In India, Asus is releasing four Zenfone 3 series variants â€" the generic Zenfone 3 model, the top-end Deluxe variant, photography-centric Zenfone 3 Laser and the Ultra, a phablet.
Soon after the launch, we had our hands on both the generic Zenfone 3 models â€" the 5.2-inch ZE520KL and the 5.5-inch ZE552KL. Here's our opinion on the new phones:
Look and feel:
Though they are the basic version of the Zenfone 3 series, the build quality of the phones is quite good. They come flaunting a blend of metal-and-glass, exuding premium feel. The trademark concentric circles, which used to adorn only the front chin of Zenfone 2, is now integrated on the whole cover on the back, lending it a gorgeous look.
Both the versions feature full HD 'Super LCD' IPS display. It was a delightful experience to view images and videos on the screen.
Zenfone 3 series houses a high-grade metal frame on the edge with an additional layer of 2.5D Gorilla Glass 3 shield on the front and the back to withstand accidental drop. Despite the generous use of metal and glass, the phones are very light to hold.
Performance: Initial impression
We also spent a little time to test the new interface and performance in terms of app loading.
After a lot of complaints, Asus finally ditched bloatwares in its new ZenUI v3.0 (Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow). It is clean and simple to use.
Both the 5.5-inch and 5.2-inch models house the same 14nm FinFET process technology-based Snapdragon 625 SoC (System-on-Chip), but differ in memory configuration. The former features 4GB RAM+64GB storage, while the latter houses 3GB RAM+32GB.
Despite the difference in RAM capacity, applications on both the Zenfone 3 models were quick to get launched. We will be doing more detailed performance tests, once we get the review units.
Both the models house 16MP camera with Sony IMX298 sensor, ASUS PixelMaster 3.0 camera application, f/2.0, 6-element Largan lens, 0.03 second TriTech Autofocus (Contrast / Phase / 2nd Gen Laser), 4-axis photo OIS, 3-axis video EIS, Color correction sensor, dual-tone LED flash and a 8MP snapper on the front with a 84-degree view of field.
The cameras on the phone really impressed us. They took stunning pictures under bright light conditions, but we will pass our final judgement once we get our review units for full-fledged testing in other lighting environments.
Watch this space for more updates.
We will come up with a comprehensive review soon. Also, as a part of our user interaction initiative, we urge readers to send us any queries or requests that they want tested on Zenfone 3 in our comments section below. We will include answers (results) of select questions in our final write-up.