Asus showcased their Zenfone Zoom at the CES this January, and then they launched the phone in an event held in Agra in the month of January. The Zenfone Zoom differs from all the other smartphone because of one thing, its camera. The camera on the Zenfone Zoom features 3X Optical Zoom, and this is the selling point of this device. Today, let’s cover the full review of the device in this article.
Asus Zenfone Zoom Full Specs
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Asus Zenfone Zoom India Unboxing and Quick Overview [Video]
What are Usage Reviews, Tests and Opinions?
This review is based on our quick tests and usage did with the phone, we try to push the device to its limits and find out the results which will matter if you plan to buy this phone. We hope this review helps you to get your queries answered about the device.
The Asus Zenfone Zoom features a 2.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Processor, coupled with 4GB of RAM and a massive 128GB of internal storage. The performance of this device is buttery smooth and it just flies through all the tasks that we throw at it with ease. In no case, I noticed the phone lagging while launching any daily use apps or even heavy games. This was possible with the 4GB RAM and the Intel processor.
App Launch Speed
The app launch speed on the Zenfone Zoom is pretty quick. There is no lag when launching any app whatsoever. The apps launch as soon as you touch the icon on the screen.
Multitasking and RAM Management
Upon first booting the device, you’ll find around 2.6GB of RAM free out of the 4GB RAM listed on the box. This is pretty common with all phones with 4GB of RAM.
When using the phone for long periods of time and switching between apps, the app switching was smooth and quick. The apps didn’t need to be reloaded most of the time because the app state was already saved in the memory.
When I loaded a heavy web page, our own homepage, the scrolling speed from top to bottom and back was quick. The rendering of the text and images on the web page when scrolling was also quick.
While using the device, I did not notice any excessive heating. The only time I noticed the device heating was when I played a game for a long period of time on the smartphone. Even then, the phone did not become uncomfortably hot.
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The camera of the Asus Zenfone Zoom is the main selling point of the device, and it does live up to its expectations more or less. The phone’s camera performs really well even in low lighting conditions, allowing you to take good shots with the device. The 3X Optical Zoom on the device helps a lot in taking pictures of objects are a far in the distance. Overall, the pictures came out good with the Zenfone Zoom, and I had no complaint about the quality of the images that came out of the device.
The Camera UI on the Asus Zenfone Zoom is pretty plain and simple, just like older Zenfone models. It has a quick capture button on the bottom, along with a video recording button and a button to select different modes. At the top, there is quick access to settings, changing the camera and controlling the flash. Other than all this, the UI is pretty simple and clean, just like I described it earlier.
Day Light Photo Quality
Low Light Photo Quality
3X Optical Zoom Photo Quality
3X Zoom Image
Selfie Photo Quality
Asus Zenfone Zoom Camera Samples
The videos recorded with the Zenfone Zoom turned out to be really good with decent noise cancellation. The videos were tested with both the front camera and the rear camera, and the quality for both the phones was great.
The battery performance of the Asus Zenfone Zoom is something where it does not perform that well. The phone has a 3000mAh battery, but still it is not sufficient to keep the phone powered on for a long time. Over a night, when I left the phone at 100%, with WiFi turned off, the phone lost around 12% battery. The next night, it again lost around 11% battery overnight. This is something that bugged me a lot. Overall, when using the phone constantly, it was able to go through a full day without any hassle but the overnight discharge is something that bothered me a lot.
The charging time on the Zenfone Zoom is pretty low, because of the Quick Charge 2.0 support that the phone has. When charging the phone with the bundled charger, the device was able to charge from 5% to 100% in about 1 hour and 20 minutes. The initial charge on the device was really fast because of the quick charge current and voltage.
Screen on Time
During my usage, on a typical day, I used to get around 3 hours and 30 minutes of screen on time. This screen on time is really ordinary that we get on a lot of smartphones these days. It would have been better to see a bit better battery life on the Zenfone Zoom.
Looks and Design
The Asus Zenfone Zoom features a plastic build all over with a removable back cover. Only the rims on the device are built with metal. The front of the device features a 5.5-inch full HD screen, along with a 5-megapixel front camera and touch-capacitive keys that are not backlit. The back of the phone houses the main part of the phone, the 13-megapixel primary camera with 3X Optical Zoom and a dual LED Flash.
At the bottom of the phone, you’ll find the microUSB port for charging and data sync and a hole to put the lanyard in along with the primary microphone of the device. At the top, you’ll find the noise cancellation microphone along with the 3.5mm headphone jack.
On the right edge of the phone you’ll find the volume rocker on the top, along with the power button. At the bottom of the right edge, you’ll find a dedicated camera shutter button and a video recording button.
Asus Zenfone Zoom Photo Gallery
Quality of Material
The quality of the materials used on the phone is good. The phone feels good in the hand, though bulky and the quality of the materials used feels premium though it’s plastic.
The phone is a large device, sporting a 5.5-inch screen on the front and because of the 13-megapixel camera with the optical zoom, the phone is also a bit bulky. It feels heavy when using it with one hand and can sometimes be uncomfortable to hold in the hand.
Display Clarity, Colors and Viewing Angles
The display on the phone is a 1080p full HD display. The display is really clear and has vibrant colours popping out of it. Though it is not an AMOLED display, it still looks really good. Also, the viewing angles on the device are great. It does not distort when viewing at extreme angles even.
Outdoor Visibility (Full Brightness)
When the phone is kept at full brightness, the screen is visible outside in direct sunlight without any problem.
Custom User Interface
The Zenfone Zoom features a custom Android skin based on Android Lollipop 5.0 called the Zen UI. This Zen UI is something that we have seen on all previous Zenfones from Asus. The UI offers a great experience overall with quick settings and quick access functions in the navigation drop down from the top.
The app drawer on the smartphone is pretty much what we’ve seen on other Zenfone models with two separated sections for apps and widgets. Other than this, all the stock smartphone apps have been modified to look like they belong with the Zenfone UI.
The speakers on the Asus Zenfone Zoom are located at the back, just under the camera. Because of this placement of the speakers, it is very easy to cover them up when holding the phone in the hand. When the speaker is not covered with the hand, the overall sound quality from the speakers is good and loud, just the way I’d like it to be.
Moving over to the call quality of the Zenfone Zoom, I’d say that the call quality was excellent. During my usage of the device, I used to be on calls for over 2 hours a day on this device itself, and I could hear the other person well without any issues. Also, the other person could hear my voice well without any issues at all.
The gaming on the Asus Zenfone Zoom is something that was surprising. With a phone that packs 4GB of RAM and an Intel Quad-core CPU, I expected much more from the phone. When playing light titles like Dead Trigger 2, the phone handled it pretty well, but when moving to heavier games such as Asphalt 8 or Modern Combat 5, the device would lag a bit after 15-20 minutes of gaming. I would notice a few frame drops and also stutter in rendering parts of the game.
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Game Lag & Heating
As mentioned above, the phone did lag a bit when playing some heavy titles on the device, but that wasn’t much of a lag. As far as the heating is concerned, the phone did not heat during short gaming sessions, but during long gaming sessions, the device would end up heating a bit. Even when the device got hot, it was not really hot that would force me to keep the phone down.
Overall, the Asus Zenfone Zoom is a really good device to use. The camera on the device is the main selling point, and the camera does perform as expected. I was able to take a lot of good shots with this camera and the thing that helped me the most with the camera was the optical zoom. Optical zoom takes the camera to a whole new level. The only problem that I would say I faced with the device was that of the battery backup and a bit lag when playing graphic intensive games.