Let’s start the year right with this incredible little heavyweight from Asus. This Zenfone 3 Zoom is the second generation of their photography oriented line and it has quite the number of changes from its predecessor.
First the Zoom no longer carries the flagship processor but opts towards the more energy efficient yet quite powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 652, the very same one on the Zenfone 3. Also, this model has within it a 5,000mAh battery – the one that they put on the first generation Zenfone Max… and so in this package we have exceptional processing, exceptional battery, and a dual lens setup to cap off the system! Crazy right?!?
How does it look?
If you’ve handled a unit from the Zenfone 3 family, it uses all of its design language in spades. It does not have the same diamond cut detailing of the Zenfone 3 but this design change allows for it to be a very sleek singular color allthroughout.
It deviates from most of its brethren due to the placement of the dual cameras now on the upper left (looking at the back) instead of the usual central position just above the fingerprint sensor. It has a shiny glass front and a matted out back that has improved grip over the Zenfone 3.
The Zenfone 3 Zoom has further streamlined the form by putting the audio jack at the bottom instead of its usual placement at the top, this time around most of the ports are underneath leave for the SIM/microSD ejection port which remains at the left.
How does it perform?
Unlike the mechanical nature of the earlier Zoom, this lens shifting technique provides instantaneous feedback from the wide 1x view, to a very pleasing 2.3x by simply touching on the area above the shutter release. Not to mention a 12x digital zoom that can be achieved which wont show you stuff in perfect detail but I’m sure one can think of uses for it.
Here you can see how much you actually get with this zoom level:
Here are the respective full crops of the various states:
As this was an engineering unit, it might not have complete encoding yet as I’ve looked at the EXIF expecting different focal lengths but found them to be the same… I’m still hoping this gets adjusted in future builds/updates:
Working in the “zoomed in” mode, especially on higher values, the user would feel the stabilization in full effect slowly moving the frame ensuring a steady image capture, it’s quite the experience and comparable to ones in actual cameras with in-body stabilizers.
Both rear cameras are at 12MP each with an aperture of f1.7 that should easily lend itself to low light conditions. The front facing camera is no slouch either as it a 13MP fixed focus shooter capable of incredible detail.
It is definitely a solid build and quite an unexpected pairing too with what is among the highest battery ratings available in the Zenfone lineup and a very capable octa-core processor in tow. You needn’t worry about running out of power when the screen is always on acting as the camera’s viewfinder. Stay tuned for the availability date/range as well as the price when it hits.