I usually see everyone around me struggling for free storage space, especially the iPhone owners with 16 GB. But that’s not the case with this Asus Premium device.
There is a lot of space on this, 256 GB phone. Especially, for people like me who have learned to live in 32 GB. And iPhone owners would be super jealous to see that kind of internal storage.
Let’s talk about key features and user experience of the most premium phone by Asus – The Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe 256 GB (ZS570KL).
Change of Strategy and Focus
Asus is known to deliver bang for buck devices. The Zenfone 5 was one of the top selling mobiles by Asus. It was a real value for money offering. But with time things have changed. Asus is now a more premium brand.
With celebrity endorsement By Sonakshi Sinha or brand positioning, they are trying to portray as premium smartphone seller.
It is not only the pricing of the phones that have become expensive but also Asus is trying to improve the build Quality, Camera, Design and overall user experience.
The recent Zenfone 3 Series, marked the change in the company strategy from being a value player to being a more premium mobile manufacturer. The brand has done an excellent job with the design and camera quality of Asus Zenfone 3. However, at the same time, some Asus fans are not liking the sky-high price tags.
The Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe 256 GB is a top end model, and it costs Rs 62,999 and comes with top of the line specs sheet that you can demand in a modern flagship. Also, there is a 64 GB version of the smartphone which is available for Rs. 49,999.
Let’s Explore the Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe 256 GB (ZS570KL) to find out its pros and cons.
These days phones have become so good that they’re being judged by, “What’s wrong with it” instead of “What’s right with it.”
The design is a crucial factor in the flagship devices as specs are a becoming more standard and easy to replicate.
Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe sports a thin profile, with a sturdy metallic build and has slightly tapered edges. Besides, the back is slightly curved making it easy to hold and use.
When it comes to metal phones, there’s a high probability of using plastic antennas for radio waves to pass through.
Surprisingly, Asus has managed to make an all metal phone with invisible antenna lines, a technology which Asus calls PureMetal.
Also, the usual power and volume buttons lie on the right side. The USB-type C is at the bottom with a microphone and speaker.
Further, it still retains the 3.5 mm audio jack at the top. And the front bezels reflect the iconic Zen concentric circles.
Additionally, the back features a fingerprint sensor with an unusually long rectangular shape, placed vertically below the camera sensor.
Noticeably, there is a small camera bump for the rear camera.
Overall, the phone lives up to its flagship status and feels good to hold.
The Zenfone 3 Deluxe flaunts a 5.7 inch Super AMOLED display. The sides have non-existing bezels, whereas the top and bottom bezels are chunky enough since it features off-screen navigation buttons. The screen is quite bright to see it under bright sunlight.
However, it is not as sharp in comparison to some of the Quad HD Displays. There are some filters and color schemes provided by Asus like the Blue Light filter to enhance the user experience.
Asus has also provided an option for users to calibrate the screen temperature according to their taste. There is a half-baked “always-on display” feature like “LG and Samsung.” Unlike Samsung, Asus’s provides more information such as the Notification badge with their icons. The UI for the always-on feature is not that great.
The Zenfone comes with Android Marshmallow v6.0.1 with ZenUI skin on top.
Besides, the Zen UI comes with a lot of customization options and It’s not all dull.
The Zen UI is very popular even on the Play Store with over 10M downloads.
However, it is not liked by everyone. The notification drawer looks hideous with overly broad circles around the WiFi and several options.
The app icons are not symmetrical in shape and size. The color combination throughout the UI is not helping either.
The launcher is smooth and snappy to use. It doesn’t hamper the overall performance by any means.
In fact, I found some of the Apps launch faster on the Zenfone 3 Deluxe in comparison to my Samsung S7 edge.
However, there are a lot of pre-installed apps from Asus, and as there are similar Apps from Google, this causes heck load of bloatware and duplication of apps for no good reason.
Apps such as ZenCircle, ZenFone Care, MiniMovie, etc. may be useful for some of the users, but the majority should get an option to add or remove them.
Indeed, one can’t just uninstall them. Also, it includes some third-party apps pre-installed such as TrueCaller, Sim City.
Overall the User experience is swift and fluid, and we would have loved the user interface to be more aesthetic and minimalist.
It comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SOC, 6 GB of RAM along with Adreno 530 GPU clocked at an impressive 653 MHz. The fancy hardware makes it a perfect recipe for stellar performance. No gripes here, it just performs fast, and I mean really fast.
The software runs smoothly from the performance perspective and it flies when it comes to multi-tasking.
Also, There’s a fingerprint sensor at the back. It’s sporting a unique shape which is a first for any device. It’s placed vertically and is rectangular.
The odd shape makes the surface area smaller in comparison to usual circle or square shaped sensors. The overall performance of the sensor is just passable.
Antutu Benchmark Score – The Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe scores an inspiring 141,000 score on the Antutu Benchmark which is top of the charts performance number.
Gaming on Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe – It offers great gaming experience as expected from a top of the line phone and there is no heating issues. We played some of the popular Games like Nova 3 and Modern Combat 5. The Deluxe handled them without breaking a sweat.
Fueling the phone is a 3000 mAH battery. It sounds low for a phone coming with a large 5.7-inch FHD display. Even the phones with a smaller form factor like the HTC 10, Huawei P9 comes with similar size batteries.
Although, the overall battery performance is above average. Fortunately, it also supports Quick Charge 3.0 which can charge it up to 50% in just 33 minutes in my test.
Call Connectivity 4G LTE VOLTE and Sound
There were no glitches we used the smartphone with a reliance JIO sim to surf data and make calls. Also tried an idea sim, both of which worked as intended.
Asus provides an Audio Wizard Software which helps you choose the Audio modes like – Game, Movies or Music or a smart automatic mode. I didn’t find much enhancement in the sound quality in comparison to most other phones.
This is a big deal, and we expect nothing but the best performance from the camera in this range. The camera is impressive for the Zenfone 3 Deluxe but to sum it up short and sweet it lacks the quality of Google Pixel or Samsung S7 Edge.
Although, it is a pretty decent camera and click images quickly and uses a fast auto-focus mechanism. I found a couple of things in my testing – the images appear to be colder than the actual scene with a slightly bluish tint. The low light camera performance is not as excellent as we have seen on some of the other flagship phones.
Let’s Explore some of the shots we captured with the Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe.
Camera Comparison a Close Shot Vs Samsung S7.
Click on the image below to see Full Size Images
Overall there are things left to be desired from the Zenfone 3 Deluxe camera while it can take decent shots in daylight if you get used to the camera.
The night shots can have noise, and it takes a while for the camera to capture the shot. The aperture size becomes wide, but the shutter speed becomes too slow, taking a long time to click the image.
In some instances, I just removed the phone after 1-2 seconds of pressing shoot button, but it was still capturing light and was taking the shot. If you notice the blur on the moving vehicles in above image, it is due to lower shutter speed in that condition.
The 23 Mega Pixel rear camera on paper is a substantial number but in reality is just okay in comparison to some of the modern 12 MP /13 MP camera lens we have tested.
Concluding Thoughts – Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe 256 GB
The Zenfone 3 Deluxe packs the punch with it fantastic camera performance, equally good sound output, above average battery life and stellar performance. The main pillars which make a smartphone worth your time and money.
Unfortunately, the competition has gotten fierce in 2017. The presence of iPhone 7, Samsung S7 Edge, HTC 10, LG V20 and Google Pixel make it difficult for the Zenfone 3 Deluxe to outshine.
All these smartphones are priced closer to the Deluxe and also provide equally excellent performance and great camera and user experience. While the Pixel and HTC 10 shines in the user experience with stock Android and the iPhone 7 is in its league when it comes to the User interface with iOS 10.
Asus needs to work on their user experience and software refinement making it more minimalist for the future updates. It has got vastly improved from older skins to the current version, but there is still a lot of catching up to do if they wish to match or beat the competition.