ZenFone Zoom-header
Shares

Hey everyone, we’re back here in Las Vegas for the most exciting tech show in the world, and are more than pleased to announce that the ZenFone Zoom is finally here. This awesome smartphone was revealed last year at CES, but the team has taken its time to develop and tune the technology to make it the slimmest camera smartphone with a 3x optical zoom. Now, it’s time to see the world up close.

Design – Not a hump for hump’s sake

ZenFone Zoom lens

The ZenFone Zoom feels really premium compared to the ZenFone 2. Surrounding the edge of the phone is a soft, smooth aluminum that reminds me of the Zenbook UX305 in the obsidian stone colorway. Also, it’s only slightly heavier than its cousin at 185g versus 170g – hardly noticeable. On the right side of the device, you have the volume rocker and power button which is much better than how it was placed on the ZenFone 2. Beneath, you have dedicated record and camera buttons – a really nice addition to keep the camera steady as you shoot. On the bottom of the phone you have a microUSB port, microphone, and strap loop. On the back of the phone, which is covered in a soft, textured leather (it’s real, folks), you have a speaker and the hump which houses the dual-tone flash, laser auto-focus, and the camera’s multiple lenses, but we’ll get back to that. At the top of the phone we’ve got our 3.5mm headphone jack and noise-cancelling mic.

The side of the ZenFone Zoom features a volume rocker/zoom toggle, power button, and dedicated record and shutter buttons
The side of the ZenFone Zoom features a volume rocker/zoom toggle, power button, and dedicated record and shutter buttons

You can definitely tell that the ASUS engineering and design team really did an exceptional job in creating a great product and the extra year was worth it.

Let’s look at it close up

The ZenFone Zoom is covered in Gorilla Glass 4 and measures 5.5”, similar to the ZenFone 2 Laser, though the body itself is a bit taller. It’s still FHD at 1920×1080, 403 PPI and maintains excellent clarity and color accuracy which can be adjusted per your preference in the Screen Settings. Like the ZenFone 2, we have a non-removable 3,000 mAh battery, but where this device differs is instead of a Z3580 CPU clocked at 2.3GHz, the Zoom has a Z3590 processor clocked at 2.5GHz.

But obviously, the ZenFone Zoom gets its name from the 3x optical zoom offered in the housing. This is an amazing innovation from our team. Typically Zoom lenses are created in away that extends away from the body. However, in this case, the team worked with Hoya, a world-renowned optics manufacturer, to create magnification through a unique double-prism layout and mechanism, much like a periscope. To show you the difference between an image taken with our phone and some of the competition, I’ve compared three shots. You can definitely see here that our ZenFone Zoom with its 3x optical zoom and magnification can beat out some of the “best” cameras out there.

ZenFone Zoom-camera
Here are samples from the ZenFone Zoom, iPhone 6+, and Samsung Galaxy S6 (from left to right). You can see that the ZenFone Zoom maintains the legibility of the text and isn’t as blurred as in the iPhone and Galaxy images.

In this example, I’ve compared three shots – one from the ZenFone Zoom, iPhone 6 Plus, and Samsung Galaxy S6. Standing six feet away from the Guavian enforcer, I zoomed in on the box to see if the text and details could still be made out. It is quite clear that the optical zoom from the ZenFone Zoom made the text still legible where the images from the others weren’t at all.

Zoom in on them specs

  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • Intel Atom Z3590 Processor 2.5GHz
  • 4GB RAM, 64GB Storage w/ microSD card support up to 128GB
  • 5.5” FHD IPS (1920×1080) display with Corning Gorilla Glass 4
  • 3,000 mAh battery (non-removable)
  • 13MP Camera with f/2.7-f/4.8, dual flash, laser auto-focus with 3x Optical Zoom and Optical Image Stabilization
  • Single SIM with 2G/3G/4G support
  • Dimensions: 158.9 x 78.84 x 5 ~ 11.95mm
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, BT 4.0, and NFC

Bottom Line: The new ZenFone Zoom is a great addition to the ZenFone family

For those who care about image quality, it doesn’t get much better than optical zoom. When you’re zooming in digitally, resolution begins to take a huge hit, and that make a good picture go bad quickly. The ZenFone Zoom really takes our smartphone family to the next level in terms of build quality and innovation, and we’re excited to announce that it will be launching exclusively at B&H Photo on February 1st at $399.

Check out our post for a behind-the-scenes story about designing the ZenFone Zoom.

60 COMMENTS

  1. Oh look, another phone with a tiny speaker located on the rear of the device. I mean…come on. I know headphones are the best way to go, but sometimes, it’s nice to have options that aren’t microscopic.

  2. Umm, is it just me or does the Samsung have the best picture clarity? Look at the detail of the figure, and the Warning label underneath.

    • Click on the image to get the full-sized view. Then read the text in the three samples. You’ll see that the ZenPhone is *much* sharper. Which is what optical vs digital zoom does for you.

  3. Sense ghatiya aur kamini service hai iski.Puri dehli m Nehru place m banta hai.Maine sim card slot aur back cover banane ko diya 1540 ru le liya .ghar le kar aaye to phone full charging kro subah display out.dobara le kar gaye to service centar wale n kaha mother bord speekar aur battery change hoga 7000 k expence hai .28 Feb 2015 ki purchace hai.kehte hai phone khul gaya guaranty nahi hai.to bhai saheb phone khola aap ne to guaranty bhi to aap ki hi hogi.nahi mane 7900 purchace rate tha 1540 ru de kar banvaya aur apni kismat kharab kr liye .aane jaane k expence aur timeing investment jor diya to kya bacha uper se 7000 aur do.ek dum ghatiya phone .in built battery aur sim sloting try bekar hai.ek powe button plastic k lene k liye puri back cover 650 m lena pra.mere hisab se bekar phone hai service center pr hujum lagi rehti hai complain ki.main to consumer court jane ki soch raha hu 12000 se zyada k chuna lagaye hai Asus ne aur herasment uper se.

  4. Looks great, except that it’s TOO DAMN BIG!!!! It’s about the same size as an iPhone 6, which I will not buy when the time comes. My iPhone 5 is as big as I want to get.

  5. The Zoom appears to have the sharpest text. But overall the Samsung appears to have the best picture as even the figures and tools in the background are clear. The iPhone has the worst.

  6. JDnHuntsvilleAL This Phone is Bigger than Iphone 6 Closer to Iphone 6s I have a Iphone6 and a Zenfone 2 and the Zenfone 2 is a Lot Bigger than Iphone 6

  7. “This is an amazing innovation from our team. ”

    Just who wrote the article, you or ASUS? Maybe you are on “our team” as being paid to write PR disguised as some reporting?

    Stunningly shameful. Your credibility just went into the toilet.

    • Their credibility is fine. It’s your reading comprehension that is faulty.
      This is a product announcement blog item. On the ASUS site. Written by an author who has 77 articles on that same ASUS blog site.
      You’re the only one who thought it was third party reporting.

  8. Why have THE FORCE of your eyes gone AWE-SLEEEEEEEP, and hasn’t AWKEN??? I agree with Eric, you can definitely see better by zooming to the: THE FORCE AWAKENS letters taken by the iPhone 6 Plus, because it’s more define then the other’s, PERIOD!!!

  9. IT APPEARS TO BE A FLAWED TEST. IT IS CLEAR BY LOOKING AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PHOTOS THAT EACH CAMERA WAS MOVED IN CLOSER. IBID. THE IPHONE CLOSER THAN ZENPHONE AND GALAXY WAS MOVED IN EVEN CLOSER THAN IPHONE. I HAVE SAMSUNG NOTE 3 AND I KNOW THAT IF YOU MOVE PHONE CLOSER AND FURTHER AWAY FROM OBJECT IT TAKES A FRACTION OF SECOND FOR IT TO CLEAR. TAKE PHOTO THEN AND IT BLURRS. GIVE IT TIME TO STABILIZE IT IS CLEAR. TRICKERY.

  10. For $450 it could be better.. its out dated before it hits the market … Others have better camera. Lollypop Really ? 3000 Battery , Much better out there. very disappointed with this ASUS..

  11. Wait what?
    No lte?
    Why
    This is a beautiful piece, but why can’t it be normal size?
    I know 300 pound+ people women with purses and gat men with purses can carry this, and we are the minority, but there are still plenty of us who can’t move around with a phablet in the pocket, if it evens fits in the pocket at all.

  12. What happen to USB C support? It’s a near perfect phone. I will buy the next one with the USB C coz Im tired of trying to figure out which face of the cable before plugging in.

    • Just because it isn’t an issue for you, Jerry, doesn’t mean it isn’t an issue for others. And the fact that Apple chose to do something doesn’t mean everyone should follow suit.
      With care, a smartphone can easily outlive the battery it came with. I’m still using a venerable S3; the battery stopped holding a charge six months ago, but since I was able to replace it, I expect to get another couple of years of use out of the phone.

LEAVE A REPLY