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Asus Zenfone Zoom in the Philippines: Our First Impressions!
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Asus Zenfone Zoom in the Philippines: Our First Impressions!

by Bon Francisco Talampas, Jr.January 19, 2016

Over the weekend, Asus PH team has brought in some media friends to Cebu to witness the Philippines’ official launch of the Zenfone Zoom and to experience Sinulog Festival up close!

I got to admit, the ZenFone Zoom is a very impressive smartphone. It is fast and zippy, while at the same time beautiful and elegant. What really impressed me was the camera performance. It is surprisingly good. In my opinion, it is ready to give (point-&-shoot) digital cameras a run for their money. The Hoya-made 3x optical zoom lens does make a lot of difference. I think I found my next daily driver. – Bryan of Technobaboy.com

Overall, it’s a superb experience with Zenfone Zoom, my only issue with this device is its weight – it’s really heavy, though overtime you’ll get used to it. On a lighter side, the weight really justifies everything, the PC-grade specs performs well. It has everything you could ask for in a phone: great performance, solid camera, excellent battery life and a design we can live with. Camera is topnotch! – Bon of Taragis.Com

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Priced at Php 26,995, the Zenfone Zoom, is the world’s thinnest 3X optical-zoom smartphone with 13MP PixelMaster camera, 10-element lens, laser auto-focus and 5mm edge. Though tagged as an expensive device, the new design, internal features and of course the camera capability arguably justify its cost.

In front you have a 5.5-inch Full HD (1920×1080) display with a Gorilla Glass 4 coating, resulting 403 ppi pixel density and has anti-fingerprint coating technology.

Zenfone Zoom Display

The handset measures 158.9 x 78.84 x 11.95~5 mm and weighs 185 grams. It’s a relatively heavy device, I think, the heaviest Asus smartphone to date.

The unibody metal frame is polished with a smooth finish. The back cover is real leather crafted using traditional Italian tailoring skills. I am amazed with the details of the back cover which is delivered to give a premium look.

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Packed inside the smartphone are high-end hardware specs. It is powered by 64-bit quad-core Intel Atom 2.5Ghz processor with 4GB dual-channel DDR3 RAM and 128GB storage. Supports LTE Category 4+ for download speed up to 250Mbit/s.

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The back of the ZenFone Zoom looks more like a pocket camera and is somewhat similar in Nokia Lumia 1020’s camera module.

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The Zoom uses a 13-megapixel Panasonic SmartFSI sensor and has 10-element lens from Hoya. This allows the camera to provide up to 3x optical zoom without adding any noticeable bulk. The camera has an aperture range from f/2.7 to f/4.8 and a 28-84mm focal length.

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We roam around the streets of Cebu during the Sinulog Festival and I took some sample photos using different modes, check them below.

Asus has also thrown in a Laser Auto Focus for speedy focus adjustment, optical image stabilization, a manual mode in which you can control white balance, exposure, ISO, shutter speed, and focal point, as well as some macro photography skills. There are also lots of camera-focused software enhancements, like Super Resolution mode, it captures and combines four 13-megapixel photos to create a 52-megapixel image with an exceptional four times (4x) clarity.

The device has a dedicated record and camera buttons.

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The leading border is clear and in the base you get the Micro-USB charging/data-transfer slot combined with the 3.5mm sound jack on top and strap loop.

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It has an earpiece in the center and usual set of proximity and ambient light sensors.

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The Asus Zenfone Zoom is equipped with 3,000mAh non-removable battery with intelligent power saving mode. The handset can be charged from 0-60% just within 40 minutes.

Asus Zenfone Zoom Specs

Processor64-Bit Intel Atom Z3590 2.5GHz Quad-Core
Operatins SystemAsus ZenUI under Android 5.0 Lollipop
Display5.5-inch Full HD with 403ppi pixel dentsity. IPS Display with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection
CameraRear: 13MP, f/2.7 to 4.8 aperture, 10 element, 3x opticl zoom lens, with optical image stabilization (IOS), laser auto focus and dual-color Real Tone flash

Front: 5MP, f/2.0-aperture, wide angle 88 degree lens with Pano Selfie Pixelmaster
NetworkGSM/GPRS/EDGE; WCDMA/HSPA+/DC-HSPA+; FDD-LTE
Memory and Storage128GB ROM
mDDR3 4GB RAM
MicroSD card slot up to 128GB
Wireless802.11ac, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0
LocationGPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
Other sensorsAccelerometer, Proximity, Ambient Light, Gyro, Digital Compass and Hall effect sensors
Battery3000mAh non removable li-po
ColorsPure Black, Ceramic White
Dimensions158.9 x 78.84 x 11.95~5mm
Weight185g

UPDATE as of January 21, 2016: Asus Zenfone Zoom is now available in the Philippines for Php 26,995. Follow Asus PH official Twitter account: @AsusPH and Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ASUSph

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About The Author
Bon Francisco Talampas, Jr.
Bon Talampas, Jr. is a computer engineer, a former member of a technical team that supports a leading health care company. Prior to his stint abroad, he worked as an IT specialist and a university lecturer. Bon also holds an MBA. And aside from being a computer geek and DOTA fanatic, he spends most of his idle hours in blogging and photography. You can also read more about him at www.bonistation.com.