Is the asus ZenFone 3 worth the price & does hãng asus deliver on its sale pitch of a ‘premium’ mid-range smartphone? Let's find out!
The ZenFone 3 looks modest on the specifications sheet, và it will be a mistake to judge it purely by that. It’s a reliable daily driver with a brilliant camera và battery life, & damn it looks nice!
The ZenFone 3 looks modest on the specifications sheet, and it will be a mistake to judge it purely by that. It’s a reliable daily driver with a brilliant camera & battery life, and damn it looks nice!
ASUS first unveiled the mid-range ZenFone range of smartphones in 2014, và with ZenFone 3, the company wants to break away from the budget segment and is looking lớn increase its market tóm tắt in the premium segment where it competes with the likes of the impressive OnePlus 3 and Honor 8 for example.

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Available in two variants – one with a 5.2-inch display (3GB RAM/32GB internal storage) và the other with a 5.5-inch display (4GB RAM/64GB internal storage) – the ZenFone 3 packs mid-range innards into an all-new glass chassis và holds no qualms about its higher pricing.

Is it worth the price & does hãng asus deliver on its sale pitch of a ‘premium’ mid-range smartphone? We find out in this, our đánh giá of the hãng asus Zenfone 3.

In this review, we're focusing on the smaller Zenfone 3 ZE520KL variant, which has 3GB of RAM và 32GB of internal storage. The other one is ZenFone 3 (ZE552KL), which has 4GB of RAM và 64GB of storage. The two variants differ in form size and memory departments only while packing in the same processor, camera & overall experience.


The hãng asus ZenFone 3 is a refreshing change from the common, & increasingly boring, all-metal design of smartphones in the market.

The ZenFone 3 sports 2.5d curved Corning Gorilla Glass on the front and rear held by a metal frame. It’s stylish, sturdy (and can easily take random knocks on the glass), & quite attractive. The polished metal chamfers on the front and rear & the absence of antenna lines at the back are nice touches, and a testimony of the company’s focus on elegance here.

The compact kích thước and the 7.69mm slim profile combined with the rounded edges makes it a delight to lớn grip in the hand (How I miss smaller smartphones!). At 145 grams, it’s not the lightest điện thoại cảm ứng thông minh out there, but is comfortable to hold. The all-glass thiết kế though means that it is a tad slippery, và I’d avoid holding it carelessly. Also, as one would imagine, it is a fingerprint magnet – the smudges being more prominent in the black variant I reviewed than in other colors I’d assume.


Yet it’s not all hunky-dory. The capacitive navigation buttons below the display are not backlit. Sometimes you’d kết thúc up fumbling to lớn find them in the dark, and although it becomes an impulsive thing after few days of usage, this is a poor thiết kế element in a điện thoại thông minh at this price.

Most people complain about the protruding rear camera too. Yes, it does not sit flush with the back, but I really didn’t mind it much, và it doesn’t hurt the aesthetics of the device. Asus claims that the sapphire lens on the ZenFone 3 provides protection from any type of scratch, which is a constant worry with a protruding camera bump, & it certainly seems lớn live up to Asus’ billing.

This time around, asus has shunned the utilitarian thiết kế of the older ZenFone smartphones và has upped the ante for the ZenFone 3. The glass và metal design looks striking & exudes style in all four màu sắc variants – Shimmer Gold, Moonlight White, Aqua Blue, & Sapphire Black. It impresses at first glance, and helps the Zenfone 3 stand out in what is becoming an ever-increasingly homogenous industry.



The 5.2-inch Full-HD IPS display on the ZenFone 3 is incredibly sharp và offers crisp visuals & good clarity. It’s vibrant, offers rich colors, & it is a treat khổng lồ watch high-res videos or play games on it. The cảm biến response too is smooth and fluid. The ZenFone 3 features high brightness cấp độ of 600nits and therefore sunlight legibility is pretty good. The viewing angles are great too, & the display supports cảm biến recognition through gloves.

You can control the display settings with the built-in Splendid ứng dụng that allows you khổng lồ choose between Balance, Bluelight Filter, Vivid, & Customized màu sắc modes. The Bluelight Filter mode cuts out the xanh light so that the display is easier on the eyes.



The asus ZenFone 3 is powered by Snapdragon 625, a mid-level processor, & packs in 3GB of RAM in this variant. On the specifications sheet, that makes for a modest entry. Several smartphones in this segment offer flagship processors from Qualcomm bundled with up to 6GB of RAM. Also, some of the budget smartphones pack in similar internals for half the price.

Yet, how a điện thoại performs is not always reflective of the internal specs. The ZenFone 3 performs lượt thích a breeze with no apparent lags in multitasking or navigating across the UI. Even while playing graphic-intensive games, there was hardly a performance issue or overheating & no dropped frames. Overall, the ZenFone 3 is zippy & smooth when used as a daily driver, và can give other devices with similar specs a run for their money.

The fingerprint sensor on the ZenFone 3 has a quick response & is quite good. In most cases, it recognizes fingerprints even with wet fingers on the first try. You can also tap và hold the fingerprint sensor to lớn answer a điện thoại tư vấn or double tap it lớn launch the camera (and take a photo with just a tap when the camera tiện ích is on).

Interestingly, one of the highlights of the Snapdragon 625 chipset is less power consumption compared lớn previous generation chipsets. The 2650mAh battery on the ZenFone 3 (3000mAh on the other variant) might just look average on paper, but combined with the SoC và software optimizations, the điện thoại cảm ứng thông minh offers impressive battery life easily lasting me through the day on heavy usage.



The asus ZenFone 3 packs a 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor clocked at 2GHz with an integrated Adreno 506 GPU. Since it performs quite well, one would be less inclined lớn go for the higher spec’d variant (4GB RAM versus 3GB RAM) unless there is a preference for larger display. There’s 32GB of internal storage, with about 23.5GB was available out of the box, & there’s also support for microSD cards of up khổng lồ 2TB for expansion. Hãng asus is also offering 100GB of miễn phí cloud storage space for two years, in collaboration with Google.

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The ZenFone 3 sports a hybrid SIM slot that can take in a Nano SIM along with a Micro SIM or a microSD card. While both SIMs support 3G/4G, only one can connect to 3G/4G networks at a time. If you prefer lot of storage and use two SIMs every day or while travelling, you might want khổng lồ go for the 64GB variant. For most people though, 32GB is good enough, & of course, if you use only one SIM, you can always expand storage via microSD card.


ASUS pitches the camera on the ZenFone 3 as one of the highlights of the smartphone. While the optics are solid on paper, the real magic – or the lack of it – obviously lies in the software processing the data from the camera sensor. That’s the company’s PixelMaster 3.0 at play.

The 16-megapixel rear camera has an f/2.0 aperture và packs in 6P Largan lens, và focuses on the subject really quick. According to lớn ASUS, the TriTech auto-focus công nghệ on the ZenFone 3 combines laser, phase detection, and continuous autofocus allowing the device lớn focus in just 0.03 seconds in all conditions. There’s also Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) as well as Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) which are quite handy while shooting videos và still shots in difficult light conditions.

Outdoors, the rear camera on the ZenFone 3 of course performs great. Consistently. The colors are vibrant, & the photos include a great amount of detail and accuracy. The màu sắc reproduction too is excellent whether it’s the landscapes or the close-up shots. However, in low-light conditions while most of the shots are quite decent, often some noise would creep in và there would be a loss of detail. Although, I often managed to lớn get blur-free shots in poor light conditions, validating the ZenFone 3’s camera creds.

In fact, it’s the 8-megapixel front camera on the ZenFone 3 that surprised me with the sharp và detailed selfies that I took, even in low light conditions or when indoors.

The camera phầm mềm on the ZenFone 3 packs in a lot of options và camera modes khổng lồ choose from. There’s also a manual mode for tinkering with the DSLR-like camera settings as well as a low light mode that enhances light sensitivity for clearer và brighter low-light shots. With the Super Resolution mode, you can take composite images at up to lớn 4X resolution, và then wonder why would you need it. Not from a reviews perspective, but I ended up using the GIF animation mode a lot for random fun GIFs converted from a series of captured images. Maybe that’s why there was a delay in publishing the review!

For better or worse, the camera on the ZenFone 3 builds on the precedent set by the earlier generations of ZenFone. It’s not perfect, & serious photographers would find few limitations here và there, but for most regular as well as power nguồn users, it works great.


The asus ZenFone 3 runs game android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out of the box with the new version of the company’s proprietary ZenUI 3.0 on đứng đầu of it.

Right up, that’s a good thing. The older versions of ZenUI were plagued with bloatware and gimmicky UI elements that marred the overall user experience. The latest version is a complete makeover, and offers a clean UI with subtle animations. There are several nifty utilities, but there’s still a plethora of ASUS-branded apps that I’ve hardly seen anyone using really. Unfortunately, only a few of these can be uninstalled and while you can disable most others, they still occupy storage space on your phone.

ZenUI 3.0 features an phầm mềm drawer, & there’s a built-in search functionality. You can swipe down the screen and search the web or your apps & contacts, & view your frequently used apps. There’s an all-new Theme Store from which users can download không lấy phí as well as paid themes, wallpapers, icons, and ringtones to lớn customize their smartphone.

One of the neat features of the ZenUI is ZenMotion which allows configuring a variety of touch & motion gestures lượt thích double tap lớn wake or flipping the phone when you get an incoming gọi to enable silent mode. It also allows you khổng lồ enable the one-handed mode that shrinks the display lớn one corner of the screen for easy, one-handed usage when you’re on the move.

Of course, the most useful app from the entire ZenUI suite is the di động Manager. With slick animations & intuitive UI, the tiện ích offers quick ways to không lấy phí RAM & storage space, và manage apps as well as phầm mềm permissions. It’s a sort of one-stop destination for managing your phone’s performance.

For gamers, ZenUI offers game Genie which pops up automatically when you start playing a game và allows you khổng lồ record your chơi game and broadcast it live on YouTube or Twitch, tìm kiếm for tips, và boost gaming performance. It’s a neat, little addition that gamers would appreciate.

The latest version of ZenUI on the ZenFone 3 is fluid và aims to offer stock Android-like experience while adding additional functionalities. And, it succeeds in doing that. But the excess of bloatware is disappointing, & shows that the company has learnt nothing from similar criticism in the past.


16 MP PixelMaster 3.0 camera | f/2.0 aperture | Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) | Dual-LED real tone flash
At $320 (₹21,999) in India, the asus ZenFone 3 is not cheap. The higher spec’d variant is in fact priced at roughly $409 (₹27,999) which is very similar lớn the OnePlus 3. Yet, there are a lot of things going for the ZenFone 3. One, hãng asus serves broader audience by virtue of being available both online and offline and secondly, it looks so damn good.

It’s a reliable daily driver & doesn’t break a sweat while pushing for performance or gaming. The camera is very good, and the battery life is exemplary.

It looks modest on the specifications sheet, but it's a mistake to judge the ZenFone 3 purely on its specs list
. Once you take it for a spin, it impresses, even if we wish the price could’ve been a little lower. In fact, the lower spec’d variant, because it performs very well, offers more value for money và is the recommended buy, as long as you’re happy with the smaller display.

Asus isn’t officially selling the regular Zenfone 3 in the US but it is already available via a marketplace seller on Amazon if you’d rather have the regular Zenfone 3 over the more illustrious (and higher priced) Zenfone 3 Deluxe. What bởi you think of the asus Zenfone 3 & do you plan lớn buy one? Let us know your views in the comments below!