Spoiled for Choice – Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL

dspoiledfor2Asus entered the smartphone space quite late, yet it carved a decent space for itself within no time. With value for money devices, the early Zenfones wooed the budget conscious customers with decent choices. The Zenfone 2 further enhanced the brand’s identity with its greatly improved camera and excellent form factor. This year, we have seen many revolutionary releases in the smartphone sphere with OnePlus, Huawei, Oppo and the likes taking bold leaps in designing their devices. The Zenfone 3 is available in multiple variants and we have the camera specialist ZE552KL on our test bench.

Design and Build Quality
The Zenfone 3 has a double 2.5D Gorillla Glass body with a curved metal bezel that is 6.16mm thick. A diamond-cut bevel completes the classy design. The volume rocker and power button are on the right and the SIM card slot is on the left hand side. The back surface has a protruding square camera mount with the laser emitter and duo-tone flash on either side. The vertical fingerprint scanner is at the bottom of the camera mount. The back surface reflects light in a beautiful pattern. The USB C-Type slot, microphone hole and the speaker holes are at the bottom, while the audio jack resides on the top panel.

Key Features
The Zenfone 3 ZE552KL uses Android 6.0 customised with Asus ZenUI 3.0 skin. The device uses a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 Octa-Core Processor clocked at 2.0Ghz supported by an Adreno 506 GPU. The phone has 4GB LPDDR3 RAM and internal storage of 64GB, which can be theoretically extended up to 2TB with a microSD card. You will get an additional 5GB of cloud space on Asus Web Storage free for life along with 100GB of Google Drive free for two years. This Zenfone 3 uses a 5.5-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS panel with a layer of 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass protecting it. The screen offers 178-degree wide viewing angle. The screen has coated with a fingerprint and smudge-resistant oleophobic material The device has a 16 megapixel PixelMaster main (rear) camera that offers an f/2.0 aperture. The camera offers 0.03 second laser autofocus along with 4-axis, 4-stops Optical Image Stabilisation. The Zenfone 3 uses a Dual-LED real tone flash for accurate skin tone reproduction. The camera has a 32 second long exposure, which allows you to shoot with lower ISO to keep image noise in check while shooting low-light images. The main camera offers a Manual mode, which lets you control features such as Shutter Speed, ISO sensitivity, exposure value, White Balance and focus. Shutter speeds range from 32 to 1/50,000 sec. Sensitivity ranges from ISO 50 to 3200. Exposure can be compensated up to +/-2 EV in steps of 0.3 EV. White Balance has Kelvin scales and can be varied from 2500 to 6500K. Other shooting modes include Back Light (HDR), Low Light, Real Time Beautification, Super Resolution Mode, Night, Depth of Field, Photo Effect, Selfie Panorama, GIF Animation, Panorama Selfie, Miniature, Time Rewind, Smart Remove, All Smiles, Slow Motion and Time Lapse. The front camera has 8 megapixel resolution and features an f/2.0 lens. The cameras let you capture a still photo while recording video, which can be recorded at up to 4K quality.

The Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL is powered by a 3000mAh non-removable battery. The device has a built-in mono 5-magnet speaker. The dual internal mic uses Asus NoiseZero Talk Technology for better reception. The smartphone incorporates an FM radio receiver. The device accepts Dual SIM cards—one Micro (2G/3G/4G) and the second a hybrid microSD/Nano SIM (2G/3G) slot. It supports 4G LTE and Reliance Jio VoLTE. They are configured for dual SIM dual standby. As expected, the phone uses USB Type-C 2.0 port along with a 3.5mm audio jack. The supplied power adapter has an output of 5V, 2A. The device has dimensions of 152.59 x 77.38 x 7.69 mm and weighs 155 g.