Asus Zenfone 3 is announced with glass and metal design, $249 starting price


As expected, Asus announced a plethora of new devices at its Computex Taipei press event – Zenbook laptops, Transformer 2-in-1 PCs, even a robotic companion named Zenbo. But we'd bet it's the new Zenfone lineup you're most excited to hear about. We have the gigantic Zenfone 3 Ultra, with its 6.8-inch display, as well as the Zenfone 3 Deluxe, made to impress with its all-metal construction. Leading the pack is the Asus Zenfone 3, which, out of these three, is the phone with the greatest potential to appeal to the mass market. It is here to succeed the Zenfone 2 with improvements in design and specs, all at a temptingly low price. But more on that last bit later.

While last year's Zenfone 2 had a colorful, yet plasticky construction, the Zenfone 3 has glass covering the back and front, with a metal frame hold together. The approach is anything but original, although at this time we don't think we have anything against it. The volume buttons, which were placed at the back on last year's model, are now in a more traditional spot on the side of the handset. The area under the camera is now occupied by a fingerprint scanner, which is a welcome addition. 

As far as technicalities go, the Zenfone 3 comes with a 5.5-inch IPS LCD display, which makes it about as large as its predecessor. Under the hood we find a Snapdragon 625 SoC, with 8 Cortex A53 cores running at up to 2.0 GHz and an Adreno 506 GPU. The chip is backed by up to 4GB of RAM and up to 64GB of storage, but the base variant of the phone will have less of the stuff. 

On the software side of things, we have a heavily modified version of Android, with features extending the OS both functionally and visually. These include support for themes, visual effects, as well as a built-in Mobile Manager system "optimizer" and the Game Genie feature for capturing and sharing gaming video. 

Asus also brags with the 16MP camera on the Zenfone 3. The snapper uses contrast-detection, phase-detection, and laser AF to set the focus in as little as 0.03s – on par with popular flagship smartphones. Keeping the frame steady is a 4-axis OIS system backed by a 3-axis electronic stabilization. The front-facing cam shoots 8MP selfies. All of this Sounds great on paper, but as Asus' recent phones mostly lagged in the camera department, we won't be setting our expectations too high.

While we have yet to get in-depth information on the matter, battery life should be more than satisfactory with the Asus Zenfone 3, as the phone packs a sizeable, 3000mAh cell inside it. Charging is done via the convenient USB Type-C port at the bottom. Also, quick charging should be supported by the handset. 

Unfortunately, we have no information regarding the launch of the Asus Zenfone 3. The Zenfone 2 took forever to hit the shelves, so we're hoping for a much speedier release this time around. What we do know, on the other hand, is how much the phone is going to cost. The Zenfone 3 will start at $249 for the base model, carrying 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. Naturally, the 4GB/64GB model will cost you extra. 


source: Asus

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25 Comments

1. Good-Is-Better

Posts: 105; Member since: Nov 12, 2015

Good looking phones. But, at the moment, there is something that interest me in a phone. The battery. I first look at the battery before I begin to see the rest of the specs. Its time these manufacturers should know that 3000 mAh for a 5.5" smartphone is the thing of the pass. No matter how they optimize it, I still need the numbers. At least 3500mAh for a 5.5" and as from 4000 mAh for smartphones as from 5.7" upward.

13. NoAllegiance unregistered

14nm architecture should make a big difference

23. zex999

Posts: 92; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

That is not the point. 14nm architecture, more efficient chips, less power consumption screens, software optimizations that is all well and good, but a bigger battery is better. Just as you upgrade the processor, ram, and such I expect battery to upgrade to meet today's smartphone demands. Give me 12 hours of usage of no matter what I do, whether it is gaming or surfing the web, then I will be satisfied. Other than that it is just planned obsolesce.

25. NoAllegiance unregistered

You might want to get you a Gionee Marathon M5

26. zex999

Posts: 92; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

Well yes, I know there are phones with 4000, 5000, 6050mah, & even 10000mah batteries. Ulefone Power manages to have a 6050mah battery in a 9.5mm body with 3gb of RAM costing ~$150-200. But, like other phones with huge batteries it lacks flagship specs and/or support US bands. Essentially too much compromise or what I like to call it, planned obsolesce.

2. Shubham1221

Posts: 153; Member since: Jul 29, 2015

Its a good buy if camera is capable of taking good pics.Allover a very nice midranger.

3. aznhachi

Posts: 212; Member since: Apr 12, 2016

looking forward for the battery life test

4. yann

Posts: 612; Member since: Jul 15, 2010

5.5", 6.8"... Are this people crazy? Nothing with 5" screen? Lots of people do not like to wear tv to they ears. Good design for ultra, with fingerprint in front, but evetything over 5.2" is dealbreaker for me. Sorry.

5. HR_19

Posts: 103; Member since: Aug 09, 2014

Dang. $499 is more than I want to spend, but I'd love that phone.

21. MingLiangChen

Posts: 329; Member since: Jul 06, 2012

This particular one is $249. This is the basic zenfone 3.

6. HR_19

Posts: 103; Member since: Aug 09, 2014

This is also why I wanted project Ara to happen the way it was originally envisioned, so people like me can get a good screen, a decent camera, and a great SOC chip.

7. WAusJackBauer

Posts: 453; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

6.8 inch screen? Asus are insane. Considering they released 3 phones they should've made a 5 inch, 5.5 inch and a 6 inch. They better not complain when this doesn't sell well.

10. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

They should have made 4.5 instead of 6, there are much more people that want smaller phone than a gigantic one

18. cherry.dev

Posts: 107; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

6.8" isn't even in a phone/phablet realm. maybe in Asian regions, big phones sell well.

8. siddharthayadav202

Posts: 286; Member since: Apr 23, 2016

That camera design looks shi**y. $500 is too much. 8 GB RAM won't make much difference though no harm. Sizes are stupid.

9. havoc

Posts: 95; Member since: Jan 08, 2015

Where you get that price? Its not even posted above.

12. siddharthayadav202

Posts: 286; Member since: Apr 23, 2016

androidcentral.. Also it has 6 GB.. They mentioned wrong..

11. JoshN

Posts: 202; Member since: Apr 01, 2015

I'll pass on this was really looking forward to it but the only up I see it the price

15. SyCo87

Posts: 295; Member since: Sep 19, 2013

Sorry Moto G, if only you had a 652.

16. Moose

Posts: 418; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

I would MUCH rather buy the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 or the Meizu M3 Note, both with 4000 plus mAh batteries and for a lower price. Battery life is my top criterion when selecting a new phone.

19. SyCo87

Posts: 295; Member since: Sep 19, 2013

Not everyone has the privilege of having those phones available in their country. So, as far as the US, this is probably the best valued currently.

17. cherry.dev

Posts: 107; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

if only SD650, it would be a pretty sweet deal.

20. Clars123

Posts: 1076; Member since: Mar 16, 2015

Galaxy S6 is that you?

22. MingLiangChen

Posts: 329; Member since: Jul 06, 2012

Wew Asus is ditching curved backs for a flat metallic design as well, like Lenovo Moto. Looking forward to see how Moto fares against Asus's offerings.

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