Earlier this week, Asus at the Computex 2016 in Taipei Taiwan dropped the curtains for the third generation Zenfone devices. The new Zenfone 3 lineup is the successor of the highly successful Zenfone 2 but the new generation devices is a way ahead in terms of build and quality, features and speed. Covering all three key market segments, the Zenfone 3 family starts with the base model Zenfone 3 for the entry-level market, next is the Zenfone 3 Ultra with its large beautiful screen and the top of the line Zenfone 3 Deluxe which like the Zenfone 2 Deluxe, comes with the best possible hardware specs that ASUS can provide with top notch hardware paired with exclusive features and highly optimized user interface. Mind you however that these three variants aren’t just you next typical smartphones as they are equipped with features that’s far more superior than most devices in each category it serves making the new Zenfone 3 devices a flagship of every market segment with a price that is less than the way it should have been.
With the new Zenfone 3, even the base model doesn’t feel cheap and all, in fact is comes with the same build quality and premium aesthetics as the other trims. To start with, the Zenfone 3 is constructed with a full metal aluminum frame with a a 2.5D glass coating for both the front and back. Diamond-cut chamfers spreads along the curves and are meticulously crafted to bring a premium touch on every device.
It houses a 5.5-inch 1080p full-HD IPS display with 500 nits of brightness which becomes highly usable even under the sun. The screen comes with 77.3% screen-to-body ratio making more room and less bezel which brings us to a 2.1 mm thin bezels. Staying with the new new Zenfone 3 are the three Android soft keys : Back, Home, and Recent apps key. all other keys mainly the volume rocker which had previously been laid on the back of the handset has been moved into a tradition location which in this case on the side of the device.
Under the hood is a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 Chipset with 8 processor cores running at 2.0 GHz, it also includes Adreno 506 Graphics processor for a stable, crisp and virtually flawless graphics rendering. All of this is supported by 4GB of RAM and a standard 32GB or a larger 64GB of onboard storage with microSD support of up to 128GB cards.
For Photography enthusiasts, the new Zenfone 3 is equipped with a 16 Megapixel sensor and features three autofocus features that includes the second generation laser autofocus, phase detection autofocus and contrast detection autofocus that enables the device to focus in just 0.03 second. There’s also a combination of Optical Image Stabilization and Electronic Image Stabilization features. It comes with a dual-LED true-tone flash, HDR mode and a Backside Illumination feature.
Feature-wise, the handset comes with a fingerprint sensor at the back where the volume rocker used to sit from its predecessor right below the main camera. Other features includes a dedicated 5-Magnet speaker setup which sits below the handset right next to the USB Type-C port.
Finally, it runs on 3000 mAh embedded battery and runs on the latest ZenUI 3.0 based on Android 6.x Marshmallow.
Zenfone 3 Ultra
If you want bigger and bolder piece of equipment, you’ll never go wrong with the new Zenfone 3 Ultra, as the name suggests, these variant comes with ultra features and ultra size with its large 6.8-inch IPS display covered by Gorilla Glass 4. It has a 79% screen-to-body ratio with Asus Tru2Life+ Video technology which uses a high-end 4K UHD TV-grade image processor to the highest video output quality possible.The new handset comes with two 5-magnet stereo speakers with Hi-Res Audio support and is one of the first handset in the market to feature a virtual 7.1 channel surround sound through DTS Headphone: X.
Though the Zenfone 3 Ultra is meant for Multimedia users, there’s no doubt that everyone enjoys taking photos through their smartphones and though the handset is pretty dominated by its large tablet-sized display, Asus still equipped the new handset with a much better camera sensor than the base model. Sitting at the back of the handset is a 23 MegaPixel Sony IMX318 camera module with the same features as the Zenfone 3 autofocus features and other goodies plus seamless 4K video recording.
The handset runs on a larger 4600 mAh battery and supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 technology that allows the handset to zipped up power up to 60% in just under 45 minutes of charging.
Zenfone 3 Deluxe
For the top of the line handset, there’s nothing else that comes close from other Zenfone devices with the new Zenfone 3 Deluxe. As premium as it gets, the Zenfone 3 Deluxe edition is poured with everything that Asus can cramped on a thinly metallic piece of hardware that anyone could think off. Coming with features that the other two Zenfone 3 variants combined. The Deluxe edition is Asus best smartphone device to date.
The new Zenfone 3 Deluxe is the company’s new flagship device. Crafted precisely to stand out, there’s virtually an invisible antenna lines nor any imperfection or whatsoever during the construction of the handset. It comes with a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with 1080p Full-HD resolution, 100% NTSC color gamut and 79% screen-to-body ratio.
The major highlights with the Zenfone 3 Deluxe edition is that it’s powered by the latest 4-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 Chipset running at 2.15 GHz, Adreno 530 Graphics processor and is supported by 6GB of RAM. For storage, there’s a fine range of either 64GB/128GB or better yet a 256GB UFS 2.0 internal storage memory. There is also a microSD support of up to 128GB microSD cards incase the one that’s inside still isn’t enough for all your multimedia and apps collections.
The new flagship device like the Zenfone 3 Ultra is equipped with a 23 MegaPixel Sony IMX318 imaging sensor with the whole pack of other imaging features found on the two Zenfone 3 variants. Though we haven’t mentioned earlier, all Zenfone 3 devices comes with an 8 Megapixel front facing camera with wide-angle lens which should be more than enough for Selfies and high-resolution video calls.
The handset runs on 3000 mAh embedded battery with support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 technology through USB 3.1 Type-C port. ZenUI 3.0 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow boots on the new Zenfone 3 Deluxe that is maximized to perform and utilize its built-in features.
As for the prices, The new Zenfone 3 start at $249 for the base model, $479 for the ZenFone 3 Ultra and $499 for the ZenFone 3 Deluxe.