Asus is no longer content with being looked upon as a budget smartphone brand and its new Zenfone 3 lineup has been designed and positioned to refute the cheap smartphone image. The Taiwanese smartphone maker wants to be seen on the same pedestal as the Apples and Samsungs of this word and to the Zenfone 3 Deluxe has the responsibility to justify these ambitions. But can the Zenfone 3 Deluxe really live up to the hype? Let’s discuss that in detail:

Zenfone 3 Deluxe Specifications

Model Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe
Display 5.7-inch, Super AMOLED, Full HD, Gorilla Glass 4
Processor 2GHz Snapdragon 820/Snapdragon 821 quad-core with 530 GPU
RAM 6GB
Internal Storage 64GB/256GB(expandable via microSD card)
Rear Camera 23MP,dual LED Flash, Sony IMX318 sensor/2.0 aperture,4-axis OIS,3-axis EIS
Front Camera 8 MP,F/2.0 aperture
Software Android marshmallow based Zen UI 3.0
Battery 3000 mAh, Quick Charge 3.0, Boost Master Fast Charging
Others 4G LTE, fingerprint sensor, Dual SIM(Hybrid)
Price S820 SoC-49,999 INR and S821 Soc-62,999 INR

Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe Design

Speaking about the Zenfone 3 Deluxe the first thing that catches your attention is the refreshing design change especially compared to the hideous last generation Zenfones. Asus claims that this is the world’s first full metal unibody phone. Wait what? Well, all other have discontinuities like antenna bands or a separate side frame- things that you won’t spot on the Zenfone 3 Delux.

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This flagship device does a full justice to its ‘Deluxe’ moniker and Asus proves that it can design some class leading handsets.

The Zenfone 3 Delux is delightfully slim (7.5mm), has chamfered side edges, ever so slightly arched back and rounded corners – all ensure that the phone sits rather comfortably in hand in spite of the large 5.7-inch display being used. Asus also retains its design features like the concentric circle pattern on the fascia that also extends to the power button and the volume rocker situated on the right edge.

On the downside, it’s still too big for anyone with small hands or for comfortably accessing a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. And its oval shape makes matters worse. Barring these couple of peeve points, Zenfone 3 Deluxe design clicks for us.

Also Read: Gionee A1 Review – A Dependable Opener For Selfiestan

Zenfone 3 Deluxe Display

Asus decided to go with a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED full HD display for the Zenfone 3 Deluxe.  Being an AMOLED display it exhibits punchy colors, deep blacks, and excellent contrast ratio. It is bright and offers as excepted wider viewing angle.

At the same time, since Asus is charging a premium and since this is an AMOLED screen, a QHD resolution would have made more sense.

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The large size of the display comes in handy while consuming multimedia content. Asus also lets user tweak display’s color temperature as per personal preference. Then there is a “Bluelight Filter”, which cuts off all the blue light from the screen resulting in a warm, yellowish tinge that’s light on your eyes.

Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe Hardware and Performance

Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe specifications are second to none. Under the hood, it boasts a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset mated to 6gigs of RAM and 256GB of onboard storage. In case that’s not enough, the phone comes with a hybrid SIM slot where a secondary SIM slot can be used to add up to 128GB of microSD storage. The dual SIM card slots support 4G + 3G networks.

With such mighty configuration, it hardly puts a foot wrong in terms of performance.  Despite featuring a resource taxing UI, the performance remains unruffled. Thanks to 6GB of RAM there is always enough room left to cache more apps even when multiple social media apps, web browser, music app, and even games running in the background.

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For those who care about benchmark score, the Zenfone 3 Deluxe manages to clock a score of 146248 on Antutu, whereas Geekbench single-core score stands at 1675 and multi-core score at 3970. On 3DMark test, it stood its ground at 2639 which is certainly impressive.

Coming to the battery its packs decent 3,000mAh non-removable battery which is certainly good enough to last my work day on a single charge after a mixed usage of calls, gaming, music, and some amateur photography. The battery backup is better than what we’d initially expected out of a 3000mAh battery.

Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe Software

What’s really botched up Zenfone 3 fortunes apart from the high price is the ZenUI 3.0. There is no doubt that it is one of the most feature reach skin in the market but where it misses the mark is the clumsy user interface and excessive bloatware. To be fair to the company, Asus has cut down lots off unnecessary apps which earlier use to come pre-loaded on Zenfones. Still, the UI feels a tad overwhelming. Software in 2017 should be simpler.

The Android 6.0 Marshmallow based ZenUI 3.0 (later updated to Nougat via OTA) offers options for one-handed operation, double tap to sleep, a feature rich theme store and a lots more.

Asus Zenfone 3 Camera

Asus has sourced a 23-megapixel Sony IMX318 sensor for the Zenfone 3 Deluxe which is aided by PDAF and laser-AF, OIS, EIS, a dual-tone flash, and f/2.0 aperture optics. The default camera app is one of the most versatile ones out there. It offers a slew of modes, including beauty mode, low-light mode, and professional mode.

During our test, the Zenfone 3 Deluxe camera managed to take some good shots even in tricky lighting conditions with excellent dynamic range. In low lighting, it manages to retain a good amount of details though images get slightly noisy.

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The only thing that bothers about the Zenfone 3 Deluxe camera is the slow shutter speed. The shutter tends to stay opened for way too long in low light and blurs the image if the object isn’t perfectly still.

All in all, you are getting a great camera here, but it still falls short of what the Galaxy S7 and HTC 10 are offering for about the same price.

Also Read: Best Dual Camera Phones Under 20,000 INR

Conclusion

The Zenfone 3 Deluxe is a beautiful beast that has a tempting Design and top of the line hardware, which is stung by sluggish UI and hefty Price. In light of the existing cut-throat competition, Asus will have a tough time convincing consumers to buy it, but it is, nevertheless, a great first attempt. If you are already an Asus loyalist, you won’t regret buying the Zenfone 3 Deluxe.

Pros

  • Seamless Design
  • Vibrant display
  • Smooth performance

Cons

  • Bloated Zen UI
  • Overpriced

(Savi Sharma contributed images to this article.)

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