Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie Review

Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie Review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie has a 13-megapixel front camera
  • It is powered by a Snapdragon 430 SoC and has 3GB of RAM
  • It runs ZenUI 4 on top of Android Nougat

Asus launched its ZenFone 4 series in India earlier this year, with the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro, ZenFone 4 Selfie Dual Camera and the ZenFone 4 Selfie all aimed at selfie-loving buyers. We have already put the range-topping ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Review) to the test, and now we have our hands on the entry-level model, the ZenFone 4 Selfie. This smartphone is the entry point into Asus’ latest series and is priced at just Rs. 9,999. While this lower price makes it accessible to a lot of people, does it deliver on the promise of its name, and measure up to its competition? We review to find out.

 

Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie looks and design

The Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie carries the family look and has a familiar design. In fact, the ZenFone 4 Selfie, Zenfone 4 Selfie Dual Camera and the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro would look the same to a casual observer. Asus offers this model in Deep Sea Black, Rose Pink, and Sunlight Gold. We had a Sunlight Gold review unit which is nice enough to look at.

While the body of the smartphone is made of plastic it does look and feel premium. The 5.5-inch IPS display has 2.5D curved glass. Asus hasn’t specified any sort of protection for the display so you might want to be careful while handling this phone. Below the screen is a fingerprint sensor with capacitive touch buttons on either side. The front camera has its own flash, and the usual sensors are positioned right next to it.

At the back, the primary camera is positioned at the centre, with a single LED flash next to it. The phone has curved sides and rounded edges which makes it comfortable to hold. The power and volume buttons are placed on the right. We found the volume buttons to be placed a little too high, which forced us to shuffle the phone in our hand to reach them.

There’s a Micro-USB port and speaker grilles at the bottom, while the headphone jack and secondary microphone are placed on the top of the phone. It weighs 144g and measures 7.8mm in thickness which is manageable. The finish on the body makes the phone easy enough to grip, and we never dropped it accidentally.

Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie specifications and software

Smartphones in the sub Rs. 10,000 segment come packed with good hardware these days, and the ZenFone 4 Selfie is no exception. Asus has equipped this phone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor, which is efficient and is found in the likes of the Nokia 6 (Review) and Moto G5S (Review). The processor has four CPU cores clocked at 1.1GHz and another four clocked at 1.4GHz. The Zenfone 4 Selfie also has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage which can be expanded by up to 2TB using the dedicated microSD card slot.

The ZenFone 4 Selfie is a dual-SIM device and has two Nano-SIM slots. It has support for 4G and VoLTE on both SIMS but only one can latch onto a 4G network at a time. Asus has packed in a 3000mAh battery which is the average capacity we expect from most smartphones today. You get a 7W charger in the box, which takes over two and a half hours to charge the battery fully.

Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Display Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie Review

The screen measures 5.5 inches and has a resolution of 720×1280 pixels. It has good colour reproduction and viewing angles, and we even found it to be usable under sunlight. However, if you like saturated displays, you might be left wanting as there is no way to tweak the output. The fingerprint scanner is fairly accurate and apart from a few misses, we were able to unlock the smartphone easily. The phone is quick to register a fingerprint but takes a little longer than we would like to unlock itself.

Asus ships the ZenFone 4 Selfie running Android Nougat with Zen UI 4.0 on top. We found Zen UI to be easy to use as it has minimal changes compared to stock Android. Asus has chosen a bright theme which makes it look different, but you do have the option to change themes as per your liking. The company has also integrated shortcuts that let you launch apps and interact with the phone using only touch and motion gestures. These are disabled by default and you will need to enable them through the Settings app if you choose to use them.

You can also enable a one-handed mode by double-tapping the Home button, which shrinks the contents of the screen such that it is easier to reach everything with one thumb. The phone lets you run two instances of several apps, and has a mode called Game Genie which clears RAM before launching a game. Asus has also integrated Go2Pay into the Settings, which is a payments app that can be used to pay for bills and recharges.

There are a few preinstalled social media apps such as Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. Asus also has its own Mobile Manager app which gives you details of resource usage for the RAM, battery and storage. Selfie Master is a simple shortcut that launches the camera in beautify mode directly. The same app also includes BeautyLive which lets users stream to Facebook and YouTube with beautification on. Our review unit also had a few preinstalled Japanese apps, and hopefully, retail units will not have these.

Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Camera Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie Review

Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie performance, cameras, and battery life

While the ZenFone 4 Selfie is an entry-level phone, it does pack in powerful hardware. The Snapdragon 430 is good enough to handle day-to-day tasks without any lag or stutter. With 3GB of RAM, we rarely saw apps getting closed. The phone could multitask even with games running in the background. The ZenFone 4 Selfie managed to run most of our usual games without any issues.

We also ran this phone through a few benchmarks to see how it fares against the competition. In AnTuTu, it managed to score 44,276, and the single-core and multi-core tests in Geekbench 4 gave us 668 and 2,563 respectively. We got 10,020 in 3DMark Ice Storm Standard. Battery life is decent and the phone could deliver one day of light to medium use. In our HD video loop test, the phone managed to clock 10 hours, 3 minutes.

The Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie sports a 13-megapixel camera with phase detection autofocus at the back, and a 13-megapixel selfie camera with an f/2.0 aperture at the front. The camera app has shortcuts for HDR, Portrait mode, the timer, and the flash. There are multiple modes including panorama, time-lapse, beauty, pro, and super resolution. Pro mode gives you complete control of the camera which includes the ISO, shutter speed, exposure, white balance, and focus.

Tap to see full-sized Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie camera samples

The phone takes some time to focus and we found it to have a bit of shutter lag. Photos taken with the ZenFone 4 Selfie were just average. We observed that daylight shots lacked detail and some also had a bit of purple fringing. Zoom into a shot and you can see a watercolour-like effect to it. Taking macros is slow as you have to wait for the phone to lock focus. With portrait mode enabled, the smartphone blurs backgrounds digitally in an attempt to make subjects stand out. We found this mode to be inconsistent but it could manage good separation when it worked.

Night shots are barely usable – the phone keeps noise in check but oversharpens photos, resulting in poor output. Selfies are good though and have a good amount of detail. Selfie beautification is somewhat helpful and can improve photos. The selfie flash makes it easy to take shots in low light. Video recording maxes out at 1080p at 30fps, and there is electronic video stabilisation but we did not find it to be very effective.

Verdict
With the Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie, the Selfie series is accessible to a lot of people. Users get a decent front camera and live beautification mode can be useful if you are into vlogging or doing Facebook Live videos. For the price, the ZenFone 4 Selfie has decent hardware, but the performance of the rear camera is below average. If you intend to take a lot of selfies or use the live beautification mode, then the Zenfone 4 Selfie works as a good tool. If you don’t mind spending more, the ZenFone 4 Selfie Dual Camera at Rs 14,999 has dual front cameras consisting of one 20-megapixel selfie shooter and another 8-megapixel one with a wide-angle lens. You also get more RAM and storage, though we haven’t tested the phone out yet, so we can’t speak for its real world performance. If you are on a strict budget and looking for an all-rounder, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Review) would be our pick.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie (ZB553KL)

Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie (ZB553KL)

  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery Life
  • Camera
  • Value for Money
  • Good
  • Good battery life
  • Dedicated microSD card slot
  • Bad
  • Average camera performance
  • Slow fingerprint scanner
Also See
  • Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie (Black, 32GB, 3GB RAM) – OFFER
    Rs.9,999
  • Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie (Gold, 32GB, 3GB RAM) – OFFER
    Rs.9,999
  • Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie (Black, 64GB, 4GB RAM) – OFFER
    Rs.14,999

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Asus ZenFone 4 Series India Launch Set for September 14

Asus ZenFone 4 Series India Launch Set for September 14

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Asus has sent out media invites for its next ZenFone launch
  • The event is set to be held on September 14
  • Asus may launch its selfie-focused smartphones in India

Last month, Asus launched several new ZenFone 4 models, including two selfie-focused smartphones – the Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie and Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro smartphones. Now, the company has sent out media invites for an event on September 14 for the launch ‘of its latest smartphone series’. Furthermore, on its social pages, Asus has confirmed that the next ZenFone is coming next week, confirming the India launch for the ZenFone 4 series.

While there’s no clarity on which smartphones from the ZenFone 4 series will launch in India, Asus has so far, made many ZenFone 4 variants official – the ZenFone 4, ZenFone 4 Pro, ZenFone 4 Selfie, and ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro. The selfie-focused smartphones were launched first, followed by the ZenFone 4 and ZenFone 4 Pro soon after. Back in July, the Asus ZenFone 4 Max was also launched.

Asus has also simultaneously launched a #DitchTheSelfieStick campaign in India as well, hinting that probably the two selfie-focused variants may see the light of the day first. In any case, clarity on that will only be achieved at the event on September 14.

In Europe, the Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro has been priced by the company at EUR 399.99 (roughly Rs. 30,050), while the ZenFone 4 Selfie is priced at EUR 299.99 (roughly Rs. 22,550). These prices are not indicative of how much they will cost in the Indian market, as taxes and government regulation play an additional and definitive deciding role in the final pricing.

As the names suggest, both smartphones are focused on selfies and come with dual cameras at front. The Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro bears a front-facing dual camera setup with a 24-megapixel sensor and another 5-megapixel sensor. The ZenFone 4 Selfie on the other hand comes with a 20-megapixel sensor and another 8-megapixel sensor at the front of the handset. At rear end, both new Asus smartphones feature 16-megapixel primary cameras.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie

Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

5.50-inch

Processor

1.4GHz octa-core

Front Camera

20-megapixel

Resolution

720×1280 pixels

RAM

4GB

OS

Android 7.0

Storage

64GB

Rear Camera

16-megapixel

Battery Capacity

3000mAh

Also See
  • Asus ZenFone 4 A450CG (Red, 8GB) – OFFER
    Rs.6,007
Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

5.50-inch

Processor

2GHz octa-core

Front Camera

24-megapixel

Resolution

1080×1920 pixels

RAM

4GB

OS

Android 7.0

Storage

64GB

Rear Camera

16-megapixel

Battery Capacity

3000mAh

Also See
  • Asus ZenFone 4 A450CG (Red, 8GB) – OFFER
    Rs.6,007

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Asus ZenFone AR Review

Asus ZenFone AR Review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Asus ZenFone AR is the first device to support AR as well as VR
  • It is powered by a modified Snapdragon 821 and has 8GB of RAM
  • The ZenFone AR has motion and depth sensing cameras at the rear

There is no denying that smartphones are evolving at a rapid pace. We constantly see manufacturers release models that are faster and better than the ones that came before. While most companies focus on improving existing features, there are a few who try to take their phones down different paths. We have seen manufacturers like LGand Motorola try modular approaches, Nextbit with cloud storage and Lenovo with Google’s Project Tango for augmented reality. Asus seems to have joined the list with the ZenFone AR, the first device to support AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality).

The ZenFone AR isn’t the first AR device, it was the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro which debuted Google’s Project Tango on a smartphone. Google picked Asus to make the next Tango phone, and the ZenFone AR is the result of the collaboration. But does this device make a strong case for augmented reality on smartphones? We find out.

Asus ZenFone AR look and feel

While today’s flagship devices are all metal and glass, the Asus ZenFone AR stands out thanks to its burnished leather back. The ZenFone AR does not feel slippery and its gunmetal aluminium frame combined with the leather back give this phone a premium feel. It weighs 170 grams and definitely feels solidly built.

The ZenFone AR sports a 5.7-inch display and our review unit came with a glass protector pre-applied, which Asus says will ship in the box for buyers. The capacitive Back and Overview buttons are placed on either side of a physical Home button that has an integrated fingerprint scanner. Above the display is a slightly recessed metal earpiece that picks up pocket lint very easily. Next to that is a notification LED, an ambient light sensor, a proximity sensor, and the 8-megapixel front camera.

The metal frame has antenna bands at the top and bottom, while all the buttons are positioned on the right. Considering the huge footprint of the device, the power button is well positioned but you might have to stretch a little to hit the volume buttons. At the bottom, the ZenFone AR has a USB Type-C port, 3.5mm headphone socket, primary microphone and speaker, while the top has a secondary microphone for noise cancellation. The left side only has the hybrid dual-SIM tray, which we found a little flimsy for an otherwise well-built phone.

The huge camera module on the rear has a brushed finish which goes well with the leather back. It houses what Asus calls a TriCam System consisting of a 23-megapixel camera, plus separate motion sensing and depth sensing cameras. All three are protected by sapphire glass. You can also see the laser autofocus window and triple-LED flash. Lower down at the rear, there are Asus and Tango logos engraved into the leather.

Asus ZenFone AR specifications and software

The front of the ZenFone AR is dominated by a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with Corning Gorilla Glass 4. The display resolution is 1440×2560 pixels (QHD) resulting in a density of 515ppi. It is crisp to look at and the higher resolution does help the VR experience. We found the screen to have good viewing angles but its size does make it harder to avoid reflections when using it outdoors.

The Asus ZenFone AR uses a 3300mAh battery with a stepped design to make the most of the space available inside its body. There is support for Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, and NFC. The USB Type-C port is capable of USB 2.0 speeds and also DisplayPort output over USB. This is a dual-SIM phone with support for 4G and VoLTE. You can pop in two Nano-SIMs or one Nano-SIM and an SD card.

Asus ZenFone AR Screenshots NDTV Asus ZenFone AR Review

Powering the smartphone is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor with two cores clocked at 2.34GHz and the other two clocked at 1.6GHz. Asus told Gadgets 360 that it had to work with Qualcomm and Google engineers to optimize the processor to run AR and VR. The sensors on the ZenFone AR have a higher polling frequency than usual, which helps the device capture motion more accurately. In addition to vapour cooling, the chassis of the ZenFone AR has been made thicker to help the SoC dissipate heat faster. There’s also 8GB of RAM, out of which we found 5GB to be free after using the phone all day. There is 128GB of storage which can be expanded using the hybrid dual-SIM slot. The phone accepts microSD cards of up to 200GB.

In terms of software, the ZenFone AR runs on Android 7.0 Nougat with ZenUI 3.5 on top. The user interface is functionally similar to stock Android, but Asus has customised the icons, and there are themes to change its look. There are gestures that let you wake the device by double tapping on the screen or launch apps by drawing alphabets on the screen. One-handed mode makes it easy to use this big phone. Asus has pre-installed apps such as ZenCircle, a social media app; and ZenTalk, which is a community and support app to help with after-sales service. You also get the Beauty Live app, which launched with the Asus ZenFone Live (Review).

Asus ZenFone AR performance, battery life, AR, and VR

While the competition might offer more powerful specifications in this price range, the ZenFone AR is no slouch. The processor is powerful and we did not encounter any lag or stutter when using the phone. We ran our standard set of benchmarks on the ZenFone AR and it managed 156,658 in AnTuTu, as well as 1,798 and 4354 in Geekbench’s single- and multi-core tests. In GFXBench, the ZenFone AR returned 54fps for the T-Rex test. We found that the scores were slightly higher than those of the LG G6(Review).

We played games like Clash Royale, Need For Speed: No Limits, Asphalt 8, and found that the ZenFone AR could handle them really well. There were no frame drops or stutters during gameplay. The phone ran cool most of the time but it did get a little warm after playing Asphalt 8 for long time. We did not see any abnormal battery drain either. In our HD video loop test, the phone managed to go on for 11 hours, 55 minutes. With light to medium use, the device can manage to get through a full day.

Zenfone AR DogAR NDTV Asus ZenFone AR

Augmented reality (AR) is a way to display digital information over real-world scenes. The Asus Zenfone AR is capable of doing this and it comes with a couple of preloaded AR apps. BMW i-Visualiser projects the BMW i8 or i3 in whatever space you have, letting you examine it from all angles and even peer inside just by moving this phone around as if you were looking at a real-world object through its camera.

Measure is an app that uses the triple-camera setup to actually measure distances between 3D objects in real-world units. iStaging is a catalogue of products, mainly furniture, that can be seen and placed in a room at their actual size and scale, to let you see how they look and fit. AR Pets is a more fun app that overlays animals on the camera’s viewfinder screen making it look like they are with you in real life.

The ZenFone AR does augmented reality very well and it can look very realistic. Virtual objects are quick to respond to hand movements, and you can see them changing size and position on screen as you move the phone around and change your perspective.

While performance is impressive, the ZenFone AR does let you know that it is putting in a lot of work. AR is resource-hungry and despite the aforementioned design enhancements, we found that the device would get quite hot when using AR applications for long periods. The top half of the metal frame would get hot but the leather back remained cool to the touch. We also saw rapid drain in the battery level when using these apps.

The Asus ZenFone AR also works with Google’s Daydream platform for virtual reality (VR). Asus claims that the display has a 1ms refresh rate and a 2ms persistence, which helps it deliver smooth experiences. We found the VR experience to be good and the Google Daydream View headset was very comfortable. The screen switches to a 90Hz refresh rate which is easier on the eyes when you launch a VR application, and this should reduce the chance that users could feel motion sick. We tried YouTube VR and Google’s Art & Culture VR app, which were both very immersive. The Daydream remote makes it easier to navigate and carry out actions without being able to see it. If you want the best VR experience without spending on a PC-powered headset, a Daydream phone with the Daydream View could make for a good choice.

Zenfone AR Daydream Worn NDTV Asus ZenFone AR

Asus ZenFone AR camera performance

The ZenFone AR’s 23-megapixel camera has laser autofocus along with phase and contrast detection to help the phone lock focus in different situations. Unlike the dual-camera setups that we have been seeing in recent devices such as the OnePlus 5 (Review) and Honor 8 Pro (Review), the ZenFone AR doesn’t use its additional sensors for standard photography. The camera app is made by Asus and has several modes. Apart from the usual Panorama, HDR and Filter there are Super Resolution, Low Light, Depth of Field, Slow Motion, and a few other modes. Super Resolution extrapolates the output from multiple exposures resulting in a 92-megapixel image. Low Light mode combines data from multiple pixels dropping the overall resolution but reducing grain. Depth of Field can be used when taking macros, and it lets you edit the blur effect after images are shot. You also get a Manual mode which lets you take control over multiple parameters and even shoot in RAW format.

Tap to see full-sized ZenFone AR camera samples.

Photos from the ZenFone AR turned out well, but we did observe that the phone isn’t very sure about white balance and gets it wrong sometimes. Macros did require a few taps to focus where we wanted but the output had good separation between subjects and backgrounds. When taking photos of objects at a distance, we found that there was a little loss in detail with grain in the output. Photos taken in low light had noise. However, we found that the phone would recommend using the low-light mode in such conditions, and it did improve photos but at the cost of their lower resolution.

The ZenFone AR can record video at 4K and there is an option for full-HD at 60fps as well. While there is 4-axis OIS for photos, you only get 3-axis EIS for video. Our test footage at 4K and 1080p/ 60fps showed that the EIS did not work very well.

The 8-megapixel selfie camera on the ZenFone AR has a beautification mode which is switched on by default, but there are HDR Pro, Slow Motion, Selfie Panorama, and Low Light modes as well. With the beautification mode enabled the phone returns smoothened images. You can switch to Auto mode for a more natural look. We were happy with the selfies that the ZenFone AR captured.


Asus ZenFone AR in pictures

Verdict

The ZenFone AR is an example of a new direction that the smartphone industry could head in. Instead of simply beefing up the internals, Asus offers a set of new experiences on a single smartphone. What the ZenFone AR offers at the moment is unique, but it is a niche product for people who might have a use for AR, rather than a great phone which also has that feature. If you want to be among the first to experience AR, or simply show off, this is the phone for you.

If you are a developer looking to work on AR or VR related apps for Android, the ZenFone AR could be a great tool. The same can be said for individuals or companies looking to leverage augmented reality to demonstrate their products. Apart from this, the specs do make this phone feel a little out of place at its current price. If you want a highly polished flagship experience, look at the HTC U11 (Review), Sony Xperia XZ Premium (Review) or OnePlus 5 instead.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Asus ZenFone AR

Asus ZenFone AR

  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery life
  • Camera
  • Value for money
  • Good
  • Does augmented reality well
  • Daydream ready
  • Bad
  • Overheats when using AR for a long time
  • Competition offer better SoC at the same price
Also See
  • Apple iPhone 7 (Rose Gold, 32GB)
    Rs. 48,700
  • Apple iPhone 7 (Black, 32GB) – OFFER
    Rs. 48,999
  • Apple iPhone 7 (Rose Gold, 32GB)
    Rs. 48,049

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Asus ZenFone 3 Laser Review

Asus ZenFone 3 Laser Review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Asus ZenFone 3 Laser has been priced at Rs. 18,999
  • It sports a metal body and packs a 3000mAh battery
  • Gadgets 360 rates the phone 7 out of 10

Asus has focused on the premium segment with its third-generation ZenFone smartphone range. The company has made it clear that it no longer wants to fight it out in the budget smartphone market where competition has been fierce lately. Asus is now looking to take on the likes ofApple, LG, and Samsung. While the Taiwanese company is yet to launch the top-end ZenFone 3 Deluxe that will go up against all of today’s flagships, the rest of the range is steadily being released in India.

We reviewed the Asus ZenFone 3 (ZE552KL) a little while ago and it came out looking like a strong alternative for buyers who are looking at the popular OnePlus 3 (Review). Recently, the company started selling the Asus ZenFone 3 Laser (ZC551KL) in India, which will only be available online for a month before hitting offline retail channels.

Similar to other ZenFone 3 models, the new Asus ZenFone 3 Laser runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow and features a metal body. This particular model is aimed at shutterbugs, with its quick autofocus and improved camera. Will that be enough to set it apart from the competition? We try to find out.Asus ZenFone 3 Laser look and feel
The ZenFone 3 Laser sports an all-metal body with 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass in front for protection. It measures 149x76x7.9mm and weighs 150 grams. Despite featuring a 5.5-inch screen , the ZenFone 3 Laser easily fits in one hand. The Asus ZenFone 3 (ZE552KL), on the other hand, has the same screen size but we didn’t find it as comfortable to use one-handed.

The front is dominated by the 5.5-inch full-HD display, above which is the front camera. According to Asus, the handset sports 77 percent screen-to-body ratio. There are capacitive Android navigation buttons below the display. Considering that the navigation buttons are not backlit, we initially found this phone hard to use in the dark. Our review unit was the Sand Gold colour, and this phone will be also available in silver.

The rear is also metal, unlike the ZenFone 3 which came with glass back. There are two lines running across top and bottom of the rear, similar to the back of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3. Asus says that this phone has a fingerprint- and smudge-resistant oleophobic coating.

The rear camera protrudes from the back and follows the same design language as the rest of the ZenFone 3 range. Near it, you’ll see the dual-LED flash and laser autofocus emitter. The fingerprint scanner is placed right below the camera, and Asus branding can be seen at the bottom. The power and volume buttons are on the right, while the hybrid SIM slot is on the left. The top features the 3.5mm audio jack while the bottom has a standard Micro-USB port and speaker grille.

One of the difficulties we faced during the review period was that the edges of the Micro-USB port and the two screws on the bottom were a bit sharp, and and we ended up with minor scratches on our palm while using this phone.

The 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920-pixel) IPS display is vibrant and can reproduce colours really well. Blacks are rich, and the brightness level is also quite good. Text and images look crisp. Users can adjust the colour temperature using Asus’ Splendid app. Sunlight legibility was decent and we had no trouble using the handset outdoors at any given time. Viewing angle was also not a problem while watching movie, video, or any other multimedia content.

We however found that the display was fingerprint magnet and we had to clean it from time to time. Much like the ZenFone 3 (ZE552KL), the ZenFone 3 Laser features a blue light filter that claims to protect eyes from glare. During our review, we didn’t face any issue with touch response, and there’s support for using this phone with gloves as well.

Asus ZenFone 3 Laser specifications and software
The ZenFone 3 Laser is powered by an octa-core 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor clocked at 1.4GHz, with integrated Adreno 505 graphics and 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM. It packs 32GB of built-in storage and supports up to 128GB more using a microSD card. In collaboration with Google, Asus is also offering up to 100GB of cloud storage on Google Drive for two years, which you can use to store photos, videos, and other documents.

There’s a 13-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 aperture and dual-LED real-tone flash. It supports 1080p video recording at 30 fps. There’s also an 8-megapixel front camera with f/2.0 aperture. Connectivity options include Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi direct, GPS/A-GPS, Glonass, and 4G. The handset has a hybrid SIM slot and supports one Micro-SIM and the other slot is for a Nano-SIM, but users have to choose between two SIMs or one SIM with one microSD card.

Asus claims that SIM in either slot can support 3G and 4G networks though only one can be active at a time. The ZenFone 3 Laser supports LTE cat 4 speeds, which means downloads of up to 150 Mbps and uploads of up to 50 Mbps. The handset is backed by a 3000mAh non-removable battery.

The Asus ZenFone 3 Laser runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow with the company’s ZenUI 3.0 skin on top. The software running on the ZenFone 3 Laser is identical to that of the ZenFone 3 (ZE552KL) and you can read more about it in our review of the ZenFone 3. The most notable features include the real-time animated weather and clock widgets; parallax motion effect on the home screen; and Zen motion gestures that let you perform tasks quickly.

Asus over the years has definitely improved its ZenUI interface. The latest version seems light, clean, and uncluttered. We were however disappointed to see a lot of Asus’s own apps including Themes, Photo Collage, Mini Movie, ZenCircle, ZenSync, Weather, Do It Later, Game Genie, ZenFone Care, and Cover. There are also some third-party apps including Amazon Shopping, Saavn, TripAdvisor, Instagram, Amazon Kindle, and Facebook. Many of these could have been done away with.

Asus ZenFone 3 Laser camera
The camera app on the ZenFone 3 Laser launched quickly even from the lock screen. The interface is easy to understand. Users can choose Manual, HDR Pro, Beautification, Super Resolution, Low-light, QR Code, Night, Depth of field, Effect, Selfie, GIF animation, Panorama, Miniature, Time rewind, Slow motion, or Time Lapse. It’s worth noting that all these modes are consistent across the ZenFone 3 range.

One of the most hyped features of this phone is its laser autofocus technology which claims to locks focus in just 0.03 seconds. During our review, we found that this feature really did work pretty fast. The laser autofocus plays a major role when taking close-up shots.

The camera on the ZenFone 3 Laser can take some amazing photos with a good amount of detail and decent colour reproduction in well-lit conditions. On zooming in to images, we detected slight noise and grain in the corners. We were especially impressed with low-light shots taken by the ZenFone 3 Laser, which are good even though there was some grain and oversaturation at times.

Tap to see full-sized Asus ZenFone 3 Laser camera samples

We tried recording 1080p videos on the ZenFone 3 Laser and the results were great. The electronic image stabilisation (EIS) feature came in handy while recording videos, making them clean even when our hands weren’t steady.

The front camera is also decent and takes selfies quickly. On opening the front-facing camera, the ZenFone 3 Laser automatically launches Beautification mode, though users can disable it. In our opinion, this phone is decent for everyday pictures.

Asus ZenFone 3 Laser performance
The Asus ZenFone 3 Laser manages does a good job of multitasking, but did slow down a bit with lots of apps open in the background. Watching movies is pleasant thanks to the display quality. We didn’t face any heating issues except for it getting slightly warm when charging, gaming, and recording videos at 1080p. Similar to other metal-bodied devices, the ZenFone 3 Laser can get slippery, especially with sweaty hands. During our review, the ZenFone 3 Laser slipped out of our hands a couple of times, but thankfully no damage was done to the unit.

The fingerprint scanner responded well during our usage and was quick at times. The phone can unlocked with a fingerprint even when it’s in standby, which is convenient. The omission of a USB Type-C port is one thing that seems dated about this phone. The speakers are loud enough, and the bundled earphones are decent for music quality with minimal distortion at higher volumes.

The Asus ZenFone 3 Laser turned in passable scores when we ran usual suite of benchmark tests, with 43,140 and 23,956 in AnTuTu and Quadrant respectively. GFXBench and 3D Mark Ice Storm Extreme returned 15fps and 5,570 points respectively.

Featuring a non-removable 3000mAh battery, the ZenFone 3 Laser was able to run for 12 hours and 25 minutes in our video loop test. This was really surprising, considering that the ZenFone 3 ran for 13 hours and 45 minutes in the same test. With a few hours of calling, Internet browsing, photography, watching videos on YouTube, and using standard apps including Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp plus everyday tasks, the ZenFone 3 Laser was able to last over a day. The ZenFone 3 Laser, unlike other ZenFone 3 smartphones, doesn’t support fast charging.

Verdict
Asus has gambled a little by pricing the ZenFone 3 Laser at around Rs. 20,000. Xiaomi’s Redmi 3S andRedmi 3S Prime (Review) are powered by the same octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 SoC, and are priced below Rs. 10,000. Performance in benchmarks is below that of other phones we have seen at the ZenFone 3 Laser’s price level.

Recommending this phone therefore becomes tough. Competitors such as the Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime (Review) and Lenovo Z2 Plus (Review) offer better value for money in terms of overall performance. The ZenFone 3 Laser’s camera does stand out, but it cannot justify such a high price premium. Considering that this phone also has a metal body, decent screen, and software enhancements, a price of Rs. 15,000 or less would be much more appropriate.

For those interested, the Asus ZenFone 3 Laser (ZC551KL) is now selling on Flipkart, where it will be exclusive for a month before becoming more widely available.


Asus ZenFone 3 Laser in pictures

Asus ZenFone 3 Laser

Asus ZenFone 3 Laser

Rs.18,999

  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery life
  • Camera
  • Value for money
  • Good
  • Good camera
  • Decent display
  • Bad
  • Relatively weak battery life
  • Overpriced
  • Too much bloatware
Tags: Asus ZenFone 3 Laser Price, Asus ZenFone 3 Laser Price in India, Asus ZenFone 3 Laser Specifications, Asus, Asus Mobiles,Mobiles
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