Asus ZenFone 3 review: The ZenFone is back with a fancy new design !!
The Asus ZenFone 3 has a lot going for it as a mid-range Android, including an interesting new design. Read our ZenFone 3 review to find out more.
The new ZenFone 3 family from Asus has a number of members, with this standard ZenFone 3 sitting beside the ZenFone 3 Max, ZenFone 3 Laser, ZenFone 3 Ultra and ZenFone 3 Deluxe. It’s available with a 5.2- or 5.5in screen, 3- or 4GB of RAM and a 2650- or 3000mAh battery. We tested the ZE552KL model with a 5.5in screen, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage and a 3000mAh battery. It costs £284.05 ($361.69) from GearBest at the time of writing, from which it will ship at the end of the month.
Asus has flattened out and added 2.5D glass panels to the phone’s front and rear, resulting in a design not overly dissimilar to Samsung’s Galaxy line-up and one that feels very smooth in the hand. This mirror finish appears to radiate light from around the camera and fingerprint sensor in an eye-catching way, though it also makes the ZenFone 3 very slippery and a magnet for fingerprints.
The rear camera is one of the key selling points of the ZenFone 3, up from 13Mp in the ZenFone 2 to 16Mp here and accompanied by a tri-LED flash. The front camera has also received an upgrade from 5- to 8Mp. We like the 5.5in Super IPS+ display on the front of the ZenFone 3. It’s bright (up to 600 nits) and clear (with a full-HD resolution of 1920×1080, 401ppi), with rich colours and strong viewing angles. A blue-light filter is ideal for use at night, while it’s reassuring to know as we approach colder weather that the display also supports glove touch.
In order to measure general processing performance we use Geekbench 4 and AnTuTu, and the ZenFone 3 made light work of both benchmarks recording 4,055 and 62,061 points respectively.
For graphics benchmarking we turn to GFXBench, and the Asus’ 22fps in T-Rex and 10fps in Manhattan denote a phone that’s quite capable of playable framerates in most mobile games.
Storage is a highlight for the ZenFone 3, and our review sample came with 64GB built-in and a microSD slot that can accept cards up to 2TB in capacity. Few users will struggle to manage this amount of storage, though a down side is that the Asus uses a hybrid SIM slot that forces you to choose between microSD support and dual-SIM functionality. The fact you get 100GB free Google Drive storage for two years goes a long way to compensate.
In our experience battery life from the 3,000mAh cell is good, particularly when the phone is on standby. Depending on your usage you will get somewhere between a day or two of runtime. We also like the fact the battery supports accelerated charging over USB-C, which allows the Asus to charge from zero to 100 percent in an hour and a half. It also claims a five-minute charge will net you an additional two hours of talk time.