Asus' first generation Zenfone Zoom was one of the best camera phones available. It also had praiseworthy design, which managed to house a large camera module and yet compact enough (12mm thickness at the middle) to wrap the fingers around to operate in single hand. But, it was priced close to Rs 40,000, discouraging many in India.
Now, Asus has come up with its successor Zenfone Zoom S, which not only comes with cost effective Rs 26,999, but also houses top-notch camera hardware. We used the Asus device for almost a week and here is our take on it.
Also read: Zenfone Zoom (1st Gen) Review
Asus Zenfone Zoom S review: Display and build quality (4/5)
Asus Zenfone Zoom S sports 5.5-inch super AMOLED full HD (1920x1080p) screen and offers delightful viewing experience. We are also mighty impressed with screen's brightness, as we were able see messages, watch videos and browse internet outdoors in the middle of the sunny day without straining eye. Even the night, the blue light filter helps in reducing the eye strain while reading messages in the dark.
As for as the build quality is concerned, Zenfone Zoom S comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 series shield on the display panel with 2.5D curved glass on edge, which also adds value to the visual appeal of the Asus phone.
On the back, it comes packed with a fairly good-grade metallic shell, which not only offers stability to the structure but also exudes premium feel when held in hand. Our review unit came with glacial silver colour and it is stunningly beautiful.
In terms of design, the new Zenfone Zoom S is more of a refined version of the first generation model. The latter had huge bulge on the back to accommodate big camera module, but the former has flat dual-camera setup with negligible protrusion. The corners are well rounded and offers good grip to hold.
Asus Zenfone Zoom S review: Performance (3.5/5)
It comes with 4GB RAM, 64GB storage (expandable via micro SD card) and a Qualcomm's most popular Snapdragon 625 octa-core. During our tests, it worked smoothly; during app loading and switching between multiple apps, it was fast.
Asus Zenfone Zoom S scored 64,012 points on AnTuTu benchmark app and on Geekbench, it managed to get 877 and 4356 points in terms single-core and multi-core tests, respectively.
Asus Zenfone Zoom S review: Camera (4.5/5)
The highlight of the Zenfone Zoom S is its camera hardware and truly lives up to its name. The Asus phone took some really stunning images in natural bright light conditions. Well, all phones in it class too take similar quality images, but what impressed me is the clarity of photos when taken in pitch dark conditions and also in the lit up streets in the night. The LED flash support complements without much affecting the natural colour of the subject and that is the hallmark of the Zenfone Zoom S. Also, it aces fancy Bokeh blur effect with portrait mode.
Even the front camera is of good quality and takes decent selfies. Be it single or group with large number of people, it won't disappoint you. There are also value-added editing tools to improve the subject's appearance be it the face colour tones or remove scars and many more options.
For those unaware, It boasts two 12 MP cameras having 2.3X optical zoom / 12X total zoom 4-axis, f/1.7 aperture, 4 stops Optical Image Stabilization for steady photos, 4K video recording, Pro mode to capture and store raw images, super-quick 0.03 second auto focus and numerous other modes (via Pixel Master 3.0 app). It is supported by a dedicated Dual Image Processor, as well.
On the front, it houses an equally impressive 13MP snapper with Sony IMX214 sensor, f/2.0 aperture and 5 P Largan lens.
Asus Zenfone Zoom S review: Battery (4.5/5)
Asus Zenfone Zoom S comes with huge 5,000mAh battery and it did not disappoint at all. During our tests, it easily lasted two full days under mixed usage, which include WhatsApp messaging (including image/video transfer & viewing), gaming session (only small such as Angry Birds, Temple Run, etc...), voice-calls and few minutes of video-calls.
Asus Zenfone Zoom S review: Verdict (4)
All-in-all, Asus Zenfone Zoom S fared well in almost all aspects, but we are particularly impressed with the camera and the battery life. Its dual (12MP+12MP) camera is undoubtedly the best in the class if not better than some of the top-end phones, which fall in the sub-Rs 40,000 price range.
If you are looking for a mid-range device with good camera, you won't be disappointed with Zenfone Zoom S and we believe, it will find traction among amateur photographers.
- Excellent camera in its class
- Praise worthy build quality
- Long lasting battery
- Decent configuration (RAM+storage)
- ZenUI cramped up with unnecessary apps, but this aspect is very subjective as some users want more custom features and pre-loaded apps, while pure Android enthusiasts use just Google apps.