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ASUS Enters Dual Camera Fray With The Zenfone 3 Zoom

After leaks and teasers, ASUS has finally taken the wraps off of the latest member of the Zenfone 3 Family: the Zenfone 3 Zoom. There’s a lot to unpack, but let’s take a look at its specs first:

ASUS Zenfone 3 Zoom specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor
  • 3GB/4GB of RAM
  • 5.5-inch, full HD Super AMOLED display, Gorilla Glass 5 protection, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 32GB/64GB expandable storage
  • Twin 12-megapixel rear cameras, Sony IMX362 image sensor, f/1.7 aperture, 1x, 2.3x optical zoom, laser AF, PDAF, EIS, OIS, 4K video recording
  • 13-megapixel front camera, Sony IMX214, f/2.0 aperture
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, Fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C
  • 5000mAh battery
  • Android 6 Marshmallow, ZenUI

The ZF3 Zoom builds on the original Zoom lineup by delivering optical zoom capability without the added bulk. While the original device certainly delivered on that promise, it did so by using a mechanical system that was still a bit bulky compared to its contemporaries, without a large jump in image quality.

The ZF3 Zoom aims to change that by using a twin camera setup that have different zoom levels. Twin 12-megapixel rear cameras have different zoom levels (one 1x and the other 2.3x) that closely resembles the 3x optical zoom capability of the original Zoom. While not entirely original (it’s practically the same setup that Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus uses) it solves the biggest problem of having a phone with optical zoom capabilities – namely a bulky retractable lens.

The camera is no slouch either – that 12-megapixel, Sony IMX362┬ásensor may have less resolution than the original but it’s better at collecting light, thanks to bigger pixels. It has a lower aperture as well – f/1.7 – which makes the phone better at collecting light and creating that uber important Bokeh effect that people lust for in photography. There’s support for 4K video recording, as well as multiple focusing tech including laser AF, PDAF, EIS as well as OIS.

As far as design goes, the ZF3 Zoom has the same design cues as ASUS’ more affordable offerings, namely the 5.5-inch ZF3 Max and the ZF3 Laser. The display is a 5.5-inch full HD Super AMOLED display protected by Gorilla Glass, and has a fingerprint scanner at the back and uses a USB Type-C connector for charging and data transfer.

Read: ASUS Zenfone 3 Max ZC553KL review

Read: ASUS Zenfone 3 Laser review

Internally the ZF3 Zoom has Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor which is identical to the original ZF3. There will be several variants of the phone available, which varies from 3GB/4GB RAM to 32GB/64GB storage. A 4850mAh battery keeps the lights on, and Android Marshmallow with ASUS’ ZenUI powers everything.

No price has been set yet for the ZF3 Zoom.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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