ASUS has always been in the frontline when it comes to making mobile devices that are well spec-ed and well designed. They have an impressive lineup in the Zenfone series that have rung well with the indian buyers. Today, they launched the Zenfone Zoom that is purportedly a combination of a DSLR and a flagship smartphone rolled into one. Can it live up to the hype? Time will tell!
ZenFone Zoom uses 3X optical zoom with a 10-element HOYA lens arrangement that delivers exceptional clarity and enables close-ups with up to 12X total magnification. With built-in optical image stabilization (OIS) to eliminate shakes and blurred shots, and powered by a high-performance quad-core Intel® Atom™ processor with 4GB RAM for ultra-fast performance, ZenFone Zoom packs DSLR-style shooting experiences into a metal unibody that tapers to a mere 5mm, so it slides comfortably into a pocket
ZenFone Zoom is supposedly the world’s thinnest smartphone optical-zoom smartphone, with a 13MP PixelMaster rear camera and 3X lens in a body that measures just 5mm at the edges. The innovative 10-element digital eye was created by the optics experts at Hoya. Glass, synthetic and prismatic lenses are meticulously configured in a dual-prism periscope arrangement to maximize incoming light and capture the best possible photo quality. Built-in optical image stabilization (OIS) ensures sharper, steadier shots every time, even at maximum 3X optical magnification. ZenFone Zoom’s OIS also gives smartphone photographers the confidence to shoot with slower shutter speeds for longer exposures, equivalent to up to four stops — and that means clearer, brighter photos.
The rear camera has a dual-LED Real Tone flash to create the most natural illumination for indoor portraits, generating the perfect combination of yellow and white to capture lifelike colors and skin tones. ZenFone Zoom’s rear lens also has laser auto-focus to point and shoot with total clarity in just 0.03 seconds.
Designing the word’s thinnest optical-zoom smartphone required innovative thinking, with ASUS engineers rotating ZenFone Zoom’s lens mechanism to create a compact, intricately-calibrated periscope-style layout. Coupled with a Panasonic SmartFSI® image sensor, ZenFone Zoom captures more light and more color — revealing detail and beauty in both natural and low-light compositions that other smartphone cameras will never see.
ZenFone Zoom’s design takes its cue from the look and feel of professional DSLR cameras, with dedicated buttons for shooting, recording and telephoto operations. Its strong unibody frame is precision-crafted to a metallic finish that’s cool and smooth to the touch, with a choice of premium Pure Black or sleek Ceramic White on the rear — and diamond-cut to create four stunning patterns across the back and sides. ZenFone Zoom even has an integrated a safety loop and many stylish strap options, for confident shooting from any angle.
The intuitive ZenUI Camera app makes it a cinch to capture professional-quality photographs. ASUS-exclusive Super Resolution mode applies multi-frame-fusion technology to create incredibly-detailed photos. Four high-resolution 13MP shots are fused to create a single image of with clarity that’s four times (4X) greater than a single shot. Night or day, ZenFone Zone captures more detail and less noise — and Super Resolution shots of up to 52MP.
ZenFone Zoom excels at macro photography, enabling extreme close-ups as near as 5cm (2in) to reveal new and unseen worlds of detail, and is ready to turn pro with one tap — with Manual mode allowing instant adjustment of shutter speed, exposure value, white balance, ISO and a host of other professional-grade settings.
ZenFone Zoom’s 64-bit quad-core Intel Atom processor carefully balances brilliant performance and superb power efficiency, empowered by Intel’s sophisticated 22nm Silvermont architecture. Intel’s new Tri-Gate transistors have three times (3X) more surface area than planar transistors, enabling the flow of more electrons to increase computing performance and reduce power leakage. ZenFone Zoom also has a huge 4GB of fast dual-channel LPDDR3 RAM, and up to 128GB of storage as an option.
Featuring LTE Category 4+ for download speeds up to 250Mbps, and a 60ms touch-response time, ZenFone Zoom delivers fast, fluid experience anywhere; and with a high-capacity 3000mAh battery, users are able to work and play from dawn to dusk — and beyond. ZenFone Zoom also benefits from exclusive ASUS BoostMaster technology for turbo-speed charging that takes the battery from zero to 60% in just 39 minutes.
ZenFone Zoom’s expansive 5.5-inch 1920×1080 Full HD IPS display offers wide 178-degree viewing angles, and a fantastic 403ppi pixel density to render every image in eye-popping detail. The display includes exclusive ASUS TruVivid technology, which seamlessly transforms the conventional four-layer design into an innovative two-layer construction with full lamination. Fusing the cover-glass and touch-panel layers eliminates the air gap, bringing everything closer to the user’s touch.
The Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4 display offers twice (2X) the drop-damage resistance of its predecessor, a 2.5X increase in retained strength and is 85% less likely to break in daily use — making it safer and stronger than ever before.”
ASUS ZenFone Zoom will be available in India from 22 January, 2016, on Flipkart and starting in February 2016 at ASUS Exclusive Stores for a price of Rs. 37,999.
The price tag of Rs 37,999 is a bit steep and is going to be tough to justify. The Quandary here is that photographers have their DSLR devices that no smartphone camera can stand up to, and the casual shooters can get phones at far less than 30k for their needs. Also the specs are brilliant on paper, the real performance is to be seen. It is to be seen how well and cleverly ASUS play this one. More details if and when we get a review unit.