Asus has unveiled the latest member of the Zenfone series, Asus Zenfone Zoom. The camera-focused phone, which was announced at CES, will be available for Indian consumers at Rs 37,999 on Flipkart and Asus retail stores. Throw in another Rs 2000 and you'll get a small tripod and Zenflash with the phone.
Asus Zenfone Zoom is a 5.5" phone with a full HD display and Gorilla glass 4 protection. It uses intel's Quad-core 64-bit Atom chipset and 4 GB RAM. Internal storage is huge at 128 GB and an option of microSD slot. The rear camera on which the phone is focused is a 13 MP, a f/2.7 shooter with 10 element HOYA lens. The camera has 3X optical zoom with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS).
The front camera is of 5 MP and f/2.0 aperture. It has the ability to click panorama selfie. On the software from the phone runs ZenUI based on Android 5.0. The camera software has been focused on a lot. The phone has Pixelmaster software with different modes like Backlight, beautification and object removal. It also has an advanced Manual mode for experienced photographers.
"The Zenfone series has been highly successful all over the world, selling 28 million units till now. In India, Asus has sold 3 million Zenfones and a record highest 80000 phones in a day in an online sale," Asus CEO Jerry Shen said.
"Last year in January we launched the first smartphone with 4 GB RAM. This year we shifted focus to something that everyone loves. Photos," he said.
Jen Chuang from Asus design center explained the process, material, and thinking which went into designing the phone.
"I always take a lot of photos in my tour. From close-ups to panoramas and zoomed photos. So we teamed up with HOYA, japan to make a camera which gives you a DSLR experience," Erik Hermanson, Global marketing director, said while explaining the components which went into the making of the camera.
Intel's Anand Dhand also attend the event to talk about the partnership between two companies.
Asus had set up a huge experience zone with different kinds of set-up to explore various aspects of the phone but here also the focus was on the camera. The phone felt solid in the hand, not too big to operate with one hand. The screen looked nice, although not overwhelmingly good.
The faux-leather finish doesn't feel as good as a leather but we have to see how it feels after a bit of use. The camera controls on the side will be particularly useful for recording and capturing.
Talking about the camera, point and shoot feature was pretty good. We tried taking a few macro shots and they came out nicely. There is are inbuilt modes in camera. Asus had a separate booth for demonstrating the long exposure feature which was fairly impressive. Surely, we will test this further in real life scenarios.
The 3X optical zoom worked well in the setup, clearly displaying the work that has gone into crafting the camera. The biggest surprise though was that despite all these features the video recording was limited to 1080p at 60 fps.
On the performance scale, the software did feel a bit wonky at times running ZenUI built on Android 5.0 but it might not just be the final software in the shipped devices. Playing Asphalt 8 on the phone was a good experience. No hiccups whatsoever and that is expected out of the 64-bit intel processor.
Look out for our full review of the phone.
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