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Asus ZenFone 3 (5.5 Inch) Unboxing And First Impressions - The Talk Of The Town!

Here in the Philippines, Asus is the top smartphone brand in the 5.5 inch category. The main device that propelled that success is the ZenFone 2, the first handset in the world with game changing 4 GB of RAM.
Asus ZenFone 3 5.5 inch variant with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB ROM

Fast forward 2016, the Taiwanese giant announced the ZenFone 3, the much deserved follow-up to that hit. Asus made ensured that it'll be a so much better device all over. From build (plastic to glass and metal), aesthetics (better and more ergonomic design), chipset (Intel to Snapdragon), cameras (Toshiba to Sony), connectivity, advanced features (fingerprint scanner) , and UI skin.

The result is as early as now, even if it isn't officially launched in PH yet, the Asus ZenFone 3 is most talked about handset in our country.

Given those traits, this handset is poised once again to be the next gen force to be reckoned with in the bang per buck midrange smartphone category. Without any further delay, we'll confirm that in this review.

Note: We have the 5.5 inch model with 4 GB RAM / 64 GB ROM for this review, there's no price yet.

Disclaimer: This unit was seeded by Asus Philippines for an honest review

Asus ZenFone 3 (ZE552KL) Specs

Display: 5.5 Inch FHD IPS 1920 x 1080 resolution w/ 2.5D curved glass and Gorilla Glass 4 protection at 401 ppi
CPU: 2.0 GHz 64 Bit Snapdragon 625 octa core processor
GPU: Adreno 506
ROM: 64 GB expandable via micro SD card slot up to 128 GB
Back Camera: 16 MP f/2.0 w/ Tri-tech AF, 4 Axis OIS, Axis EIS and dual tone LED flash
Selfie Camera: 8 MP f/2.0 w/ wide angle lens
Battery: 3,000 mAh Li Pol
OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow w/ ZenUI 3.0
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 3G, LTE, Bluetooth 4.2, FM Radio, GPS, A GPS, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, proximity, compass, light, gyroscope
Others: Fingerprint sensor, USB Type C, Colors: sapphire black, moonlight white, shimmer gold
Dimensions: 152.6 x 77.4 x 7.7 mm
Weight: 155 g
Price: 18,995 Pesos

Unboxing / Accessories

The new box
The new box

Asus changed the design of its packaging into a simpler yet more elegant type of black box commonly found with high-end smartphones.

It includes a standard 2A fast charging adapter, USB Type C reversible cables, a nice sounding ZenEar with mic, extra eartip sizes, and basic paper documentations that serves as guides. (I also bet that there's a SIM ejector tool included, but I couldn't find it in my package, maybe I just misplaced it somewhere)
What's inside the package
What's inside the package

There's just no case or screen protector included that would have made the entire package better.

Build Quality / Design

The beautiful glass material, protruding main camera, flash, laser auto focus, and fingerprint scanner visible at the back
The beautiful glass material, protruding main camera, flash, laser auto focus, and fingerprint scanner visible at the back

The total refinement is evident! The ZenFone 3 feels and looks so much better against the ageing ZenFone 2. Great thing about it is it changed for the better.

This next-gen ZenFone boast a metal frame unibody frame with gorgeous chamfers and curved edges. In front and back, there's a beautiful looking 2.5S curved arc screen with Gorilla Glass 4 protection.

It's excellently made, the metal frame is top notch, and its glass isn't prone to scratches. However, even if it won't break, avoid dropping this machine on table high condition to avoid cracking the beautiful glass at the back.
On the upper part of the phone, you'll find the selfie cam, ear-speaker, and 3.5 mm audio jack
On the upper part of the phone, you'll find the selfie cam, ear-speaker, and 3.5 mm audio jack
USB Type C below
USB Type C below (there's a capacitive key with no backlighting above it)
Eject-able SIM and micro SD card slots here
Eject-able SIM and micro SD card slots here
Textured power button and volume rocker at right
Textured power button and volume rocker at right
This midrange phone has flagship grade build, aesthetics, and ergonomics!
Taking a look on how the device is dressed, it's the midrange phone clothed with a high-end wardrobe. It ranks among the most elegant looking phones I've seen this year which isn't trying hard to look great. Style-wise, the handset reminds me of a slightly improved Samsung flagship with its fingerprint sensor placement at the back. The unit is also slim at 7.7 mm, and doesn't look big for a 5.5 inch phone due to its slim screen bezels.
This handset is a welcome sight, an easy to love phone even on looks alone!
To nitpick, the glass back is prone to smudges and the main camera is slightly protruding.

In terms of ergonomics, this phone it is a masterpiece! It felt like it took all the great pages of their competitors and combined them to give one of the nicest experience around. The phone is amazing to hold which doesn't feel like it lags even if you compare it against the S7's and the P9's. The grip is great due to its smooth edges and glass back as well. The result, it isn't slippery to hold at all.

Another great improvement that we like about this set is it now follows the more modern ports and button placements. Gone are the not that ergonomic power button placement on top and volume rocker at the back. Instead, you'll now find the power button and volume rocker altogether at the right side of the phone. The rectangular fingerprint scanner placement at the back is also excellent and easy to reach.

As of the moment

Even as early as now, we can say that Asus deserved a full round of applause in creating the ZenFone 3. It's at least 3 notches above the ZenFone 2 in build, design, and ergonomics alone. Not to mention that it now rocks better cameras, fingerprint scanner at the back, HiFi audio out, and more features against its predecessor.

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