They say your best camera is the one that’s with you, and almost everyone seems to have a smartphone nowadays which becomes our primary camera. But as smartphone internal specs get better and better, the camera still seems to be the least of priorities.
Other companies like Nokia and Samsung attempted to change this before with units like the Nokia Lumia 1020 and the Galaxy K Zoom, respectively. Often bulky and heavy, these smartphones might have done a great job on improving picture quality, but not on the design aspect.
This is where ASUS’ latest smartphone comes in – the ASUS ZenFone Zoom. It promises to deliver stunning image qualities and amazing 3x optical zoom capabilities while keeping the phone as thin, sleek and stylish as possible. Here, we unbox and take a look at this camera smartphone from ASUS.
Here are the specs of the ASUS Zenfone Zoom (ZX551ML):
- 2.5 GHz Intel Atom Z3590 Quad-core Processors
- PowerVR G6430 Graphics
- 4GB RAM
- 128GB Internal Storage expandable via MicroSD up to 128GB
- 5.5-inch 1920×1080 Full-HD IPS Display (401 PPI)
- 13 MP, f/2.7-4.8, 28-84mm (3x optical zoom) laser autofocus, OIS Rear Camera with Dual-LED (dual tone) Flash
- 5 MP, f/2.0 Front Camera
- GSM / HSPA / LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth v4.0, A-GPS
- Non-Removable 3,000 mAh Battery
The ASUS ZenFone Zoom comes in a really sleek looking black box. On top of the flip-type cover is the name of the phone beside a circle that resembles the phone’s camera design. Overall, the phone’s box gives a preview of just how sleek the phone and everything that comes with it will be.
Unpacking the contents of the box will give you the unit itself, a pair of in-ear headphones and 2 pairs of extra buds, a USB cable, a quick charger adapter, manuals, and a really nice leather strap that you can attach to the phone if you feel like really using it as a camera. ASUS didn’t feel like stuffing the box with unnecessary stuff. Even the documentations were very minimal, because who reads manuals anyway?
Okay. We were very excited to get the phone out of the box, just because images of it on the internet promise that it will look stunning. And it does. It’s a 5.5-inch bundle of design joy. The front in 90% glass, save for ASUS’ signature concentric circle design at the bottom. The front panel is also donned with the capacitive back, home and multitasking buttons, the earpiece, the 5 megapixel front camera and the ASUS Logo.
The rear is where it gets interesting. It’s dominated by the Zoom’s camera module. This reminds us so much of the Nokia Lumia 1020, except that its much thinner and more flushed against the phone’s body. This is where ASUS’ design genius came to play. They were able to fit a 10-lens, 3x optical zoom camera system into the phone by positioning the parts vertically rather than horizontally. I can’t imagine how thick the phone could have been if they didn’t. The camera “ring”, as I like to call it, is beautifully accentuated by a metal frame making it less boring. The entire rear case, according to ASUS, is made from premium ox leather. At first I thought it was textured plastic, like the one in the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, but research proved me wrong. Like the LG G4, its covered in actual leather. Pretty fancy, no? Engraved on it are the ASUS and Intel logos. It feels super nice in the hands and helps offer a better grip for the phone, especially that it is big.
The phone’s frame is made of metal, and it has some beautifully chamfered edges, as well. It gives the phone a more solid, heftier feel. All buttons are located at the right side of the phone. The volume rockers also act as the camera’s zoom in and out controls, while there are dedicated buttons to take photos and record videos way below the power button. All buttons are clicky and tactile, though they also feel dislocated at times. This doesn’t take away from the experience, though.
We’re definitely excited to take the ASUS ZenFone Zoom for a spin and take lots and lots of photos with it. Stay tuned for the full review soon.