It's not only about the level of zoom, what surprised me the most was the crazy fast laser assisted autofocus. At 0.03s you can try moving the camera around and it can easily refocus. The camera performed really well in well-lit environments however there was a minor but noticeable shutter lag in almost all cases. Shutter Speed is something Asus really needs to work on right now as the entire purpose of having fast auto focus is defeated with shutter lags. Zenfone 2 Review. The ZenUI hasn't changed much and given the fact that the Zoom runs Lollipop, it's almost using the Zenfone 2 all over again. There are several preinstalled apps, several of them which I deleted even before I inserted my SIM. The rest of the in built apps are actually pretty useful, given you can make you way around the phone. I found myself using the simple Notes app and Reminders app for several tasks. The ZenUI has always been one of the most stable skins for quite some time and the Zoom is no exception. With a rock solid build quality, 3x optical zoom and zippy performance, its hard to not recommend the Zoom to anyone looking for a great phone. However, it all boils down to the pricing. The Zenfone Zoom is priced at Rs. 37,999/- which is quite steep considering that smartphones at the sub 25k mark can easily offer similar performance at a very competitive price. The company boasts of the Zoom to be the slimmest phone in the world with optical zoom and to fit that into a smartphone which is light, slim, powerful and looks stunning is a feat in itself. The Zenfone Zoom is a luxury that every photography enthusiast would love to afford. However, if you are in the market with 40 odd grand to spare and absolutely want a camera phone, the Zenfone Zoom fits the bill perfectly.
Being a photographer I am biased towards a dSLR. For me the smartphones are never good enough, you cannot capture the depth or the vibrant colours. Smartphones can only act as an on the go alternative camera for a specific moment but using the Zoom, I might just have to rethink!
Asus' Zenfone Zoom was one of the hottest smartphones back at the CES 2015. It sure took its time to hit the streets, almost a year, but as they say, better late than never. I spent a couple of weeks with the Zoom as my daily driver and almost had a love and hate relationship with it. Innovation in the smartphone industry has been stalling. If we go back in time a couple of years, one can easily see that all that manufacturers have been doing is cramming in the highest number of screen pixels, processor cores and sheer gimmicks. They aren't to blame either. Rather than buying something that is functional, consumers race for specs. Rarely does a smartphone has that extra edge that not only puts it a cut above the rest, but actually serves the needs of the end-user. With the Zenfone Zoom, Asus has just tried to achieve that. For those who have been living under the rock for the last two weeks, the Zenfone Zoom is Asus' flagship smartphone aimed at photography enthusiasts. If you've ever used a Zenfone device before, you'll feel right at home with the Zoom. Don't get me wrong here, Asus did go back to the drawing board to design its camera flagship but the essence of the family is evident. Gone is the brushed metal plasticky back. The Zoom comes with a unibody aluminium frame with a leather stitched back panel. The metallic body has its curves in all the right places with dark antenna bands that just add to the appeal. The front has the iconic Zen family looks with the signature metal finished chin. There is a large 5.5" 1080p display with 403 ppi. Just below the display lie the capacitive sensors and Asus, being Asus, has stubbornly decided to not use backlit sensors for the umpteenth time (guys, if you are listening!) but if it's any consolation they are shiny -_-The display is quite reflective and even at highest brightness settings, it was quite a job reading off the screen. The screen to body ratio is 72% not that anyone cares or worries about it, but had Asus opted for on-screen navigation buttons, the overall experience would have been much better. Deja Vu, anyone? Flip the phone and you'll find a dominating camera module reminiscent of the Lumia family. The company wanted the users to feel the warmth of the leather and the coolness of the metal, creating a perfect harmony and they delivered. A small yet punchy speaker sits beneath the camera. The phone is way too slippery and for
clods people with clumsy hands, the device can be a bit of a nightmare thanks to its extremely large camera module. Thankfully, Asus supplies a wrist strap, made of leather. With the strap attached, it is fairly easy to mistake the Zoom for a slim point and shoot. A standard 3.5 mm jack is present at the top and the wrist strap holes at the bottom edge along with the standard micro USB connector. The right hand side has the volume buttons that double up as a zoom toggle and surprise! a dedicated shutter button along with a small record button.
Let's cut to the chase and get to the most interesting aspect of the Zoom, the Camera. Asus has managed to fit a 13 MP sensor with 3x optical zoom in a phone that is barely 11.9mm thick. The camera assembly at the back does not protrude even at the maximum zoom. While there have been many phones with an optical zoom since the N90, the major gripe they all shared was that they were heavy, bulky and mostly ugly, for the lack of a better word. The Zoom manages to shake all that off. The company markets the Zoom as the best camera in a smartphone on the market and with specs like these, it is hard to argue. The Zenfone Zoom comes with a 10 element Hoyalens arranged to form a periscope.
We played with the camera at the historic City of Taj, capturing in some breathtaking shots and almost fell in love with it. The level of detail the Zenfone Zoom camera managed to capture simply blew off my mind. Some of the images looked as if they were shot by a professional photographer on some super high-tech gear but that was simply the Zoom flexing its muscles.
9 Design & Build
6.5 Battery Life
7 Value for Money