• SPECIFICATIONS
  • Display: 5.5-inch Full HD IPS
  • Processor: Intel Atom 64-bit
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0 + EDR, WiFi, NFC
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Storage: 32/64/128GB eMMC Flash expandable with microSD
  • Operating System: Android 5.0
  • Camera: 13MP (rear), 5MP (front)
  • Dimensions: 158.9 x 78.88 x 5mm
  • Weight: 157g
  • Pros:
  • Performance
  • 3x Optical Zoom
  • Cons:
  • Image Quality
  • Benchmark Results
  • 3DMark Icestorm Unlimited: 7,667 points
  • PC Mark Work: 5,684 points
  • Antutu: 43,767 points

Take A Step And Snap

Photography with mobile phones have become a fad of sorts, with the quality of cameras in phones getting better as the days go by it’s not surprising how big this trend has become. Apps like Pinterest and Instagram or even Twitter and Facebook have allowed people to share their photos on social media creating a boom in mobile photography that is still rising even now.

The ZenFone Zoom is targeted for those who want to see the world up close, and is also the thinnest smartphone with 3x optical zoom. With an innovative 10-element HOYA lens arrangement for crisp detail, the camera boasts a zoom of up to 12x total magnification that promises great pictures without the need of too much digital zoom.

Sporting an Intel Atom quad-core 64-bit processor, the phone allows you to multitask and do all your activities lag-free. This is further boosted by 4GB of RAM that helps the Zoom to reach the performance levels ASUS has set out to achieve. It also runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop and features Corning’s Gorilla Glass 4.

With all the bells and whistles for the camera it’s obvious that we would test the camera and see what kind of images it’ll give us. The 3x optical zoom is definitely a great addition and is in the right direction for phone cameras, retaining image quality that isn’t possible when using digital zoom. The camera also has many profiles that you can choose from to take pictures in different settings and scenarios.

There is also a manual mode which will give you the freedom you can usually find on a DSLR camera, such as ISO and shutter speed. Although with all these features and functions, image quality does fall short of what was expected. Pictures have a slight noise to them and when taking pictures it there is quite a big delay between shots if you want to take shots continuously.

Performance-wise the ZenFone Zoom is smooth sailing. Swiping through menus is effortless and lagless, with multi-tasking multiple apps not causing any considerable lag from our tests. The battery life is decent able to last a full day with moderate surfing and gaming. But if your battery is low, ASUS implemented their exclusive BoostMaster Technology which with its 18w charger quickly charged the phone up 100 percent in about 50 minutes from 15-20 percent.

CHIP CONCLUDE: When it comes to hardware the Zenfone Zoom looks great on paper, it performs as it should but the camera is a tad disappointing when such great features are present, especially the optical zoom.

(previously published in issue December 2015)

ZenFone Zoom(ZX551ML)