ASUS has always been trying to make a mark in the global smartphone market (and yes, even in the Philippines) with their very impressive release of the Zenfone series. These ASUS smartphones have made the online/offline media and the netizens to talk about their products. Every new smartphone they release makes us excited as the company always offers good price and hardware specs with their different phone releases. Now, they are trying to step up the game with the Zenfone Zoom and they have a specific niche in mind - to attract people who loves photography and to provide a smartphone capable of a true optical zoom that's offered by point-and-shoot cameras and DSLRs.
|ASUS Zenfone Zoom (ZX551ML)|
What's inside the box?
ASUS Philippines has finally sent us this ASUS Zenfone Zoom media kit that comes with a letter, Zencredible Photocards, Zenny toy figure (ASUS' new mascot), the Zenfone Zoom itself and its accessories.
- 1 x ASUS Zenfone Zoom Unit
- 1 x smartphone strap
- 1 x earphones
- 4 x ear
- 1 x Charger
- 1 x USB data transfer and charging cable
The ASUS Zenfone Zoom has a very similar design in front with the Zenfone 2 when you compare them. The display is a 5.5-inch IPS LCD screen at 1920 x 1080 resolution which makes it nice to look at, as you can't see any pixels in the screen. The phone has a Corning Gorilla Glass 4 to stronger against moderate scratches. Unfortunately the physical navigation keys don't have led lights so it's easy to use them in the dark.
|Zenny said to Darth Vader, "No, you're not my dad!"|
|I really liked the design at the back, it feels premium|
The ASUS Zenfone Zoom has an eye-candy user interface (UI) which is also similar in the classic themes and icons that you can find in any Zenfone series. The OS is a modified version of Android 5.0 Lollipop (or the Zen UI) and hopefully the Marshmallow update will be released soon.
During night or low-light shots, the images are prone to blur as in Night Mode the shutter speed drops and we recommend if possible to use the LED flash or if you have a phone tripod shots will be better. There are occasional lags and times that the auto-focusing is slow to detect the subject. The images are starting to loose some details as the software polishes the image noise to compromise.
As for the built-in 13-megapixel Panasonic sensor with a f/2.7-4.8 aperture lens, the photos are very well produced but the company could have picked a better image sensor as the photos generated are not as impressive as the other flagship smartphones today like the Nexus 6P & Samsung Galaxy S7. While I very liked the 3x optical zoom (wish it would be standard on other phones too), I've expected more of image quality the Zenfone Zoom can produce as it is an almost perfect camera-centric smartphone.
As for the video recording, the ASUS Zenfone Zoom can only capture up to 1080p videos. You could also use manual settings while taking a video. There are occasional lags in the manual focusing and it's a bit of disappointment for this camera-centric smartphone. You can check out the sample auto-mode 1080p video/s below:
ASUS ZenFone Zoom (ZX551ML) Specifications
- Display: 5.5 inch IPS LCD display @ 1920×1080 pixels, 401ppi
- Glass: Corning Gorilla Glass 4
- Rear Camera: 13-megapixel with 3x optical zoom, dual-tone LED flash
- Front Camera: 5-megapixel
- Processor: 2.5GHz Intel Atom Z3590 64-bit quad-core CPU
- GPU: PowerVR 6430
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 128GB internal storage, up to 128GB via microSD card
- SIM: Dual-SIM
- Connectivity: LTE Cat4+
- Wi-Fi: Yes, 802.11ac
- Bluetooth: Yes, 4.0
- GPS: Yes with A-GPS support
- Battery: 3,000mAh Li-Po
- OS: Android 5.0 Lollipop w/ Zen UI
Performance & Benchmark Scores
To measure the phone's performance, here are the result of the benchmark tests:
- Antutu: 68,187
- Geekbench 3
- Singe-Core: 967
- Multi-Score: 2,833
- Quadrant Standard: 23,344
- Muti-Core: 1,526
- Metal: 1,540
- Chrome Browser: 3,378
- NenaMark: 59.7fps
The ASUS Zenfone Zoom is a great smartphone with its premium design, processing power, storage, HD screen, optical zoom, LTE connectivity, you name it. The phone is a solid performer for everyday tasks.
The only downside of this smartphone is the built-in camera sensor, don't get me wrong, the 3x optical zoom and pictures you can capture were really good but the sensor could be better as you would expect more in this camera-centric smartphone release and versus to other competitors in the market.
The Zenfone Zoom is good overall specially when ASUS tried a different approach to the smartphone and pricing an almost-flagship device that's cheaper than other brand's front line smartphones with the SRP of Php26,995 or at discounted price of Php21,599 via Lazada.
Overall Score: 4 / 5
- Premium look & feel
- Great performance
- Huge 128GB internal storage
- 3x optical zooming lens
- Optical Image Stabilization (OIS)
- Vivid & Clear HD screen
- Dedicated camera shutter button
- Auto focusing is not fully refined (can be improved via software)
- Suffers in low-light shoots
- Too many bloatwares
- Camera sensor could be better
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