Is The Zenfone 3 Overpriced?

ASUS Zenfone 3 04

Today is officially launch day for ASUS’ Zenfone 3 series of phones.  You’ve probably already seen the prices for the entire family, and aside from the Zenfone 3 Max which is the projected volume driver, all of the phones are priced over 10K, which is a little surprising considering ASUS’ reputation.

ASUS Zenfone 3 ZE552KL specs:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 5.5-inch full HD IPS display, Corning Gorilla Glass protection, 2.5D glass, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 64GB of expandable storage
  • 16-megapixel rear camera, Sony IMX298 sensor, f/2.0 aperture, 4-axis OIS, 3-axis EIS, 6 element largan lens, laser AF, phase detection AF, continous focus
  • 8-megapixel front camera, f/2.0 aperture
  • 3G, LTE
  • Dual-SIM
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, Fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 3000mAh battery

So the biggest question is, are the new phones overpriced? For me personally, no. I kind of understand where the hate is coming from – the entire appeal of the Zenfone family is high specs for low price, which is still kind of relevant with the Zenfone 3. The phone easily feels like a phone built by the leading Korean company, perhaps more so in some aspects of the design.

ASUS Zenfone 3 11

As for the price increase (around 4K increase for the 5.5-inch model compared to last year’s iteration) that’s pretty much expected. Moving to a brand new processor (one that won’t have compatibility problems with apps down the line) and a more premium design that uses a lot of glass and metal in its construction isn’t cheap, and the phone is better for it. ASUS is fast becoming a global leader in phones, and realistically their pricing scheme won’t stay stagnant forever.

Is the Zenfone 3 overpriced? Nope. There’s plenty of value to be had in the phone, and considering how well it did in our review in both performance, battery life and camera performance, then you’d realize that the Zenfone 3 is just right.

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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  1. I think their pricing is a little steep. Not sure if they will be able get the targets they projected for their products.

    1. nung cinonvert ko yung price nung announcement nung june, $249 = 11k+ tapos nakita ko 17k, saklap. mas mataas pa sa oneplus 3.

  2. Correct me if I’m wrong. It was widely reported that the base model of the “deluxe” variant is priced at around 500 USD which directly translates to about 23-25k PHP, 28K PHP tops. How did it get to as high as 34k+ PHP here in the Philippines? Am I missing some detail here?

    1. definitely overpriced compared to their early price leaks. they mismanaged the buyers’ expectations, now the buyers will give them missed sales expectations.

    1. Its not about being Pinoy. Even Pinoy Tech bloggers thought the pricing will be the almost the same last year. Gadget Match too recommended Vivo Max or Oppo A37 than Asus Zenfone Laser/Max.

    2. You’re an idiot then. Zenfone users like me expected that that ASUS was going to be price competitive this year just like last year and also the year when they released Zenfone 5.

      Who would have thought that they follow iPhone/Samsung routine. It’s not about being a pinoy, it’s about being a loyal fan and ASUS ruin that for me.

  3. Vivo V3 Max vs Zenfone 3 ZE552KL? and vs other competitors Xiaomi Mi Max, Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro, Sammy A7(6)A8,A9, J7(6), Huawei P9 Lite. Best Value for money where? For 3 straight years they cant lit up those navigation home buttons, I would easily see the reasons on their first and second gen of zenfones bit til now? Idk and I havent seen their top end 45k-ish special edition ZF3 deluxe if the buttons lights up.

  4. Actually, the main problem is Asus did not manage the expectations of buyers well. Gumawa sila ng hype na at $250 (almost 12k pesos) may base model ka na. So madameng umasa. Tapos pagdating pe-presyuhan ng ganyan? Sinong hindi madi-disappoint. They shouldn’t have released an estimated pricing kung masyadong malayo sa katotohanan. Sabihin mo ng tax and other costs so aabot ng 14k pwede pa. Pero 5k difference? That’s the real reason and hindi dahil sa kuripot lahat.

  5. Anyway, il pass, first Zenfone ko pa naman sana to, well because of recommendations from my friends, reviews online and a little hype. Well I guess I wouldnt get to own one of their products, and have to look for other manufacturer. Sayang, nope Im not just after those home navi buttons but also the internals. And no sorry even the Laser is too much, Redmi 3s and 3x with similar proc but with higher 4000mAh batt cost like a little less than 8k

  6. Sir John, Asus was able to remain or increase the price for a little in Taiwan. And last year price is almost the same with Taiwan Price. Why?

  7. Ika nga nila hindi araw araw Pasko, hindi lahat ng bagay makukuha natin, anyway quits na din naman, ang mga gustong makabili ng fones nila di makabili, yun target sales and units to be sold eh goodluck nadin. Di lang yan sa Pinas ha, even sa Malaysia medyo angal din sila sa presyo at mismong Zenvolution ng Malaysia na BOO pa nun binangit na ang pricing.

    1. At that price? I am eyeing the Asus Zenfone 3 Ultra too. At 33k, it’s way overpriced. The Samsung A9 Pro is just 26k, yes, it has a smaller screen, but is equal in every other way. The Xiaomi Mi Max is less tahn half the price for slightly downgraded screen, processor and 1Gb less RAM (all tolerable given that the spec is good enough for most), wala nga lang official guarantee…

      They could priced it that way if it had Snapdragon 820 in there, but 652 is mid-range…

      Finally, Malaysia had it at 30k. We are being ask to shell out 3k more.

      Oh well, I might just save a little more and get the Note 7 (if they will still give the VR for free after the preorder period), otherwise, I’ll probably get one of those sub-10k phone, and wait until next year…

  8. Yes, it’s overpriced if coming from a brand that is not well known. In business point of view, wala silang karapatan mag high price or else the customers will choose the more familiar brand.

  9. I’m a bit dissapointed na nalaman ko yung price nila. I was looking forward na bibili ng Zenfone 3 base model within this month. I was expecting na P12,000-P14,000 yung 5.5 variant. Pero P18k? No thanks Asus.

  10. very disappointing marketing. a total departure from the ZF2’s price point, which is the “best budget phone” your money can get. its as if a ‘a new device riding the popularity of an old name’. hopefully, prices would go down and relive the ZF2’s spirit.

  11. Wtf asus! i was planning to buy the base zf3 12k+ but 16,995k? No tnx! P9 lite! get ready! coz im comi’n at ya!

    I think, while it’s really pricey FOR A ZENFONE, it is not overpriced as a smartphone for that matter. I agree with the post, and let’s not forget that the ZF2 had so many issues(Hello Intel), and the ZF3 had stellar reviews so far.
    The hate and disappointment may come from those that are hyped sa official pricing nila in Taiwan. And comparing it to ZF2, malaki talaga ung naging price difference.
    So I think kaya maraming nadisappoint, kasi AS A Zenfone, it leaved the footprints of the ZF2 for being the highest value in order to compete with higher brands.
    For me personally, I’d still choose the ZF3 5.5 than Samsung Galaxy A7(2016), because it’s much cheaper and spec to spec comparison ZF3 wins hands down(except for the AMOLED the S A7 has)
    However, compared to other brands, that’s another issue. Personally I trust ASUS more than Xiaomi and other brands.
    Please respond to this if you have contradictory ideas, or if you agree, and whatnot! Thanks!

    1. Bearable naman kahit papano ung price ng 5.2 and 5.5 ZF3s. Ang problema ung Deluxe at Ultra. People who afford to ditch 30k+ on smartphones are looking on either Samsung or Apple.

  13. Was actually having second thoughts of buying the huawei p9 few days ago since i was expecting the deluxe would be priced around 25-26k so pasok pa sana sa budget. But it became coco crunch! So happy i bought the p9 with superb camera! Definitely overpriced si zenfone.

  14. Tanung lang po, hinihintay ko talaga tong zenfone 3 pero with the pricing mukhang hindi ko ata kaya. What would be the best choice? Zenfone 3 laser or a 2nd hand Samsung note 4 na around 12k?

  15. If anyone really values the glass and metal build, sure, they can justify the price to themselves. But still, the pricing is a departure from what made the 1st and 2nd gen Zenfones a runaway hit (even with the battery hog Intel SoCs) in the market. Heck, it’s even higher than other region.

    To the poster who mentioned Iphones: Apple can price their iphones at whatever sky high prices they set and people will continue to buy. Why? Because only Apple makes phones with iOS. Can you say the same for ASUS, or any other brand and Android?

  16. Medyo nakaka disappoint, first based sa mga comments e yung marketing ng asus maraming bumili kahapon but yung freebies 1st five lang daw (black color only?) and then to follow pa w/c is tatawagan na lang yung mga bumili? hindi malinaw sa mga branches pag dun bibili. lastly yung ZF3 variant na may 3GB RAM/32GB ROM w/c is not available daw, sana yun ang available dahil yun ang mas inaabangan ng mga tao. buti buhay pa yung zf2 ko, kaso kinalimutan na ang update :((

  17. Pumunta pako sa isang concept store nung sunday to buy cuz i was expecting yung 5.5 variant will be priced15k-17k pero pak ganern pala sya kan overpriced. SAD!!!

  18. More than a question of the price being right, a better question is if Asus Philippines is betraying their old supporters while trying to get a new set of supporters who are willing to pay more.

    I think we can still get Asus phones with prices closer to the international price if our source is not connected to Asus Ph. Just hating on the marketing team, not the product, is all.

  19. Seriously UNBOX? These phones are not overpriced?!

    So totoo pala yung na kwento sa akin nung isang writer here that many of your writers are biased to Asus and may iba pa na talagang binabayaran ng extra/malaki just to give a good review.

    And based on the reviews of other Asus phones, it really looks like it. May kinikilingan talaga. Tsk tsk tsk.

    1. I’ve personally written negative reviews in the past of phones from all brands. I recently wrote a negative review of a previous advertiser, namely the Cherry Mobile M1. I’m not biased to any brand, I’m just giving my honest opinion. You can take it or leave it, like most opinions like there.

  20. This is just disappointing. ASUS completely threw off the reason they were successful in the first place: COMPETITIVE SPECS for a MUCH MORE COMPETITIVE PRICE. This should have been their core. I guess the people are right – lumaki na ang ulo ni Asus dahil sa success ni ZF5 and ZF2.

    Kahit anong sabihin ng ASUS fans, mas pipiliin ng Pinoy ang Samsung/Apple/Sony sa ganyang presyuhan. At that price, the ordinary Pinoy (myself included) will rather buy a Samsung A7 2016 than a Zenfone 3 (Or spend some more for an A9 Pro).

  21. No amount of press releases can change the fact that ASUS is the most hated brand, at least in the Philippines. So the biggest question is, how quick can ASUS react, and wake up from Zenillusion?

    1. papano po naging hated brand ang asus? kaya nga po biglang tumalon price nila kasi malakas ang kita nila sa market, tsaka believe it or not, ang developer ng asus hindi ka pinapabayaan halos every week or sometimes araw2x pa ang update.. dyan ako bumilib sa kanila.. pero ngaun medyo nakakagulat ang price. plano ko pa naman bumili. tsk!

  22. I beg to disagree with you, Mr. John Nieves. I visited GSMARENA and compared the specs of this phone against Galaxy S7 edge and Ipone 6 plus. S7 edge has some advantages over this phone like, this phone has no IP certification to claim, meaning, no protection from dust and water. Low screen resolution (full hd only) while S7 is already 4K. ZF3 de luxe has no active cancellation during calls. LTE connectivity and internal memory are the only significant advantages of ZF3 over the 2 phones I can see but for USA variants, S7 edge is already CAT 12. There are quite more advantages of Samsung’s S7 edge over ZF3. Here is the link of comparison.


    But practically, would you ever need a 256GB on your mobile device? Add another 256GB on microsd card then you have 512GB total memory. So large and I don’t think you can fill them up to the brim. I can’t even fill up my 64GB memory card.

    So, I will boldly say that ZF3 is overpriced. I agree that it may be above the 30K mark but it should have not overtaken S7 and its edge variant and Iphone 6 plus in pricing.

    Just saying…

      1. I just want to make it clear, I’m talking about the ZF3 deluxe 256GB ver that is almost 45k. About the ZF3 deluxe 64GB ver, I think is a bit pricey too at P34,995. Specs is near the flagship level but it is still not a flagship, in my opinion. And its just a little below S7. Add a few thousands then you have a all the flagship specs. Walang iniwan sa expected flagship specs. Put ZF3 deluxe 64GB variant below 30K mark and I think it will have a market share over Samsung’s mid range offerings.

        Anyway, that’s Asus marketing strategy. Let’s wait and see what will happen.

        I happen to read about Cherry mobile M1 and I agree with the review. It is also a bit pricey with so much problems. Not a wise thing to spend your money.

  23. I rather choose Samsung S7 Edge than Asus Zenfone Deluxe. They have almost the same price. Add little more for Samsung Note 7 and you’ll get the best camera, best display and best performance you can find in a smartphone.

    RIP Asus Philippines

  24. the reasoning that “it’s a new model so it should be more expensive” that the author is arguing here is wrong. the new model is always more expensive than the previous model because THE PREVIOUS MODEL HAS DROPPED IN PRICE. so the net result would be the new model’s price is similar to the previous one’s during its release. case in point:
    samsung, sony and LG always prices their new flagships at around 30-37k, while their previous flagships get price cuts. what Asus (and in a way xiaomi) is doing is they jack up the price of every succeding “flagship” model (the most expensive zf2 is now the same price as the base zf3) plus they never did do any price cuts to their old models. the question is, when will this end? will the future “base” zenfone 4 model be priced at 25k??

  25. Apparently, people’s perception of prices have been based heavily on the gray market. Local SRP has been historically higher than gray market prices (warranty and all). Grey market units will probably be closer to international prices.

    1. That is why you might want to compare the Zenfone 3 with the locally sold Vivo V3Max. It’s sold for P16,990 with a 5.5″ FHD screen, an SD652 processor, 4GB RAM and fingerprint sensor. (warranty and all)

  26. Overpriced po sya para sakin. I was expecting that the 5.2″ variant would be around 12k and ready na ako sa budget noon pero nadissapoint ako kasi dko inexpect ganon princing. Tsaka inexpect ko din na lalabas dito yung 5.2″ na 3gb tsaka 32 gb na ver pero wala pa ata. If ganun lang pricing then ill go for one plus 3 its better based on specs pa nabwisit lang tlga ako inabangan ko pa eh paasa Asus hahaha

  27. sana man lng naglagay sila ng fast charging capability s zf max at laser, kahit ung regular zenfone 3 wala din atang fast charge feature.

  28. Really surprised at your findings, specifically in that the Mi5 is CHEAPER at 15K than this at 17K; as a SD625 based phone I think people were expecting ~12K for this specification, and that would need to be it’s price for it to be a sales success.

  29. All branded phones are overpriced. It probably costs < 8,000 pesos to make an iPhone. Which Apple buys from Foxconn at $300 dollars apiece. Which the former then sells at double the price to the gullible morons of the world.

  30. Zenfone is not overpriced when compared to samsung or apple, or sony. But Asus is not Samsung, Apple, nor Sony. They should not be used as the benchmarks for prices. Asus will be judged at a different benchmark, and that is using the bang for buck budget to midrange phones. And it failed miserably.

  31. I’m an Asus zenfone 2 owner and was looking to upgrade to zenfone 3. But with the announced pricing I guess I’ll have to go with another brand. Asus is pushing its loyal customers toward samsung with the zenfone 3 pricing. 34k for the deluxe, 44k for deluxe with snapdragon 821 and 30k for the ultra are really outrageous given that the models are only full HD screen compared to quad HD on samsung s7 and Note 7. Both samsung models are also ip68 certified with the note 7 even having an iris scanner. For people willing to spend upwards of 30k a few thousand more won’t keep them from choosing samsung over Asus. Specs wise and prestige both models trump that of Asus deluxe. The availability of premium accessories is another plus for Samsung. You can hardly find any for Asus. As for the regular zenfone 3 models with snapdragon 625 priced between 16k to 18k, you will be better of buying the vivo V3 Max which has a better snapdragon 652 chipset priced at 17k. I doubt Asus Zenfone 3 will have the same success as before.

  32. Asus revolution! Not zenvolution! We still have plenty of options guys! But Asus is nowhere in our sight right now. Hello! Xiaomi?

  33. Kung may pera bumili, pagwala magtiis/umiyak/magipon/nxt year/2nd hand/bili ng iba! Pero Asus?! Hell no!!! Mag Apple or Samsung ka nlng kung gagastos ka narin ng mahal, super okay pa!

  34. common unbox.ph, hindi overpriced? magkano binayad sayo? sobrang nakakadisappoint tong reveiw mo, samantalang maraming mga tech expert ang aminadong mahal ang benta nila..

  35. One more thing, Asus have terrible aftersales support. Gumastos ka ng malaki sa zenfone 3 nila at pag nasira agad habang nasa warranty period, baka pagbabayarin ka pa. Kaya nga binitawan sila ng Google dahil sa walang kwentang support na binigay ng Asus sa mga Nexus 7 customers nila. Here’s the link if you want to know more.


    And a link to XDA thread about their tablets hanging up.


    And I hope, they won’t do that sa mga laptops nila. I’m planning to buy a new laptop and I’m considering Asus models. But with this kind of aftersales support, I’m having 2nd thoughts.

    Marami naman brands dyan na magaganda ang aftersales support.

    And lastly, about that 6GB of RAM, how it is managed (by the software)? Software-wise, wala malamang problema. Ang maaring magka-problema, yung hardware… memory controller.

    Just an info about Asus products and aftersales support nila.

  36. ready ko na sana bilhin ung zenfone 3 5.2inch sabi 12K lng, nadisappoint ako nung lumabas ung price haha. ano po marerecommend nio best budget smartphone less than 10K? I am more on camera not on gaming.

  37. It’s not expensive, it’s OVERPRICED! Even their Asus Zenfone 3 Laser is too much for a Snapdragon 430, since online stores made Xiaomi Redmi 3S and 3X available for purchase which cost like a little few hundreds to 8K, same SOC bigger batt at 4000mAh smaller and less denser IPS panel and at 3gb ram, even Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro and Mi Max are still better value for money. They say that the Zenfone 3 targets other companies midrange offering. Vivo’s V3 Max can easily outsell what ASUS is offering. Their flagship offering as well is a big thumbs down. Ive read somewhere that there are lotsa hate on ASUS right now, its not really hate, lets just say that people who have waited patiently just for the release of their products are sooo disappointed at the prices across the board, its not the fault of the consumers, it was ASUS who posted the pricing from the beginning, and if there would be adjustments on the prices, consumers dont expect those at skyrocket pricing +50% especially on the Deluxe and Ultra.

  38. I bought Zenfone2 because I’m not willing to pay the Note or S prices of Samsung even if i wanted their specs and I can afford them for the simple reason that these smartphones become obsolete 2-3 months after purchasing. It seems so pointless. So Zenfone2 appealed to me because it offered flagship specs at a mid-range price, and a good brand – Asus. But with Zenfone3’s prices, I now find myself considering buying Note 7 more than Zenfone3. Or not buying anything since it’s just a 15 month old phone. Personally I’m bummed because phone companies think smartphone consumers are sheep. Just because we bought your previous model and loved it doesn’t mean we’ll buy the next. Gradually increasing your prices every iteration doesn’t mean we won’t notice that you’re simply jacking up the price to meet the flagship prices of established brands eventually. So I guess this means there’s a new vacuum in the market. There are other brands who positioned themselves similar to what Asus did but don’t have the strength as Asus’ brand. I’m not about to buy a Xioami or O whatever. So yeah, this pricing move compels me not to buy Zenfone3 but finally something from the Note or S line of Samsung. This is my personal opinion and experience, some of you may disagree and some may agree. Let’s not troll the comments section.


  39. Which is better. Oppo f1s or zenfone 3 ? in terms of all aspects. From its service center,updating their android version to its unit(cellphone).

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