The ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra (ZU680KL) Phablet Review

Page 6 : Overall & 3D Performance, Our Verdict

Overall Performance

AnTuTu is a nice benchmark for testing various performance aspects of Android devices.

ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra HTC 10 honor 5C Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
TOTAL SCORE 76096 113813 53417 131246
3D SCORE 18816 50700 9842 40824
– 3D (Marooned) 10864 34778 5795 23336
– 3D (Garden) 7952 15922 4047 17488
UX SCORE 26794 30890 19297 42765
– UX Data Secure 5077 6319 5577 8169
– UX Data Process 4198 3379 2706 5966
– UX Strategy Games 7503 5433 4109 10745
– UX Image Process 6879 9521 3144 13878
– UX I/O Performance 3137 6238 3761 4007
CPU SCORE 23689 21915 19254 37882
– CPU Mathematics 6950 8494 4198 11831
– CPU Common Use 6311 5931 5947 10875
– CPU Multi-Core 10428 7490 9109 15176
RAM 6797 10308 5024 9775

The ZenFone 3 Ultra was fast in 2D graphics and CPU performance, but it did rather poorly in the 3D tests. It was far slower than top-of-the-line smartphones like the HTC 10 and the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, but it was also twice as fast as the Kirin 650-powered honor 5C.


Gaming Performance – 3DMark

We tested the ZenFone 3 Ultra’s gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Ice Storm Unlimited test.

ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra HTC 10 honor 5C Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
Gaming Score 17719 23171 11560 28650
Graphics 21124 27512 11067 33685
Physics 11328 14925 13698 18810
Graphics Test 1 115.2 fps 136.6 fps 63.4 fps 162.9 fps
Graphics Test 2 76.3 fps 106.4 fps 38.8 fps 133.1 fps
Physics Test 36.0 fps 47.4 fps 43.5 fps 59.7 fps

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra did better in this test, coming in just 24% slower than the HTC 10, and 38% slower than the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge.


Our Verdict

Make no mistake – the ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra is a large, weighty phablet. You will either love it, or hate it.

If you want a large phablet to replace the cumbersome tablet + smartphone combo you have been using so far, you will love the large, beautiful 6.8″ display, and appreciate how solid and premium it feels. No cheap plastic for ASUS’ premium phablet. It even comes with the best earphones ASUS makes.

But if you want something svelte and light, the ZenFone 3 Ultra is definitely not for you. You will never fit it into a pocket, or actually use it with a single hand. That’s why ASUS made the ZenFone 3 and ZenFone 3 Deluxe models. The ZenFone 3 Ultra is meant for those who want a large phablet, period.

As far as performance goes, you are unlikely to be disappointed. It may not do well in 3D games, but it’s speedy enough in everything else. And it is absolutely fantastic as an entertainment device. Videos look great on the 6.8″ display, and the audio output is remarkably clear and loud.

It also has a long battery life, and recharges quickly – something you will appreciate if you are always on-the-go and have little access to a power point. Heck, it even supports reverse charging, allowing you to play the hero to your friends when they forget to bring their power banks.

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The PixelMaster 3.0 camera is really quite something. With 22.5 MP of resolution with a fast lens and advanced optical and electronic image stabilization, it can really deliver great photos and videos. The blown-out highlights are a disappointment though. ASUS should really work on correcting it.

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra is, no doubt, the best phablet ASUS has ever made. A premium phablet, made out of metal and glass. It represents a massive upgrade in features and build quality over its predecessor, the ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL). ASUS is definitely trying to move up the value chain.

However, such premium features come with a premium price. ASUS actually priced it at a premium over its nearest competitor, the Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro. You will have to decide if that the better PixelMaster 3.0 camera, larger storage capacity and screen size are worth the price premium.


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9 thoughts on “The ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra (ZU680KL) Phablet Review

  1. Pingback: Daily Roundup: 2016-09-29 -

  2. Peter

    It’s a pity that the Zen Phone 3 Uttra has The same screen resolution of the other smaller phones. Just seems a waste of potentially a great big display.

    1. Dr. Adrian Wong Post author

      They could have gone with a 1440p display, but that would mean greater cost and power consumption for arguably no real benefit. With a pixel density of 324 ppi, it would certainly qualify as a “Retina display” at the standard viewing distance.

      Remember – this is a large phablet, so we are more likely to view it at a distance. You can’t tell the difference with say, the Galaxy S7 edge, unless you compare them side by side and peek close-up.

      1. Peter

        As all three devices have the same resolution the DPI would change depending on the display size. The Ultra would not give you anymore screen realestate just a larger display. The idea of a phablet would be to increase screen realestate to make it a more productive device compared with a smaller ( non Phablet ) phone.

        I would love to see manufacturers take the phablet size of six inches or larger and turn them into higher end devices rather than the middle spec devices we are seeing now.

        1. Dr. Adrian Wong Post author

          Correct, the ZenFone 3 Ultra won’t give you more pixels, just a larger screen.

          If you are viewing movies on a range of phablets at a distance of, say… 10 inches, a larger screen is arguably more enjoyable, but the higher resolution on any of these phablets won’t be noticeable.

          If you are looking to work on a phablet, then yes, the higher resolution will matter… a LOT. Sadly, the only phablet that is close to 6″ with 1440p resolution is the Galaxy Note7.

        2. Terence

          Peter you are right!

          Im looking to replace my aging xperia z3 tablet compact which is 8inch to a slightly smaller 6+ inch phablet. But it seems non of the newer phablet are high end devices.

          Even Sony’s XA Ultra is powered by the mediocre Mediatek chipset instead of something higher end.

          The Ultra was something I was considering but the price for that mid range chipset seems a bit too much also…

          1. Peter

            Hi Terence,

            I have a real problem with manufacturers building large screen devices with questionable specifications. If these devices where cars then they would have an SUV chassis with a compact cabin being powered by a small 1.6 litre engine. What’s the point?

            Why not manufacture a large screened phablet with high end specifications and call it a flagship device. Just giving a phone a large screen without the benefit of higher resolution just makes it suitable for media consumption rather than a device suitable for media creation and productivity.

  3. Fahim

    Hi..just to ask from your experice reviewing this phone..did you noticed that the website,whatsapp and facebook app display are quite small despite the big screen size.The good thing is we can see more things in a screen.I tried changing to fonts to largest size but it is still the same
    i did comparison with xiaomi mi max..the display of a website in mi max is larger and fit the screen
    I suspected this is related DPI optimization
    Can you give some comments?

    1. Dr. Adrian Wong Post author

      That may be due to the higher resolution 1080p display. The icons and text will seem smaller, if you are migrating from a lower resolution 720p display, for example. Then again, the Xiaomi Mi Max has the same resolution.

      Unfortunately, we no longer have the ZenFone 3 Ultra with us, so we cannot confirm it on our end… 🙁


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