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Asus ZenFone Zoom Unboxing And First Impressions - Re-imagined For The Better

Among the plethora of Asus ZenFone's in the world, there has to be a king. That has to be the ZenFone Zoom, the re-imagined ZenFone that goes with a much improved aesthetics and rare 3x optical zoom designed to take the very best camera phones n the world.
Asus ZenFone Zoom unboxing
Here's the sexy ZenFone Zoom in the flesh

As a matter of fact, it took the company quite a while since its was first announced last year to finally  release it as they meticulously refined the said handset to give everyone the very best possible experience of it.

Moving forward this 2016 and few weeks back since its official launch in the Philippines, we were able to grab a hold and unbox the said device. Let's start!

Asus ZenFone Zoom Specs

Display: 5.5 Inch IPS FHD 1920 x 1080 resolution w/ Gorilla Glass 4 protection at 401 ppi
CPU: 2.5 GHz 64 bit Intel Atom Z3590 quad core processor
GPU: PowerVR 6430
ROM: 64 / 128 GB expandable via micro SD card up to 128 GB
Back Camera: 13 MP w/ laser AF, OIS, 3x optical zoom and dual tone LED flash
Selfie Camera: 5 MP
Battery: 3,000 mAh Li Pol w/ fast charging tech
OS: Android 5.0 Lollipop w/ Zen UI
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, LTE Cat 4+, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS, A GPS, Dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, proximity, compass, light, gyroscope
Others: Colors: pure black and ceramic white
Dimensions: 158.9 x 78.8 x 12 mm
Weight: 185 g
Price: 26,995 Pesos (PHP 14,990 sale price)

Unboxing / Accessories

ZenFone Zoom Box
The elegant box of ZenFone Zoom

The Zoom comes in the most exciting, well thought of and premium packaging that I ever saw from Asus that's definitely a step up over their old white normal carton looking box.
Inclusions inside
Some of the inclusions included in the package

Upon opening the box, I was greeted by the beautiful ZenFone Zoom itself. After digging further, you'll find their 2A fast charging wall charger and micro USB cables together with the manual.

What's interesting here is you get the great sounding and bass heavy for a freebie Asus ZenEar with eartips for FREE and the premium looking strap that you can attach to your phone.

Build Quality / Design

View below the Zoom
A view below together showing the microphone micro USB port, the capacitive keys and the soft rounded corners of the device

This is the most premium Asus smartphone yet! It's made out of a combination of well machined / smooth metal frame, the extra tough Gorilla Glass 4 on the screen and genuine Italian leather back cover. It feels even tougher than all the older ZenFone's with great build quality already.
On the right side, the power button, volume rocker and dedicated camera button was ergonomically placed

Moving to the design, the overall look of this phone improved dramatically compared to the older ZenFone 2 variants. Gone are the not so refined edges, LG like buttons at the back and the edge to edge like feel.

Note: There's also a 3.5 mm jack and microphone on top on top of the phone
Full display of the phone
Full front view of the phone

I was also surprised to see it this thin as well considering that this phone have 3x optical zoom. It's actually the thinnest in the world with that type of setupThe camera protrusion isn't also not that prominent at the back that maintained its slim feel. At the back the genuine Italian leather looks so good that will surely turn a lot of heads. Yes even your bosses will find this one absolutely stunning.

The more important improvement in its design is you get a more ergonomic hold of the device. The grip and button locations is a lot better as it is on a single side now. The dedicated camera button on the upper right side is also easier to use compared with other phones that has the same feature but requires you to uncomfortably extend your fingers further first.

So far the only thing that I find missing here is the inclusion of a fingerprint sensor that's slowly evolving to a standard today.

Asus retained some of the elements found with the older ZenFone's, but the Zoom features a new breed of build and design that's better as a whole. This is something that Asus should continue in their next releases.

Camera Samples

Check out how sharp the photo look and its very nice color accuracy
Here's a sample of an against the light shot
Maximum zoom in action, take a good look on how there's little grains in this image
Selfie test
A selfie sample featuring Eason and Francis of Asus Philippines

Going to the main event, this rear camera of this device is one of the most sophisticated and advanced setup you'll find in a phone today. It goes with a 13 MP with laser autofocus, OIS, dual tone LED flash, 10 element lens made by hoya and the highly touted 3x optical zoom.

Given that all those recipes found in its camera hardware we have very high expectations with phone. So far, the Zoom also works! There's little blur and grains on the photo I took even when you zoom all the way. It's still not that great, but there are very few phones that can give this type of quality on zoom. Then quality of the photos I took comes with pretty nice sharpness that's rich and punchy colors which doesn't look as saturated against the ZenFone Selfie.

Note: You can also use the volume rocker to zoom in and out

Specs and features analysis

If you're familiar with the ZenFone 2, this phone goes with near the same configuration except for the higher clocked 2.5 GHz 64 bit Intel Atom Z3590 quad core processor and new rear camera setup with 3x optical zoom. It still retained that game changing 4 GB of RAM, 3,000 mAh of battery capacity and world class connectivity that includes LTE.

Given those still monstrous configuration, the ZenFone Zoom can virtually run any app or heavy game your throw at it. It's also one of the best handsets for multitasking due to that huge 4 GB of RAM.

My only concern so far it the battery life, they clocked this one higher, so there's a chance of faster drains compared with the regular ZenFone 2. I'll have to see it myself soon first to know how long can this one go on a single charge, before judging.

Software-wise, the rest of the Asus Zen UI goodies is available with this phone as well.

As of the moment

So far so good! This is almost everything we expected from an Asus Flagship device. You'll get that meaty flagship worthy specs, the camera zoom is nearly as good as advertised and the much improved aesthetics made it look like a device that's pricier than its asking price.

For our full review: Asus ZenFone Zoom Review - Real Optical Zoom And More!
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