ASUS’ ZenFone Zoom was an ugly phone. While the front was discrete enough, the back was a leather-clad monster with a plastic disk jutting out. The benefit, of course, was the 3x optical zoom lens that allowed you to capture detail from afar. Its successor, the ZenFone 3 Zoom, takes a vastly different approach. The circular bulge is gone and in its place you’ll find a dual-camera setup reminiscent of the iPhone 7 Plus. One is a f/1.7-aperture, 25mm wide-angle lens, while the other is a 59mm version offering a 2.3x optical zoom. Like Apple’s latest smartphone, you can instantly bounce between to retain clarity in your shots.
Both cameras shoot 12-megapixel stills, using what ASUS calls an improved “TriTech+” autofocus system to keep your images sharp. These include dual-pixel phase detection autofocus (PDAF), subject tracking autofocus and a new, revamped laser focus system. The ZenFone 3 Zoom is also the first device from ASUS to feature its new “SuperPixel” technology, a process which involves “intelligently adjusting ISO levels” and applying noise reduction in post. Such a system, the company claims, gives the phone two and a half times greater light sensitivity than the iPhone 7 Plus.
We’ll see, ASUS. We’ll see.
Underneath its full metal body you’ll find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, the same processor packed into the regular ZenFone 3 lineup. While not the most impressive chipset, it should improve the phone’s stamina, which already sounds stellar thanks to its 5,000mAh battery. ASUS is promising 42 days of standby time — a feat that should help photographers who spend long days shooting on location. Heck, the phone has so much juice that it can double as a “high-speed power bank” for charging over devices.
Pricing and storage configurations are yet to be confirmed. ASUS has said, however, that the phone will be coming out next February, no doubt to coincide with Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
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