Back in August, Asus introduced a photography-centric smartphone, the Asus ZenFone Zoom S with a dual rear camera. Sporting a 5.5-inch display and a Snapdragon 625 processor, the Asus ZenFone Zoom S comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage.
Another highlight of the Asus ZenFone Zoom S is the 5,000 mAh battery. While the phone lags behind in the Android version as it still runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the company is keeping up with ZenUI updates. We got our hands on the Asus ZenFone Zoom S and here is our opinion on the various aspects of this smartphone from Asus.
Asus ZenFone Zoom S Specifications
The Asus ZenFone Zoom S features a premium build. The phone is good to hold and features a metal body. The front accommodates the camera and sensors array and earpiece at the top and capacitive navigation keys at the bottom.
At the back, you get horizontally set dual rear cameras with dual-tone flash at the top left corner. The fingerprint sensor is placed in the centre of the upper half while the Asus branding is visible in the bottom half of the phone.
The right side of the phone features the volume rocker and the lock button. SIM and memory card tray is located on the left side.
The USB Type-C port, 3.5mm earphone jack, and the speaker grille are located at the bottom of the Asus ZenFone Zoom S.
Coming to the display, the Asus ZenFone Zoom S features a 5.5-inch AMOLED panel with Full HD resolution. It comes with Gorilla Glass 5 and has thick bezels at the top.
The display is crisp and sharp even in direct sunlight. The glare and reflectiveness is low; colour reproduction is quite good, thanks to the AMOLED display and good colour calibration. The touch is responsive and the feedback is good too.
The Asus ZenFone Zoom S is marketed as a photography-centric smartphone. It packs a dual rear camera with one standard and one zoom lens combination. The standard lens is a 12MP unit with f/1.7 aperture and a Sony IMX362 sensor. It also has 4-axis OIS to help users with shaky hands.
The rear zoom lens is also a 12MP unit with 2.3x optical zoom and 12x total zoom. The front-facing camera on the Asus ZenFone Zoom S is a 13MP Sony IMX214 sensor with f/2.0 aperture.
The camera UI is smooth and easy to use. The shutter button along with video button is at the bottom of the screen. Although when you press the video button, it takes about 1 to 2 seconds o switch to video mode and starts recording.
Different modes are accessible from the bottom left while images can be previewed from the right. Other commands are also easily accessible and the camera UI works well.
We took the Asus ZenFone Zoom S for testing its cameras. We tested the smartphone in different lighting conditions with a focus on its zooming capabilities. Let’s have a look at the results.
The Dual rear cameras on the Asus ZenFone Zoom S worked pretty well under natural lighting. The colours are accurately captured and there is no shutter lag even at 5x zoom. The only problem with the camera here is that there is a visible loss of detail once you zoom it more than 5x, which is acceptable.
Artificial light Samples
Under artificial lighting, we saw the camera retain a good detail and reproduce accurate colours. The problem of grains is more persistent in artificial lighting, especially after 2.3x zoom.
Low light Samples
Coming to low light photography, the camera does not show any shutter lag, which is good. The images captured are above average. We say so because the grains are visible even without zooming in low light photography.
Hardware and Storage
In the hardware department, the Asus ZenFone Zoom S features a Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor clocked at 2.0GHZ and coupled with Adreno 506 GPU. This combination is complemented with 4GB RAM, 64GB onboard storage with up to 2TB expandable memory.
Snapdragon 625 has become a favourite of many companies and users due to its power efficiency and performance. This processor combined with the massive 5000mAh battery in the Zenfone Zoom S, you can expect the phone to easily last more than one day of heavy usage. 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage should also suffice the needs of most users out there, but Asus has included support for microSD cards just in case you need more storage.
Software and Performance
The Asus ZenFone Zoom S runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow out-of-the-box. However, just after setting up the phone you will get an update to Android 7.1.1 Nougat with ZenUI 4.0. The ZenUI makes the phone look somewhat cluttered.
There are certain pre-installed apps that cannot be removed, which can be a off-putting for some users. Although the fingerprint sensor is blazing fast in unlocking, the pin-based unlocking is slow.
There is no lag or heating while gaming, but the phone does heat a little while using the camera. We have also done some benchmark tests on the Asus ZenFone Zoom S and here are the results.
Battery and Connectivity
In terms of battery, the Asus ZenFone Zoom S is backed by a 5,000 mAh non-removable battery. The phone easily lasts more than one day with moderate to heavy usage. It took us 3 hours to charge it from 15% to full, which is decent given the capacity of the battery.
In terms of connectivity, the Asus ZenFone Zoom S is a Dual-SIM 4G smartphone. You get Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C port, and a 3.5mm earphone jack. While the USB Type-C and 3.5mm earphone jack are good points, the Asus ZenFone Zoom S misses out on NFC, which can be a deal-breaker for some.
Pricing and Availability
With a price tag of Rs. 26,999, the Asus ZenFone Zoom S is available in Navy Black and Glacier Silver colours. The phone is available as a Flipkart exclusive.
The Asus ZenFone Zoom S has a good display, a sturdy metal build, good camera setup and processor. The phone lacks NFC, but given the low adoption of this technology in India, and with apps like Google Tez, PhonePe etc using UPI for making payments, lack of NFC is not a big issue. Some users may not like some of the bundled apps, but they can be disabled so this is a minor issue, too.
As an overall smartphone, the Asus ZenFone Zoom S is powerful and reliable to be used as your daily driver. The cameras are very good for a mid-range smartphone, the big battery should be enough for heavy users as well and the display quality is good too. Overall, the Zenfone Zoom S is a good smartphone in the mid-range.