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Asus ZenFone 3 Laser Review

Asus ZenFone 3 Laser 8

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Asus ZenFone 3 Laser Review

Introduction


We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again - budget smartphones have gotten really, really good over the past couple of years. 2016 in particular was a rather stellar year for affordable handsets that were worth buying, with some of the most notable ones including the likes of the Moto G4 series, OnePlus 3 and 3T, Alcatel Idol 4, Honor 8, and more.

Now more than ever before, it’s very possible to spend around $400 or less to get a phone that strongly resembles the experience of a device that costs double that price tag. This is great for consumers looking to get a great user experience without spending a lot cash, but it also means that manufacturers who are creating these affordable handsets need to differentiate themselves as much as possible in order to stick out from this extremely crowded market.

Asus ZenFone 3 Laser Review
Asus is no stranger to the budget-friendly smartphone world, and the company was one of the leaders for this market with the ZenFone 2 that came out back in 2015. We were quite fond of the 2nd generation ZenFone when we initially reviewed it, and although the somewhat cheap design didn’t grab us at first, we ended up saying that we were “confident that this is the kind of phone that grows on you over time.”

Asus came out guns blazing in 2016 with tons of different variations of the ZenFone 3 line, and one of the most affordable options goes by the name of the Asus ZenFone 3 Laser. The Laser moniker hints at the phone’s laser-assisted autofocus system, and while this may be the main focus point (pun obviously intended) for the phone’s title, there’s a lot more going on with this handset than a snappy autofocus setup.

The ZenFone 3 Laser is a smartphone that Asus is selling for under $200, putting it in direct competition with the likes of the Moto G4. Is Asus’s option worth considering over the Moto?

In the box

  • Asus ZenFone 3 Laser
  • MicroUSB cable
  • AC wall adapter
  • SIM tray removal tool
  • Safety and warranty information

Design

The build is certainly premium, although a bit underwhelming

Asus ZenFone 3 Laser Review

The Asus ZenFone 3 Laser is a big step up in build quality when compared to the ZenFone 2, as the former ditches the latter’s all-plastic construction for an aluminum one. This switch in materials is a very welcome one, as the aluminum that’s used here feels very premium and solid in the hand. The back is smooth and cool to the touch, and the fingerprint sensor that lives beneath the petite camera hump allows for quick and easy access to unlocking the phone.

Asus’s ZenFone 3 Laser measures in at just 7.9-millimeters thin and features a weight of 150-grams, allowing it to be very slim and lightweight. Additionally, the rounded corners of the handset allows it to feel nice and comfortable when held.

As great as it is to have an aluminum build as opposed to last year’s plastic, there’s no doubt that the overall look of the Laser is quite bland. We’ve seen a ton of aluminum builds in both the budget and premium landscape lately, and because of this, the ZenFone 3 Laser fades into the background with an aesthetic that’s attractive, yet undeniably underwhelming.
 
Asus ZenFone 3 Laser
5.87 x 2.99 x 0.31 inches
149 x 76 x 7.9 mm
5.29 oz (150 g)

Asus ZenFone 3 Laser

Motorola Moto G4 Plus
6.02 x 3.02 x 0.39 inches
153 x 76.6 x 9.8 mm
5.47 oz (155 g)

Motorola Moto G4 Plus

honor 5X
5.96 x 3 x 0.32 inches
151.3 x 76.3 x 8.15 mm
5.57 oz (158 g)

honor 5X

Asus ZenFone 2 Laser (US)
6 x 3.04 x 0.43 inches
152.5 x 77.2 x 10.8 mm
6.00 oz (170 g)

Asus ZenFone 2 Laser (US)


To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


Display

Big, bright, and clear

Asus ZenFone 3 Laser Review

In regards to the display, Asus decided to use a 5.5-inch IPS LCD panel with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 Full HD. There’s nothing all that remarkable about the display, but there’s also nothing to really complain about. Text is crisp, colors look bright, and viewing angles are quite good as well.

This isn’t a display that’s going to blow your socks off, but it’s fully functional and capable, and for a phone in this price bracket, that’s all you can really ask for.

11 Comments
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posted on 30 Jan 2017, 09:41 5

1. Rydsmith (Posts: 580; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)


"It may have been overlooked by a lot of people when it was initially released back in October of last year..."

Then maybe you should have done your review for it back then....

posted on 30 Jan 2017, 09:57 1

2. uzimafioso (Posts: 388; Member since: 15 Jul 2014)


It doesn't even matter when the review comes out if it doesn't have any tests. Wtf was this.

posted on 30 Jan 2017, 12:43 1

3. SYSTEM_LORD (Posts: 836; Member since: 05 Oct 2015)


Same thing I was thinking. No screen tests, no audio tests, and as useless as they are, no PA battery tests.

posted on 31 Jan 2017, 01:58

10. mte0709 (Posts: 2; Member since: 31 Jan 2017)


agree with you. PA chooses which phone they are gonna review. if they dont feel reviewing it they just ignore it.

posted on 30 Jan 2017, 13:14 2

4. airoid (Posts: 28; Member since: 13 Dec 2016)


This is not a review, its advertising

posted on 30 Jan 2017, 13:16

5. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4888; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


It's amateur hour here at PhoneArena.com didn't you know?

SMH

posted on 30 Jan 2017, 17:58

6. ibend (Posts: 5753; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


IIRC I never seen Joe M. review before this :-/
I think he forgot the rule... chinese/taiwanese brand = minus 2 score

btw, it's nice that you didn't expect much with this cheap phone.. :D
but there are tons of better phone at that price tag, and some of them get under 7/10 review score in this site, lol..

posted on 30 Jan 2017, 18:06 2

7. Andr01d (Posts: 62; Member since: 08 Mar 2016)


I personally think that PA should start to categorize their reviews, maybe this way they would be more fair. Ex.: Low cost phones, Mid rangers, Flagships, gadgets, tablets, etc...
This could be done to level all their reviews by category and making them a lot more fair. Sometimes it seems that PA reviewers are expecting flagship stuff from lowrangers and it disappoints many people. It also seems that all the reviewers have different points of view. Cons and pros should be previously set so that it is consistent and we do not get a reviewer saying "This device does not have a 3.5mm jack" as a con while another has it as a "Future proof" pro, etc...

posted on 30 Jan 2017, 18:41

8. ibend (Posts: 5753; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


actually they have done that before... just look at the old Moto G review which get 9/10 for low-end, and Moto X 9/10 score for mid-ranger, and that's fair for it's price tag..
but somehow everything changes since last year...
the new category is:
- chinese phone = max score 7.5/10
- apple phone = min score 9/10
- other brand =
-- if it's flagship from popular brand (HTC, oneplus, samsung, moto, etc) = 8.0-9.0
-- if it's not a flagship = compare it to flagship and give it 5-8

posted on 31 Jan 2017, 01:16

9. notfair (Posts: 28; Member since: 30 Jan 2017)


"recharge times, as it took the phone a whopping 3 hours and 25 minuets to go from 0 to 100% with the included battery charger" and yet the Iphone 7 Plus takes 3 hours and 28 minutes to charge from 0 - 100% but for an Apple product is acceptable!

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Display5.5 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (401 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera13 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon 430, Octa-core, 1400 MHz, ARM Cortex-A53 processor
4 GB RAM
Size5.87 x 2.99 x 0.31 inches
(149 x 76 x 7.9 mm)
5.29 oz  (150 g)

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