ASUS today launched the ZenFone 3 and the ZenFone 3 Ultra, the latest Android smartphones in their highly-successful ZenFone lineup. The ZenFone 3 is available in 5.2-inch and 5.5-inch display sizes, while the ZenFone 3 Ultra features an impressive 6.8-inch display. Both ZenFone models have exquisite all-glass-covered design with contoured sandblasted aluminium frames.
Alongside the ZenFone 3 and ZenFone 3 Ultra, ASUS also announced the ZenFone Deluxe, their flagship model with industry-leading hardware specifications, which will be available in late September.
The ZenFone 3 is the first smartphone to use Qualcomm’s new 14nm Snapdragon 625 processor with 4 GB of RAM. It’s display, both the 5.2-inch and 5.5-inch variants, are Full HD 1920×1080 resolution. Their screen to body ratio of 77.3% is quite impressive. The main rear camera is 16MP with TriTech auto-focus, using PDAF and laser focus to achieve 0.03 seconds focus acquisition. The camera also includes 4-axis OIS.
Other notable features include the fingerprint scanner with 0.22 seconds recognition time, 80.11ac MU-MIMO Wi-Fi, dual SIM, USB Type-C and high-resolution audio support. While the first SIM slot supports 4G, the second SIM slot supports only 3G, and can alternatively be used for a micro-SD card. The ZenFone 3 supports 300 Mbps 4G LTE Cat 6. The 3000 mAh battery is non-removable.
The glass back on the ZenFone 3 is really nice. The front glass is not any less nice either. The 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass gives it a beautiful jewelled look. The phone is comfortable to hold. It’s 7.7 mm thin overall, but just 6.16 mm at the bezel.
The ZenFone 3 Ultra is clearly in phablet category with an impressively large 6.8-inch display. But despite its size, the ZenFone 3 Ultra feels surprisingly smaller than it should be. This is thanks to its extreme thinness and 78% screen-to-body ratio.
The main camera on the ZenFone 3 Ultra is a 23MP Sony IMX318 sensor wth similar TriTech auto-focus and 4-axis OIS.
Similar to its smaller sibling, the ZenFone 3 Ultra has dual-SIM slots, with the 2nd slot doubling up for micro-SD use. The second SIM slot, however, also supports 4G. The non-removable battery has 4600 mAh capacity, supports Quick Charge 3.0 and reverse charging.
The flagship ZenFone 3 Deluxe boasts an all aluminium-alloy frame with invisible antenna lines. Now, that’s quite special because other all-metal phones will have some sort of visible antenna lines on the back.
The ZenFone 3 Deluxe’s main camera is the same as the ZenFone 3 Utlra’s. It has the fastest connectivity with 600 Mbps Cat 13 4G LTE and 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO Wi-Fi. There are two processor variants, either the Snapdragon 821 processor clocked at 2.4 Ghz, or Snapdragon 820 clocked at 2.15 GHz. Onboard storage options are 64 GB or 256 GB.
Pricing for the ZenFone 3 is S$398 and S$498 for the 5.2-inch and 5.5-inch models respectively. It is available in Shimmer Gold, Sapphire Black and Moonlight White colours.
The ZenFone 3 Ultra is priced at S$778. It is available in Titanium Gray and Glacier Silver colours.
Full pricing of the ZenFone 3 Deluxe is not yet available, but we’ve been told that the 64 GB variant costs S$998 (Snapdragon 820 version) and S$1188 (Snapdragon 821 version). It is available in Glacier Silver and Sand Gold colours. As mentioned earlier, the ZenFone 3 Deluxe will be launched in late September.