The ASUS ZenFone AR isn’t the only device that ASUS showcased at its Zennovation event on Day 0 of CES 2017 at Las Vegas. On top of the first ever Tango and Daydream support handset is a refresh of last year’s ZenFone Zoom. The ZenFone Zoom might be a camera centric smartphone, but its camera performance somehow proved to be inferior compared to more premium handsets. Let’s see whether this year’s ZenFone 3 Zoom lives up to its name. 

ASUS has opted for a premium metal design this time round with the ZenFone 3 Zoom. Its predecessor from last year sported a leather textured body instead. Seen on the front is a Full HD AMOLED screen at 5.5-inches, protected with Corning’s newest Gorilla Glass 5. Underneath the hood, the ZenFone 3 Zoom sports a Snapdragon 625 octa core processor with up to 4GB of RAM and up to 128GB of onboard storage. Storage can be expanded for up to a whopping 2TB via the micro SD card slot.

ASUS is also another company that has fallen victim to the dual camera configuration trend, and it shows with the ZenFone 3 Zoom. The rear camera setup of the handset consists of a 12MP main camera and a 12MP zoom camera. The main camera is of a Sony IMX362 image sensor, featuring a large 1.4um pixel size and improved light sensitivity with ASUS’ own SuperPixel technology. The main camera also comes with 4-axis OIS and 3-axis EIS, including a 0.03s instant focus with the TriTech+ Auto Focus system. The zoom camera on the other hand speaks for itself, being the one that zooms in on objects. The zoom camera however, features less optical zoom at 2.3X as compared to the ZenFone Zoom’s 3X optical zoom, but the device is capable of a total zoom of 12X. The front camera of the handset is of 13 megapixels with an aperture of f./2.0.

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ASUS has fitted the ZenFone 3 Zoom with a pretty large battery of 5,000mAh. The phone can also be used as a powerbank to charge other devices if you happen to be in a pinch. With that amount of battery, the phone will be able to record 4K UHD video for up to 6.4 hours according to the company. ASUS also claims the ZenFone 3 Zoom to be the slimmest and lightest 5.5-inch 5,000mAh battery smartphone, weighing at only 170g, sporting a thickness of 7.9mm. Like the ZenFone AR, the ZenFone 3 Zoom also features 24-bit Hi-Res Audio and the all new 5 Magnet Structure Speaker which will produce louder sounds with less distortion. 

It is however rather unfortunate that the ZenFone 3 Zoom still runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow of yesteryear, but ASUS promises a Nougat rollout to arrive soon. The ZenFone 3 Zoom is set for a release next month. Other details such as pricing and specific memory configurations have yet to be revealed. What do you think of the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom?