Asus Zenfone Zoom Review : Camera phone that actually impresses

Asus Zenfone Zoom
Asus Zenfone Zoom

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Asus announced its Zenfone Zoom camera centric phone almost a year ago, and now the phone is available in India for Rs. 37999. This is the thinnest phone with 3X optical zoom capability. This phone is not only about camera, other hardware specifications are also fine. But pricing seems to be high because we have many other flagship devices available with better hardware specifications. Is it worth to buy for this price? Let’s check out in the detail review.

You can buy it from: Flipkart For Rs. 37999.

Asus Zenfone Zoom : Camera that actually impresses

Note: Unboxing and review videos are at the end of article. 

Design

Asus usually bring heavy and thick devices but this Zenfone Zoom is not following the tradition design. It feels good with metal frame and leather back. Similar to Lumia 1020, it has large circular camera bump. Impressive thing is that company managed to keep the thickness low.
Asus Zenfone Zoom

Company has also placed power buttons and volume rockers at the right side of the device. So, these keys are easy to reach. Dedicated camera buttons are also there at the right side. One for video recording and one for photo shoot. Pressing these keys for few seconds will directly open camera app.

MicroUSB port with primary microphone is at the below side while 3.5 mm auto port and secondary microphone are at top side.

Back panel is removable but you cannot remove battery.

Zenfone Zoom

Overall Zenfone Zoom feels very well built and nice device. Phone is heavy but it is easy to hold in hand.

Also See: Asus Zenfone Zoom Photo Gallery

Display

Asus Zenfone Zoom features a 5.5 inch full HD display with Gorilla Glass 3 protection. Display is good and does not attract fingerprints. Display can play HD and Full HD videos without any issue. Good viewing angles offer you better experience on the display.

Asus Zenfone Zoom

Sunlight visibility is also good. So, you can easily check your phone if you are outside. Be sure to have high brightness for this. But this is not the one of the brightest display.

User Interface

Asus Zenfone Zoom runs on Android 5.0 with Zen UI at top. Zen UI offers various components and lets you customize various things. Various ZenUI apps are also available to install while few comes pre-installed. The only issue is too many bloatwares but internal storage is too much to worry.

App drawer is there where you can see apps grouped in folders or separate. App drawer comes with infinte scroll. So, you do not need to come back. Swiping any side will repeat content.

Zenfone Zoom Review

In themes section, you will see various attractive themes. Few paid themes are also there if you are ready to pay for attractive customization. Not just themes, you can also download icons, wallpapers and more. Heavy theme can improve the performance. So, you may consider switching back to original theme if you find any trouble.

UI still needs improvements. Sometimes, I faced lag while switching apps. Camera app also crashed when I was playing with different options. But for normal users, these things will not be there.

Performance

Performance of Asus Zenfone Zoom is impressive. It is powered by 2.3 Ghz quad-core Intel Atom Z3580 processor with 4 GB RAM. Even if we can get octa-core processor in for much lesser price, this phone was performing well. I didn’t face any trouble while doing heavy multitasking. Web browsing was smooth, pinch to zoom was fine and apps switching was good.

Gaming performance is also awesome. I tested this phone with various heavy games. PowerVR G6430 GPU is capable of handling high-end graphics. Games run smooth for longer time without increasing the temperature of the phone. Phone only gets warmer after more than an hour of gaming. If you love playing games on your phone, this phone will impress you.

Benchmark scores are low and it was expected due to quad-core processor. But low score doesn’t affect performance.

benchmark Zenfone Zoom

Camera

It features a 13 megapixels rear camera with dual color real tone flash, laser auto-focus, 10-element Hoya lens, and optical image stabilization. At front, it has a 5 megapixels front camera. This is the thinnest smartphone with 3X optical zoom.

DSC_0338

Camera app is powerful with many modes and settings. You get many camera modes to choose from. I faced crashes with camera issues few times but that was not frequent.

camera app UI

Dedicated camera buttons are also there to record video and capture photo quickly. You can also use these buttons to launch camera directly.

We had a separate article on camera review of Zenfone Zoom. So, it is worth to check that. I found this camera working great. In day-light, it was awesome. With optical zoom, you will enjoy capturing photos from distance. In low-light, photos are bit noisy but better that we have seen in many flagship devices.

As the phone is basically about camera. I miss 4K video recording and front flash in this camera.

Connectivity

Zenfone Zoom is a single SIM phone supporting 4G. This can be a bit disappointment. Other connectivity options are Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Hotspot, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, NFC and micro USB.

Asus Zenfone Zoom

Multimedia and Sound

Zenfone Zoom offers good sound experience. It comes with a earphone which is good enough to enjoy music. Speaker is at back and offers loud and clear sound. In call, you can listen clear and loud voice.

Battery

It is packed with 3000 mAh battery which does perform well and offers a full day of usage. You can even improve the battery life with the help of given battery modes to save more battery for you. This phone takes around 1 hour and 40 minutes in full charging with the charger given inside the box. This fast charger can charge up to 70% in just an hour.

I also found that its UI is consuming too much power even if you are not using your phone. We can expect the fix for this soon.

Final verdict

Zenfone Zoom is good in terms of performance, camera, battery, gaming and other. But lack of fingerprint sensor is disappointing. It is because phone was announced last year in January when this was not in trend. I also missed front flash that can be fulfil by using Zenflash. But 4K recording should have been there. In short phone is awesome but bit overpriced. For this price point, I will recommend Nexus 6P for complete package. This phone is ahead of its time with its 3X optical zoom and impressive camera hardware. This is why, it is costly.

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Asus Zenfone Zoom

7.9 Score

"Zenfone Zoom impresses with its camera and overall performance. Camera does well job with its 3X optical zoom. But lack of few key things disappoints. Bit overpriced but perfect phone for those who are looking for good camera in smartphone."

The Good

  • Good Camera
  • Good design
  • Good performance
  • Battery performance is fine

The Bad

  • UI Lags sometimes

Breakdown

  • Design 70%
  • Display 70%
  • Performance 75%
  • Camera 90%
  • Gaming 80%
  • Battery 70%