Smartphones have gone under a major transformation in the past few years. In the beginning, the smartphones were only considered for texting and calling, but now their role has taken a versatile turn which has included a number of tasks which previously required some specific gadgets. With the change in the lifestyle of people, we have seen a visible change in the gadgets as well because they urged for more advanced gadgets which can do multiple functions at the same time.

One of a considerable feature which emerged is Photography. And the camera is the feature which helps in influencing people to buy a smartphone. Remember ASUS ZenFone Zoom- a pocket-sized DSLR? I have been using this smartphone since past few months and it is amazing. By now, there are only a few people left who haven’t heard about ASUS. ASUS is a Taiwan-based tech company which is known for its PCs and laptops, and now, they are known for their smartphones.

Last year, ASUS introduced us with a collection of smartphones where most of the devices were released under ZenFone 2 brand. Recently, ASUS has launched ZenFone 3 series during Computex 2016 in Taiwan. ASUS is working quite really hard in improving their smartphones. What actually attracted me in this new smartphone is the affordable price, lightweight, and the premium golden feel. The ZenFone 3 series include ZenFone 3, ZenFone 3 Ultra and ZenFone 3 Deluxe where all of them amble on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with ASUS ZenUI 3.0.

I am here with a review of ZenFone 3 base model which is the most affordable one. In brief, ZenFone 3 smartphone is made of glass and metal, but other two devices, the Ultra phablet, and Deluxe flagship have metal unibody build. This smartphone features a 5.5-inch full-HD display with RAM of 3GB/4GB variants along with native storage of 32GB/64GB. Also, it features 64-bit octa-core processor Snapdragon 625 and Adreno 506 GPU. It features 16 megapixels rear camera with 8 megapixels of front camera.

Keeping everything in mind let us take a closer look at ZenFone 3 smartphone and check out what is good and bad sides it has. So, shall we start?

For a little time being, ASUS has to be into the smartphone market aggressively and has offered a budget segment ZenFone series in the last 2 years. And now, ASUS is here with ZenFone 3 which seems to set the fire off with the performance and design of its rivals.

Design and Size of ZenFone 3

At first, it will give you a sense of premium feel in hands with it’s expensive and stylish glass looks and aluminum construction with chrome finish. When I closely inspected this smartphone, I realized that this smartphone is a fusion of Samsung Galaxy S7 and iPhone 6S Plus. It has curved borders (iPhone 6) with a smudgy glass and glossy back (S7). Also, it has got a camera bump. This smartphone features a 5.5-inch display with a glass panel of 2.5D. It has got a bright and fairly sharp display. The contrast and the colors in the panel make this smartphone a good media device. It features minimal bezels which make it a handy device considering its size and 155 grams weight. Though it is not the sleekest smartphone, yet it is really light in weight which makes it a handy one.


ZenFone 3 has got three touch capacitive buttons on the screen which doesn’t illuminate (disappointing feature). The power switch and volume rockers are on the right spine and I can say that yes, they have a satisfying actual feedback. The hybrid SIM card slot is on the left spine with a 3.5mm jack on the top along with a secondary microphone. It has got USB Type-C port at the bottom along with the primary microphone and speaker grille. The onboard speaker of ZenFone 3 is quite loud, but not the best one. It features a 16-megapixel rear camera with a dual-tone LED flash and laser autofocus. It also features a rectangular fingerprint sensor below the camera setup. Overall, I can say that ZenFone 3 has got a standard setup in term of its design.


Display of ZenFone 3

ZenFone 3 smartphone features a 5.5-inch display with a pixel density of 401ppi. It has the sharp looks with non-reflective and great viewing angles. This smartphone is an all-rounder multitasking smartphone which is a great option for playing games, editing the spreadsheets, documents, browsing the internet, watching movies and much more. It has also got pretty accurate color reproduction which is much easy to the eye as it has a mellow tone. The colors are not vivid or eye-popping, yet not overpowering on the eyes.

Software of ZenFone 3

The ZenFone 3 smartphone ambles on Android Marshmallow along with cluttered ZenUI. It has got all the features including the DND mode, improved memory management, Now On Tap and much more. What makes the whole experience a clunky and a cluttered one is the immense amount of bloatware. It comes with multiple pre-installed apps and most of them cannot be uninstalled. And yes, these apps hog about 12GB out of 64GB. It has such a clunky interface that the users might lead to other Android purists in the market. The navigation around the interface is smooth, but it is massively bloated.

Camera of ZenFone 3

ZenFone 3 features a 16-megapixel rear camera with dual-tone LED flash, f/2.0 aperture, OIS and laser auto-focus. It manages to capture clean and punchy colored detailed pictures. The pictures clicked in low-light retain their clarity and sharpness. Also, this smartphone features an in-built low light mode which helps in belts out more detailed pictures in low light. The aperture helps in soaking more light and OIS ensures the best exposure and sharpness to the pictures.

Also, ZenFone 3 smartphone has managed to get itself listed among those smartphones in this price range with 4K video recording capabilities. The video quality is quite impressive because of OIS. The camera app works quickly while taking back to back pictures without any hassles or signs of slowing down. Even its 8-megapixel front camera delivers the best selfie shots with sharpness and full details. In this price range, ZenFone 3 is by far one of the best camera smartphones.

Battery Life and Connectivity of ZenFone 3

ZenFone 3 comes with a 3,000mAh battery with an inbuilt Quick Charge technology for fast charging. It has got a great battery performance which gives 13-14 hours usage with a single charge. Yes, it is really impressive. It has got multiple connectivity options including 3G, 4G/LTE, WiFi, FM Radio, GPS, and Bluetooth. It also comes with other features including an ambient light sensor, fingerprint scanner, accelerometer and proximity sensor.

Pros of ZenFone 3

  • Lightweight
  • Excellent camera
  • Amazing battery performance
  • Storage space up to 2 TB
  • Solid multitasking device

Cons of ZenFone 3

  • It has a cluttered Zen-UI
  • Shiny glass back

Overall, ZenFone 3 is an incredible smartphone available at an affordable price. It has got an amazing camera, performs smoothly and has a remarkable battery performance. Also, it has ditched the old plastic body avatar of its predecessors. Though many people were not really convinced with the design aspects of this smartphone and even I too think that it is little flashy for my taste too, yet it is the best device one can have a price tag of just 27,999 INR for RAM of 4GB/ internal storage of 64GB.