ASUS Zenfone 3 Zoom Hands-on Review – Built for Photography

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The ASUS Zenfone 3 Zoom was announced at CES 2017 and was officially released in the Philippines last April 6, 2017, it is the company’s first Zenfone to sports a dual camera. The Zenfone 3 Zoom features a 12-megapixel dual rear camera with improved design and larger battery capacity.

ASUS Zenfone 3 Zoom - adoobtech

Design and Built

Compared to its predecessor the ASUS Zenfone 3 Zoom design is very different. This time ASUS made this device looks really premium, the all-metal unibody design simply makes the device looks and feel refined. The design looks similar to the Zenfone 3 Max, with rounded corners but still has that wide body format just like Zenfone 3.

ASUS Zenfone 3 Zoom - adobotech

At the front is the wide 5.5-inch Full HD AMOLED 2.5D curved glass display protected by Gorilla glass 5. Just above the display is the 13-megapixel selfie camera, LED notification light and speaker. While below are the capacitive keys (still no light when touch).

Zenfone 3 Zoom - adoobtech

Turning the Zenfone 3 Zoom, the back is where the dual 12-megapixel camera with Laser AF, and dual-LED flash just below it. There’s also a fingerprint sensor that looks a bit small compared to other fingerprint scanners. Antenna bands are also visible at the top and bottom of the device.

ASUS Zenfone 3 Zoom - adobotech

Looking at the bottom are the type-C port at the center, 3.5mm audio jack, microphone hole and the loudspeaker, there’s also 2 sets of screws visible.

ASUS Zenfone 3 Zoom - adobotech

Checking the left side is the hybrid SIM tray, this means that it can be used with either two SIM card or SIM + microSD card configuration. Going to the the right side is where the power button and volume controls.

The location of the buttons is nice since it’s easy to reach when needed although the downside is the capacitive buttons that still do not lit when touching, but for sure you will get used to it in no time.




The Zenfone 3 Zoom got this sharp looking display, the 5.5-inch Full HD AMOLED display with 401 ppi (pixel per inch) just look stunning, sure it still has black bezels on the side but the contrast and sharpness are pleasant to look even in direct sunlight just slide the brightness to full.

ASUS Zenfone 3 Zoom - adobotech

There are three screen color mode and customized mode that can be configured under the Display settings with Standard more as the default setting.

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Users can choose from Super Color, Bluelight Filter, Standard and Customized where you can play with Hue and Saturation and adjust it based on your liking. The Standard Color mode seems good enough but Super Color more seems to be a better choice since it makes the display to have more vibrant colors.


Since the Zenfone 3 Zoom has an amazing display, it is nice to use it as a multimedia device watch Netflix or iFlix or listen to your favorite tunes on Spotify or any music you have.

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This device has SonicMaster and High-Res Audio certification with advanced five-magnet speaker construction, metal voice coil and expansive sound chamber powered by an NXP Smart AMP. It supports High-Res Audio quality with studio-grade 24-bit/192kHz playback — that’s 4x better than CD quality so ASUS claim, it also supports DTS Headphone:X™ 7.1. Using the ZenEar it does has better sound audio you can really feel the rich sound quality.


Under the hood the Zenfone 3 Zoom is equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core CPU clocked at 2.0GHz, 4GB RAM for multitasking needs, Adreno 506 GPU for graphics and 64GB internal storage. It’s the same configuration with Zenfone 3, sure it does not have the latest Qualcomm’s cutting-edge mobile processor but with the 14nm architecture the Zenfone 3 Zoom is more efficient, cooler and it does not drain out the phone’s battery faster.

ASUS Zenfone 3 Zoom - adobotech

In terms of performance, this device can really multitask and it is lag-free. The ZenUI 3.0 runs smoothly and responds to touch and commands without lag. The phone unlocks very quick using the fingerprint scanner. Playing games on this device is so much enjoyable for sure it will keep you entertained in times you are stuck it traffic or waiting in line.

Check out the benchmark scores below:

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We tested some games like NBA 2K17, Need for Speed, Real Boxing, Modern Combat 5, and Mobile Legends without any issues. But just like Zenfone 3, it tends to get warm to hot when playing high graphics games for a long period of time.

Connectivity and Voice Call Quality

In terms connectivity, the Zenfone 3 zoom comes with WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, USB Type-C, and Dual SIM support, but no NFC which is not a big deal since we rarely use it anyway.

For mobile data, both SIM slots support 3G WCDMA / 4G LTE network band. You can only use one SIM card at a time to connect to DATA service. Mobile data connection and voice calls are good we did not experience any lost connection when using around Metro Manila and nearby provinces.


The main feature of the Zenfone 3 Zoom is the Dual 12-megapixel rear camera. The two cameras have has SONY IMX362 sensor (1/2.55″ large sensor size, 1.4 µm large pixel size). along with the six-element lens that allows 1.25x more light to pass through to the sensor.

ASUS Zenfone 3 Zoom - adobotech

With ASUS TriTech+ Technology, adding an all-new Dual Pixel PDAF (Phase Detection Auto Focus) this enable auto-focus faster, also features Subject-Tracking Auto-Focus for both photos and videos to keep the object in clear focus, and Laser Auto-Focus in just 0.03 seconds. If that’s too technical well simply put it this way the Zenfone 3 Zoom camera is pack with features that comparable to DSLR cameras.

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It has 4-axis, 4 stops Optical Image Stabilization for steady photos and 3-axis Electronic Image Stabilization for shake-free videos. It is also capable of 4K UHD (3840 by 2160) 30 frame per second video recording. Now that is something to look at if you can find a 4K TV to view your recording.

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Food Shots, you can check some of the pictures taken using the Zenfone 3 Zoom here

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Sample of Normal and 2.3x zoom

Using the Auto mode you can zoom to your subject by simply tapping the 2.3x zoom. With ASUS 2.3x optical zoom it lets you take close-up photos and videos with just a single tap and you can even scale up the magnification to a 12x view. ZenFone 3 Zoom’s 2.3x optical-zoom camera and 59mm focal length produce a high-quality close-up, and the 59mm focal length lens brought the subject closer by creating more depth to its background object.

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Manual Mode

Like we said the Zenfone 3 Zoom is capable of 4K video recording at 30 frames per second, so we did try to take some videos and the 3min. video has a whopping 1.16GB file size.

ASUS Zenfone 3 Zoom - adobotech

The Camera app has plenty of features that you play with, that includes Beautification which is great for selfies, Depth of Field, Panorama, Time Lapse, Manual Mode and much more.


ASUS did a great mode in equipping the Zenfone 3 Zoom with a massive 5000mAh (non-removable) battery. Now that is huge, compared to Zenfone 3 Max that has only 4000mAh battery. Not only that it even support Reverse Charging using the included OTG Cable you can charge other gadgets.

ASUS Zenfone 3 Zoom - adobotech

We had this device for more than a week now as our daily main smartphone. With constant data and WiFi connection, gaming during free time and traffic, using it to take pictures and videos and watching our fave TV shows in iFlix. The battery on this device got us the whole day without looking at battery level and still has some power left for the next day use.

An average of 23 hours battery life is what we got using the Zenfone 3 Zoom which is impressive. Charging it takes around less than 3 hours using the ASUS fast charging 10W charger.


We are impressed with the Zenfone 3 Zoom, from how it look and feel, to camera and performance this device is one contender in its category. The Dual camera is really Built for Photography, and with the manual mode, you can sure take your inner photographer side with you any time to capture that right moment and with 4-axis, 4 stops Optical Image Stabilization you can record videos like you are using a gimbal.

The Zenfone 3 Zoom comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core CPU with 4GB RAM. It’s a proven good combination of processing power with a lag free operation and it really perform well using it as you daily smartphone and an even heavy user will love it with its huge 5000mAh battery for extended use and did we mention that you can also charge you other gadgets with this device.


  • Slim and sleek premium build
  • Wide 5.5-inch Full HD Amoled 2.5D curved glass display
  • Dual Camera with Manual Mode
  • 64GB storage capacity
  • USB Type-C
  • Quick charging
  • Reverse charging
  • Very long battery Life


  • It tends to slip on hands (needs protective case)
  • ZenUI comes with a lot of Bloatware
  • Running on older Android 6.0,1 out of the box
  • No NFC (not really since no one really uses it)
  • Tends to heat up when playing games

The ASUS Zenfone 3 Zoom is available Navy Black, Glacier Silver, and Rose Gold colors and priced at Php23,995 it will come with JBL Clip 2 (Php3,099), Clear Case (Php699), and ASUS ZenEar (Php699) for FREE.

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6 thoughts on “ASUS Zenfone 3 Zoom Hands-on Review – Built for Photography

  • April 18, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    Wow.. so amazing… features.. zenfone 3 zoom is the best phonetography… ❤️❤️

  • April 18, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    asus is one of the best band. good quality. thumbs up

  • April 19, 2017 at 12:10 am

    Amazing review. I look forward to the next one. 🙂

  • April 21, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    awesome review… looking forward for more mobile reviews


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