Gone is its predecessor’s huge circular bump on the back; in its place is a dual-camera setup that works like that of the Apple iPhone 7 Plus. Both are 12-megapixel cameras, and one of them has a 25mm wide-angle lens with an f/1.7 aperture and a Sony IMX362 sensor. If combined with the 1.4um pixel size and the six-element lens, ASUS says that it should be able to let 1.25 times more light to pass through to the sensor. This is said to be further enhanced by SuperPixel technology, which enables it to have 2.5 times greater light sensitivity than the iPhone 7 Plus and 10 times that of an average smartphone (a claim we’d like to test). You know that lighting is the most crucial aspect in photography, which is obviously the focus of the ZenFone 3 Zoom.
The second lens of the device is a 56mm version that offers 2.3x optical zoom, clearly a step down from the original Zoom’s 3x optical zoom but slightly higher than the bigger iPhone 7’s 2x magnification.
ASUS’ ‘Meet the ZenFone 3 Zoom’ video
Considering how this phone reminds us of Apple’s latest and greatest, we’re not surprised that the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom has a Portrait mode as well. Meaning you can do bokeh photography with it. Let your subject be the focus of the image by blurring the background. The iPhone 7 Plus decently does that, though there are times when the edge of a subject — the hair, for one — becomes part of the background. We wonder how this one fares.
The most interesting of its other specs
What we like most is the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom’s 5,000mAh battery, a cell THIS HUGE you’d probably have a hard time draining it. ASUS claims it can give you up to 42 days of standby time and up to 6.4 hours of continuous 4K UHD video recording on a single charge. It can also double as a power bank. Amazingly, the Taiwanese manufacturer was able to keep the body slim — 7.9mm specifically — and the weight at just 170 grams despite the battery’s size.
ASUS was able to keep the ZenFone 3 Zoom’s body slim — 7.9mm specifically — and the weight at just 170 grams despite the 5,000mAh battery.
Unlike the first Zoom’s 2.5GHz Intel Atom quad-core processor, the new one is now powered by the new Zoom is Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, the same chip that’s used by smartphones such as the ASUS ZenFone 3, the OPPO R9s, and the Huawei Nova. It features a 13-megapixel front camera; a 5.5-inch full-HD IPS display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5; up to 4GB of RAM; 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB of internal storage; a microSD card slot that supports up to 2TB of data; and a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor.
The ZenFone 3 Zoom comes with Android Marshmallow out of the box when it hits the market in February, but ASUS says it will be updated to Nougat soon. No word yet on its price, but considering the original Zoom cost $399 (about P19,800) when it first came out, this one should probably retail at around that price, too. We’re sure we’ll know more about it come MWC [Mobile World Congress] time, which will happen in Barcelona, Spain, from February 27 to March 2. Stay tuned.
Related video: Full Zennovation press conference (ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom and ASUS ZenFone AR launch)
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