mode – The perfect mode for wide landscapes, Panorama allows users to pan the camera from one side of landscape to another while the camera automatically captures the separate frames and stitches them together to for a wide panoramic photo.

Depth of Field mode – Excellent for close-up subjects or human portraits, this mode intelligently increases the blurring of the background so as to emphasize the main subject.

Miniature Mode – A truly whimsical and fun setting, Miniature mode is able to make subjects appear like toy models in a diorama. In this mode, the camera allows you to choose a horizontal or vertical band for the miniaturization effect to be applied to your subjects.

Time Rewind Mode – In Time rewind mode, the camera shoots a rapid burst of frames in sequence for up to two seconds, after which it allows the user to choose frames from an interactive timeline to save. This mode is ideal for fast moving subjects like children, pets or sportspeople in action.

All Smiles – The all smiles mode is a little similar to Time Rewind mode because it also shoots several frames in rapid sequence. But instead of a time limit of two seconds, All Smiles mode shoots five frames which it then presents on its interface, allowing the best ones to be chosen for saving.

Gif Animation Mode – Animated Gif images are simple animations composed of a repeating loop of sequential images. They are super easy and fun to create using the Gif Animation Mode. Simply shoot your subject in this mode and the camera will compile the photo sequence as an animated gif image. The interface even allows you to modify the speed of the animation before saving.

Battery 

The high power efficiency of the ZenFone 3’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, coupled with its high 3000mAh battery capacity. The ZenFone 3 also comes with a high power, 5-Volt, 2-amp charger that allows it to provide 2 hours of talk time with just a 5-imute charge.

Verdict

People looking for a smartphone with a 5 or 5.2-inch screen, good camera quality and want to play games on smartphone without any lag, can consider the ZenFone 3.

@Technuter.com News Service

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