Spoiled for Choice – Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL

The Zenfone 3 interface is quite userfriendly and handles well. Being a double glass design, it is quite slippery and can even slide off your desk if you are not careful. The fingerprint scanner at the back makes it a little inconvenient in the sense, you have to lift up the device to unlock it. The display is crisp and clear. Audio quality was also at par with similar devices.

The Zenfone 3 performed reasonably well in our tests. Games and other processor-intensive applications ran smoothly. We did not experience any lag and the device kept heating to the minimum. Battery life was one of the best we have seen in similar devices, thanks to the optimisation features built into the Asus UI. Videos were smooth and seamless. The device scored 62,900 on AnTuTu benchmarking, which is below expectations for similar devices.

The camera performed well and produced sharp images. The manual modes worked very well and so did Panorama and HDR modes. Apart from that, there is no path-breaking feature in the camera. While other manufacturers have put in considerable effort in improving their cameras, Asus seems to have done little in matching up to them. The device produced noisefree images up to ISO 200. These were perfectly usable up to ISO 800. Auto White Balance performed well, producing only minimum cast under artificial lights.

Value for Money
The Zenfone 3 ZE552KL retails at an MRP of Rs.27,999. At this price, we are spoiled for choices and would not call it competitive. |SP


FINAL SCORE                                                                                   78%

Design and Build Quality                                                      17/20
Key Features                                                                                     16/20
Ergonomics                                                                                       15/20
Performance                                                                                    16/20
Value for Money                                                                              14/20

• Stylish design
• Excellent display
• Good battery life

• Average camera
• Dated interface
• Slow charger
• Price

The Zenfone 3 was a much anticipated release as successor to the Zenfone 2, which brought great improvement in cameras. Expectations were particularly high since the launch of OnePlus 3 Asus seems to have failed to read the customer expectations. While other manufacturers made swift strides in the imaging forte, the Zenfone seems to have been dragged down by inertia. If that is not enough, the multiple variants of the same series only adds to the confusion in the market.

Sujith Gopinath