Tag Archives: ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra

The honor 8 Aurora Glass Smartphone Review

The honor 8 Aurora Glass Smartphone Review

Boasting a unique Aurora Glass finish on its back, the new honor 8 smartphone is truly a work of art that has to be seen to be appreciated. But it is not just a good-looking smartphone. The honor 8 also features a dual-lens main camera, like its brother – the Huawei P9So join us as we take a close look at the honor 8 smartphone!

 

The honor 8 Smartphone Specifications

First up, we would like to point out that the honor 8 is available in 5 different models, with 3-4 colours, depending on the location. But they basically consist of two versions – a standard honor 8 model, and a premium honor 8 model. Check out their specifications :

Specificationshonor 8 (Standard)honor 8 (Premium)
ModelFRD-L02 (India), FRD-L04 (US), FRD-L09 (EU & Asia)FRD-L14 (US), FRD-L19 (EU & Asia)
Available ColoursPearl White, Midnight BlackSapphire Blue, Sunrise Gold
Display5.2" LTPS LCD display
- 1080 x 1920 resolution (423 ppi)
- 1500:1 contrast ratio, 96% NTSC colour gamut
5.2" LTPS LCD display
- 1080 x 1920 resolution (423 ppi)
- 1500:1 contrast ratio, 96% NTSC colour gamut
ProtectionNippon Electric Glass (NEG)Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Operating SystemAndroid 6.0 with Huawei Emotion UI 4.1Android 6.0 with Huawei Emotion UI 4.1
Processing PlatformHiSilicon Kirin 950HiSilicon Kirin 950
Processor4 x ARM Cortex-A72 (2.3 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 (1.8 GHz)
i5 co-processor
4 x ARM Cortex-A72 (2.3 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 (1.8 GHz)
i5 co-processor
Graphics ProcessorARM Mali-T880 (650 MHz)ARM Mali-T880 (650 MHz)
System Memory4 GB LPDDR4 memory4 GB LPDDR4 memory
Storage32 GB internal flash memory
microSD slot* (supports up to 128 GB)
* shared with SIM2 (L09)
64 GB internal flash memory
microSD slot* (supports up to 128 GB)
* shared with SIM2 (L19)
Selfie Camera8 MP sensor, with f/2.4 lens
- 1080p video recording
8 MP sensor, with f/2.4 lens
- 1080p video recording
Main CameraDual 12 MP cameras (monochrome + colour)
- Sony IMX286 sensor
- f/2.2 lens, dual LED flash and hybrid auto-focus
- 1080p video recording with EIS
Dual 12 MP cameras (monochrome + colour)
- Sony IMX286 sensor
- f/2.2 lens, dual LED flash and hybrid auto-focus
- 1080p video recording with EIS
GPSGPS / AGPS / GLONASSGPS / AGPS / GLONASS
SIM SupportSingle nano SIM (L02, L04)
Dual nano SIM, Dual Standby (L09)
Single nano SIM (L14)
Dual nano SIM, Dual Standby (L19)
Connectivity4G : LTE FDD LTE Cat6 : 51 Mbps (UL), 301 Mbps (DL)
3G : WCDMA
2 G : GSM
Bluetooth : 4.2 BLE
OTG, VoLTE
4G : LTE FDD LTE Cat6 : 51 Mbps (UL), 301 Mbps (DL)
3G : WCDMA
2 G : GSM
Bluetooth : 4.2 BLE
OTG, VoLTE
WiFi Capability802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz dual-band)
Hotspot supports up to 8 devices
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz dual-band)
Hotspot supports up to 8 devices
USB PortUSB 2.0 with USB Type C interfaceUSB 2.0 with USB Type C interface
Fingerprint SensorYes, 3D fingerprint recognition, 0.4 second unlock with Smart Key customisationYes, 3D fingerprint recognition, 0.4 second unlock with Smart Key customisation
Infra-Red TransmitterYes, with Smart Control 4.0Yes, with Smart Control 4.0
NFC SupportYes, tag read/write, P2P transfer, mobile paymentYes, tag read/write, P2P transfer, mobile payment
AudioHiSilicon Hi6402 audio DSP with Dolby DTS and HiRes Audio support
Dual-microphone noise reduction
HiSilicon Hi6402 audio DSP with Dolby DTS and HiRes Audio support
Dual-microphone noise reduction
Battery2,900 mAh lithium-polymer battery
18 W fast-charging capability
2,900 mAh lithium-polymer battery
18 W fast-charging capability
Dimensions71.0 mm wide x 145.5 mm tall x 7.45 mm thick71.0 mm wide x 145.5 mm tall x 7.45 mm thick
Weight153 g153 g
Launch PriceRM 1,699 (~US$ 425)RM 1,899 (~US$ 475)

The standard honor 8 models are priced at RM 1,699 / ~US$ 425 with 32 GB of storage, and is available in either Pearl White or Midnight Black. The premium honor 8 models are priced at RM 1,899 / ~US$ 475 with 64 GB of storage, and either Sapphire Blue or Sunrise Gold colours.

 

Unboxing The honor 8 Smartphone

The honor 8 comes in a white two-piece cardboard box with a textured surface. The tall and thin design presumably allows more units to be placed side-by-side on a counter. The inner box slides downwards and is secured by a single clear security sticker. Be careful once that sticker is cut, because the inner box will slide right out!

[adrotate banner=”4″]

Inside the honor 8 box, you will find the following items :

  • One honor 8 smartphone
  • One set of honor 8 Quick Start Guide & Huawei warranty leaflet
  • One SIM card tray extractor pin
  • One set of six IMEI stickers
  • One 18 W Huawei quick travel charger
  • One USB 2.0 cable with USB Type C interface

Next Page > The honor 8 Up Close, Hybrid SIM, Fingerprint Sensor & OTG Support

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

The honor 8 Smartphone Up Close

The honor 8 has a large 5.2″ LTPS display that covers almost its entire front – with a 72% screen-to-body ratio. To achieve that, honor eschewed the use of physical buttons, in favour of virtual on-screen buttons. In fact, it only has two physical buttons – a Power button and a Volume rocker switch on the right side.

The honor 8 has an infra-red transmitter at the top, which can be used as a remote control in conjunction with the built-in Smart Controller app. It is also the first honor smartphone to feature the new Type C USB interface. It is still a USB 2.0 port, but the Type C interface is bidirectional – you no longer have to worry about plugging the cable in the wrong way.

Even though the honor 8 is the same size as the honor 5C, they managed to squeeze in a 2,900 mAh lithium-polymer battery while reducing its thickness to just 7.45 mm. They even fit in the 3.5mm audio port, albeit at the bottom, together with the USB port.

 

Hybrid SIM

The honor 8 has dual SIM, dual standby capability. However, only the FRD-L09 and FRD-L19 models come with the hybrid SIM slot that allows for a second nano SIM card. These two models are only sold in Europe and Asia. The other models only support a single nano SIM.

Of course, the hybrid SIM slot means you have to choose between using a second nano SIM card, or a microSD card. You can’t use both simultaneously.

[adrotate banner=”5″]

 

Fingerprint Sensor & OTG Support

The honor 8 boasts a new 3D fingerprint sensor that can actually detect the ridges of the finger. This allows for more accurate detection of your fingerprint. With an auto-learning ability, the honor 8’s fingerprint sensor can recognise your fingerprint and unlock the honor 8 in just 0.4 seconds.

On the other hand, the honor 8 (like the honor 5C) does not support USB OTG (On-The-Go) drives. If you plug any USB OTG flash drive into its USB port, it will not be detected. The honor 8 also requires you to use the Huawei HiSuite software to access its files from your computer. This also limits what you can copy out from the honor 8 smartphone.

Next Page > Cameras, Aurora Glass, Initial Setup, Memory & Storage

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

Cameras

The honor 8 has an 8 MP front camera with an f/2.4 lens. It will deliver a maximum photo resolution of 3264 x 2448 in the 4:3 format. Again, a wider 16:9 format will crop that to 3264 x 1840. It will record videos in 1080p quality with electronic image stabilisation.

Its killer feature is the dual-lens camera at the back. It is actually two individual cameras, each with a Sony IMX286 sensors with f/2.2 lens. One camera captures the image in monochrome, while the other captures the same image in colour. They are then combined to deliver sharper and more detailed pictures. The camera is supported by a dual LED flash, and a laser autofocus system.

The photos have a maximum resolution of 3968 x 2976 in the 4:3 format. If you prefer a wider format, the honor 8 will do that by cropping the image to 3968 x 2240 (16:9). It is capable of recording video in full HD quality (1080p) with electronic image stabilisation.

 

Aurora Glass

The honor 8 has a 2.5D glass body on both sides with diamond-cut aluminium alloy edges to create an ultra-narrow bezel. Its 3D grate design and 15-layer craftsmanship on the back of the device, combines with the glass/metal back to create what honor calls Aurora Glass.

The Aurora Glass back gives the honor 8 a very reflective surface at the back. The only catch – it naturally lacks the oleophobic coating of the front screen for a proper grip. However, that means its highly-reflective back is easily smudged by fingerprint smears, which detracts from its lustre.

 

The Initial Setup

This video will show you the initial setup process when you power up the honor 8 for the first time. If you do not need to restore a backup, the whole setup process should take about 5 minutes. Note how fast it takes to register a fingerprint.

[adrotate banner=”5″]

 

Available Memory & Storage

The honor 8 comes with 4 GB of LPDDR4 memory. The Android 6.0 operating system and honor-preloaded apps take up about 1.3 GB of memory, leaving you with 2.4 GB (60%) of free memory. Very good!

This is a premium honor 8 model (FRD-L19), which comes with 64 GB of internal flash memory. This is expandable via a microSD card (up to 128 GB). Fresh out of the box, the honor 8 has 53.2 GB of available space (excluding the system files), of which 51.38 GB is free to use.

In the standard honor 8 models which come with 32 GB of internal flash memory, we can estimate that they will have about 19 GB of free space.

Next Page > honor 8 Camera & Video Recording Performance

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

Camera Performance – Photos

The honor 8‘s dual-lens camera has not one, but two, 12 MP Sony IMX286 sensor with reasonably fast f/2.4 lens. The photos have a maximum resolution of 3968 x 2976 in the 4:3 format. Check out these photo samples.

The honor 8 delivered excellent resolution in these photos. If you blow them up to 100%, you can see the amount of detail that is not possible in other smartphone cameras. The edge resolution (between elements of different colour), in particular, was very impressive. The amount of noise is also very low, even in dark areas.

While the honor 8 does not have the most user-friendly camera app in the industry, the photos produced by its dual-lens camera is very, very impressive. Even without turning on HDR, the colour are very vivid and visually pop out.

[adrotate banner=”5″]

 

Camera Performance – Video Recording

The honor 8 can record full HD (1080p) ideos with electronic stabilisation. This is an improvement over the honor 5X, whose main camera does not support electronic stabilisation. Here is a sample video we recorded of a piano performance by Mr. Yang I-Deun.

And this is a sample video taken at a street market.

The honor 8 did a great job maintaining focus and controlling exposure in the videos we took. Even bright backgrounds were not overblown. The honor 8 does not support optical image stabilisation, probably because it would prevent the dual-lens system from being in sync, but its electronic image stabilisation still did a decent job.

You should also notice that it records better audio than most smartphones. The piano music sounds richer, even through the background noise. And in the street market footage, the ambient sounds sound clearer and more authentic.

Next Page > Work Performance, Battery Life & Recharging Performance

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

Work Performance – PCMark

We tested the honor 8‘s performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

honor 8 ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra HTC 10 Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
Work Performance Score
(Average)
6350 6313 6105 4892
Web Browsing 8073 6257 5782 6908
Video Playback 4396 4287 3321 3218
Writing 6231 7166 7463 4629
Photo Editing 7352 8262 9694 5563

The honor 8 is powered by the top-of-the-line Kirin 950 SoC. These PCMark results show that the Kirin 950 proved to be more than a match for the Snapdragon 820 that powers the HTC 10, and the Snapdragon 652 that powers the ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra. In fact, it was 30% faster in this benchmark than Samsung Galaxy S7 edge‘s Exynos 8890!

 

Battery Performance – PCMark

We then tested the honor 8‘s battery performance using PCMark. It basically ran the PCMark work tests until its battery capacity dropped to 20%.

The honor 8 lasted just over 10 hours on the PCMark stress test. This is 1.5 hours less than the honor 5C, but is excellent considering it uses a more powerful processor and graphics processor, and comes with twice the memory. The HTC 10, for example, lasted just over 5.5 hours on the same test!

[adrotate banner=”5″]

 

Battery Recharging Performance

The honor 8 has a large 2,900 mAh lithium-polymer battery, with Fast Charging capability. honor claims that it will recharge from 0% to 47% in just 30 minutes. Let’s see if that’s true…

Our tests showed that the honor 8 will recharge from 17% to 100% in just 146 minutes (3 hours 26 minutes). This is decent, but not exceptional quick charging performance. It fully recharges the battery about 20% faster than the honor 5C, which does not support quick charging and uses only a 5 W charger.

That said, we can see that the honor 8 recharges fastest in the first 90%, before it tapers off to a slower recharging pace for the last 10 percent. Recharging 47% (from 17% to 64%) took 36 minutes in our test.

Next Page > Overall & Gaming Performance, Our Verdict & Award

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

Overall Performance – AnTuTu Benchmark

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

honor 8 ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra HTC 10 Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
TOTAL SCORE 90737 76096 113813 131246
3D SCORE 17706 18816 50700 40824
– 3D (Marooned) 9829 10861 34778 23336
– 3D (Garden) 7877 7952 15922 17488
UX SCORE 34550 26794 30890 42765
– UX Data Secure 7338 5077 6319 8169
– UX Data Process 5513 4198 3379 5966
– UX Strategy Games 9745 7503 5433 10745
– UX Image Process 5017 6879 9521 13878
– UX I/O Performance 6937 3137 6238 4007
CPU SCORE 32255 23689 21915 37882
– CPU Mathematics 10483 6950 8494 11831
– CPU Common Use 8543 6311 5931 10875
– CPU Multi-Core 13229 10428 7490 15176
RAM 6226 6797 10308 9775

The honor 8 did well in AnTuTu, coming in only 20% and 31% slower than the HTC 10 and the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge respectively.

It was actually 12% and 47% faster than the HTC 10 in the UX and CPU tests, but its 65% slower 3D performance pulled down its overall results.

 

Gaming Performance – 3DMark

We tested the honor 8‘s gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Ice Storm Unlimited test.

honor 8 ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra HTC 10 Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
Gaming Score 18659 17719 23171 28650
Graphics 19993 21124 27512 33685
Physics 15127 11328 14925 18810
Graphics Test 1 122.5 fps 115.2 fps 136.6 fps 162.9 fps
Graphics Test 2 67.4 fps 76.3 fps 106.4 fps 133.1 fps
Physics Test 48.0 fps 36.0 fps 47.4 fps 59.7 fps

The honor 8 is roughly equal to the ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra in gaming performance. This means the ARM Mali-T880 GPU in the Kirin 950 is about as fast as the Qualcomm Adreno 510 GPU.

 

Our Verdict

The honor 8 is more than just a more powerful version of the honor 5C smartphone. Yes, they are both 5.2″ smartphones powered by Kirin processors from HiSilicon, a Huawei company. But the honor 8 is really a whole different beast targeting a different market.

The honor 8 is very fast, and comes with 4 GB of RAM and up to 64 GB of internal flash storage. On top of that, its dual-lens camera produces excellent photographs and videos. It even comes with a new 3D fingerprint sensor that activates the phone in just 0.4 seconds.

The honor 8 also looks the part of a premium smartphone, thanks to its Aurora Glass finish. This is honor’s top-of-the-line smartphone for those who want nothing but the best without paying through the nose.

Now, all that extra capability comes at a price, and it comes to no surprise that the honor 8 costs twice as much as the honor 5C. Even so, it costs less than half of what their competitors charge for equivalent smartphones.

[adrotate banner=”4″]

So are we impressed with the honor 8? Hell, yeah!

If we have any gripes, it is the lack of USB OTG support and the requirement to use the Huawei HiSuite to manage files using a computer. This unnecessarily makes it a pain to access the files in the honor 8 smartphone.

honor continues to impress us with their ability to focus on creating no-nonsense Android smartphones with practical features. Even the dual-lens camera proved to be a practical way to improve the quality of photos and videos taken using a smartphone.

We like the honor 8 enough to give it out coveted Editor’s Choice Award. Congratulations, honor!

 

Back To Start > honor 8 Specifications & Unboxing

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra (ZU680KL) Phablet Review

The ASUS ZenFone 2 family of smartphones and phablets was notable for its use of Intel Atom processors, as well as their ambidextrous design. While the Intel Atom processors were powerful, they guzzled power and had trouble gaining traction in the smartphone market.

Hence, it comes as no surprise when ASUS revealed in Computex 2016 that the new ZenFone 3 series would be powered by Qualcomm processors instead. That decision probably contributed to Intel’s decision to quit the smartphone market for good.

You may have already seen our sneak peek of the new ASUS ZenFone 3 models at Computex 2016. Today, we are going to take a look at the big daddy of the ZenFone 3 series – the ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra (ZU680KL) phablet!

 

ASUS ZenFone 3 Specifications Comparison

Here is how the ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra compares against the other two ZenFone 3 models :

SpecificationsZenFone 3 Deluxe (ZS570KL)‏ZenFone 3 Ultra (ZU680KL)ZenFone 3 ‏(ZE552KL)‏
Display5.7" Super AMOLED
(1920 x 1080 pixels, 386 ppi)
79% screen-to-body ratio
3,000,000 : 1
contrast ratio
ASUS TruVivid technology
Bluelight Filter
6.8" IPS display
full-screen lamination
(1920 x 1080 pixels, 324 ppi)
79% screen-to-body ratio
178˚wide-viewing angle
ASUS TruVivid technology
Bluelight Filter
5.5" Super IPS+ display
(1920 x 1080 pixels, 401 ppi)
500 nits brightness
77.3% screen-to-body ratio
2.1mm slim bezel
ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 4Corning Gorilla Glass 42.5D contoured Corning Gorilla Glass
Operating SystemAndroid 6.0 Marshmallow
ASUS ZenUI 3.0
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
ASUS ZenUI 3.0
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
ASUS ZenUI 3.0
SoC PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 820
(MSM8996)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 652
(MSM8976)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 625
(MSM8953)
ProcessorQuad-core Kyro (2.15 GHz)4 x ARM Cortex-A72 (1.8 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 (1.4 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 (2.0 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 (1.4 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 530 (624 MHz)Qualcomm Adreno 510Qualcomm Adreno 506
MemoryUp to 6 GBUp to 4 GB LPDDR3Up to 4 GB LPDDR3
StorageUp to 128 GB (UFS 2.0) internal flash storage
microSD slot (Supports up to 2 TB)
Up to 128 GB internal flash storage
microSD slot (Supports up to 2 TB)
Up to 64 GB internal flash storage
microSD slot (Supports up to 2 TB)
Front Camera8 MP, f/2.0 aperture
85˚ wide-viewing angle, Auto Focus
8 MP, f/2.0 aperture
85˚ wide-viewing angle, Auto Focus
8 MP, f/2.0 aperture, Fixed Focus
Rear Camera23 MP Sony IMX318 sensor
0.03 second TriTech auto-focus
6P Largan f/2.0 aperture lens
4 Stop OIS (Optical Image Stabilization)
3-Axis EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization)
Dual-LED real tone flash
Sapphire lens protection
23 MP Sony IMX318 sensor
0.03 second TriTech auto-focus
6P Largan f/2.0 aperture lens
32 second long exposure
4 Stop OIS (Optical Image Stabilization)
3-Axis EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization)
Dual-LED real tone flash
16 MP Sony IMX298 sensor
0.03 second TriTech auto-focus
6P Largan f/2.0 aperture lens
32 second long exposure
4 Stop OIS (Optical Image Stabilization)
3-Axis EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization)
Dual-LED real tone flash
Sapphire lens protection
ConnectivityFDD Band 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 7 / 8 / 12 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 26 / 28 / 29 / 30
LTE Cat. 13 (600 Mbps / 150 Mbps)
UMTS:
Band: 1/2/4/5/6/8/19
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900
Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
USB 3.0 Type-C, BT4.2 + A2DP + EDR
GPS/A-GPS/GLONASS/BDSS
FDD Band 1 / 3 / 5 / 7 / 8 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 26 / 28
LTE Cat. 6 (300 Mbps / 50 Mbps)
UMTS: B1/B2/B5/B6/B8/B19
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900
Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
USB 2.0 Type-C, BT4.2 + A2DP + EDR
GPS/A-GPS/GLONASS/BDSS
FDD Band 1 / 2 / 3 / 5 / 7 / 8 / 20
LTE Cat. 6 (300 Mbps / 50 Mbps)
UMTS: B1/B2/B5/B8
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900
Wi-Fi 802.11ac/USB 2.0 Type-C
BT4.2/GPS/A-GPS/GLONASS/BDSS
Dual SIM capabilityDual SIM Dual StandbyDual SIM Dual StandbyDual SIM Dual Standby
SensorsAccelerator / E-Compass / Gyroscope / Proximity sensor / Hall sensor / Ambient light sensor / RGB sensor / IR sensorAccelerator / E-Compass / Gyroscope / Proximity sensor / Hall sensor / Ambient light sensor / RGB sensor / IR sensorAccelerator / E-Compass / Gyroscope / Proximity sensor / Hall sensor / Ambient light sensor / RGB sensor / IR sensor
Fingerprint SensorYes, rear mounted below camera bumpYes, integrated with Home buttonYes, rear mounted below camera bump
Audio Capability5 magnet speaker
ASUS SonicMaster 3.0
Dual 5 magnet speakers
ASUS SonicMaster 3.0
FM Radio
5 magnet speaker
ASUS SonicMaster 3.0
Battery3000 mAh4600 mAh
Talk time: 34 hrs (3G)
Wi-Fi browsing (14.5 hrs)
Video Playback (12.5 hrs)
3000 mAh
Fast Charging18 W (9V, 2A) Adapter
Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 technology
BoostMaster Fast Charging : 60% battery capacity in 39 minutes
18 W (9V, 2A) Adapter
Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 technology
BoostMaster Fast Charging : 60% battery capacity in 45 minutes
10 W (5V, 2A) Adapter
Size156.4 mm tall x 77.4 mm wide x 4.2 ~ 7.5 mm thick186.4 mm tall x 93.9 mm wide x 6.8 mm thick152.59 mm tall x 77.38 mm wide x 7.69 mm thick
Weight170 g233 g155 g
Available ColoursMetal finish:
Glacier Silver
Titanium Gray
Shimmer Gold
Metal finish:
Glacier Silver
Titanium Gray
Metallic Pink
Glass finish:
Sapphire Black
Moonlight White
Shimmer Gold
Aqua Blue

 

Unboxing The ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra comes in a very premium black cardboard box, with a drawer for the accessories! Check it out!

Inside the box, you will find the following items :

[adrotate banner=”4″]
  • One ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra (ZU680KL) phablet
  • One set of ASUS ZenEar earphones
  • One set of ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra Quick Start Guide and warranty card
  • One 18W ASUS quick charger (supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0)
  • One Type C USB cable
  • One SIM tray ejector pin
  • Two serial number and IMEI stickers

ASUS is marketing the ZenFone 3 Ultra as a premium phablet, and they sure made sure it came with premium accessories. Very nice!

Next Page > Hands On The ZenFone 3 Ultra, Hybrid SIM, Fingerprint Sensor, Cameras

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!


The ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra (ZU680KL) Phablet

With a 6.8″ display, the ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra is a large phablet. It is just a little smaller than the ASUS ZenPad 7.0 tablet, albeit thinner at 6.8 mm. The large screen is just perfect for watching movies, because it has a screen resolution of 1080 x 1920. Flip it horizontally for the ultimate full HD movie player on-the-go.

Thanks to its metal chassis carved out of aerospace-grade aluminium alloy, it has a very premium feel. It has a significant heft at 233 g / 8.2 oz though, so calls are best made with a Bluetooth earpiece.

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra places the Power button on the right, but retains the centrally-aligned Volume buttons at the back from its predecessor, the ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL). We would still consider it an ambidextrous device.

Incidentally, it boasts two powerful 5-magnet speakers. However, they are both located at the bottom, so you can’t really enjoy stereo sound when you watch movies on the ZenFone 3 Ultra horizontally.

 

Hybrid SIM & Fingerprint Sensor

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra has Dual SIM, Dual Standby capability. The two nano SIM card trays are located along the right edge, just above the Power button. The second SIM card tray is a hybrid SIM tray though. It supports either a second nano SIM card, or a microSD card, but not both at the same time.

The ZenFone 3 Ultra boasts a fast fingerprint sensor, integrated into the Home button. ASUS did not quote a specific detection time, but we can confirm that it is a fast fingerprint sensor. It takes 18 finger presses to train the fingerprint sensor though.

 

Cameras

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra sports a decent 8 MP front camera for selfies. While not as good as the 16 MP front camera of the OPPO F1s “Selfie Expert” smartphone, it has a higher resolution than the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, and is capable of recording 1080p videos. The only downside? It doesn’t even support screen flash.

The killer feature of the ZenFone 3 Ultra is its new PixelMaster 3.0 camera at the back. It features a 23 MP Sony IMX318 sensor, which boasts new features like fast hybrid autofocus and 3-axis electronic image stabilization.

[adrotate banner=”4″]

ASUS paired it with f/2.0 Largan lens with 4-axis, 4-stop optical image stabilization, and a second-generation laser auto-focus sensor.

What all that means is you can capture very high resolution photos and videos in poorly-lit conditions. Any blurring that occurs due to hand shakes and wobbles will be greatly reduced or eliminated.

Focusing is also much faster, thanks to the new laser sensor that accurately detects the range of objects in low light at up to 1.5 m away.

In addition to 1080p videos, the PixelMaster 3.0 camera can also shoot 4K videos. To top it off, it encodes the 4K videos using HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) to keep the file size small while maintaining a high level of image quality.

Next Page > Setting Up The ZenFone 3 Ultra, It’s Alive!, Available Memory & Storage

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!


Setting Up The ZenFone 3 Ultra

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, which should be familiar to many Android users. It is very easy to setup. If you are setting it up as a new device, it should take you only 5 minutes to finish the setup process.

 [adrotate banner=”5″]

 

It’s Alive!

When you power it up for the first time, you will revel in how sharp the 6.8″ IPS display looks. This is partly because the screen is laminated with the Gorilla Glass 4 cover. This not only makes the display thinner, it also increases contrast and reduces internal reflections.

Holding the ZenFone 3 Ultra in one hand is possible, but the weight means you will end up hooking your little finger around the bottom to prevent it from slipping. There is a One Hand Operation mode you can enable, but the ZenFone 3 Ultra is best used with two hands.

 

Available Memory & Storage

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra comes with either 3 GB or 4 GB of LPDDR3 memory. Our review sample came with 4 GB of memory. Only 3.5 GB is usable, of which 1.5 GB is used by the Android operating system and background apps. This leaves only 2.1 GB of free memory to use.

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra also comes with generous storage capacities of 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB of flash memory. Our review sample came with 64 GB of flash memory. Out of the box, just under 52 GB is available for use. That should be plenty enough for most users, but is expandable via a microSD card (up to 2 TB).

Next Page > PixelMaster 3.0 Camera Performance – Photos & Video Recording

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!


Camera Performance – Photos

The resolution of the new PixelMaster 3.0 camera is amazing. The full 22.5 MP resolution is attained with the 4:3 aspect ratio. Each picture has a resolution of 5488 x 4096 and a file size of 4-7 MB.

The noise level is remarkably low for such a high resolution sensor. The edges can get fuzzy at the edges, but only noticeable when you fully blow up each picture. The biggest issue is probably the camera’s tendency to blow out the highlights. You can see that in the clouds that lack definition, and light reflecting off the fruits and rubber balls.

[adrotate banner=”5″]

 

Camera Performance – Video Recording

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra is capable of recording 1080p and 4K videos, with both 4-axis optical and 3-axis electronic image stabilization enabled. To test its video recording capabilities, we recorded a piano performance and a koi pond in both 1080p and 4K resolutions. Check them out!

As the videos show, the optical and electronic stabilization worked very well, greatly reducing the amount of hand shake. Remember, this is a rather heavy and large phablet, so the user will tend to shake more.

The amount of detail captured, especially in the 4K videos, is amazing. However, you can also see how the highlights are blown out. This is especially noticeable in the bright background behind the pianist, and the surface of the koi pond.

Until ASUS fixes this propensity to blow out the highlights, you will lose the details in the bright areas of any image.

Next Page > Work Performance, Battery Life, Battery Recharging Performance

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!


Work Performance – PC Mark

We tested the ZenFone 3 Ultra‘s performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra HTC 10 honor 5C Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
Work Performance Score
(Average)
6313 6105 5357 4892
Web Browsing 6257 5782 5643 6908
Video Playback 4287 3321 4487 3218
Writing 7166 7463 5944 4629
Photo Editing 8262 9694 5469 5563

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor powering the ZenFone 3 Ultra did very well in this test, beating even the Snapdragon 820 processor used by the HTC 10, and the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge‘s Exynos 8890 processor.

 

Battery Life – PCMark

We then tested the ZenFone 3 Ultra‘s battery performance using PCMark. It basically ran the PCMark work tests until its battery capacity dropped to 20%.

Thanks to its 4,600 mAh battery, the ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra lasted almost 11.5 hours in this test. This is twice the battery life of the HTC 10 smartphone! Of course, the ZenFone 3 Ultra has 50% more battery capacity, but it also has a much larger display that uses more power.

It was not the best battery life we have seen in a phablet though. The Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro still has the most exceptional battery life at 13 hours, albeit with a slightly larger 5,000 mAh battery and a longer recharge time.

[adrotate banner=”5″]

 

Battery Recharging Performance

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra comes with an 18W fast charger that supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0. What this means is you can recharge 60% of its battery in just 45 minutes.

It actually took the ZenFone 3 Ultra just under 114 minutes (1 hour 55 minutes) to recharge its battery from 16% to 100%. That’s a battery life : recharging ratio of 6:1 – very impressive!

As the chart shows, the fastest charging happens up to about the 80% point. It took only 60 minutes to recharge from 16% to 80%.

Next Page > Overall & 3D Performance, Our Verdict

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!


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.

[adrotate banner=”4″]

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.

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!


You Can Now Purchase ZenFone 3 From The ASUS Store

The wait is now over, with the arrival of the ZenFone 3 Deluxe

All the ZenFone 3 Series is now available in Malaysia.

ASUS just announced that you can now purchase ZenFone 3 (ZE552KL / ZE520KL / ZU680KL / ZC520TL) smartphones from the ASUS Store, their e-commerce site.

For certain variants & colors, it will be made available soon upon arrival. The same goes for the ZenFone 3 Ultra and ZenFone 3 Deluxe smartphones.

 

 

ZenFone 3 Prices

[adrotate banner=”4″]

ZenFone 3

  • ZE552KL: RM 1699 / ~US$ 425
  • ZE520KL: RM 1499 / ~US$ 375

ZenFone 3 Ultra

  • ZU680KL: RM2599 / ~US$ 649

ZenFone 3 Max

  • ZC520TL: RM799 / ~US$ 199

 

ZenFone 3 Models Coming Soon

ZenFone 3 Laser (Mid – October)

  • ZC551KL: RM 999 / ~US$ 249

ZenFone 3 Deluxe (Mid – October)

  • ZS570KL (Snapdragon 821): RM 3299 / ~US$ 825
  • ZS570KL (Snapdragon 820): RM 2559 / ~US$ 639

 

ZenFone 3 Max is Now Available In Malaysia!

ASUS ZenFone 3 Information

You can read more about the ASUS ZenFone 3 in these articles :

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participate in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donate to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

ASUS Zenvolution 2016 – ZenFone 3, ZenBook 3, Transformer 3 Revealed

The ASUS Zenvolution 2016 launch event kicked off yesterday at the prestigious Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. Malaysians have eagerly awaited the launch of the ASUS ZenFone 3 smartphones since they were announced at Computex 2016. Well, here they are!

ASUS also took the opportunity to launch two new ZenFone 3 models, as well as the ZenBook 3 notebook and two Transformer 3 tablets. Let’s check them out!

 

ASUS ZenFone 3 Revealed

ASUS APAC General Manager, Rex Lee, kicked off the ASUS Zenvolution 2016 revelations with the new ASUS ZenFone 3 smartphone.

 

ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe & ZenFone 3 Ultra Revealed

Next, ASUS Corporate Vice President, Eric Chen, revealed the details of the ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe and ZenFone 3 Ultra smartphones.

 

ASUS ZenFone 3 Max & ZenFone 3 Laser Revealed

These are the two models that were not revealed at Computex 2016. The honour of revealing them was given to TH Cheng, the ASUS Senior Mobile Product Manager.

 

ASUS ZenBook 3, Transformer 3 Pro & Transformer 3 Revealed

Finally, ASUS Malaysia’s System Group Country Manager, Jimmy Lin, revealed the new ASUS ZenBook 3 ultraslim notebook, as well as the new Transformer 3 Pro and Transformer 3 tablets.

 

Price & Availability

The ASUS ZenFone 3 smartphone is available on launch day, with the ZenFone 3 Ultra available for pre-order with delivery next week. However, all smartphone, notebook and tablet models revealed at the ASUS Zenvolution 2016 event will be available in the month of August 2016.

Here are their recommended retail prices : [adrotate banner=”4″]
  • ASUS ZenBook 3 (Royal Blue / Rose Gold / Quartz Grey) : RM 7,999 / ~US$ 1,999
  • ASUS Transformer 3 Pro : RM 6,999 / ~US$1,749
  • ASUS Transformer 3 : RM 3,199 / ~US$ 799
  • ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe : RM 2,599 / ~US$ 649
  • ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra : RM 2,599 / ~US$ 649
  • ASUS ZenFone 3 Max : RM 799 / ~US$ 199
  • ASUS ZenFone 3 Laser : RM 999 / ~US$ 249
  • ASUS ZenFone 3 (5.5″) : RM 1,699 / ~US$ 424
  • ASUS ZenFone 3 (5.2″) : RM 1,499 / ~US$ 374

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participate in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donate to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!