Product Listing

ASUS ZenFone 3: Substantially stylish

By Bryan Chan - 18 Aug 2016
Launch SRP: RM1699

Introduction, Design and Features

With the ZenFone 2, ASUS proved that it was on the right track when it comes to smartphones. Now, they're at it once again with the ZenFone 3, a smartphone that won a COMPUTEX 2016 d&i award. Beautifully crafted, the ZenFone 3 (ZE552KL) really does stand out from the crowd, but is it worth its asking price of RM1,699? That's what we plan to find out in this review.

Design and features

The first thing you'd likely notice about the ZenFone 3 is its gorgeous design, and we have to admit, it does look classy with glass at the rear, and curves in all the right places. At the top, you'll find the 3.5mm audio jack, while at the bottom, you'll see the USB Type-C port, as well as the speaker grille and microphone. On the left is the SIM slot, which is also able to support two Nano-SIMs, or one Nano-SIM and one microSD card, and on the right is the power button and volume rocker.

The ZenFone 3 supports to Nano-SIMs, or one Nano-SIM  and one micro-SD card.

At the top is the left side of the phone, where the SIM slot is located. Below is the right side of the phone.

 

Slightly curved at the rear, sides and front, the ZenFone 3 is comfortable to hold, but the sides can prove to be too slippery, which can lead to the phone slipping out of your hand, especially in an air-conditioned environment.

At the top is how the phone looks like from the bottom. You can see the speaker grille and microphone here. The picture below is the view from the top, with the 3.5mm jack visible.

As for features, the ZenFone 3 is among the few smartphones that come with the High Resolution Audio certification, which means that you're getting superb audio quality when a headset or earphones is connected to the phone, and you're playing FLAC files.

ASUS' Audio Wizard app can be used to enhance the audio quality, but even without this app, audio quality is already good. It supports up to 24-bit, 192kHz files.

Naturally, it comes with a fingerprint sensor. This sensor is able to recognize your fingerprint(s) from any angle, and unlocks in about 0.2 seconds. You can do more with the fingerprint module, such as secure access to selected apps.

There's a fingerprint sensor located at the rear of the phone.

Another interesting feature on the ZenFone 3, is its 4-axis Optical Image Stabilization system (OIS), for stills, and Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) for videos. In addition, there's a laser autofocus system that allows focusing in as fast as 0.03 seconds.

The Game Genie overlay is actually pretty useful if you're an avid mobile gamer.

Last but not least, is ASUS' ZenUI 3.0, which is integrated into nearly every inch of this phone. You'll likely find the Game Genie feature to be the most useful though, as this feature allows you to quickly open a pop-up window for hints and tips while in a game, and even live stream your gaming session via YouTube or Twitch.

8.5
  • Design 9
  • Features 8.5
  • User-Friendliness 8.5
  • Performance 8
  • Value 8
The Good
Gorgeous design
Reasonably good camera system
Supports Hi-Res Audio
Good battery stamina
The Bad
Performance could be better
Slightly pricey