Tag Archives: ASUS ZenFone

How To Install Android Q Beta On The ASUS ZenFone 5Z

How To Install Android Q Beta On The ASUS ZenFone 5Z

ASUS just announced the release of Android Q Beta for ZenFone 5Z smartphones! You lucky few will be the first in the world to try the new features of Android Q!

In this guide, we will teach you how to install Android Q Beta into your ASUS ZenFone 5Z smartphone, and share with you the benefits of upgrading to Android Q!

 

What Is Android Q?

Android Q is the next-generation Android operating system that will supersede Android P (Android Pie) that is currently running in the latest Android smartphones.

When it launches, Android Q will bring with it a bevy of new features, which include :

  • A Dark Theme : Android Q now has a system-wide Dark Theme. Activate Dark Theme in Settings, or by turning on Battery Saver.
  • Suggested actions in notifications : You can now take action on messages with suggested actions in notification.
  • Prioritised notifications : You can decide whether an app’s notifications are interruptive or gentle. Interruptive notifications will make noise, vibrate, and appear on your lock screen, whereas gentle ones will not. Android Q also introduces algorithms to automatically determine whether notifications should be interruptive.

 

The Android Q Beta Programme

The Android Q Beta programme gives you access to an early build of Android Q, letting you experience Android Q ahead of its launch.


Needless to say, this is NOT the final build, so there are some bugs or known issues in the current version :

  • SD cards with exFAT format are not supported.
  • There is no beep when the volume up or volume down buttons are pressed. The beep still works with other functions.

 

Android Q Beta For ASUS ZenFone 5Z (ZS620KL)

ASUS is providing an Android Q Beta firmware for their ASUS ZenFone 5Z (ZS620KL) smartphone. Please note that :

  • The firmware is for ZenFone 5Z (ZS620KL) only. Do NOT attempt to install it on other ZenFone models.
  • Android Q Beta updates are sometimes not as stable as official ASUS firmware updates. By installing this update, you accept the potential risks.
  • Please be aware that installing the system image on a device removes all personal data from the device, so you should back up your data first.
  • Please follow the instructions below to opt-in via Fastboot. Should you require any onsite help, please visit your nearest ASUS customer service center.

 

How To Install Android Q Beta On The ASUS ZenFone 5Z

We separate the steps below for different operating system. But in all cases, download the Android Q Beta for ZenFone 5Z image file first.

Microsoft Windows

  1. Please ensure battery level is higher than 20% before you begin.
  2. Hold down the Power and Volume Up buttons until the ZenFone 5Z reboots.
  3. When it reboots, you’ll see Fastboot Mode appear on the fourth line on the screen.
  4. Connect your ZenFone 5Z to your PC using its USB cable.
  5. Decompress the Android Q Beta image file you downloaded earlier.
  6. Double click on “update_image.bat” and it will start the flash image command.
  7. While the flash process is underway, do NOT unplug the USB cable, and ensure a stable connection between your ZenFone 5Z and PC.
  8. When the flash process finishes, a ‘Download Complete’ message will appear on the terminal.
  9. Hit the Enter key on the keyboard to restart your ZenFone 5Z.

If a ‘Update image failed’ message appears on the terminal, the flash was unsuccessful. In this case, please try again or report the issue.

Ubuntu

  1. Please ensure battery level is higher than 20% before you begin.
  2. Hold down the Power and Volume Up buttons until the ZenFone 5Z reboots.
  3. When it reboots, you’ll see Fastboot Mode appear on the fourth line on the screen.
  4. Connect your ZenFone 5Z to your PC using its USB cable.
  5. Decompress the Android Q Beta image file you downloaded earlier.
  6. Open the terminal on the image’s path, and run “update_image.sh” on the terminal to start the flash image command.
  7. While the flash process is underway, do NOT unplug the USB cable, and ensure a stable connection between your ZenFone 5Z and PC.
  8. When the flash process finishes, a ‘Download Complete’ message will appear on the terminal.
  9. Hit the Enter key on the keyboard to restart your ZenFone 5Z.

If a ‘Update image failed’ message appears on the terminal, the flash was unsuccessful. In this case, please try again or report the issue.

Mac

  1. Please ensure battery level is higher than 20% before you begin.
  2. Hold down the Power and Volume Up buttons until the ZenFone 5Z reboots.
  3. When it reboots, you’ll see Fastboot Mode appear on the fourth line on the screen.
  4. Connect your ZenFone 5Z to your PC using its USB cable.
  5. Decompress the Android Q Beta image file you downloaded earlier.
  6. Open the terminal on the image’s path, and run “update_image_for_mac.sh” on the terminal to start the flash image command.
  7. While the flash process is underway, do NOT unplug the USB cable, and ensure a stable connection between your ZenFone 5Z and PC.
  8. When the flash process finishes, a ‘Download Complete’ message will appear on the terminal.
  9. Hit the Enter key on the keyboard to restart your ZenFone 5Z.

If a ‘Update image failed’ message appears on the terminal, the flash was unsuccessful. In this case, please try again or report the issue.

 

How To Uninstall Android Q Beta & Revert To Android P

In case you run into difficulties, or do not like Android Q Beta, here are the steps to uninstall it and revert to Android P via Fastboot.

Before you start, download the Android P for ZenFone 5Z image file first.

Microsoft Windows

  1. Please ensure battery level is higher than 20% before you begin.
  2. Hold down the Power and Volume Up buttons until the ZenFone 5Z reboots.
  3. When it reboots, you’ll see Fastboot Mode appear on the fourth line on the screen.
  4. Connect your ZenFone 5Z to your PC using its USB cable.
  5. Decompress the Android P image file you downloaded earlier.
  6. Double click on “update_image.bat” and it will start the flash image command.
  7. While the flash process is underway, do NOT unplug the USB cable, and ensure a stable connection between your ZenFone 5Z and PC.
  8. When the flash process finishes, a ‘Download Complete’ message will appear on the terminal.
  9. Hit the Enter key on the keyboard to restart your ZenFone 5Z.

If a ‘Update image failed’ message appears on the terminal, the flash was unsuccessful. In this case, please try again or report the issue.

Ubuntu

  1. Please ensure battery level is higher than 20% before you begin.
  2. Hold down the Power and Volume Up buttons until the ZenFone 5Z reboots.
  3. When it reboots, you’ll see Fastboot Mode appear on the fourth line on the screen.
  4. Connect your ZenFone 5Z to your PC using its USB cable.
  5. Decompress the Android P image file you downloaded earlier.
  6. Open the terminal on the image’s path, and run “update_image.sh” on the terminal to start the flash image command.
  7. While the flash process is underway, do NOT unplug the USB cable, and ensure a stable connection between your ZenFone 5Z and PC.
  8. When the flash process finishes, a ‘Download Complete’ message will appear on the terminal.
  9. Hit the Enter key on the keyboard to restart your ZenFone 5Z.

If a ‘Update image failed’ message appears on the terminal, the flash was unsuccessful. In this case, please try again or report the issue.

Mac

  1. Please ensure battery level is higher than 20% before you begin.
  2. Hold down the Power and Volume Up buttons until the ZenFone 5Z reboots.
  3. When it reboots, you’ll see Fastboot Mode appear on the fourth line on the screen.
  4. Connect your ZenFone 5Z to your PC using its USB cable.
  5. Decompress the Android P image file you downloaded earlier.
  6. Open the terminal on the image’s path, and run “update_image_for_mac.sh” on the terminal to start the flash image command.
  7. While the flash process is underway, do NOT unplug the USB cable, and ensure a stable connection between your ZenFone 5Z and PC.
  8. When the flash process finishes, a ‘Download Complete’ message will appear on the terminal.
  9. Hit the Enter key on the keyboard to restart your ZenFone 5Z.

If a ‘Update image failed’ message appears on the terminal, the flash was unsuccessful. In this case, please try again or report the issue.

 

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ASUS ZenFone 5Z Price + Availability Leaks CONFIRMED!

The ASUS ZenFone 5Z smartphone is almost here! We had earlier shared the leaked price of the 6GB ZenFone 5Z. We can now confirm the ASUS ZenFone 5Z price and availability of both the 6GB and 8GB models! Check out the full details below!

 

ASUS ZenFone 5Z

The ASUS ZenFone 5Z is a extreme-performance dual-camera smartphone, with a 6.2-inch all-screen display with a 90% screen-to-body ratio.

It is powered by the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 mobile platform, with the Qualcomm Artificial Intelligence Engine (AIE). Launch with a base price of €479 / $499, it will come with up to 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of flash storage.

Its dual-camera system is built around the latest flagship Sony IMX363 sensor with large 1.4µm pixels, an f/1.8 wide-aperture lens, 120° wide-angle secondary camera, four-axis optical image stabilization (OIS) and AI-enhanced camera features.

In our exclusive interview with top ASUS officials, we were told that the ASUS ZenFone 5Z was in short supply due to high global demand, and would only launch in Malaysia in early Q3 2018. Well, it’s about time!

 

Thank Lazada For The ASUS ZenFone 5Z Price Leaks!

Even though we have no word when ASUS will officially launch the ASUS ZenFone 5Z, Lazada Malaysia “accidentally” leaked the 6 GB and 8 GB ASUS ZenFone 5Z price list :

  • 8 GB with 256 GB of storage : RM 2,299
  • 6 GB with 128 GB of storage : RM 1,899

As you can see, this page was created by the official ASUS store on Lazada, so the leaked price is completely legit!

The leaked 6GB ZenFone 5Z price of RM 1,899 is RM 50 cheaper than the price in India, while the 8GB ZenFone 5Z price of RM 2,299 is RM 75 cheaper.

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ASUS ZenFone 5Z Availability

We learned from a reputable source that ASUS will officially launch the ZenFone 5Z on 30 July 2018.

Instead of a physical launch event, it will be live streamed. Sale of both models will kick off on the same day. ASUS Malaysia just confirmed this today!

 

ASUS ZenFone 5Z Specifications

Here is a comparison of the ASUS ZenFone 5Z against the ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) and two ZenFone 5 Lite models.

SpecificationsASUS ZenFone 5ZASUS ZenFone 5ASUS ZenFone 5 Lite
(SDM630)
ASUS ZenFone 5 Lite
(SDM430)
ModelZE620KLZE620KLZC600KLZC600KL
Display6.2" Super IPS+ Display
- 1080 x 2246 pixels (18.5 : 9)
- 500 nits brightness
- 95.4% NTSC colour gamut
6.2" Super IPS+ Display
- 1080 x 2246 pixels (18.5 : 9)
- 500 nits brightness
- 95.4% NTSC colour gamut
6.0" IPS Display
- 1050 x 2160 pixels (18 : 9)
6.0" IPS Display
- 1080 x 2160 pixels (18 : 9)
ProtectionCorning Gorilla GlassCorning Gorilla Glass2.5D edge glass panels2.5D edge glass panels
Operating SystemAndroid 8.0 with ASUS ZenUI 5Android 8.0 with ASUS ZenUI 5Android 8.0 with ASUS ZenUI 5Android 8.0 with ASUS ZenUI 5
System PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 845Qualcomm Snapdragon 636Qualcomm Snapdragon 630Qualcomm Snapdragon 430
Processor4 x Qualcomm Kyro 385 cores (2.8 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kyro 385 cores (1.8 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kyro 260 cores (1.8 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kyro 260 cores (? GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (2.2 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (1.8 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (1.4 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (? GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 630Qualcomm Adreno 509Qualcomm Adreno 508Qualcomm Adreno 505
MemoryUp to 8 GB LPDDR4X4 GB LPDDR4X4 GB LPDDR43 GB / 4 GB LPDDR3
Storage256 GB (UFS2.1)
microSD card (up to 2 TB)
64 GB (eMCP)
microSD card (up to 2 TB)
32 GB / 64 GB (eMCP)
microSD card (up to 2 TB)
32 GB / 64 GB (eMCP)
microSD card (up to 2 TB)
Main Rear Camera12 MP Sony IMX363 sensor with f/1.8 lens
- Dual Pixel autofocus
- 4-axis, 4-stops optical image stabilisation
- LED flash
12 MP Sony IMX363 sensor with f/1.8 lens
- Dual Pixel autofocus
- 4-axis, 4-stops optical image stabilisation
- LED flash
16 MP sensor with f/2.2 lens
- LED flash
16 MP sensor with f/2.2 lens
- LED flash
Second Rear Camera120° wide-angle 8 MP camera with f/2.2 lens120° wide-angle 8 MP camera with f/2.2 lens120° wide-angle 8 MP camera with f/2.2 lens120° wide-angle 8 MP camera with f/2.2 lens
Main Front Camera8 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens8 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens20 MP Sony IMX376 sensor with f/.1.8 lens
- Softlight LED flash
20 MP Sony IMX376 sensor with f/.1.8 lens
- Softlight LED flash
Second Front CameraNoneNone120° wide-angle camera120° wide-angle camera
AudioDual 5-magnet speakers
- with dual NXP Smart Amp
- Hi-Res Audio support
-DTS Headphone:X 7.1 virtual surround sound
Dual 5-magnet speakers
- with dual NXP Smart Amp
- Hi-Res Audio support
-DTS Headphone:X 7.1 virtual surround sound
Single SpeakerSingle Speaker
FM RadioYesYesYesYes
Network CapabilityLTE Cat18 DL : 1.2 Gbps
LTE Cat12 UL : 100 Mbps
LTE Cat13 DL : 600 Mbps
LTE Cat12 UL : 100 Mbps
LTE Cat13 DL : 400 Mbps
LTE Cat5 UL : 75 Mbps
LTE Cat13 DL : 400 Mbps
LTE Cat5 UL : 75 Mbps
SIM + MicroSD
Hybrid SIM Tray
- SIM1 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
- SIM2 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM or microSD card
Hybrid SIM Tray
- SIM1 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
- SIM2 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM or microSD card
Dual SIM Tray
- SIM1 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
- SIM2 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
Dedicated microSD tray
Dual SIM Tray
- SIM1 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
- SIM2 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
Dedicated microSD tray
Wireless Technology802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
801.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz)
Bluetooth 4.1
801.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.1
NFCYesYesYesYes
GPS SupportGPS, AGPS, GLONASS, BDSGPS, AGPS, GLONASS, BDSGPS, AGPS, GLONASS, BDSGPS, AGPS, GLONASS, BDS
Fingerprint Sensor0.2 seconds unlock
Supports 5 fingerprints
0.2 seconds unlock
Supports 5 fingerprints
0.3 seconds unlock
Supports 5 fingerprints
0.3 seconds unlock
Supports 5 fingerprints
Face RecognitionYesYesNoNo
Other SensorsAcceleration, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient Light, RGBAcceleration, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient Light, RGBAcceleration, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient LightAcceleration, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient Light
Battery3,300 mAh lithium-ion battery
- 18 W fast charging capability
3,300 mAh lithium-ion battery
- 18 W fast charging capability
3,300 mAh lithium-ion battery3,300 mAh lithium-ion battery
Charger18 W charger (9 V @ 2 A)10 W charger (5 V @ 2 A)10 W charger (5 V @ 2 A)10 W charger (5 V @ 2 A)
Dimensions75.65 mm wide
153 mm tall
7.85 mm thick
75.65 mm wide
153 mm tall
7.85 mm thick
76.16 mm wide
160.62 mm tall
7.8 mm thick
76.16 mm wide
160.62 mm tall
7.8 mm thick
Weight165 g165 g168.3 g168.3 g
Available ColoursMeteor Silver, Midnight BlueMeteor Silver, Midnight BlueMidnight Black, Rouge Red, Moonlight WhiteMidnight Black, Rouge Red, Moonlight White

 

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ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 – Everything You Need To Know!

Here is everything you need to know about the new ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 smartphone – price, availability and specifications! Also find out how it stacks against the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, and why we think ASUS has a real blockbuster in the Max Pro M1!

Updated @ 2018-07-23 : Updated the article, including the newly-released 4GB RAM model with 64 GB of storage.

Updated @ 2018-05-28 : Added a new ZB601KL vs. ZB602KL section, a new LTE + WiFi Capabilities section, updated specifications, and its incredible price!

Updated @ 2018-05-18 : Added the tech briefing and colour option videos.

Originally posted @ 2018-04-24

Don’t forget to catch our ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB602KL) In-Depth Review!

 

The ASUS ZenFone Max Series

The ASUS ZenFone Max is the popular series of smartphones ASUS has even produced, and for very good reasons. They offer mid-range smartphones with good performance and an incredible battery life.

They practically hold within their slim frames a power bank. In fact, they are all capable of acting as a power bank to recharge other smartphones and portable devices! Hence, the Max moniker.

 

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Checkis the latest ZenFone Max model to be released by ASUS. It follows up on the success of the ZenFone Max Plus M1 (ZB570TL) we saw just a few months ago, and directly challenges the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5.

Despite its very similar name, the ZenFone Max Pro is a very different beast from the ZenFone Max Plus M1 (ZB570TL). It is, in fact, a leap ahead in features and performance, powered by the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 SoC, with up to 6 GB of RAM and a dual-lens camera

According to ASUS, the Snapdragon 636 is over 2.7X faster than the Snapdragon 430 used in the ZenFone 4 Max Pro (Price Check), and over 1.5X faster than the Snapdragon 625 used in the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Check).

It also comes with a larger 6″ IPS display, with a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels. The ultra-wide 18:9 aspect ratio allows ASUS to fit a bigger display in the form factor of a traditional 5.5″ smartphone.

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check also comes with a dual-lens rear camera, with a main camera with a 13 MP sensor, and a depth camera with an 5 MP sensor. This set-up allows for better depth perception, allowing the Max Pro M1 to deliver better bokeh effects.

The eponymous feature is, of course, its large 5,000 mAh battery. That is the battery capacity of most power banks, giving you up to 35 days of 4G standby and 42 hours of 3G talk time! It also allows you to play games for up to 12 hours, or watch up to 20 hours of YouTube videos.

Isn’t the ZenFone Max Pro M1 impressive? Especially when you realise ASUS fit all that into a smartphone that is only 180 g in weight!

 

ZB601KL vs. ZB602KL

There is some confusion about the model numbers. When the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 first launched in India, it had the model number ZB601KL. Subsequently, ASUS started shipping the ZenFone Max Pro M1 as the ZB602KL in other countries. So what’s the difference?

We checked with ASUS, and they confirmed that ZB601KL is an India-specific model, while ZB602KL is the model that ship worldwide. Here are the differences, as far as we can ascertain.

  • The main camera on the global model has f/2.0 lens, while the main camera on the Indian model has f/2.2 lens.
  • The global model supports faster 4G LTE speeds – up to LTE Cat13 DL (400 Mbps) and LTE Cat5 UL (75 Mbps). The Indian model only supports LTE Cat4 – 150 Mbps DL, 50 Mbps UL.
  • The global model may ship with earphones and/or a soft TPU bumper case, but the Indian model comes with a free ASUS Max-Box passive audio amplifier.

The other specifications of the ZB601KL and the ZB602KL are the same.

 

LTE + WiFi Capabilities

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 whose X12 LTE modem is capable of :

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  • LTE Cat12 downlink speeds of up to 600 Mbps
  • LTE Cat13 uplink speeds of up to 150 Mbps
  • 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz) capability

However, ASUS has chosen to implement a limited set of those capabilities :

  • Indian ZB601KL model : LTE Cat4 150 Mbps DL, 50 Mbps UL
  • Global ZB602KL Version A model : LTE Cat4 150 Mbps DL, LTE Cat5 75 Mbps UL
  • Global ZB602KL Version B model : LTE Cat13 400 Mbps DL, LTE Cat5 75 Mbps UL
  • All Max Pro M1 models : 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz) only

Next Page > Colour Options, Specification Comparison, Price + Availability

 

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ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Colour Options

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 comes in two colour options – Deepsea Black and Titanium Grey. Let’s take a quick look at both colour options.

 

ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1  vs. Xiaomi Redmi Note 5

Here is a specification comparison of the two ZenFone Max Pro M1 models against the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5.

SpecificationsASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB602KL)ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB601KL)Xiaomi Redmi Note 5
Display6" Full HD+ display
- 1080 x 2160 pixels
- 18:9 aspect ratio, 85% NTSC
- 450 nits, 1500:1 contrast ratio
6" Full HD+ display
- 1080 x 2160 pixels
- 18:9 aspect ratio, 85% NTSC
- 450 nits, 1500:1 contrast ratio
5.99" Full HD+ display
- 1080 x 2160 pixels
- 18:9 aspect ratio, 83% NTSC
- 450 nits, 1500:1 contrast ratio
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 OreoAndroid 8.1 OreoAndroid 8.1 Oreo
System PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 636Qualcomm Snapdragon 636Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
Processor8 x Qualcomm Kryo 260 cores (1.8 GHz)8 x Qualcomm Kryo 260 cores (1.8 GHz)8 x Qualcomm Kryo cores (1.8 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 509 GPUQualcomm Adreno 509 GPUQualcomm Adreno 509 GPU
Memory3 GB / 4 GB / 6 GB LPDDR4X memory3 GB / 4 GB / 6 GB LPDDR4X memory3 GB / 4 GB LPDDR4X memory
Storage32 GB / 64 GB internal flash storage (eMMC 5.1)
microSD card (2 TB)
32 GB / 64 GB internal flash storage (eMMC 5.1)
microSD card (2 TB)
32 GB / 64 GB
microSD card (shared with SIM2)
Front Camera8 MP front camera with f/2.2 lens and LED softlight flash8 MP front camera with f/2.2 lens and LED softlight flash13 MP front camera with f/2.0 lens and LED flash
Rear CameraDual-lens camera
- 13 MP image camera with f/2.0 lens
- 5 MP depth camera with f/2.4 lens
Dual-lens camera
- 13 MP image camera with f/2.2 lens
- 5 MP depth camera with f/2.4 lens
Dual-lens camera
- 12 MP Samsung sensor with f/1.9 lens
- 5 MP Samsung depth sensor with f/2.0 lens
Connectivity4G Version A
- LTE Cat4 DL : 150 Mbps
- LTE Cat5 UL : 75 Mbps
4G Version B
- LTE Cat13 DL : 400 Mbps
- LTE Cat5 UL : 75 Mbps

WiFi : 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
USB : microUSB 2.0
4G : LTE Cat4 150 Mbps DL, 50 Mbps UL
WiFi : 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
USB : microUSB 2.0
4G : LTE Cat12 600 Mbps DL, LTE Cat13 150 Mbps UL
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
USB : microUSB 2.0
SIM CapabilityDual SIM, dual standby capability (4G / 4G)
Dedicated dual SIM tray
Dual SIM, dual standby capability (4G / 4G)
Dedicated dual SIM tray
Dual SIM, dual standby capability (4G / 4G)
Hybrid SIM tray
Fingerprint SensorRear-Mounted, 0.3 Sec UnlockRear-Mounted, 0.3 Sec UnlockRear-Mounted
GPSGPS, GLONASS, Beidou, GalileoGPS, GLONASS, Beidou, GalileoGPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo
Audio5-magnet speaker5-magnet speaker
Battery5,000 mAh lithium-ion battery5,000 mAh lithium-ion battery4,000 mAh lithium-ion battery
Dimensions76 mm wide
159 mm tall
8.5 mm thick
76 mm wide
159 mm tall
8.5 mm thick
75.4 mm wide
158.6 mm tall
8.05 mm thick
Weight180 g180 g181 g
Available ColoursDeepsea Black, Titanium GreyDeepsea Black, Titanium GreyBlack, Gold, Lake Blue

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ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Price + Availability Updated!

Sales of the ZB601KL model are limited to India, with the following prices :

  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (3 GB / 32 GB) : Rp 2,299,000 / ~RM 647 / ~US$ 166
  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (4 GB / 64 GB) : Rp 2,799,000 / ~RM 788 / ~US$ 202
  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (6 GB / 64 GB) : Rp 3,299,000 / ~RM 929 / ~US$ 238

The ZB602KL model, on the other hand, are being sold in Malaysia and other countries at the following price points :

  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (6 GB + 64 GB) : RM 999 / ~US$ 251
  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (4 GB + 64 GB) : RM 849 / ~US$ 213
  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (3 GB + 32 GB) : RM 699 / ~US$ 176

If you are in the US, here are some purchase links :

Unfortunately, the ZenFone Max Pro M1 is not yet available in the US. Only higher-end models like the ASUS ZenFone 5.

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ASUS ZenFone 5 (ZE620KL) In-Depth Review

The new ASUS ZenFone 5 (ZE620KL) takes on the recently-launched Honor 10 and Huawei nova 3e (P20 Lite) smartphones. How well will it do against them? Let’s find out!

 

The ASUS ZenFone 5 Family

ASUS launched the ZenFone 5 family of smartphones at CES 2018, consisting of the ZenFone 5Z, the ZenFone 5, the ZenFone 5 Lite and the ZenFone Max Pro M1.

Here is a comparison of their key specifications :

SpecificationsASUS ZenFone 5ZASUS ZenFone 5ASUS ZenFone 5 Lite
(SDM630)
ASUS ZenFone 5 Lite
(SDM430)
ModelZE620KLZE620KLZC600KLZC600KL
Display6.2" Super IPS+ Display
- 1080 x 2246 pixels (18.5 : 9)
- 500 nits brightness
- 95.4% NTSC colour gamut
6.2" Super IPS+ Display
- 1080 x 2246 pixels (18.5 : 9)
- 500 nits brightness
- 95.4% NTSC colour gamut
6.0" IPS Display
- 1050 x 2160 pixels (18 : 9)
6.0" IPS Display
- 1080 x 2160 pixels (18 : 9)
ProtectionCorning Gorilla GlassCorning Gorilla Glass2.5D edge glass panels2.5D edge glass panels
Operating SystemAndroid 8.0 with ASUS ZenUI 5Android 8.0 with ASUS ZenUI 5Android 8.0 with ASUS ZenUI 5Android 8.0 with ASUS ZenUI 5
System PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 845Qualcomm Snapdragon 636Qualcomm Snapdragon 630Qualcomm Snapdragon 430
Processor4 x Qualcomm Kyro 385 cores (2.8 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kyro 385 cores (1.8 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kyro 260 cores (1.8 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kyro 260 cores (? GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (2.2 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (1.8 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (1.4 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (? GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 630Qualcomm Adreno 509Qualcomm Adreno 508Qualcomm Adreno 505
MemoryUp to 8 GB LPDDR4X4 GB LPDDR4X4 GB LPDDR43 GB / 4 GB LPDDR3
Storage256 GB (UFS2.1)
microSD card (up to 2 TB)
64 GB (eMCP)
microSD card (up to 2 TB)
32 GB / 64 GB (eMCP)
microSD card (up to 2 TB)
32 GB / 64 GB (eMCP)
microSD card (up to 2 TB)
Main Rear Camera12 MP Sony IMX363 sensor with f/1.8 lens
- Dual Pixel autofocus
- 4-axis, 4-stops optical image stabilisation
- LED flash
12 MP Sony IMX363 sensor with f/1.8 lens
- Dual Pixel autofocus
- 4-axis, 4-stops optical image stabilisation
- LED flash
16 MP sensor with f/2.2 lens
- LED flash
16 MP sensor with f/2.2 lens
- LED flash
Second Rear Camera120° wide-angle 8 MP camera with f/2.2 lens120° wide-angle 8 MP camera with f/2.2 lens120° wide-angle 8 MP camera with f/2.2 lens120° wide-angle 8 MP camera with f/2.2 lens
Main Front Camera8 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens8 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens20 MP Sony IMX376 sensor with f/.1.8 lens
- Softlight LED flash
20 MP Sony IMX376 sensor with f/.1.8 lens
- Softlight LED flash
Second Front CameraNoneNone120° wide-angle camera120° wide-angle camera
AudioDual 5-magnet speakers
- with dual NXP Smart Amp
- Hi-Res Audio support
-DTS Headphone:X 7.1 virtual surround sound
Dual 5-magnet speakers
- with dual NXP Smart Amp
- Hi-Res Audio support
-DTS Headphone:X 7.1 virtual surround sound
Single SpeakerSingle Speaker
FM RadioYesYesYesYes
Network CapabilityLTE Cat18 DL : 1.2 Gbps
LTE Cat12 UL : 100 Mbps
LTE Cat13 DL : 600 Mbps
LTE Cat12 UL : 100 Mbps
LTE Cat13 DL : 400 Mbps
LTE Cat5 UL : 75 Mbps
LTE Cat13 DL : 400 Mbps
LTE Cat5 UL : 75 Mbps
SIM + MicroSD
Hybrid SIM Tray
- SIM1 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
- SIM2 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM or microSD card
Hybrid SIM Tray
- SIM1 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
- SIM2 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM or microSD card
Dual SIM Tray
- SIM1 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
- SIM2 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
Dedicated microSD tray
Dual SIM Tray
- SIM1 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
- SIM2 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
Dedicated microSD tray
Wireless Technology802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
801.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz)
Bluetooth 4.1
801.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.1
NFCYesYesYesYes
GPS SupportGPS, AGPS, GLONASS, BDSGPS, AGPS, GLONASS, BDSGPS, AGPS, GLONASS, BDSGPS, AGPS, GLONASS, BDS
Fingerprint Sensor0.2 seconds unlock
Supports 5 fingerprints
0.2 seconds unlock
Supports 5 fingerprints
0.3 seconds unlock
Supports 5 fingerprints
0.3 seconds unlock
Supports 5 fingerprints
Face RecognitionYesYesNoNo
Other SensorsAcceleration, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient Light, RGBAcceleration, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient Light, RGBAcceleration, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient LightAcceleration, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient Light
Battery3,300 mAh lithium-ion battery
- 18 W fast charging capability
3,300 mAh lithium-ion battery
- 18 W fast charging capability
3,300 mAh lithium-ion battery3,300 mAh lithium-ion battery
Charger18 W charger (9 V @ 2 A)10 W charger (5 V @ 2 A)10 W charger (5 V @ 2 A)10 W charger (5 V @ 2 A)
Dimensions75.65 mm wide
153 mm tall
7.85 mm thick
75.65 mm wide
153 mm tall
7.85 mm thick
76.16 mm wide
160.62 mm tall
7.8 mm thick
76.16 mm wide
160.62 mm tall
7.8 mm thick
Weight165 g165 g168.3 g168.3 g
Available ColoursMeteor Silver, Midnight BlueMeteor Silver, Midnight BlueMidnight Black, Rouge Red, Moonlight WhiteMidnight Black, Rouge Red, Moonlight White

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ASUS ZenFone 5 Colour Options

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) comes in two colour options – Meteor Silver and Midnight Blue. Let’s take a quick look at both colour options.

Next Page > ASUS ZenFone 5 Unboxing, Up Close, Tech Briefing

 

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Unboxing The ASUS ZenFone 5 (ZE620KL)

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) comes in a premium dark blue box. ASUS made some variants Be sure to check the label on the bottom for the actual model (ZE620KL), and specifications, including the colour of the device inside (Meteor Silver).

The complete ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) kit will consist of the following items :

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  • One ASUS ZenFone 5 (ZE620KL) smartphone
  • One ASUS ZenFone 5 soft TPU bumper case
  • One set of ASUS ZenFone 5 User Guide + Warranty Information
  • One set of ASUS ZenEar Pro Hi-Res Audio earphones + spare earbuds
  • One 10 W ASUS USB charger + USB Type C cable
  • One SIM tray ejector pin

The inclusion of the ASUS ZenEar Pro earphones are a really nice touch. They support Hi-Res Audio and have a gold-plated jack. Note that the TPU bumper case is an optional freebie that may not be available in other countries / regions.

 

ASUS ZenFone 5 (ZE620KL) Up Close!

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) is powered by the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 SoC, just like the ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check). It has 4 GB of the latest LPDDR4X memory, and 64 GB of internal flash storage.

According to ASUS, the Snapdragon 636 is over 2.7X faster than the Snapdragon 430 used in the ZenFone 4 Max Pro (Price Check), and over 1.5X faster than the Snapdragon 625 used in the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Check).

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) comes with a large 6.2″ IPS display, with a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2246 pixels. The ultra-wide 18:9 aspect ratio and bezel-less design allow ASUS to fit this 6.2 display in the form factor of a traditional 5.5″ smartphone. Believe it or not – it is actually smaller in size than the ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check), which has a smaller 6″ display!

 

ASUS ZenFone 5 (ZE620KL) Tech Briefing

Li Huai Pin, ASUS Malaysia Business Development Manager, explains the key features of the ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check), while Andrew Chan, Senior Manager of the ASUS Global Product Team, showcases the photographic capabilities of the ZenFone 5.

Next Page > ASUS ZenFone 5 Cameras, Fingerprint + Face Unlock, Hybrid SIM

 

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The ZenFone 5 Cameras

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) has an 8 MP front camera with f/2.0 lens. This should offer better low-light performance, which would be useful since it does not come with an LED flash.

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) has dual cameras at the back. The main camera has a 12 MP Sony IMX363 sensor with Dual Pixel autofocus capability, and 4-axis, 4-stops optical image stabilisation. This camera has a fast and bright f/1.8 lens, which means great performance in low-light conditions.

The secondary camera is a 120° wide-angle camera designed for group shots. It has an 8 MP sensor, which is very likely from Omnivision, and is paired with f/2.2 lens. Both cameras are supported by a single LED flash.

 

Fingerprint Sensor + Face Unlock

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) has a Goodie FP fingerprint sensor built into the back. It is a fast and accurate sensor that takes 13 finger presses to register a fingerprint, and less than a second to identify it. It is rated with a 0.3 second unlock speed, and supports up to 5 fingerprints.

Its rear location allows you to quickly unlock the smartphone with your fingerprint, but prevents it from being unlocked while it is in a car mount. This is where its Face Unlock feature comes in handy.

Face Unlock uses the front camera and facial recognition algorithms to authenticate your identity, so it will work even with the ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) mounted on your car’s dashboard.

 

Hybrid SIM Tray

To keep the ZenFone 5 compact, ASUS opted for a hybrid SIM tray. This allows you to use a second nano SIM card, or add a microSD card. You can’t use two nano SIM cards with a microSD card though. The good news is – the ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) comes with 64 GB of internal flash storage, so there is plenty of storage space for your apps, photos and videos.

Next Page > Display Notch, WiFi + LTE, AI Ringtone + AI Call, Hi-Res Audio, Battery

 

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Display Notch

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) has a Full HD+ display, with an aspect ratio of 18.8:9 and a resolution of 1080 x 2246 pixels. It features the display notch made popular by the iPhone X, albeit much smaller in size. This gives it a lot more space for notification icons.

Although the notification icons nearest to the notch can appear “cut-off”, the ZenFone 5 is smart enough to work around the notch. In games and applications that don’t support the notification area, it just displays the main 1080 x 2160 section.

 

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LTE + WiFi Capabilities

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 SoC, whose X12 LTE modem is capable of :

  • LTE Cat12 downlink speeds of up to 600 Mbps
  • LTE Cat13 uplink speeds of up to 150 Mbps
  • 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz) capability

Unlike the ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check),the ZenFone 5 supports the full LTE and WiFi capabilities of the Snapdragon 636 platform.

 

AI Ringtone + AI Call

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) has AI Ringtone – a feature that every smartphone should have! It will dynamically adapt the ringtone volume to the ambient noise level. This relieves you of the need to keep adjusting the ringtone volume, and ensures that you will never miss that important call, or needlessly disturb your partner or baby at night!

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) uses two additional microphones to monitor ambient noise levels. The data is used to cancel out the ambient noise when you make calls, so your voice will always be heard clearly, even in noisy environments.

 

Hi-Res Audio

Audio is an oft-neglected aspect of modern smartphones. The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) supports Hi-Res Audio playback (sadly, not recording). It even comes with Hi-Res Audio-capable ASUS ZenEar Pro earbuds, so you can enjoy 24-bit / 192 kHz audio on the go!

There is also another advantage in using earphones – the ZenFone 5 supports DTS HeadphoneX, which delivers 7.1 channel virtual surround sound over earphones / headphones. Now you can enjoy a truly immersive experience with your movies and games!

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) also boasts two 5-magnet speakers with metal coils, and 36″ larger sound chambers (compared to the ZenFone 4). These stereo speakers are driven by the latest NXP 9874 low-distortion smart amplifiers, delivering a louder and richer audio output.

 

BoostMaster Battery With AI Charging

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) has a 3,300 mAh lithium-ion battery with BoostMaster fast charging capability. In fact, it supports up to 18 W fast charging, even though it only comes with a 10 W fast charger.

Even with the 10 W charger, it only needs a quick 5 minute charge to gain 2 hours of talk time. A 38 minutes charge would get the battery up to 60% capacity. If you need even faster charging, you can upgrade to an 18 W charger.

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) also supports AI Charging, a feature that doubles the lifespan of its battery! It accomplishes this feat by intelligently maintaining the battery at 80% capacity throughout the night, and only charging it to 100% just before you wake up in the morning.

Next Page > ASUS ZenFone 5 Setup, Ergonomics, Available Memory + Storage

 

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Setting Up The ASUS ZenFone 5

Setting up the ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) is easy, and takes no more than 10 minutes if you are setting it up as a new device. The Goodix FX fingerprint sensor was fast and accurate, so it was a breeze to setup.

 

Ergonomics

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) is a surprisingly small device. It is actually smaller than the ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) which has a smaller display! Not surprisingly, it is thinner and weighs just 165 g. It is a better fit for those with smaller hands and pockets.

The 6.2″ Super IPS+ display is bright and vivid, with 500 nits of maximum brightness, and a wide 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut. The non-standard 18:9 aspect ratio of. the main display section, while useful in giving you more screen space, will result in some pillarboxing for movies.

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Available Memory + Storage

For a mid-range smartphone, the ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) comes with rather large memory and storage capacities. It has 4 GB of LPDDR4X memory, of which 1.9 GB (47.5%) is available for use. That’s plenty to run several memory-guzzling apps at the same time. In fact, the ZenFone 5 has more free memory than the Samsung Galaxy S9!

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) comes with 64 GB of eMMC 5.1 flash storage, of which just over 51 GB (80%) is available for use. That’s enough for over 12,000 photos, or 5.5 hours of 1080p videos, or 2.5 hours of 4K videos.

If you see the storage type listed as eMCP, that’s short for Multi-Chip Package. It merely means the eMMC flash storage was combined with the LPDDR4X memory in a single package to allow for thinner form factors.

Next Page > ASUS ZenFone 5 Camera Performance – Photos + Videos

 

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Camera Performance – Photos

ASUS used the excellent 12 MP Sony IMX363 sensor with Dual Pixel autofocus capability, with a secondary 120° wide-angle camera that is most likely using an 8 MP Omnivision sensor.

Photos from the main camera have a 4:3 aspect ratio, with 4032 × 3024 pixels and an average file size of between 2 MB and 3 MB.

Photos from the wide-angle secondary camera have a 4:3 aspect ratio, with 3264 × 2448 pixels and an average file size of between 4 MB and 5 MB.

Here are 10 high-resolution samples from the main 12 MP camera for you to check out. Click on them to load the full-sized photos, which you can also download to examine.

As you can see, the camera itself is excellent – it can really produce really awesome photos. The detail and image quality is simply quite amazing.

However, we noticed that it has trouble focusing on objects that are in close proximity. A laser sensor (used in previous ASUS smartphones) would have helped, but we didn’t see the cheaper ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) did not have similar issues.

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Camera Performance – Video Recording

Despite its humble price point, the ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) supports 4K video recording. Surprisingly, there doesn’t seem to be a time-limit for 4K video recording, although the file size for each clip is still limited to 4 GB.

Video Recording Test #1 : Piano (1080p)

The ZenFone 5’s 4-axis optical image stabilisation is simply amazing. It works almost as well as a dedicated gimbal, giving you a silky smooth video.  The audio recording, while not Hi-Res Audio, is good, with a wider range and richer tone than we have seen in other smartphones of the same price range.

The only downside – the highlights are overblown. Note how the interior of the Padini Concept Store in the background is completely “white out”.

Video Recording Test #2 : Piano (4K)

The 4K resolution is amazing, but the highlights are noticeably overblown. There is a little more jerkiness because the electronic image stabilisation is less effective at this high resolution.

Video Recording Test #3 : Street Market (1080p)

The 4-axis image stabilisation is just amazing. It ironed out most of the shaking in this video walkthrough of the street market. But note again the blown highlights.

Video Recording Test #4 : Street Market (4K)

The 4K resolution is really awesome, but there is noticeably more shaking. The electronic image stabilisation is obviously having trouble coping with the high resolution.

Next Page > Work Performance, Battery Life + Recharging Speed

 

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Work Performance – PCMark

We tested the ZenFone 5’s performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

Work 2.0 Honor 10 ASUS ZenFone
Max Pro M1
ASUS ZenFone 5 Samsung Galaxy S9
Performance Score
(Average)
7106 6118 5742 5618
Web Browsing 7295 5815 5382 5357
Video Editing 5159 4898 4938 5265
Writing 6752 5722 4900 4673
Photo Editing 12910 10041 9699 7560
Data Manipulation 5524 5240 4939 5616
Review
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Review
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Price Check

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 is really fast at work applications, beating even flagship smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check). Only the Kirin 970-powered Honor 10 (Price Check) was faster.

 

Battery Life – PCMark

We then tested the ZenFone 5’s battery performance using PCMark. It basically ran the PCMark work tests until its battery capacity dropped to 20%.

Work 2.0 ASUS ZenFone
Max Pro M1
ASUS ZenFone 5 Samsung Galaxy S9 Honor 10
Battery Life 14 hours 12 mins 10 hours 20 mins 9 hours 6 mins 8 hours 56 mins
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Price Check
Price Check Review
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The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) has a 3,300 mAh battery, which gave it a battery life of just under 10.5 hours. This gave it a clear 13-15% advantage in battery life over the Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) and Honor 10 (Price Check).

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Battery Recharging Performance

The ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) supports 18W charging, but only comes with a 10W fast charger. Take a look at how fast it recharged its 3,300 mAh battery.

It took the ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) 104.5 minutes (1 hours 44.5 minutes) to recharge its battery from 20% to 100%. This gives it a battery life : recharging ratio of just under 6:1.

Next Page > ASUS ZenFone 5 Gaming Performance, Our Verdict + Award

 

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Gaming Performance – 3DMark

We tested the ZenFone 5’s gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Ice Storm Unlimited test.

Ice Storm Unlimited Samsung Galaxy S9 Honor 10 ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 ASUS ZenFone 5
Gaming Score 39588 30560 19752 19591
Graphics 45577 34801 20707 20354
Physics 27116 21423 17008 17317
Graphics Test 1 267.9 fps 206.2 fps 113.5 fps 113.0 fps
Graphics Test 2 157.2 fps 119.5 fps 74.6 fps 72.7 fps
Physics Test 86.1 fps 68.0 fps 54.0 fps 55.0 fps
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The Qualcomm Adreno 509 GPU is reasonably fast in games, but certainly does not offer flagship-class gaming performance.

 

Our Verdict

If you think the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) was impressive, the ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) is even more so.

It boasts a larger, brighter 6.2″ display with Gorilla Glass protection in a smaller, thinner and lighter form factor; with the full LTE and WiFi capabilities of the Snapdragon X12 modem. To top it off, it has a really good Sony IMX363 main camera with fast f/1.8 lens and 4-axis optical image stabilisation.

We can see why the main camera scored a DXOmark score of 93. ASUS basically put a flagship-class camera into this midrange smartphone. Best of all, they did not cripple it to protect their flagship ZenFone 5Z – you can record 4K video with no restrictions!

It also has surprisingly good audio recording quality, and very good optical image stabilisation performance. If you want to record silky-smooth video without using a gimbal, the ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) is a great choice.

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It’s not perfect, to be sure. Its excellent video recording capability is marred by overblown highlights; and its camera has trouble focusing on objects in close proximity. But seriously – did you even expect to find a flagship-class camera at this price point?

That brings us to deal closer – its unbelievable launch price of RM 1,299 / US$ 326. For a fraction of what you would pay for any flagship device, you get a great combination of good performance, great display, and an excellent camera with optical image stabilisation.

For those reasons, the ASUS ZenFone 5 (Price Check) deserves our Editor’s Choice Award! Great work, ASUS!

 

Price + Availability

Here is the official announcement on the Malaysian price and offers for the ASUS ZenFone 5 and ZenFone Max Pro M1 smartphones.

Here’s a summary of the recommended retail prices :

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  • ASUS ZenFone 5 (4 GB + 64 GB) : RM 1,299 / ~US$ 326
  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (6 GB + 64 GB) : RM 999 / ~US$ 251
  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (4 GB + 64 GB) : RM 849 / ~US$ 213
  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (3 GB + 32 GB) : RM 699 / ~US$ 176

Here’s a summary of the offers :

  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (4 GB + 64 GB) Lazada Pre-Order (2 and 3 June) : RM 799 / ~US$ 221
  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (3 GB + 32 GB) Lazada Flash Sales (3, 10, 17, 24, 31 July) : RM 599 / ~US$ 151

If you are in the US, here are some purchase links :

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ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB602KL) In-Depth Review

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB602KL) takes on the new Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, with better features and a much lower price. Let’s take a look, and find out if ASUS truly has a Xiaomi-killing blockbuster on their hands!

 

The ASUS ZenFone Max Series

The ASUS ZenFone Max is the most popular series of smartphones ASUS has even produced, and for very good reasons. They are mid-range smartphones with good performance and an incredible battery life.

They practically hold within their slim frames a veritable power bank. In fact, they are all capable of functioning as actual power banks, recharging other smartphones and portable devices! Hence, the Max moniker.

 

ZB601KL vs. ZB602KL

There is some confusion about the model numbers. When the ZenFone Max Pro M1 first launched in India, it had the model number ZB601KL. Subsequently, ASUS started shipping the ZenFone Max Pro M1 as the ZB602KL in other countries. So what’s the difference?

We checked with ASUS, and they confirmed that ZB601KL is an India-specific model, while ZB602KL is the model that ships worldwide. Here are the differences, as far as we can ascertain.

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  • The main camera on the global model has f/2.0 lens, while the main camera on the Indian model has f/2.2 lens.
  • The global model supports faster 4G LTE speeds – up to LTE Cat13 DL (400 Mbps) and LTE Cat5 UL (75 Mbps). The Indian model only supports LTE Cat4 – 150 Mbps DL, 50 Mbps UL.
  • The global model may ship with earphones and/or a soft TPU bumper case, but the Indian model comes with a free ASUS Max-Box passive audio amplifier instead.

The other specifications of the ZB601KL and the ZB602KL are the same.

 

ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1  vs. Xiaomi Redmi Note 5

Here is a specification comparison of the two ZenFone Max Pro M1 models against the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5.

SpecificationsASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB602KL)ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB601KL)Xiaomi Redmi Note 5
Display6" Full HD+ display
- 1080 x 2160 pixels
- 18:9 aspect ratio, 85% NTSC
- 450 nits, 1500:1 contrast ratio
6" Full HD+ display
- 1080 x 2160 pixels
- 18:9 aspect ratio, 85% NTSC
- 450 nits, 1500:1 contrast ratio
5.99" Full HD+ display
- 1080 x 2160 pixels
- 18:9 aspect ratio, 83% NTSC
- 450 nits, 1500:1 contrast ratio
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 OreoAndroid 8.1 OreoAndroid 8.1 Oreo
System PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 636Qualcomm Snapdragon 636Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
Processor8 x Qualcomm Kryo 260 cores (1.8 GHz)8 x Qualcomm Kryo 260 cores (1.8 GHz)8 x Qualcomm Kryo cores (1.8 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 509 GPUQualcomm Adreno 509 GPUQualcomm Adreno 509 GPU
Memory3 GB / 4 GB / 6 GB LPDDR4X memory3 GB / 4 GB / 6 GB LPDDR4X memory3 GB / 4 GB LPDDR4X memory
Storage32 GB / 64 GB internal flash storage (eMMC 5.1)
microSD card (2 TB)
32 GB / 64 GB internal flash storage (eMMC 5.1)
microSD card (2 TB)
32 GB / 64 GB
microSD card (shared with SIM2)
Front Camera8 MP front camera with f/2.2 lens and LED softlight flash8 MP front camera with f/2.2 lens and LED softlight flash13 MP front camera with f/2.0 lens and LED flash
Rear CameraDual-lens camera
- 13 MP image camera with f/2.0 lens
- 5 MP depth camera with f/2.4 lens
Dual-lens camera
- 13 MP image camera with f/2.2 lens
- 5 MP depth camera with f/2.4 lens
Dual-lens camera
- 12 MP Samsung sensor with f/1.9 lens
- 5 MP Samsung depth sensor with f/2.0 lens
Connectivity4G Version A
- LTE Cat4 DL : 150 Mbps
- LTE Cat5 UL : 75 Mbps
4G Version B
- LTE Cat13 DL : 400 Mbps
- LTE Cat5 UL : 75 Mbps

WiFi : 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
USB : microUSB 2.0
4G : LTE Cat4 150 Mbps DL, 50 Mbps UL
WiFi : 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
USB : microUSB 2.0
4G : LTE Cat12 600 Mbps DL, LTE Cat13 150 Mbps UL
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
USB : microUSB 2.0
SIM CapabilityDual SIM, dual standby capability (4G / 4G)
Dedicated dual SIM tray
Dual SIM, dual standby capability (4G / 4G)
Dedicated dual SIM tray
Dual SIM, dual standby capability (4G / 4G)
Hybrid SIM tray
Fingerprint SensorRear-Mounted, 0.3 Sec UnlockRear-Mounted, 0.3 Sec UnlockRear-Mounted
GPSGPS, GLONASS, Beidou, GalileoGPS, GLONASS, Beidou, GalileoGPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo
Audio5-magnet speaker5-magnet speaker
Battery5,000 mAh lithium-ion battery5,000 mAh lithium-ion battery4,000 mAh lithium-ion battery
Dimensions76 mm wide
159 mm tall
8.5 mm thick
76 mm wide
159 mm tall
8.5 mm thick
75.4 mm wide
158.6 mm tall
8.05 mm thick
Weight180 g180 g181 g
Available ColoursDeepsea Black, Titanium GreyDeepsea Black, Titanium GreyBlack, Gold, Lake Blue

Next Page > ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Unboxing, Colour Options + Preview

 

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Unboxing The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB602KL)

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB602KL) (Price Check) comes in a blue and grey box. This is a generic ZB601KL box, so check the label on the bottom for the actual model (ZB602KL), and specifications, including the colour of the device inside (Deepsea Black).

The complete ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB602KL) (Price Check) kit for Malaysia will consist of the following items :

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  • One ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB602KL) smartphone
  • One ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 soft TPU bumper case
  • One set of ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 User Guide + Warranty Information
  • One set of ASUS earphones + spare earbuds
  • One 10 W ASUS USB charger + micro-USB cable
  • One SIM tray ejector pin

Note that the TPU bumper case and earphones are optional freebies that may not be available in other countries / regions. In India, the ZB601KL lacks both bumper case and earphones, but comes with the ASUS Max-Box passive audio amplifier instead.

 

ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Colour Options

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) comes in two colour options – Deepsea Black and Titanium Grey. Let’s take a quick look at both colour options.

 

ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB602KL) Up Close!

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) is the latest ZenFone Max model to be released by ASUS. It follows up on the success of the ZenFone Max Plus M1 (ZB570TL) we saw just a few months ago, and directly challenges the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5.

Despite its very similar name, the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) is a very different beast from the ZenFone Max Plus M1 (ZB570TL). It is, in fact, a leap ahead in features and performance, powered by the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 SoC, with up to 6 GB of RAM and a dual-lens camera.

According to ASUS, the Snapdragon 636 is over 2.7X faster than the Snapdragon 430 used in the ZenFone 4 Max Pro (Price Check), and over 1.5X faster than the Snapdragon 625 used in the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (Price Check).

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) also comes with a larger 6″ IPS display, with a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels. The ultra-wide 18:9 aspect ratio allows ASUS to fit a bigger display in the form factor of a traditional 5.5″ smartphone.

Let’s take a closer look!

Next Page > Cameras, Security, Triple Slot Tray, WiFi + LTE

 

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The Cameras

For a smartphone of such modest pricing, the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Price Check) boasts a rather impressive set of front and rear cameras.

The front camera has an 8 MP sensor with f/2.2 lens. And for the first time, it is supported by a soft light LED flash. This gives it a markedly better low-light performance, compared to its predecessors.

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) also comes with a dual-lens rear camera. It consists of an image camera with a 13 MP sensor and f/2.0 lens, and a depth camera with an 5 MP sensor and f/2.4 lens.

This dual-lens setup will not increase the details of the image like the Huawei P20 Pro, or offer Live Focus or Dual Capture capabilities like the Samsung Galaxy S9. Instead, it offers better depth perception, allowing the ZenFone Max Pro M1 to differentiate the subject from the background, for more realistic and accurate software bokeh effects.

 

Fingerprint Sensor + Face Unlock

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) has a Goodie FP fingerprint sensor built into the back. It is a fast and accurate sensor that takes 15 finger presses to register a fingerprint, and less than a second to identify it.

Its rear location allows you to quickly unlock the smartphone with your fingerprint, but prevents it from being unlocked while it is in a car mount. This is where its Face Unlock feature comes in handy.

uses the front camera and facial recognition algorithms to authenticate your identity, so it will work even with the ZenFone Max Pro M1 Price Check) mounted on your car’s dashboard.

 

Triple Slot Tray

While the Honor 10 (Price Check) did away with the microSD card slot, and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 opted for a hybrid SIM slot, the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Price Check) comes with a triple slot tray.

The triple slot tray allows you to use two nano SIM cards simultaneously with a microSD card. This gives the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) a distinct advantage over the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5.

 

LTE + WiFi Capabilities

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 whose X12 LTE modem is capable of :

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  • LTE Cat12 downlink speeds of up to 600 Mbps
  • LTE Cat13 uplink speeds of up to 150 Mbps
  • 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz) capability

However, ASUS has chosen to implement a limited set of those capabilities :

  • Indian ZB601KL model : LTE Cat4 150 Mbps DL, 50 Mbps UL
  • Global ZB602KL Version A model : LTE Cat4 150 Mbps DL, LTE Cat5 75 Mbps UL
  • Global ZB602KL Version B model : LTE Cat13 400 Mbps DL, LTE Cat5 75 Mbps UL
  • All Max Pro M1 models : 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz) only

Next Page > Flash Charge Battery, Initial Setup, Ergonomics, Available Storage

 

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5,000 mAh Battery with Flash Charge

Its eponymous feature is, of course, its large 5,000 mAh battery. That is the battery capacity of many power banks, giving you up to 35 days of 4G standby and 42 hours of 3G talk time! According to ASUS, it will allow you to play games for up to 12 hours, or watch up to 20 hours of YouTube videos.

Now, packing a large battery is nothing special. But we applaud ASUS for fitting such a large battery into a smartphone that is only 8.5 mm thick and 180 g in weight!

If that’s not enough, the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) supports Flash Charge, which allows you to quickly recharge its large battery in less than 3 hours, with a 10 W charger.

 

Setting Up The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB602KL)

Setting up the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) is easy, and takes no more than 10 minutes if you are setting it up as a new device. The Goodix FX fingerprint sensor was fast and accurate, so it was a breeze to setup.

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Ergonomics

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) is not a small device by any means. It is actually slightly larger than the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (Price Check). For its size and its large battery, it is surprisingly light at just 180 g.

The 6″ IPS display is very nice, with a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels450 nits of maximum brightness, and a wide 85% NTSC colour gamut. The non-standard 18:9 aspect ratio, while useful in giving you more screen space, will result in some pillarboxing for movies.

 

Available Storage

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) comes with 32 GB of internal flash storage, of which 22.6 GB is available for use. If this is not enough, you can upgrade it with a microSD card (up to 2 TB).

For techies, the ZenFone Max Pro M1 uses the slower eMMC 5.1 flash memory, instead of the faster UFS type. Officially, the memory is packaged together with the eMMC storage in a compact embedded Multi-Chip Package (eMCP).

Next Page > Camera Performance – Photos + Videos

 

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Camera Performance – Photos

ASUS did not reveal the source and model of the 13 MP and 5 MP sensors used in their dual camera system, but they’re most likely from Omnivision. The photos have a 4:3 aspect ratio, with 4160 x 3120 pixels and an average file size of between 3 MB and 4 MB.

Here are 12 high-resolution samples for you to check out. Click on them to load the full-sized photos, which you can also download to examine.

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Camera Performance – Video Recording

Despite its humble price point, the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) supports 4K video recording. Surprisingly, there doesn’t seem to be a time-limit for 4K video recording, and there is even an option for 4K recording using the new DCI (Digital Cinema Initiative) standard!

Video Recording Test #1 : Piano (1080p)

It is obvious that there is no optical image stabilisation, but there is some electronic image stabilisation. The audio recording was surprisingly good, with a wider range than we have seen in smartphones in the same price range.

Video Recording Test #2 : Piano (4K)

The 4K resolution is amazing, and there is excellent control of the highlights. You can see right into the Padini Concept Store, even read the price boards.

Video Recording Test #3 : Street Market (1080p)

The electronic image stabilisation did a decent job of removing the worst shakes as we walked down the street market. Certainly not as good as smartphones with optical image stabilisation, but better than nothing. We also noticed some wind noise in this recording.

Video Recording Test #4 : Street Market (4K)

The resolution and control is quite amazing. The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) quickly adapted to the change in brightness. We could make out the details in both bright and dark areas. Very good!

Next Page > Work Performance, Battery Life + Recharging Speed

 

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Work Performance – PCMark

We tested the ZenFone Max Pro M1’s performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

Work 2.0 Honor 10 ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Samsung Galaxy S9 Samsung Galaxy A8 2018
Performance Score
(Average)
7106 6118 5618 5197
Web Browsing 7295 5815 5357 5035
Video Editing 5159 4898 5265 4433
Writing 6752 5722 4673 5607
Photo Editing 12910 10041 7560 7238
Data Manipulation 5524 5240 5616 4183
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The Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 is really fast at work applications, beating even flagship smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check). Only the Kirin 970-powered Honor 10 (Price Check) was faster.

 

Battery Life – PCMark

We then tested the ZenFone Max Pro M1’s battery performance using PCMark. It basically ran the PCMark work tests until its battery capacity dropped to 20%.

Work 2.0 ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Samsung Galaxy A8 2018 Samsung Galaxy S9 Honor 10
Battery Life 14 hours 12 mins 12 hours 19 mins 9 hours 6 mins 8 hours 56 mins
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The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) truly has a phenomenal battery life. Its 5,000 mAh battery allowed it to beat the Samsung Galaxy A8 2018 (Price Check) by almost 2 hours (15%), and both the Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) and Honor 10 (Price Check) by a whopping 5 hours (57%)!

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Battery Recharging Performance

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) comes with a 10W fast charger. Take a look at how fast it recharged its 5,000 mAh battery.

It took the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) 150 minutes (2 hours 30 minutes) to recharge its battery from 20% to 100%. This confirms ASUS’ claim that it can fully recharge its battery in 3 hours, and gives it a battery life : recharging ratio of 5.7:1.

Next Page > Gaming Performance, Our Verdict + Award

 

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Gaming Performance – 3DMark

We tested the ZenFone Max Pro M1’s gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Ice Storm Unlimited test.

Ice Storm Unlimited Samsung Galaxy S9 Honor 10 ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Samsung Galaxy A8 2018
Gaming Score 39588 30560 19752 14684
Graphics 45577 34801 20707 15201
Physics 27116 21423 17008 13121
Graphics Test 1 267.9 fps 206.2 fps 113.5 fps 134.4 fps
Graphics Test 2 157.2 fps 119.5 fps 74.6 fps 43.8 fps
Physics Test 86.1 fps 68.0 fps 54.0 fps 41.7 fps
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The Qualcomm Adreno 509 GPU is reasonably fast in games, but certainly does not offer flagship-class gaming performance.

 

Our Verdict

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) is a very impressive smartphone.

Like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, it is a mid-range smartphone based on the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 platform, with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of flash storage. They both also have very similar 6″ Full HD+ displays and rear-mounted fingerprint sensors. But that is where the similarities end.

The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) was obviously designed to be a Redmi Note 5 killer. It basically offers almost everything the Redmi Note 5 offers and then some – triple slot tray, a 5-magnet speaker, and a larger 5,000 mAh battery – all in the same form factor and weight!

If that does not impress you, perhaps its price will. Xiaomi priced their Redmi Note 5 (3 GB + 32 GB) at RM 799 / ~US$ 205. ASUS offers the ZenFone Max Pro M1 at just RM 699 / ~US$ 179! Believe it or not, the arguably superior ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) is 12.5% cheaper than its competitor!

Now, the Redmi Note 5 boasts Samsung sensors for their dual-lens camera, but the Omnivision sensors in the ZenFone Max Pro M1 proved to be surprisingly capable. They delivered really good photographic and video recording performance. Even the audio recording was better than what we would expect at this price point.

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The Redmi Note 5 comes with a rather large 4,000 mAh battery, but it’s no match for the ZenFone Max Pro M1‘s 5,000 mAh battery, which delivered an impressive battery life of over 14 hours!

The ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check) is no doubt chunkier than the Redmi Note 5, but somehow it is actually 1 gram lighter! How on earth did ASUS stuff a 20% larger battery into the ZenFone Max Pro M1 and yet kept the weight so low?

We really love the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Price Check). It offers a fantastic combination of good performance, great display, excellent camera and amazing battery life, at an incredible price point. It is literally a steal!

For these reasons, the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 deserves our Editor’s Choice Award! Great work, ASUS!

 

Price + Availability

Here is the official announcement on the Malaysian price and offers for the ASUS ZenFone 5 and ZenFone Max Pro M1 smartphones.

Here’s a summary of the recommended retail prices :

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  • ASUS ZenFone 5 (4 GB + 64 GB) : RM 1,299 / ~US$ 326
  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (6 GB + 64 GB) : RM 999 / ~US$ 251
  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (4 GB + 64 GB) : RM 849 / ~US$ 213
  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (3 GB + 32 GB) : RM 699 / ~US$ 176

Here’s a summary of the offers :

  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (4 GB + 64 GB) Lazada Pre-Order (2 and 3 June) : RM 799 / ~US$ 221
  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (3 GB + 32 GB) Lazada Flash Sales (3, 10, 17, 24, 31 July) : RM 599 / ~US$ 151

If you are in the US, here are some purchase links :

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ASUS ZenFone 5 + ZenFone Max Pro M1 Launch Coverage

A full 3 months after being announced at MWC 2018, the ASUS ZenFone 5 and ZenFone Max Pro M1 are finally here! Join us for our coverage of the entire launch event and get the full scoop on their key features, price and availability!  

ASUS ZenFone 5 + ZenFone Max Pro M1 Launch

Hundreds of people queued up to catch the ASUS ZenFone 5 and ZenFone Max Pro M1 launch at the KL Convention Centre – all Zen fans eager to be the first to try out the new ASUS smartphones. Don’t worry if you could not make it. We took videos of the entire event. Enjoy!

Launch Kick Off

The ASUS ZenFone 5 and ZenFone Max Pro M1 launch kicked off with Eric Chen, ASUS Corporate Vice-President and Leo Tseng, ASUS Malaysia Country Manager.

ASUS ZenFone 5 Presentation

In this video, Li Huai Pin, ASUS Malaysia Business Development Manager, explains the key features of the new ASUS ZenFone 5, while Andrew Chan, Senior Manager of the ASUS Global Product Team, showcases the photographic capabilities of the ZenFone 5.

Don’t forget to check out the ASUS ZenFone 5 Early Preview!

ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 Presentation

Next, Li Huai Pin explains the key features of the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1, with Andrew Chan, Senior Manager of the ASUS Global Product Team, showing off the photographic capabilities of the ZenFone Max Pro M1.

Don’t forget to check out the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 In-Depth Review!

 

ASUS ZenFone 5 + ZenFone Max Pro M1 Price + Offers

Now, Leo Tseng announces the price and offers for the ASUS ZenFone 5 and ZenFone Max Pro M1 smartphones.

Here’s a summary of the recommended retail prices : [adrotate group=”2″]

Here’s a summary of the offers :

If you are in the US, here are some purchase links :

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The ASUS ZenFone 5 Launch Event @ MWC 2018

At MWC 2018, ASUS CEO Jerry Shen unveiled three new ASUS ZenFone 5 Series smartphones, as well as the ZenFone Max (M1). Get the low-down on these new smartphones, and watch the full ASUS ZenFone 5 launch event!

 

The ASUS ZenFone 5 Launch Event

The ASUS ZenFone 5Z and the ASUS ZenFone 5 are both 6.2-inch dual-camera smartphones, and the first ZenFone models to harness the power of artificial intelligence, and feature all-screen displays with a 90% screen-to-body ratio.

The ASUS ZenFone 5 Lite, on the other hand, is a 6-inch smartphone with a quad camera system!

ASUS ZenFone 5Z

The ASUS ZenFone 5Z is a extreme-performance dual-camera smartphone, with a 6.2-inch all-screen display with a 90% screen-to-body ratio.

It is powered by the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 mobile platform, with the Qualcomm Artificial Intelligence Engine (AIE). Priced at just €479, it will come with up to 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of flash storage.

Its dual-camera system is built around the latest flagship Sony IMX363 sensor with large 1.4µm pixels, an f/1.8 wide-aperture lens,120° wide-angle secondary camera, four-axis optical image stabilization (OIS) and AI-enhanced camera features.

ASUS ZenFone 5

The “standard” ASUS ZenFone 5 is the first smartphone in the world to be powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 mobile platform.

Like the ZenFone 5Z, it also has a dual-camera system built around the latest flagship Sony IMX363 sensor with large 1.4µm pixels, an f/1.8 wide-aperture lens,120° wide-angle secondary camera, four-axis optical image stabilization (OIS) and AI-enhanced camera features.

ASUS ZenFone 5 Lite

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The ASUS ZenFone 5 Lite features the world’s first true four-camera system. That quad-camera system consists of a high-resolution camera and a 120° wide-angle camera on both front and rear aspects! Unlike rival systems, each camera works independently.

The 6-inch Full HD+ IPS display has a Full View 18:9 aspect ratio and an ultra-slim bezel, making it as compact as a standard-aspect-ratio 5.5-inch phone. The ZenFone 5 Lite runs on the Snapdragon 630 Mobile Platform, and has a 3300 mAh battery.

ASUS ZenFone Max (M1)

The ASUS ZenFone Max (M1) is the latest model in the new ZenFone Max Series. This is the (slightly) smaller brother of the ZenFone Max Plus M1 smartphone that launched in December 2017.

The ZenFone Max has a 5.5-inch full-view display, yet comes packed with a high-capacity 4000 mAh battery. It also boasts dual rear cameras with 120° wide-angle lens, and fingerprint-based unlocking.

 

The ASUS ZenFone 5 Series Specifications

SpecificationsASUS ZenFone 5ZASUS ZenFone 5ASUS ZenFone 5 Lite
(SDM630)
ASUS ZenFone 5 Lite
(SDM430)
ModelZE620KLZE620KLZC600KLZC600KL
Display6.2" Super IPS+ Display
- 1080 x 2246 pixels (18.5 : 9)
- 500 nits brightness
- 95.4% NTSC colour gamut
6.2" Super IPS+ Display
- 1080 x 2246 pixels (18.5 : 9)
- 500 nits brightness
- 95.4% NTSC colour gamut
6.0" IPS Display
- 1050 x 2160 pixels (18 : 9)
6.0" IPS Display
- 1080 x 2160 pixels (18 : 9)
ProtectionCorning Gorilla GlassCorning Gorilla Glass2.5D edge glass panels2.5D edge glass panels
Operating SystemAndroid 8.0 with ASUS ZenUI 5Android 8.0 with ASUS ZenUI 5Android 8.0 with ASUS ZenUI 5Android 8.0 with ASUS ZenUI 5
System PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 845Qualcomm Snapdragon 636Qualcomm Snapdragon 630Qualcomm Snapdragon 430
Processor4 x Qualcomm Kyro 385 cores (2.8 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kyro 385 cores (1.8 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kyro 260 cores (1.8 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kyro 260 cores (? GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (2.2 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (1.8 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (1.4 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (? GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 630Qualcomm Adreno 509Qualcomm Adreno 508Qualcomm Adreno 505
MemoryUp to 8 GB LPDDR4X4 GB LPDDR4X4 GB LPDDR43 GB / 4 GB LPDDR3
Storage256 GB (UFS2.1)
microSD card (up to 2 TB)
64 GB (eMCP)
microSD card (up to 2 TB)
32 GB / 64 GB (eMCP)
microSD card (up to 2 TB)
32 GB / 64 GB (eMCP)
microSD card (up to 2 TB)
Main Rear Camera12 MP Sony IMX363 sensor with f/1.8 lens
- Dual Pixel autofocus
- 4-axis, 4-stops optical image stabilisation
- LED flash
12 MP Sony IMX363 sensor with f/1.8 lens
- Dual Pixel autofocus
- 4-axis, 4-stops optical image stabilisation
- LED flash
16 MP sensor with f/2.2 lens
- LED flash
16 MP sensor with f/2.2 lens
- LED flash
Second Rear Camera120° wide-angle 8 MP camera with f/2.2 lens120° wide-angle 8 MP camera with f/2.2 lens120° wide-angle 8 MP camera with f/2.2 lens120° wide-angle 8 MP camera with f/2.2 lens
Main Front Camera8 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens8 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens20 MP Sony IMX376 sensor with f/.1.8 lens
- Softlight LED flash
20 MP Sony IMX376 sensor with f/.1.8 lens
- Softlight LED flash
Second Front CameraNoneNone120° wide-angle camera120° wide-angle camera
AudioDual 5-magnet speakers
- with dual NXP Smart Amp
- Hi-Res Audio support
-DTS Headphone:X 7.1 virtual surround sound
Dual 5-magnet speakers
- with dual NXP Smart Amp
- Hi-Res Audio support
-DTS Headphone:X 7.1 virtual surround sound
Single SpeakerSingle Speaker
FM RadioYesYesYesYes
Network CapabilityLTE Cat18 DL : 1.2 Gbps
LTE Cat12 UL : 100 Mbps
LTE Cat13 DL : 600 Mbps
LTE Cat12 UL : 100 Mbps
LTE Cat13 DL : 400 Mbps
LTE Cat5 UL : 75 Mbps
LTE Cat13 DL : 400 Mbps
LTE Cat5 UL : 75 Mbps
SIM + MicroSD
Hybrid SIM Tray
- SIM1 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
- SIM2 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM or microSD card
Hybrid SIM Tray
- SIM1 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
- SIM2 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM or microSD card
Dual SIM Tray
- SIM1 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
- SIM2 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
Dedicated microSD tray
Dual SIM Tray
- SIM1 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
- SIM2 : 2G/3G/4G nano SIM
Dedicated microSD tray
Wireless Technology802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz)
Bluetooth 5.0
801.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz)
Bluetooth 4.1
801.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.1
NFCYesYesYesYes
GPS SupportGPS, AGPS, GLONASS, BDSGPS, AGPS, GLONASS, BDSGPS, AGPS, GLONASS, BDSGPS, AGPS, GLONASS, BDS
Fingerprint Sensor0.2 seconds unlock
Supports 5 fingerprints
0.2 seconds unlock
Supports 5 fingerprints
0.3 seconds unlock
Supports 5 fingerprints
0.3 seconds unlock
Supports 5 fingerprints
Face RecognitionYesYesNoNo
Other SensorsAcceleration, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient Light, RGBAcceleration, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient Light, RGBAcceleration, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient LightAcceleration, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient Light
Battery3,300 mAh lithium-ion battery
- 18 W fast charging capability
3,300 mAh lithium-ion battery
- 18 W fast charging capability
3,300 mAh lithium-ion battery3,300 mAh lithium-ion battery
Charger18 W charger (9 V @ 2 A)10 W charger (5 V @ 2 A)10 W charger (5 V @ 2 A)10 W charger (5 V @ 2 A)
Dimensions75.65 mm wide
153 mm tall
7.85 mm thick
75.65 mm wide
153 mm tall
7.85 mm thick
76.16 mm wide
160.62 mm tall
7.8 mm thick
76.16 mm wide
160.62 mm tall
7.8 mm thick
Weight165 g165 g168.3 g168.3 g
Available ColoursMeteor Silver, Midnight BlueMeteor Silver, Midnight BlueMidnight Black, Rouge Red, Moonlight WhiteMidnight Black, Rouge Red, Moonlight White

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The ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 Revealed!

ASUS just revealed the ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 smartphone, which boasts a 5.7″ full-screen display with a 18:9 aspect ratio and a dual-lens camera system. Here is everything you need to know about the new ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 smartphone!

 

The ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 (ZB570TL)

Also known as the ASUS Pegasus 4S in China, the ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 has a model number of ZB570TL or ASUS X018D. It has a 18:9 ultra-wide screen display, and a 81.5% screen-to-body ratio. This allows ASUS to fit a 5.7″ display into a 5.2″ form factor.

It is powered by an mid-range MediaTek MT6750T SoC, and comes with 4GB of RAM and up to 64GB of storage. It also has a dedicated slot for a microSD card (up to 256GB), and two nanoSIM slots. All of that is powered by a 4,130 mAh battery with reverse charging capability.

Like the ZenFone 4 Max Pro, the ZenFone Max Plus has a dual-lens camera at the back. But this time, ASUS chose to use a 16 MP + 8 MP combo. The main camera has a 16 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens, while the wide-angle camera has an 8 MP sensor with 120° lens.

Instead of a 16 MP camera in the ZenFone 4 Max Pro, ASUS went with an 8 MP front camera with f/2.2 lens in the ZenFone Max Plus.

 

The ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 Specifications

SpecificationsASUS ZenFone 4 Max Plus M1
ModelZB570TL
Display5.7" Full HD+ display with 2.5D curved edge
- 720 x 1440 pixels
Operating SystemZenUI 4.1 (Android 7.0)
System PlatformMediaTek MT6750T
Processor4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (1.5 GHz)
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 cores (1.0 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorARM Mali-T860 MP2 (650 MHz)
Memory4 GB LPDDR3 memory (833 MHz)
Storage32 GB GB internal storage
microSD card option (up to 256 GB)
Front Camera8 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens
Rear CameraDual Lens Camera System
- 16 MP sensor with f/2.0 6P lens
- 8 MP sensor with 120° lens
Connectivity4G : LTE Cat6
WiFi : 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
USB : microUSB 2.0
SIM CapabilityDual SIM, Dual Standby capability
Dual Nano SIM cards
Fingerprint SensorYes, Rear-mounted
GPSYes, with AGPS and Beidou
Battery4,130 mAh lithium-ion battery
- with Reverse Charging feature
Dimensions72.7 mm wide
152.6 mm tall
8.8 mm thick
Weight160 g

 

Price & Availability

Locally, the ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 was just approved by SIRIM, but ASUS confirmed that it will be ready for purchase / delivery starting 20 December 2017. In the meantime, you can pre-order the ZenFone Max Plus M1 at a very, very special price.

The ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1 will have a recommended retail price of RM 899 / ~US$ 219. But during the pre-order period, ASUS will offer a limited quantity with a discount or Lazada coupon worth RM 200 / ~US$ 49!

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Offline Pre-Order Offer

Duration : 14-19 December 2017
Collection : 20 December 2017
Offer : Get a RM 200 rebate when you trade in a mobile phone (working or non-working). A deposit of RM 100 will have to be placed.

Lazada Pre-Order Offer

Duration : 14-19 December 2017
Collection : 22 December 2017
Offer : Get a RM 200 Lazada discount voucher when you purchase the ZenFone Max Plus M1 using this pre-order purchase link. trade in a mobile phone (working or non-working). Each account can only purchase a maximum of two (2) units.

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The ASUS ZenFone Live Smartphone Launched!

The ASUS ZenFone Live Smartphone

The ASUS ZenFone Live (Amazon | Lazada) is the world’s first smartphone with hardware-optimized, real-time live-streaming beautification technology, that makes it possible to share an even more glamorous version of yourself on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

Get the perfect look when you go live on your social-networks with ASUS BeautyLive, ZenFone Live’s all-new live-streaming beautification app! See your skin smoothed and blemishes removed in real time, and then share the more beautiful you with friends and followers!

With large 1.4 µm pixels and a dedicated LED selfie flash, capturing photos of yourself and your friends has never been clearer, brighter or more beautiful. ZenFone Live (Amazon | Lazada) even has dual microphones to eliminate background noise and enhance your speech, an innovative five-magnet speaker and smart amp for powerful audio, a curved 2.5D display and a lustrous metallic finish.

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Beautification with Facebook & YouTube Live!

  • Large 1.4 µm pixels = 2X light sensitivity
  • Wide-angle lens with 82° field of view
  • Soft light LED flash = brighter selfies & illuminate your subject’s true skin tones
  • Dual MEMS microphone = capture realistic stereo sound & enhanced speech clarity with noise cancellation
  • Five-magnet speaker with smart amplifier & ice power tuning

 

ASUS ZenFone Live Pricing & Color (ZB501KL)

Model Color SRP Where To Buy
ZenFone Live
(ZB501KL)
Navy Black MYR 649 / ~US$ 149 Amazon | Lazada
Shimmer Gold
Rose Pink

 

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The ASUS ZenFone 3 (ZE552KL) Smartphone 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 ASUS ZenFone 3 (ZE552KL) smartphone!

 

ASUS ZenFone 3 Specifications Comparison

Here is how the ASUS ZenFone 3 (Amazon) 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 (ZE552KL)

The ASUS ZenFone 3 (Amazon) comes in a classy slate-coloured cardboard box. Wanna see what’s inside? We reveal it all in this video!

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Inside the box, you will find the following items :

  • One ASUS ZenFone 3 (ZE552KL) smartphone
  • One pair of ASUS earphones, with four spare earbuds
  • One set of ASUS ZenFone 3 User Guide and warranty card
  • One 10W ASUS quick charger
  • One Type C USB cable
  • One SIM tray ejector pin
  • One set of three serial number and IMEI stickers

ASUS is marketing the ZenFone 3 as the more affordable mainstream variant, and the bundled accessories reflect that.

Next Page > Key Features Of The ZenFone 3, Setting Up The ZenFone 3

 

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The ASUS ZenFone 3 (ZE552KL) Smartphone

With a 5.5″ display, the ASUS ZenFone 3 (ZE552KL) is the smallest model in the family. However, because all three ZenFone 3 models have the same Full HD resolution of 1080 x 1920, the its display boasts the highest pixel density of 401 ppi. The much larger ZenFone 3 Ultra (ZE680KL), for example, has a pixel density of only 324 ppi.

The ZenFone 3 (Amazon) has a very premium feel, thanks to its use of 2.5D contoured Corning Gorilla Glass that seamlessly fits the metal frame carved out of aerospace-grade aluminium alloy. It has a nice heft at 155 g / 5.5 oz – not too light, and not too heavy.

Unlike the ZenFone 3 Ultra, the ZenFone 3 (Amazon) uses a more conventional design – the Volume buttons are placed on the right side, with the Power button. The SIM card tray is placed on the left side. So this is no longer the ambidextrous design that ASUS ZenFones are known for.

The ZenFone 3 also features an improved 5-magnet speaker with Hi-Res Audio support. Not only does it deliver higher fidelity audio, it is now 20% louder with 42% less distortion.

 

Hybrid SIM & Fingerprint Sensor

The ASUS ZenFone 3 (Amazon) has Dual SIM, Dual Standby capability, with both SIMs supporting 4G. The SIM card tray is located along the left edge, and supports two nano SIM cards. The second SIM card tray is a hybrid SIM tray, which allows you to install a microSD card instead. In other words, it supports either a second nano SIM card, or a microSD card, but not both at the same time.

Unlike the ZenFone 3 Ultra, the ZenFone 3 (Amazon) uses a fingerprint sensor that is located at the back, just under the main camera. This is an all-aspect fingerprint sensor that unlocks the smartphone in just 0.2 seconds. It can also be programmed to activate specific apps (like the camera) with different fingers.

 

PixelMaster 3.0 Cameras

The ASUS ZenFone 3 (Amazon) sports a decent 8 MP front camera with f/2.0 lens 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 support screen flash.

The killer feature of the ZenFone 3 (Amazon) is the much improved PixelMaster 3.0 camera at the back. It features a 16 MP Sony IMX298 sensor with new features like fast hybrid autofocus and 3-axis electronic image stabilization.

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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.

Finally, the ASUS ZenFone 3 (Amazon) does not have any noticeable limit on how long you can record videos, or how large their file sizes are. We have recorded videos of over 120 minutes in length, and over 11 GB in size. Most smartphones have a 4 GB limit, even if they do not have a time limit.

 

Setting Up The ZenFone 3

The ASUS ZenFone 3 (Amazon) 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.

If there’s one thing we dislike, it’s the additional apps that the ASUS ZenFone 3 (Amazon) automatically downloads, even if you skip the “free apps” offer at the end of the setup process. Our sample downloaded Need For Speed : No Limit, SimCity, Lazada, Beauty Plus, iReader and Google Slides.

Next Page > Ergonomics, Available Memory & Storage, PixelMaster 3.0 Camera Performance

 

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Ergonomics

When you power it up for the first time, you will be struck by how beautiful its display is. This may not be a QHD display like those on the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (Amazon) or the HTC 10 (Amazon), but you won’t be able to tell the difference. The Super IPS+ display also offers a boost in brightness (up to 500 nits), which is especially useful outdoors in bright sunlight.

The smaller form factor means it is an easier fit for most hands. The ZenFone 3 (Amazon) is also much lighter than its big brother, the ZenFone 3 Ultra – so holding it in one hand is not a problem at all. That said, the Gorilla Glass back makes it just as slippery to grip as the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (Amazon).

 

Available Memory & Storage

The ASUS ZenFone 3 (Amazon) comes with either 3 GB or 4 GB of LPDDR3 memory. Our review sample came with 4 GB of memory. Only 3.5 GB was usable, of which 1.1 GB was used by the Android operating system and background apps. This left 2.4 GB of free memory for us to use. That’s more than enough memory to run multiple memory-guzzling apps simultaneously.

The ASUS ZenFone 3 (Amazon) also comes with a generous amount of internal storage – 64 GB. Out of the box, just under 52 GB was available for use. That should be plenty enough for most users, but is expandable via a microSD card (up to 2 TB). It also comes with 100 GB of free Google Drive storage for 2 years.

 

Camera Performance – Photos

The resolution of the new PixelMaster 3.0 camera is very good. The full 16 MP resolution is attained with the 4:3 aspect ratio. Each picture has a resolution of 4656 x 3492 and a file size of 3.5-5 MB.

Here are six high-resolution samples for you to check out. Click on them to load the full-sized photos, which you can also download to examine.

The Sony Exmor-RS IMX298 is a really good sensor. The colours are vivid but not unnaturally so. However, the highlights are blown out. This was not so much of a problem with the IMX318 sensor used in the ZenFone 3 Ultra.

Next Page > PixelMaster 3.0 Camera 1080p & 4K Video Recording Performance

 

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Camera Performance – Video Recording

The ASUS ZenFone 3 (Amazon) is capable of recording 1080p and 4K videos, with both 4-axis optical and 3-axis electronic image stabilisation enabled. To test its video recording capabilities, we recorded a street market and a koi pond in daylight, and a night dance as well. They were all recorded in both 1080p and 4K resolutions. Check them out!

The videos show how helpful the advanced optical and electronic image stabilisation is in the ASUS ZenFone 3 (Amazon). While it may not be quite as smooth as an actual gimbal like the DJI Osmo Mobile, it is a great improvement on what we saw with the previous-generation ASUS smartphones, like the ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser.

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 of the Piano and Night Dance videos.

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

 

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Work Performance – PCMark

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

ASUS ZenFone 3 ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra HTC 10 honor 8
Work Performance Score
(Average)
6405 6313 6105 6350
Web Browsing 8045 6257 5782 8073
Video Playback 3469 4287 3321 4396
Writing 7316 7166 7463 6231
Photo Editing 8246 8262 9694 7352

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor powering the ZenFone 3 (Amazon) did very well in this test, besting the ZenFone 3 Ultra (Snapdragon 652), the HTC 10 (Snapdragon 820) and the honor 8 (Kirin 950).

 

Battery Life – PCMark

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

The ASUS ZenFone 3 (Amazon) only comes with a 3,000 mAh battery, but it lasted almost 12 hours in this test! This is 22 minutes longer than the battery life of its big brother, the ZenFone 3 Ultra, which boasts a 53% larger 4,600 mAh battery. This is excellent battery life.

 

Battery Recharging Performance

The ASUS ZenFone 3 comes with a 10 W fast charger. Take a look at how fast it recharges the 3,000 mAh battery.

It took us 99 minutes (1 hour 39 minutes) to recharge the ZenFone 3 (Amazon) from 19% to 100%. That’s a battery life : recharging ratio of 7:1 – very impressive!

As the charger does not support any fancy fast charging technologies like Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, the charging profile is a relatively flat curve. It showed slightly faster charging up to the 70% charge level, before tapering off a little.

Next Page > Overall & 3D Performance, Our Verdict & Award

 

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Overall Performance

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

ASUS ZenFone 3 ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra HTC 10 honor 8
TOTAL SCORE 62761 76096 113813 90737
3D SCORE 13022 18816 50700 17706
– 3D (Marooned) 7906 10861 34778 9829
– 3D (Garden) 5116 7952 15922 7877
UX SCORE 23789 26794 30890 34550
– UX Data Secure 5847 5077 6319 7338
– UX Data Process 3109 4198 3379 5513
– UX Strategy Games 4254 7503 5433 9745
– UX Image Process 7443 6879 9521 5017
– UX I/O Performance 3136 3137 6238 6937
CPU SCORE 20342 23689 21915 32255
– CPU Mathematics 4226 6950 8494 10483
– CPU Common Use 6593 6311 5931 8543
– CPU Multi-Core 9523 10428 7490 13229
RAM 5608 6797 10308 6226

The ASUS ZenFone 3 (Amazon) is not going to win any gaming awards. It was fast in 2D graphics and CPU processing, but performed poorly in the 3D tests. It was far slower than top-of-the-line smartphones like the HTC 10, and even some mid-range smartphones like the Kirin 950-powered honor 8.

 

Gaming Performance – 3DMark

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

ASUS ZenFone 3 ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra HTC 10 honor 8
Gaming Score 13956 17719 23171 18659
Graphics 13484 21124 27512 19993
Physics 15903 11328 14925 15127
Graphics Test 1 80.5 fps 115.2 fps 136.6 fps 122.5 fps
Graphics Test 2 46.1 fps 76.3 fps 106.4 fps 67.4 fps
Physics Test 50.5 fps 36.0 fps 47.4 fps 48.0 fps

The Qualcomm Adreno 506 GPU in the ZenFone 3 (Amazon) is no 3D powerhouse and it shows. It was half as fast as the HTC 10 (Adreno 530), 36% slower than the ZenFone 3 Ultra (Adreno 510), and 33% slower than the honor 8 (ARM Mali-T880).

 

Our Verdict

The ZenFone 3 smartphone family represents a concerted effort by ASUS to break into the premium smartphone market. The ASUS ZenFone 3 (ZE552KL) model itself represents the tip of the spear. After all, it is the most affordable variant in the family.

Now, we must point out that this is not the best smartphone for 3D gaming. The ASUS ZenFone 3 (Amazon) is very fast at 2D games, and work applications, but it falters in 3D gaming performance. But if you do not intend to play 3D games on it, this is a very good smartphone for everything else.

It has a really good front and back cameras. Yes, the highlights are overblown (can ASUS fix this in a firmware update please?), but the optical and electronic image stabilisation has been greatly improved. The resulting pictures and videos are quite amazing. They are sharp, and the colours vivid.

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The ZenFone 3 (Amazon) also supports 4K video recording, in addition to 1080p recording. And some of you might like to know that it can record videos of indefinite length and file size. No more 30 minute limit. No more 4 GB limit. Just awesome for recording events like your child’s football game or a friend’s wedding!

You will also love the long battery life and the short recharge time – something you will appreciate if you are always on-the-go and have little access to a power point. The same goes for its large memory and storage capacity. With 4 GB of memory, and 64 GB of flash storage, you will find it hard to run out of both.

And last but not, the ASUS ZenFone 3 (Amazon) is a work of art. It exudes luxury with the 2.5D curved glass on both sides melding into the solid metal frame. That is a luxury that comes with a price premium – one that many will feel well worth it.

We are so impressed with the ASUS ZenFone 3 (Amazon) that we feel it deserves no less than our Reviewer’s Choice Award. Congratulations, ASUS!

 

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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

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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 :

 

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ASUS Concept Store Subang Jaya Now Available

In reaching out to consumers’ needs for wide-range gadgetry of PC notebook, mobile and accessories, ASUS has partnered with DIRECTD to open its first exclusive ASUS Concept Store.

 

ASUS Concept Store

The ASUS Concept Store will be officially open on Friday @ 22nd July 2016. It is located in SS15, Subang Jaya.

In conjunction to this, DirectD will be having an exclusive 50% opening deals for its customers as follow:-

  • ZenFone Max from RM 799 to RM 399 first 5 customers!
  • ZenFone Go 4.5 (5MP cam) from RM 299 to RM 149 first 5 customers!
  • PadFone S Plus from RM 1,199 to RM 599 first 5 customers!
  • ZenPower (9600 mAh) from RM 79 to RM 39 first 50 customers!

Besides, there will be a Facebook contest held for participants to win prizes such as ZenFone Selfie, ZenFone Laser, and ZenFone Go 4.5.

During the opening, the first 10 DirectD member to wear blue color shirt get to redeem ASUS ZenPower.
Here are the concept store’s  location:

DIRECTD RETAIL & WHOLESALE SDN BHD
NO.79, SS15/4B, SUBANG JAYA, 47500 SELANGOR
Opening ceremony starts at 11:00am

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The ASUS ZenFone 3 Sneak Peek & Hands-On Preview

Intel may have abandoned the smartphone market, but ASUS soldiers on with their ZenFone brand of smartphones. Instead of Intel Atom processors, they are now powered by Qualcomm processors. But that’s not all that’s changed. The new ASUS ZenFone 3 family of smartphone now comes in 3 distinct models, and they all look markedly different.

This is a departure from the ASUS ZenFone 2 family, which featured a common ambidextrous design even when ASUS differentiated them into a multitude of different models. The new ASUS ZenFone 3, the phablet edition called ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra, and the premium ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe all have very different designs, even when they share similar hardware features.

During the first day of Computex 2016, we had the opportunity to get some hands-on time with all three models. In this ASUS ZenFone 3 sneak peek, you will get to take a look at the three new models, as well as a comparison of their key specifications!

 

ASUS ZenFone 3 First Look

The ASUS ZenFone 3 is the mainstream model. Powered by the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 running at 2.0 GHz, the ZenFone 3 comes with up to 4 GB of RAM and up to 64 GB of internal flash storage. It has a 5.5″ full HD Super IPS display, and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection on both front and back.

Like the other ZenFone 3 models, it has an 8 MP front camera with f/2.0 lens. It also comes with the same 6P f/2.0 lens and second-generation laser auto-focusing system for the rear camera. However, it only comes with a 16 MP sensor.

 

ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra First Look

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra is a 6.8″ phablet with a full HD IPS display. Powered by the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 running at 1.8 GHz, the ZenFone 3 Ultra comes with up to 4 GB of RAM and up to 128 GB of internal flash storage.

It has a front 8 MP camera with f/2.0 lens, but what’s really amazing is the new 23 MP rear camera with 6P f/2.0 lens. It also comes with the latest second-generation laser auto-focusing system.

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ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe First Look

The ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe is the premium model, the world’s first smartphone with a full metal unibody with an invisble antenna design. Powered by the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 running at 2.3 GHz, the ZenFone 3 Deluxe comes with up to 6 GB of RAM and up to 256 GB of internal flash storage.

The ZenFone 3 Deluxe comes with a 5.7″ full HD Super AMOLED display. It has a front 8 MP camera with f/2.0 lens, but the new 23 MP rear camera with 6P f/2.0 lens is the main attraction. It also comes with the latest second-generation laser auto-focusing system.

Next Page > Specification Comparison Of The ZenFone 3, ZenFone 3 Ultra & ZenFone 3 Deluxe

 

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ASUS ZenFone 3 Specifications Comparison

For your convenience, we compared the specifications of all three ASUS ZenFone 3 models. Check it out :

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

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ASUS ZenFone Zoom (ZX551ML) Review Rev. 2.0

When we covered the launch of the ASUS ZenFone Zoom, everyone clamoured to review it. It was literally the ultimate ZenFone smartphone – with its powerful Intel Atom processor, 4 GB of RAM, 128 GB of internal storage and a 13 MP camera with 3X optical zoom, laser auto-focus and optical image stabilisation!

Unfortunately, initial stocks were limited so ASUS sent us the 5.5″ smartphone model (ZE550KL) and the 6″ phablet model (ZE601KL) of their  ZenFone 2 Laser series instead. We are ecstatic to report that ASUS recently passed us a special edition of the ASUS ZenFone Zoom (ZX551ML). So we present to you our definitive review of the ASUS ZenFone Zoom (ZX551ML) smartphone!

Updated @ 2016-05-09 : Added additional information to various sections, and expanding in particular, the section on its photographic capabilities.

 

ASUS ZenFone Zoom Specifications

SpecificationsASUS ZenFone Zoom (ZX551ML)
Operating SystemAndroid 5.0 (Lollipop) with ASUS ZenUI 2.0
Display5.5" IPS touchscreen
1080 x 1920 pixels (403 ppi pixel density)
Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection
ProcessorQuad-core Intel Atom Z3590 (2.5 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorPowerVR Rogue G6430 (640 MHz)
Memory4 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM
Storage128 GB eMCP flash memory
microSD card slot (up to 128 GB)
5 GB lifetime ASUS WebStorage
Front Camera5 MP sensor with f/2.0 wide-angle lens
Rear Camera13 MP Panasonic SmartFSI MN34130 sensor
Hoya 28-84 mm f/2.7-4.8 lens (10-element periscope design)
3X optical zoom + 4X digital zoom
4 stops Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS)
Dual-LED, dual-tone flash
Laser auto-focus system (0.03 seconds focusing, up to 50 cm)
Network Speed4G LTE Cat4+ : 50 / 250 Mbps
3G HSPA+ : 5.76 / 42 Mbps
SIM SupportSingle micro SIM card
ConnectivityWiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth v4.0 + EDR
NFC, micro-USB 2.0
GPSGPS / GLONASS / QZSS / SBAS / BDS
Battery3000 mAh lithium polymer (non-removable)
Fingerprint SensorNo
Other SensorsAccelerator, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient Light, Hall sensor
Dimensions78.8 mm wide x 158.9 mm tall x 11.95 mm thick
3.10" wide x 6.26" tall x 0.47" thick
Weight185 g / 6.53 oz (with battery)
Available ColoursPure Black / Ceramic White

 

Unboxing The ZenFone Zoom

Our ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] came in a special edition box set, so it’s much larger than what you would see in a retail store. When you open up the box, you will find a welcome note printed on heavy cardboard. Very classy. Underneath, you will find the actual ASUS ZenFone Zoom box, a box of Zencredible Photocards and a Zenny figurine nestled in foam cutouts.

[adrotate banner=”4″]When you unpack everything, you should find the following items :

  • One ASUS ZenFone Zoom (ZX551ML) smartphone wrapped in plastic
  • One ASUS ZenFone Zoom leather strap
  • One 18W ASUS fast charger with power plug adapter and micro-USB cable
  • One set of Zencredible Photocards – the ASUS’ version of Cards Against Humanity (Special Edition box set only)
  • One Zenny figurine (Special Edition box set only)
  • One pair of ASUS ZenEar earphones with four spare earbuds
  • One set of User Manual, Warranty Card and strip of 3 IMEI stickers

Note that the Special Edition box only come with two extra items – the Zenny figurine and the Zencredible Photocards.

In the next page, we are going to take a close look at the ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Amazon] and set it up!

Next Page > The ZenFone Zoom, Premium Finish, Fast Charger

 

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The ASUS ZenFone Zoom (ZX551ML)

In this video, we will show you how to quickly unwrap the ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] – just slide it out! And we will give you a quick tour of its key features :


The ASUS ZenFone 2 series is notable for their ambidextrous design. However, the ZenFone Zoom abandons it due to the periscopic lens arrangement, and its focus on photography. Instead of a central alignment, all of the ZenFone Zoom’s physical buttons are on the right side. There are not buttons on the left side.

First, you have the Volume rocker switch, which doubles as Zoom buttons. To zoom in, press the T (Telescopic) button. To zoom out, press the W (Wide) button. Right next to them is Power button. On the far end, you will find the Record Video button (small circular button with a red dot) and a dedicated Shutter button. Like on a digital camera, you can half-press the Shutter button to focus on an object before taking the shot.

The earphone port is located at the top, together with a microphone port. There is a second microphone port located at the bottom, next to the micro-USB port. Note the groove which allows you to remove the back cover, and the single speaker grille next to it.

At the lower left corner is a strap hole. It allows you to attach the leather strap, so you can loop it around your wrist. This will prevent the ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] from hitting the ground should it slip out of your hand.

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Premium Finish

At first sight, you can tell that the ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] is a bespoke device. It has a certain heft that imparts confidence in its build, with a beautiful anodised aluminium frame that terminates in a brilliant ring around the Gorilla Glass-protected display.

The frame is carved from a single block of aerospace-grade aluminium alloy and then polished, sand-blasted and anodised – in an elaborate 201-step process. ASUS certainly spared no expense in this model.

To give it the ultimate feel of luxury, the back cover uses the finest (literally) ox leather. Only 38% of the hide with the thinnest and toughest cut is used. It is then finished with traditional Italian tailoring. The leather cover not only feels great, it gives you a better grip.

 

Fast Charger

The ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] comes with a fast charger that delivers up to 18 W of power (2 amps of current at 9 V). You can recharge the ZenFone Zoom with any other charger, even use a micro-USB connected to a computer’s USB port. However, you won’t be able to charge as fast as you would with this fast charger (see our test results).

It is made up of two parts – the AC/DC converter, and a power plug that varies according to region. This modular design allows ASUS to manufacture the same fast charger for the entire world, and adapt them to local requirements using the modular plug heads.

Next Page > Inside The ZenFone Zoom, Mono Speaker & ZenEar, Setting Up The ZenFone Zoom

 

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Inside The ZenFone Zoom

Now, let’s take a look INSIDE the ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price]. We will show you how to carefully remove the premium leather back cover to gain access to the SIM slot and the microSD card slot. Unlike other ZenFone 2 models, the 3,000 mAh battery is not user-removable.

The ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] uses the Intel XMM 7262 modem which has dual SIM, dual standby capability. However, ASUS only chose to include a single micro SIM card slot, so if you must have dual SIM capability, you are out of luck.

There is also a microSD card slot which allows for an additional 128 GB of storage. It may seem superfluous since the ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] comes with 128 GB of internal flash storage. But if you are going on an extended trip, 256 GB of storage can buy you peace of mind.

 

Mono Speaker & ZenEar

Interestingly, the ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] comes with a single speaker. However, ASUS appears to have put in quite a lot of work into this speaker.

ASUS engineers used a 5-magnet construction with a metal voice coil, which delivers a much higher volume with lower bass distortion. They also added a dedicated sound chamber for maximum audio expansion.

For the best audio experience, ASUS even threw in a pair of ASUS ZenEar earphones. They have a frequency response of 20-20,000 Hz with a maximum power output of 107 dB/mW. They also come with four spare earbuds.

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Setting Up The ZenFone Zoom

This video will show you the initial setup process. It will take you no more than 5 minutes to set up the ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] as a new device.

Once you finish setting it up and it loads the home screen, you will be amazed at how bright and sharp the IPS display is. The display is protected by the latest Corning Gorilla Glass 4. This makes it twice as hard to break in a drop, compared to Gorilla Glass 3 used in the flagship ZenFone 2 model. Gorilla Glass 4 has, so far, been limited to higher-end smartphones and phablets like the Samsung Galaxy Note5.

Next Page > Available Memory &  Storage, Camera Capabilities & Options

 

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Available Memory & Storage

The ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] comes with 4 GB of LPDDR3 memory, which is fantastic because it has quite a bit more bloat than the 5.5″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL) and the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) we reviewed earlier. Even so, you have at least 2.2 GB of free memory to use – more than what many smartphones (like the honor 5X) come with!

Out of the box, the ZenFone Zoom comes with 128 GB of internal flash storage. Once you deduct about 16.5 GB for the Android 5.0 operating system and 1.1 GB for the ASUS apps, you still have a whooping 111 GB of free space left to use!

That’s more than enough to store 30,000 pictures or 670 minutes of 1080p video. It is unlikely you will find the need to add additional storage space using a microSD card.

 

Camera Capabilities

The raison d’etre for the ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] is its special 13 MP PixelMaster 2.0 camera, which boasts a 3X optical zoom capability. While optical zoom is not a new capability in smartphones, it is exceedingly rare… especially without a telescopic mechanism.

In this regard, ASUS has achieved an amazing feat – delivering optical zoom capability without a protruding or telescoping lens. The ZenFone Zoom looks, works and feels like a smartphone. And they did this using an ingenious periscopic lens design created by HOYA.

The 10-element periscopic lens arrangement with dual high-precision stepper motors allow the ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] to deliver a focal length range of 28 mm to 84 mm. This 3X optical zoom can be further extended digitally for a total zoom length of 12X. This design has some drawbacks though.

Even at its widest, it isn’t very fast with an aperture of just f/2.7. Top smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Note5 and the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge sport much larger apertures of f/1.9 to f/1.7. When you zoom out all the way to 84 mm, the lens stops down to f/4.8. To compensate for the lower light input, the 13 MP camera is optically-stabilised for up to 4 stops.

Fortunately, ASUS chose to use the Panasonic SmartFSI MN34130 sensor in the ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price]. Now, this is hardly the best 13 MP sensor they could have used (say, the Sony IMX214 or IMX 258), but it is way better than the dismal Toshiba T4K37 sensor used in the other ZenFone 2 models.

To round up the rear camera’s photographic capability, ASUS also threw in a laser auto-focusing system and a dual-tone LED flash. The laser focusing system is designed to accurately measure distance for close-up photography, while the dual-tone LED flash produces flash photographs with more realistic skin tones.

If you are into selfies though, the ZenFone Zoom only offers a 5 MP sensor with no flash, but the wide-angle lens is fast at f/2.0.

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Camera Options

Both the front and rear cameras use a 4:3 ratio for maximum resolution, with small crop sizes available in the settings menu. The main camera can record videos in full 1080p resolution, albeit only with electronic video stabilisation turned off.

The main camera also comes with a bunch of built-in software features like a HDR mode and a low light option that extends the camera’s ability to capture poorly-lit scenes by combining light from multiple pixels. You can also apply some filters or convert your pictures into GIF animation.

Next Page > Camera Performance – Image Quality & Laser Focusing

 

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Camera Performance – Image Quality

The ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] uses the Panasonic SmartFSI MN34130 sensor, instead of the Toshiba T4K37 sensor used in the rest of the ASUS ZenFone 2 series. The pictures were distinctly superior all around.

Take the example of the elevator and the signboards. If you blow them up to 100%, the edges are no longer blurred with noise, with only some noticeable noise in the darker areas. Even those are greatly improved over the photos taken by the 5.5″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL) and the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) we reviewed earlier.

The following photos of the bubblegum balls and assorted fruits show how much better the ZenFone Zoom is at taking photos. The photos are not just much sharper (when blown up to 100%), they show a much better control of the exposure.

Generally, this camera performs best in well-lit scenes. Its zoom lens is not the very fast when wide (f/2.7 at 28 mm) and quite slow (f/4.8) when fully zoomed to 84 mm. In dim or pooly-lit scenes, you need to rely on its 4-stop OIS to reduce handshake.

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Laser Focusing Performance

The ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] borrows the laser auto-focusing system from the 5.5″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL) smartphone and the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) phablet.

It uses a laser diode to shoot laser beams at near objects to instantly determine their distances. This allows for faster and more accurate focusing than can be achieved using contrast detection or phase detection auto-focusing techniques. We tested its laser focusing capabilities using a neat little app that ships with the ZenFone Zoom – a laser ruler.

The laser focusing system is especially useful in low or poor lighting conditions. However, the laser diode has a low power output, for safety reasons.  You can only use it to measure distances of up to 50 cm. Anything beyond that won’t return a reading.

As you can surmise by now, 50 cm is also the range for the ZenFone Zoom’s laser auto-focusing feature. If it fails to detect any object in range, it will fall back to the original contrast detection auto-focus method. Even with the range limitation, it’s very useful if your subject is in range… especially if there are subjects nearby that may interfere with the auto-focus.

Next Page > Camera Performance – Zoom & Video Recording

 

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Camera Performance – Zoom

You might be wondering – just how useful is the 3X optical zoom? Take a look at these comparison photos we took of various sceneries :

The 3X optical zoom really makes A LOT of difference. It allows you to reach out and take photos from a distance, even past the shoulders of people standing in front of you.

Of course, you can do digital zoom on all smartphones, but optical zoom offers the best image quality. The optical zoom also extends the total zoom capability of the ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] to a whooping 12X – 3 times further than what you can accomplish with only digital zoom.

You may also be wondering if the 3X optical zoom will allow you to deliver better bokeh in portrait shorts. Sadly, at maximum zoom, the aperture is only f/4.8. So there is a significant depth of field and poor background separation.

While portraits and indoor shots may not be its cup of tea, the ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] works great with scenery and architectural shots, where there is plenty of light and the depth of field is useful.

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Camera Performance – Video Recording

The ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] is capable of recording 1080p videos, albeit without any electronic image stabilisation. The good news is it supports optical image stabilisation, which works better than electronic image stabilisation.

The ZenFone Zoom’s optical zoom also comes in handy, giving you much greater flexibility and creativity when you record videos. Check out these three examples. The first is of chickens at a pet farm, the second of a gamelan (traditional Malay music) band, and finally, a piano performance by Mr. Yang I-Deun.

Thanks to the Panasonic SmartFSI sensor, the ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] is much better at controlling the exposure of the bright areas. They were only a little overexposed.

In the piano scene, it seemed to have some trouble focusing on Mr. Yang as we zoomed in. This was not seen in the first two videos which were brightly lit outdoor scenes, so it is probably a problem only in dim conditions. We hope ASUS will look into correcting this in the next firmware update.

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

 

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Work Performance : PCMark

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

 

ASUS ZenFone Zoom honor 5X Samsung Galaxy S6
Work Performance Score
(Average)
5829 3898 5078
Web Browsing 5751 3756 6788
Video Playback 4536 4325 3091
Writing 5270 4085 5918
Photo Editing 8400 2614 5357

The honor 5X (Lowest Price) may use the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 processor, but it is clearly no match for the quad-core Intel Atom Z3590 processor. The Snapdragon 616 has four A53 cores running at 1.65 GHz, with another four A53 cores running at 1.11 GHz. The Intel Atom Z3590, on the other hand, has four cores running at 2.5 GHz.

The ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] also beat the Samsung Galaxy S6, which is itself a very fast smartphone. It was particularly fast in photo editing and video playback.

 

Battery Life : PCMark

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

Now we can see the Intel Atom Z3590’s processing power comes at the expense of battery life. The ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] uses the same 3,000 mAh lithium polymer battery as all other ASUS ZenFone 2 models, but only lasts just over 6.5 hours.

In comparison, the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) lasted just under 8 hours, while the 5.5″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL) lasted over 12 hours on the same test. The honor 5X (Lowest Price), which uses a similar 3,000 mAh battery, lasted 8.5 hours. With such a short battery life, you will want to pack a power bank if you are going on a long trip.

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Battery Recharging Speed

Like the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL), the ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] comes with Fast Charging capability, and a corresponding 18 W fast charger. Then we tested to see how fast it recharges from 20% to 100%.

As the chart shows, the ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] recharged from 20% to 100% in just 86 minutes (1 hour 26 minutes). It actually hit 90% in just 61 minutes (1 hour 1 minute). In other words, the ZenFone Zoom recharges its battery about 32% faster than the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Lowest Price] and 2.4X faster than the 5.5″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL).

This is really amazing performance. From our logs, we can see that it recharged the first 20% in just 9 minutes. So if you are short on power, even a short recharge can give you a significant boost in battery life.

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

 

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Overall Performance : AnTuTu Benchmark

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

ASUS
ZenFone Zoom
honor 5X Samsung
Galaxy S6
TOTAL SCORE 65914 36983 75222
3D SCORE 16839 2446 20579
– 3D (Garden) 6976 1492 8104
– 3D (Marooned) 9863 954 12475
UX SCORE 21371 16269 24065
– UX Data Secure 5896 4673 5507
– UX Data Process 4353 2438 4392
– UX Strategy Games 4118 2698 6948
– UX Image Process 2926 2599 3413
– UX I/O Performance 4078 3861 3805
CPU SCORE 23110 14031 25402
– CPU Mathematics 5196 2968 7823
– CPU Common Use 8699 4696 7585
– CPU Multi-Core 9215 6367 9994
RAM 4594 4237 5176

The Intel Atom Z3590 with its PowerVR G6430 graphics processor is definitely very fast. It was faster than the honor 5X (Lowest Price) in all aspects of this benchmark, even though the honor 5X was powered by an octa-core Snapdragon processor. The ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] is just a little slower than the Samsung Galaxy S6.

 

Gaming Performance : 3DMark

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

ASUS
ZenFone Zoom
honor 5X Samsung
Galaxy S6
Gaming Score 21372 7879 21166
Graphics 21748 7695 23298
Physics 20152 8597 16031
Graphics Test 1 112.6 fps 39.6 fps 120.6 fps
Graphics Test 2 81.5 fps 28.9 fps 87.3 fps
Physics Test 64.0 fps 27.3 fps 50.9 fps

The Intel Atom Z3590 really showed its mettle in this test. While the PowerVR G6430 graphics processor held up well against the Galaxy S6’s Mali-T760 graphics processor, the Intel Atom Z3590 delivered much better physics processing capability than the Galaxy S6’s octa-core Exynos 7420 processor.

 

Our Verdict

When we first saw the ASUS ZenFone Zoom, we knew we had to review it. It is a remarkable combination of innovation and art. With its ox leather back, it looks like an ultra-premium version of the ASUS ZenFone 2 smartphones that came out in the past year or so.

Its killer feature is, no doubt, its 13 MP main camera with its unique and innovative periscopic lens design. This allows the ZenFone Zoom to deliver 3X optical zoom without a protruding or telescopic lens. It is capable of optical focal lengths of 28-84 mm while remaining a svelte smartphone no thicker than 12 mm. Amazing!

ASUS also threw in every photographic technology they had in their bag – laser auto-focus, dual-tone LED flash, and 4-stop optical image stabilisation (OIS). They even swapped out the dismal Toshiba T4K37 sensor for a much better Panasonic SmartFSI sensor. The result – the best photographic experience in the entire ASUS ZenFone 2 family.

The ZenFone Zoom’s image quality is significantly better than its ZenFone 2 brethren. Even its videos were much better – less grainy with better exposure control. The 3X optical zoom was very helpful in many situations, giving us greater reach and creative options. You will also appreciate the ZenFone Zoom’s 4-stop optical image stabilisation. It effectively cancels out your hand tremors, helping to deliver sharper images and videos.

While the Panasonic SmartFSI is a superior sensor, it is hardly the best sensor ASUS could have used. In a way, the ZenFone Zoom could have been better. It could have been the best camera smartphone in the market if ASUS paired it with top-of-the-line image sensor like the Sony IMX260 used in the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge.

Intel may be languishing in the smartphone market but there is no doubt that their Atom processors are fast. The Intel Atom Z3590 used in the ZenFone Zoom is a quad-core processor. But backed by the PowerVR Rogue G6430 graphics processor, it trashed the octa-core Snapdragon 616 processor used in the honor 5X (Lowest Price) while coming close in performance to, or even beating in some aspects, the octa-core Exynos 7420 processor used in the Samsung Galaxy S6.

Of course, all that processing power comes at a price – battery life. The ZenFone Zoom could only lasted 6.5 hours in our battery stress test (from 100% down to 20%). The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) and the 5.5″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL), in comparison, lasted just under 8 hours and over 12 hours respectively.

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The good news is the ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] comes with fast charging capability. How fast? It recharges from 20% to 100% in under 1.5 hours! Even a quick 9 minute charge will give you a 20% boost in battery capacity. This is the best fast charging performance we have seen in the ZenFone 2 family.

The ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] is the ultimate smartphone of the ZenFone 2 family. It has the most powerful Intel Atom processor ever used in a smartphone, backed with 4 GB of RAM and a whooping 128 GB of internal storage. And it comes with a 13 MP camera with a 3X optical zoom, 4-stop image stabilisation, dual-tone LED flash and laser auto-focus. All in a sleek 5.5 smartphone form factor, wrapped in posh leather.

From what we understand, this is likely to be the last Intel Atom-powered smartphone to come out of the Intel-ASUS partnership. Of course, we hope that is just a rumour and the partnership will continue. But if it doesn’t, and you must have the best Intel Atom-powered smartphone ever made, the ASUS ZenFone Zoom is it.

We like it so much, we think the ASUS ZenFone Zoom [Lowest Price] deserves nothing less than our Reviewer’s Choice Award! Congratulations, ASUS!

Go Back To > First Page | Reviews | Home

 

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ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) Phablet Review

When we reviewed the 5.5″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL) smartphone, we noted that it was a divergent model of the original ASUS ZenFone 2. It uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor instead of an Intel Atom processor. It also came with a laser auto-focusing system to complement its 13 MP main camera’s contrast detection system.

For those who prefer a phablet though, ASUS offers the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon]. It is more than just a larger device, it comes with a more powerful processor, more memory, a better display and more. Take a look at this comparison of the 5.5″ and 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser models :

SpecificationsASUS ZenFone 2 Laser (6")ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser (5.5")
ModelZE601KLZE550KL
Operating SystemAndroid 5.0 Lollipop with ASUS ZenUI
PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 616Qualcomm Snapdragon 410
Processor1.65 GHz ARM Cortex-A53 x 4 cores
1.113 GHz ARM Cortex-A53 x 4 cores
1.2 GHz ARM Cortex-A53 x 4 cores
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 405Qualcomm Adreno 306
Display6.0" IPS display
- 1080 x 1920 resolution
- 367 ppi pixel density
5.5" IPS display
-720 x 1280 resolution
- 268 ppi pixel density
Display ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 4Corning Gorilla Glass 4
Primary Camera13 MP PixelMaster 2.0 camera
- Toshiba T4K37 sensor
- Laser autofocus (primary) with contrast-detection autofocus (secondary)
- f/2.0 Largan lens
- dual-tone LED flash
Secondary Camera5 MP camera
- fixed focus, 85° wide-angle f/2.0 lens
Memory3 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM2 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM
Internal Storage16 GB flash storage
Storage ExpansionmicroSD slot
- supports up to 128 GB
SIM Card SlotTwo micro SIM slots
- Dual SIM, Dual Standby capability
- Both SIM slots support 2G / 3G / 4G
Two micro SIM slots
- Dual SIM, Dual Standby capability
- Both SIM slots support 2G / 3G / 4G
ConnectivityHSPA+ : 42 / 5.76 Mbps
LTE Cat4 : 150 / 50 Mbps
HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth v4.1, A2DP, EDR
HSPA+ : 42 / 5.76 Mbps
LTE Cat4 : 150 / 50 Mbps
HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
WiFi : 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth v4.0, A2DP, EDR
GPSYes, with A-GPS, GLONASS
NFCNo
Fingerprint SensorNo
RadioNo
SensorsAccelerometer, proximity, compass, light, Hall, gyroscope
BatteryRemovable 3,000 mAh Li-Po battery
Fast ChargingYes, comes with 10 W chargerNo, comes with 5 W charger
Dimensions84.0 mm wide
164.55 mm tall
10.55 mm thick
77.2 mm wide
152.5 mm tall
10.8 mm thick
Weight190 g170 g

 

Unboxing The ZE601KL

The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] comes in a really nice two-piece retail box. Its key features are listed on the right and left sides of the box, with the device’s actual specifications listed on a sticker at the bottom. ASUS redesigned the unboxing experience with a plastic tab you can pull to slide out the inner box.

Due to the close fit of the two halves, pulling on the tab may not slide the box right out. Don’t pull too hard or it will actually power up the ZenFone 2 Laser inside the box! This actually happened to us in the video above.

[adrotate banner=”4″]Once you remove everything, you will find the following items :

  • One ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) phablet
  • One ASUS 10 W fast charger with 3-pin plug adapter
  • One micro-USB 2.0 cable
  • One ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) User Guide
  • One ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) warranty card
  • One strip of 3 IMEI stickers

In the next page, we are going to take a close look at the ZE601KL and set it up!

Next Page > Close Look, Inside The ZE601KL, Battery & Card Slots, Stereo Speakers

 

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The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL)

In this video, we will show you how to quickly unwrap the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] – just slide it out! And we will give you a quick tour of its key features :

ASUS designed the ZE601KL to be ambidextrous. Hence, they placed the Power button at the top, with the Volume rocker switch at the back. This allows for easy handling by both right- and left-handed users. ASUS placed the earphone socket at the top, with the speaker located at the bottom of the back cover.

For selfies, the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] has a 5 MP wide-angle shooter in the front, but for serious photography, there is an 13 MP PixelMaster 2.0 camera at the back. The main camera is supported not just by a dual-tone flash to its right, but also a laser focusing diode and receiver to its left.

The ZE601KL is powered by the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 (MSM8939v2) SoC with 3 GB of LPDDR3 SDRAM, and runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop with ZenUI. Its 6″ IPS display has a resolution of 1080 x 1920, and is protected by Gorilla Glass 4.

 

Inside The ZE601KL

Now, let’s take a look INSIDE the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon]. We will show you how to remove the tight back cover to gain access to the two SIM slots, the microSD card and the 3,000 mAh removable battery.


 

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Battery & Card Slots

The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] comes with two SIM slots, with dual standby capability. This means both SIMs are connected to the network, but only one can be used at any one time. It also comes with a removable 3,000 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery, and a microSD card slot that supports card capacities up to 128 GB.

The SIM1 slot is located on the upper right side of phablet, and can be accessed without removing the battery. The second SIM slot is paired with the microSD card slot above it. To insert a second SIM card or a microSD card, you need to remove the battery first. Make sure you insert the micro SIM card in the bottom slot. The top slot is for the micro SD card.

 

Stereo Speakers

The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] comes with stereo speakers, but they are both located at the lower back of the phablet. The sound emits out the speaker grille near the USB port, so the stereo effect is reduced and only effective with the phablet is used vertically.

Incidentally, you will note that ASUS brought back the premium diamond-cut lines (with a 0.13 mm pitch) on the back cover. The 5.5″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL) features a back cover with flat matte finish.

Next Page > Setting Up The ZE601KL, Available Storage & Memory, Camera Capabilities

 

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Setting Up The ZE601KL

This video will show you the initial setup process. It will take you no more than 5 minutes to set it up as a new device.

Once you finish setting it up and it loads the home screen, you will be amazed at how bright and sharp the display is. The display is protected by the latest Corning Gorilla Glass 4. This makes it twice as hard to break in a drop, compared to Gorilla Glass 3 used in the flagship ZenFone 2 model. Gorilla Glass 4 has, so far, been limited to higher-end phablets like the Samsung Galaxy Note5.

 

Available Storage & Memory

Out of the box, the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] runs on Android 5.0.2 and has 10.43 GB of free space, out of its internal 16 GB flash storage. As you can tell – that’s not a lot of storage space. Unless you are a light user, you are going to need to add additional storage via a micro SD card.

The ZE601KL also comes with 3 GB of LPDDR3 memory, which is great at its price point. What’s just as important is the fact that the ZE601KL has relatively little bloat, leaving you with 1.7 GB of free memory to play with. That’s more than enough to run several apps at the same time.

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Camera Capabilities & Options

The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] has a 13 MP PixelMaster camera at the back, and a 5 MP wide-angle camera in the front. Both cameras use a 4:3 ratio for maximum resolution, with small crop sizes available in the settings menu.

The main camera has a dual-tone LED flash to brighten up dark scenes. as well as a laser diode and sensor for faster and more accurate focusing even in the dark. The main camera can record videos in full 1080p resolution, albeit only with electronic video stabilisation turned off.

The main camera also comes with a bunch of built-in software features like a HDR mode and a low light option that extends the camera’s ability to capture poorly-lit scenes by combining light from multiple pixels. You can also apply some filters or convert your pictures into GIF animation.

Next Page > Camera Performance – Photos & Videos

 

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Camera Performance – Photos

The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] uses the same Toshiba T4K37 sensor used in the flagship ASUS ZenFone 2 smartphone. The pictures no longer suffer from the yellow cast we saw in our ZenFone 2 Camera Shootout, but it still exhibits considerable noise. This is not a problem when the pictures are posted online on Facebook, Twitter, etc. but they are obvious when the pictures are blown up on a computer screen.

Take the example of the elevator and the Dala horse. They look perfectly sharp and well-defined. But if you blow it up to 100%, you will see the noise blurring the edges. That said, this has been improved since our ZenFone 2 Camera Shootout.

Thanks to its bright f/2.0 lens, the ZE601KL handles shaded or dim scenes well, and a decent job in bright scenes. The light fixtures and warning signs were both located in shaded areas with relatively low light.

These pictures of various fruits again show the abilities and limitations of the ASUS PixelMaster camera. They appear well-exposed and well-detailed. Only when you blow them up, will you see the edges blur from the sensor noise. This is most evident in areas of high contrast, like the stripes of the bubblegum balls.

Overall, the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] produced well-exposed and sharp pictures that are more than good enough for online use. Its sensor noise is only apparent if you blow up the pictures to 100%, and while you may lose some details in the bright areas of a scene, the most important thing is that the objects in focus are well-exposed.

Next Page > Video Recording Performance, Laser Focusing Performance

 

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Camera Performance – Video Recording

The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] is capable of recording 1080p videos, albeit without any form of image stabilisation. Here are two sample videos we recorded. The first is of a piano performance by Mr. Yang I-Deun, while the second is of skaters at an ice-skating rink.

The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] has some trouble controlling the exposure of the bright areas. They were all overexposed. This is similar, but to a lesser extent, to what we saw with the ASUS ZenPad 7.0 tablet.

We hope ASUS looks into this, because other than this exposure problem, the ZE601KL did a great job of recording both scenes. Mr. Yang and his audience, as well as the skaters, remained properly exposed.

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Laser Focusing Performance

The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL)‘s main claim to fame is its laser focusing system. It uses a laser diode to shoot laser beams at near objects to instantly determine their distances. This allows for faster and more accurate focusing than can be achieved using contrast detection or phase detection auto-focusing techniques. We tested its laser focusing capabilities using a neat little app that ships with the ZE601KL – a laser ruler.

The laser focusing system is especially useful in low or poor lighting conditions. However, the laser diode has a low power output, for safety reasons.  You can only use it to measure distances of up to 50 cm. Anything beyond that won’t return a reading. As you can surmise by now, 50 cm is also the range for the ZE601KL’s laser focusing feature. If it fails to detect any object in range, it will fall back to the original contrast detection autofocus method.

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

 

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Work Performance : PCMark

We tested the ZE601KL’s performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

ASUS
ZenFone 2 Laser
(ZE601KL)
honor 5X Samsung
Galaxy S6
Work Performance Score
(Average)
3492 3898 5078
Web Browsing 3351 3756 6788
Video Playback 3773 4325 3091
Writing 3574 4085 5918
Photo Editing 3291 2614 5357

Both the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] and the honor 5X (Amazon) use the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 octa-core processor, with some difference in clock speeds.

The ZE601KL has four A53 cores running at 1.65 GHz, with another four A53 cores running at 1.11 GHz. The honor 5X, on the other hand, has four A53 cores running at 1.5 GHz, with the second cluster running at 1.2 GHz. That’s why while they may both use the same processor, they exhibit slightly different performance characteristics.

 

Battery Life : PCMark

We then tested the ZE601KL’s battery performance using PCMark. It basically ran the PCMark work tests until its battery capacity dropped to 20%.

The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] lasted just under 8 hours, which is surprising since the 5.5″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL) lasted over 12 hours on the same test. Obviously, the higher resolution screen and octa-core processor take their toll on battery life…

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Battery Recharging Speed

The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] comes with Fast Charging capability that the 5.5″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL) lacks. They both use the same 3,000 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery.

As the chart shows, it recharged from 17% to 100% in just 142 minutes (2 hours 22 minutes). It actually hit 90% in just 90 minutes (1 hour 30 minutes). In other words, the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] recharges its battery about 31% faster than the 5.5″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL).

Next Page > Overall Performance, Gaming Performance, Our Verdict

 

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Overall Performance : AnTuTu Benchmark

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

ASUS
ZenFone 2 Laser
(ZE601KL)
honor 5X Samsung
Galaxy S6
TOTAL SCORE 36961 36983 75222
3D SCORE 2538 2446 20579
– 3D (Garden) 1550 1492 8104
– 3D (Marooned) 988 954 12475
UX SCORE 15220 16269 24065
– UX Data Secure 4483 4673 5507
– UX Data Process 2609 2438 4392
– UX Strategy Games 2169 2698 6948
– UX Image Process 2988 2599 3413
– UX I/O Performance 2971 3861 3805
CPU SCORE 15384 14031 25402
– CPU Mathematics 3296 2968 7823
– CPU Common Use 4891 4696 7585
– CPU Multi-Core 7197 6367 9994
RAM 3819 4237 5176

Other than some minor variations in performance characteristics, the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] was identical in performance to the honor 5X (Amazon) in AnTuTu Benchmark.

 

Gaming Performance : 3DMark

We tested the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL)‘s gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Sling Shot (ES 3.0) test.

ASUS
ZenFone 2 Laser
(ZE601KL)
honor 5X Samsung
Galaxy S6
Gaming Score 156 155 1508
Graphics 125 124 1510
Physics 1097 1149 1501
Graphics Test 1 0.3 fps 0.3 fps 8.6 fps
Graphics Test 2 1.4 fps 1.4 fps 5.3 fps
Physics Section 1 15.7 fps 18.8 fps 29.6 fps
Physics Section 2 11.9 fps 11.9 fps 15.4 fps
Physics Section 3 6.4 fps 6.6 fps 8.2 fps

Sling Shot is a very strenuous test, so it’s not surprising to see both the ZE601KL (Amazon) and the honor 5X (Amazon) flounder compared to the Samsung Galaxy S6. In the real world though, they both have no issues tackling the 3D games we throw at them.

 

Our Verdict

The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] is the phablet of the ZenFone 2 family. Unlike the other ZenFone 2 models, it skips the Intel Atom for a Qualcomm processor. The model we received was powered by the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 processor, which is n par for this price segment.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 is slower than the Intel Atom Z3580 / Z3560 processors powering the other ZenFone 2 models, but faster than the low-cost Intel Atom x3-C3230 that powers the ASUS ZenPad 7.0 tablet, or the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 powering the 5.5″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL).

The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] also comes with a full HD IPS display. This is perfect for watching 1080p videos, whether it’s recorded on the ZE601KL itself, or downloaded from the Internet. Of course, all that extra processing power and the higher resolution display come at a cost – reduced battery life. The ZE601KL has a 35% shorter battery life than the 5.5″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL) on the same 3,000 mAh battery.

ASUS appears to have improved the 13 MP PixelMaster 2.0 camera used in the ZenFone 2 Laser. It no longer exhibits the yellow cast we saw in the flagship ZenFone 2 model. It has better exposure control – the subject is always well-exposed, although it overexposes bright backgrounds. The overexposure with bright backgrounds is also seen in the videos we recorded. The good news is the subject remains well-exposed. We hope ASUS can address this issue in a future firmware update.

[adrotate banner=”4″]The ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser’s hallmark laser focusing system only works for objects that are less than 50 cm away. It falls back to its contrast detection method for objects that are further away. Even with the range limitation, it’s very useful if your subject is in range… especially if there are subjects nearby that may interfere with the autofocus.

To use it properly, you should enable Touch Shutter so that when you touch on the screen, it will fire the laser, focus on the subject you just selected and take the shot – all in one go. This is especially useful for product shots where you want to focus on a particular part. The laser focusing system will guarantee that the part you want is in focus.

As such, we would recommend the 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] to those who do a lot of product or miniature photography. The laser focusing system would be very helpful in this aspect. The small storage capacity is a minor hindrance – one easily solved by adding a microSD card.

The 6″ ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE601KL) [Amazon] is best suited for those who want an affordable phablet with dual SIM, dual-standby capability and do not need a stylus. It offers an ambidextrous design with a large, full HD display protected by Gorilla Glass 4. All for just RM 1,099 (~USD 279). That’s a hard deal to ignore.

 

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ASUS Announces Zoom To Wanda Contest

23rd March, 2016 — ASUS today announced Zoom to Wanda, an intriguing interactive hunt, featuring the new ZenFone Zoom (Amazon). ZenFone Zoom marks a new era in smartphone photography with the world’s thinnest optical zoom mechanism to enable both magnification of distant subjects and close-up shooting of small objects in incredible detail.