Better late than never? That’s exactly the case with Asus’s ZenFone variant that packs 3x optical zoom – the ZenFone Zoom. If you don’t remember, the ZenFone Zoom was actually announced at last year’s CES, alongside the ZenFone 2. But whereas the ZenFone 2 followed up with a proper launch soon after, the ZenFone Zoom quietly disappeared from view.
It appears that Asus was too ambitious and jumped the gun with last year’s announcement. Taking a whole ‘nother year of development, the ZenFone Zoom is finally ready for prime time (or so we hope).
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The design appears to be slightly tweaked (going by last year’s promo pics). There’s now a leathery texture on the back cover and a raised notch towards the bottom, which I’m assuming is in place to counter wobble from the large camera hump when the phone set down on a table.
As provided by Asus, here are the specs for the ZenFone Zoom:
- 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
These specs still largely resemble what the Zenfone 2 gave us last year. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, they were beefy specs to begin with. Let’s just hope there are refinements, particularly in the UI. There’s always room to improve.
If you’re wondering how well that boasted camera really is, Asus provided a comparison shot between cameras from two of the best – the iPhone 6+ and Galaxy S6. Pay particular attention to the text on action figure’s box.
What do you think? Is the ZenFone Zoom worth the wait or has its time passed? Asus hasn’t provided many launch details, only that it is coming to B&H Photo on Feb. 1st. The retail price will still be the planned $399.