Asus Zenfone 3 Laser Review Camera Selfies Gaming Uncovered
Asus Zenfone 3 Laser Review Camera Selfies Gaming Uncovered – Asus Zenfone 3 Laser (ZC551KL) was launched in the market on 12th October 2016 and is priced at Rs. 18,999 ($275). The smartphone is part of the Zenfone 3 series and was unveiled along with the more expensive Asus Zenfone 3.
While the Asus Zenfone 3 comes with a glass and metal design, the Asus Zenfone 3 Laser comes with a pure metal build. The front side of both the Asus Zenfone 3 as well as the Zenfone 3 laser looks the same.
The Asus Zenfone 3 Laser competes with some of the best camera smartphones like the Oppo F1s, Gionee S6s and the Samsung On Nxt in this price range. There are other contenders like Lenovo Z2 Plus and the slightly cheaper Motorola Moto G4 Plus. Check Latest Price for Asus Zenfone 3 Laser.
Lets Check the detailed review to find out how the Zenfone 3 Laser fare against the competition.
We will Cover The Following in the Asus Zenfone 3 Laser Review:
- Build Quality
- Performance – Gaming and Apps
- Benchmark Performance – Geek-benchmark and Antutu
- User Interface and Software
- Rear camera Samples
- Front Camera Selfie Samples
- Battery Life
- Call Quality
- Fingerprint Scanner
- Concluding Thoughts – Major Pros and Cons.
Unlike the Zenfone 2 series the smartphones in Zenfone 3 iteration comes with notable differences in external appearance. A radical and positive change as far as the build quality of the smartphones are concerned.
The Zenfone 3 Laser is a metal clad smartphone with uni-body design. It is not like most of the cheaper smartphones with metal build like the Le 1S or the Redmi 3S Prime, the metal build on those don’t feel as premium as the Zenfone 3 laser. Off course this costs twice as much as those smartphones.
The smartphone comes in matte shades and doesn’t have those CD glare like patterns anywhere. The Gold version which we are reviewing is more like the soft gold color and 2 visible antenna lines at the back. There is a small front camera at the front and ambient light sensor, proximity sensor along with the speaker grill at the top.
The smartphone’s back has an anti-smudge coating, which is a good thing for sweaty hands. While the Zenfone 3 glass back is prone to fingerprints the Zenfone 3 laser, don’t suffer from this.
With its minimal design, the smartphone looks more elegant than the Zenfone 3 Max which I reviewed some days back. Compared to the Oppo F1s which is one of the most good looking devices the Zenfone 3 Laser, holds it’s ground.
We actually don’t like protruding antenna lines which can be seen in most of the Chinese smartphone these days, but the Zenfone 3 laser doesn’t look ugly with its thin, shiny lines which are look better than iphone 6s.
The rear side of the smart phone carries a fingerprint scanner below the camera, which is little elongated so you don’t wana struggle to reach it. Though I would prefer a circular scanner.
The camera is bound by the Laser sensor, and there is a Dual LED flash on other side.
The bottom edge carries a USB port, speaker grills and a Mic. Asus could have given a stereo speaker setup instead of placing a single speaker grill to one side. The bottom of the device is a bit rough, would have liked more polished surface.
The smartphone measures 149*76*7.9 mm, and weighs about 150 grams. The Zenfone 3 feels thin and sleek in hand considering the large display. The rear edges are curved to hide the bulky appearance.
On to the left the device carries a Dual slot for SIM and SD card; you can use 2 Nano SIM cards or a single sim along with micro SD card.
Probably the best part of the Asus Zenfone 3 laser, other than the camera is it’s gorgeous 5.5 inch Full HD (1920*1080) pixels display. It will delight you in terms of color reproduction and contrasts. There is 401 PPI pixel density and the screen to body ratio is decent measuring 77%.
Asus has included an app to make the display warmer or cooler. So user can set the screen temperature at your convenience.
You Need to go to Display >> Screen Color Mode to set the display profile.
The smartphone also comes with a blue light filter, which claims to prevent eyes from harmful blue light. But activating the filter spoils the show by making contents yellowish.
The screen brightness is legible for outdoors and you don’t need to make a shade with your hands while using it under sunlight. On top of the display Gorilla Glass 3 is given with a 2.5D curved finish, ensuring a smooth edge to edge swiping experience.
The Zenfone 3 laser comes with a 64 bit Snapdragon 430 processor clocked at 1.4 GHz, and includes 4GB DDR3 RAM.
The smartphone at most times uses 1.5 GB to 2.0 GB Ram while the remaining stays free. Overall performance while browsing the internet and fiddling through Facebook is very smooth.
The configuration handles multi-tasking well and usually is snappy.
Asus has optimized the software well and there was no issues in general tasks. Though one annoying experience was to transfer files to my PC, it required me install an Asus PC Suite software on PC.
Even after that it was not allowing files to be transferred using USB cable but allowed to do so from Asus smart link (equivalent of Share it).
But you won’t face bottle necks during HD game play. The processor delivers 60 frames per second for smoother gameplay.
Benchmark Performance Antutu
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 and the Adreno 505 GPU was able to score 44158, which is not too high considering there are smartphones in this range which can score over 80,000.
GeekBench Mark Score
Single Core Score – 638
Multi Core Score – 1977
The scores are moderate as was expected from the processor.
We played couple of high end Android Games on the Asus Zenfone 3 Laser to push it to the limit.
Can it handle the Full HD Gaming on high settings?
We played Asphalt 8 on high settings and to our surprise the smartphone offers smooth performance. After playing the game for 15 minutes the smartphone was mildly warm. There is no heating while playing games which is great considering it is a metal phone. Every smartphone will get mildly warm when playing games due to processor and GPU heat, but on this phone it is manageable.
Need for Speed No Limits
The Game play was smooth and the Asus Zenfone 3 Laser handled the game very well. The sound quality from the bottom speaker is also rich and loud to enhance the gaming experience. Heating was minimal and within limits on the device. Overall all good gaming experience and no heating with No limits.
Storage – The phone comes with 32 GB storage space which could be further expandable up to 128 GB with the Micro SD card.
Out of the 32 GB storage space about 8.11 GB is reserved for system and OS files. The remaining 23.89 GB can be used by users.
Asus Zenfone 3 Laser Review Camera Selfies Gaming Uncovered
The Zenfone 3 laser runs on Android marshmallow 6.0 skinned with Asus’s Zen UI 3.0 on top.
The UI comes with some improvements within the eco system, but there’s no big difference in appearance as compared to used on the other Zenfone 3 phones.The Zen UI comes with lot of customization, which allows you to change the icon packs, and themes, a feature that is not present in the stock Android OS.
Some of the paid themes looks interesting though I tried an icon pack with circular icons like the Android Nougat 7.0 which made the UI look cooler than the stock.
You can change the native keyboard and replace with Google Keyboard and also install the custom launchers from playstore.
An app lock is also added to the UI so you don’t need to download a separate app for that. UI is loaded with bloat ware which have little to no use for me. But other users may find some of the Apps useful.
Some of the bloatware included by Asus are Apps like – ZenCircle, ZenSync, Zen talk, Laser ruler, puffin, share link , splendid, Weather, Do It Later, Game Genie, ZenFone Care, and Cover.
The most functional App is the Asus Mobile Manager which helps to save battery, boost performance, free up ram, do the jubk file clean up and manage notifications and security.
The app also includes a speed booster, which is supposed to kill background apps to improve the game play.
The lock screen includes shortcuts for 3 apps, and shows notifications too.
You can even launch the camera straight from the lock screen without unlocking.
The speaker output is loud and rich. Playing games and watching videos with the enhanced sound output offers a good experience.
Sound Enhancement (Audio Wizard) – Apart from usual customization stuffs, the ROM comes with some special features like an Equalizer which could adjust the audio by itself depending on whether you listen to a song, watch movie or game play, there’s another app named game genie prebuilt within and allows you to record or live stream your game play to YouTube.
Asus Claims that the smartphone comes with a NXP Smart AMP technology that delivers a much better sound. There is an outdoor mode also which can amplify sound from the speaker.
The Zenfone 3 laser packs a 13 Megapixel rear camera with F/2.0 aperture size, the camera is enhanced with the Laser Auto focus, and dual LED flash.
Camera opening speed is good, you don’t have to wait for clicking an image. The Autofocus system is quick both for clicking photos as well as recording videos.
The camera’s dual LED flash make sure the color reproduction is original, by flashing lights with two different color temperatures.
And the laser auto focus helps in better low light photography.
The camera app comes with some interesting features, which are little different from regular camera apps.
It includes super resolution, depth of field, GIF mode, panorama, miniature, time rewind slow motion, time lapse etc.
The smartphone’s Auto focus is touted for its fastest lock speed of 0.03 seconds, which is achieved by the Laser sensor assisting the camera, there won’t be any delays while focusing moving objects.
Camera Samples Asus Zenfone 3 Laser
Shot Indoor in Good Amount of light – Image came clear and well detailed.
Clicked indoor with good amount of light – The monitor colors and details are well captured. Usually camera struggle when you click an image of a monitor or a TV.
Selfie Shot Using the Front camera indoor. The 8 MP camera does justice and clicked blur free image.
A Selfie shot outside, in the evening, good details the image softening which usually happens due to beautification mode is quite less.
Lets Try to create a Bokeh with the Rear 13 MP camera. It was able to quickly focus on the subject and do a clean shot.
Some More Shots Clicked by the rear camera.
Moving Subjects captured with the camera to check, How fast it can capture – performance was decent not too much of blur, but there is some.
Overall the camera experience is decent and very close to what we saw on the Asus Zenfone 3, in my assessment it is slightly better than the Moto G4 Plus camera, which is also a very good camera smartphone.
The camera is capable of recording videos in Full HD, and it effectively filters out shakes while recording, thanks to it EIS feature.
I recorded a video on the camera and found it the camera responsive to focus on objects quickly and the video was also less shaky. The front camera of the Zenfone 3 comes with an 8 MP sensor, with beautification mode one can get real time simulation of make up right from the preview.
Which includes modes like face whitening, eye enlargement etc. The front selfie camera is surprisingly good and tend to take clear, noise free images both indoors and outdoors.
The Zenfone 3 laser comes with 3000 mAh non removable battery. The phone easily lasts for a day without any issues (more than my Galaxy S7). And there’s is no unusual battery drains like other custom ROMs. T
The battery is well optimized by Asus and you can easily enhance the battery life by diving into the Mobile Manager App and Choose – Performance, Balanced or the Power Saving Mode.
The Zenfone 3 laser lacks fast charging feature, though the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 has support for it.The steep price tag may look more reasonable if Asus has added this feature. The Asus Zenfone 3 Laser took more than 3 hours to charge the 3000 mAH battery on the slow charger.
There is a long rectangular shaped fingerprint scanner at the back, which initially felt a bit strange to use owing to the unconventional shape.
The fingerprint scanner is quick and does the job. In addition to that you can press and hold to answer incoming calls, double tap to launch the camera , tap on the fingerprint scanner to capture an image when camera app is open.
Nice additions to make life easy. The smartphone comes with Accelerator, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity sensor, Hall sensor, Ambient light sensor, RGB sensor along with the Fingerprint sensor.
Call Quality and 4G Connectivity
No gripes here it worked with the Idea 3G sim and I tried the Vodafone 4G sim on which it worked without any issues.
On the Reliance JIO, I was not able to test the device as the message keep popping up our systems aren’t responding please try again later. I will update it in couple of days how it works with JIO’s ailing network in Mumbai.
The Zenfone 3 Laser has decent performer in a lot of areas, while needs improvement in others. In this price range, we would have liked a better processor to be shipped with the smartphone to make it more perfect.
Major Pros – Excellent rear laser camera set up, Good Front Selfie Camera, premium metal body, and sturdy built quality. Head turning looks, easy to use, fast fingerprint scanner, decent battery life to work all day.
Good Software optimization by Asus, last but not the least the curved 2.5 D glass Full HD display, which is better compared to the Moto G4 Plus and some more similar priced budget smartphones.
Major Cons – Processor and GPU could have been better, a snapdragon 650 or a SD 625 would have made it more desirable. Power users may not like too much of a bloat from Asus and mantra should be to keep it neat and minimalist. Could add up some of the health features and sensors to entice millennial users. Make the native Zen UI more minimalist and a eye candy. Lastly, there are non-lit navigation keys at the front, which is not expected.
Overall the smartphone is gorgeous and can be a good purchase if you are a shutterbug, selfie lover or want to read, watch lots of videos on the beautiful display and are least bothered about pure specs and performance numbers. It can easily handle games and even some of the more graphic intensive titles.
I have been using the Moto G4 Plus for sometime as secondary device, and found the Zenfone 3 laser to be better in some of the aspects like build and feel, overall user experience and even camera performance.
Price is premium and suited to the build quality, price conscious buyers can wait a while as price is the least constant thing in the world of smartphones. And discounts are around the corner to get best value for buck.
Overall Score and Rating
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