ASUS Zenfone 3 Official Retail Unboxing, Benchmark, Gaming and Initial Review

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We just received our ASUS Zenfone 3 yesterday. Thanks to ASUS Philippines for providing a retail version of the ZenFone 3 ‏(ZE552KL)‏ so we can give you all an exclusive first look before it arrives on August 14.

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All New Look

Saying that Zenfone is beautiful is an understatement. It is beautiful all over, and its design is a huge step up from the Zenfone 2. The new glass front and back panels look amazing, and can literally turn heads.

The new Zenfone 3 still has capacitive buttons, but they removed the bezel below it. This makes the buttons much closer to the bottom edge of the device, and may be a little difficult to reach.

It is crazy slippery, and for a lot of instances, I had to use to hands just to be sure that I don’t accidentally drop it. I hope that once it becomes available this August 14, ASUS will also sell cases and other accessories at the venue. (Shoutout to you, guys at ASUS).

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ASUS also decided to transfer their logo at the back of the phone. In the previous Zenfone iterations, the logo is placed at the top of the display. It isn’t actually a bad design, IMO, but moving it to the back, this time, seems like a better design implementation. (What do you guys think?)

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The addition of fingerprint sensor at the back of the device is great. This is the new standard in mobile computing, so it’s good for ASUS to finally include this feature on their new line-up. While its size and shape are different, the sensor is highly accurate and extra sensitive. Its sensor isn’t like the G5, which also work as sleep/wake button, but it gives off a haptic feedback when touched.

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Performance and Benchmark

Its 5.5-inch Full HD screen is gorgeous. It is way brighter than the screen of my LG G5 and iPhone 6. Texts are very readable too. Full HD videos we loaded to phone look fantastic.

Under the hood, its 2Ghz octa-core processor and 4GB ram work hand in hand to make it perform fast and power efficient. Never did I experience a single lag during the 1st 24 hours of using the phone. Right after unboxing the device, I installed benchmark applications to see how the device fair and compare to other devices.

  • Antutu: 61,820
  • Vellamo: 2,321 (Multicore)
  • Quadrant: 43,358
  • Geekbench: 919 (Single-core); 4,981 (Multicore)

We got a little concerned with the score we got on Antutu because it’s lower than we expected. It isn’t exactly an issue because benchmark results do not necessarily reflect the real performance of devices.

Playing Games on ASUS Zenfone 3

In order to test the phone fully, we played games such as NBA 2K16, Modern Combat 4 and Minecraft 4. We are happy to report that we were able to play the games smoothly and without any issues.

Game Genie is back on Zenfone 3, and it is way better this time. Apart from being able to record your gameplay with face cam, Game Genie also allows you to stream your games live via YouTube and Twitch. This is great for mobile gamers and content creators.

Zen UI 3.0 is such a treat

The much improved Zen UI takes full effect on the new Zenfone. It sits on top of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, and it brought along with it tons of applications and modules, which are expeted to enhance the device’s user experience.

Apps that came pre-installed may only be disabled, which can be a let-down for most users. Truth be told, these eat a lot of the smartphone’s internal memory and consume RAM, but – as pointed out earlier – may enhance the user experience and pimps out the user interface.

Camera Features

Zenfone 3’s front facing camera has 16MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture. It features 6 P Largan lens, dual LED lens and 4-axis/4 stops Optical Image Stabilization for steady photos. It has 8mp front facing camera with f/2.0 aperture.

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Its camera application has tons of enhanced features and modes. All the modes you’re familiar with on Zenfone 2 are back and fully optimized for the Zenfone 3.

We took some photos to see the performance of both cameras, and boy we are so impressed. It is a lot better than the cameras of Zenfone 2 and even the Zenfone Zoom. Let some of the photos we took be your judge. We aim to test this more in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for our full review soon.

Rear/Main Camera

Front Camera

Things that need further tests:

Consider this our initial review. There are lots of things that we still need to cover like battery life, memory management, camera features, video taking capabilities and performance after a month of use as daily driver.

We are excited as you all are, and we hope that this initial review will keep you wanting for more until the Zenfone 3 launches on August 14. What do you guys think about the Zenfone 3? Let us know your thoughts on the comments section.

Chief Editor at | Website

Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of GadgetPilipinas.net, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.