Finally! After more than a year of working and workiing even on holidays and weekends, my time has come for me to relax and spend time with my mother and brother at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Taking photos, videos, looking good Vietnamese cuisine and of course shopping for North Face bags. Technically, I don’t have a phone that I really own and most phones I had were review units since my Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has not been replaced. Good thing my friends from ASUS has sent an ASUS Zenfone 3 Laser for review. So I’m going to combine a review and my trip into one article. Before we continue let’s have a quick refresher of the ASUS Zenfone 3 Laser.
ASUS Zenfone 3 Laser (ZC551KL)
- Octa Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor
- Adreno 505 graphics
- 4GB RAM
- 32GB internal memory expandable via MicroSD up to 128GB
- 5.5-inch Full HD IPS LCD display (1920 x 1080 pixels)
- 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 3
- 13 megapixel rear facing Sony IMX214 camera with laser autofocus, EIS and dual LED flash, f/2.0 aperture
- 8 megapixel front facing camera, f/2.0 aperture
- Dual SIM, Dual Standby
- 4G/LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth Fingerprint Scanner
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
- 3,000 mAh battery
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow with ZenUI 3.0
- Price: P11,995
- Status: Available at ASUS stores and retailers
HARDWARE AND DESIGN
The metal build and the phone’s slim design was one of its useful features when I am in Vietnam. During our four-day trip we are busy shopping since Ho Chi Minh City has jaw-dropping prices of original North Face bags and other unique Vietnamese items. The Zenfone 3 Laser is so thin that you will be shocked to know that it has a large 3,000 mAh battery on it. Slipping it over to my pocket and pulling it out again is so easy especially when we carry so many shopping bags at the same time. It is also very lightweight and we commend ASUS for making such device.
Me and my family has spent in Ho Chi Minh’s outdoors and I am happy to report that the ASUS Zenfone 3 Laser is very viewable outdoors even on direct sunlight. The 5.5-inch display is bright,vivid and has good viewing angles. Good thing it is on full HD as we enjoy playing back our videos.
SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE
I must admit, the ASUS Zenfone 3 Laser has been abused a little during out trip. Activities like Viber video calls, Viber voice calls, Google maps, Google search, social media, camera, video are all open and of course it will take toll on its RAM. Good thing the ASUS Zenfone 3 Laser has very well handled our heavy tasks. Playing games like Dead Trigger 2 and NBA 2k17 has been very smooth.
Oh we took a lot of photos in Vietnam. Ho Chi MInh City is a mixture of old and new. Its like the old Manila and BGC in one city.The city has so many parks as well. Oh there are so many coffee shops. It’s like in 500 meters there are more than 5 coffee shops. Lastly, the food, so heavenly good! We’ve took photos and videos using the ASUS Zenfone 3 Laser and here they are. Enjoy!
Vietnam has not launched its 4G/LTE service yet and since we arrived at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport, it is wise not to use our Globe and Smart SIMs there because it will rake international roaming charges. So I decided to buy three SIMs, two Viettel SIMs and one Mobifone SIM. We inserted a Mobifone SIM into our ASUS Zenfone 3 Laser beside our Globe SIM. Good thing it is an unlocked and dual SIM capable device. We are very surprised on how fast Mobifone’s 3G/HSPA+ network is. We are reaching 20Mbps download speeds there far faster than 3G/HSPA+ speeds from Globe and Smart. We used most calls on Viber and since connectivity is top notch we are having no trouble on our video and voice calls using Viber.
With all the video calling to the Philippines and other activities to the phone, we are very surprised that the ASUS Zenfone 3 Laser handled it very well. We managed to get around 4 hours and 20 minutes of screen on time and about 11 hours of mixed moderate to heavy use.
The ASUS Zenfone 3 Laser was a perfect travel buddy during out trip to Ho Chi Minh City. It handled our very stressful use very well. Since it is a camera focused smartphone, it has one of the best cameras we’ve used on a lower mid range smartphone. Battery life is outstanding and the slim profile means it is pocket friendly and gives less bulge. It not hard to recommend the ASUS Zenfone 3 Laser to anyone looking for a decent camera on a lower mid range smartphone.