Asus today unveiled the Zenfone 3 lineup at Computex 2016. This trio of phones are a significant step up from the previous generation in terms of design and specifications. Split into three variants, it’s not easy to make out the hierarchy of these devices and that’s what we hope to help you with.
It is worth noting that Asus’s switch to Qualcomm from Intel might be because of Intel killing off the future of its mobile processor lineup. Being powered by Intel was one of the Zenfone series’ unique aspects and it looks like the future of this series lies with Qualcomm now. This might be disheartening to Intel fans as Asus was the vanguard of Intel on phones.
The Zenfone 3 is not the direct successor to yesteryear’s flagship like the name would suggest. It is instead a mid-range device with the looks of a true premium product. This can be seen in its glass back and metallic frame. The front is more modest, with a 5.5 inches FHD IPS screen though the promised 77.3% screen-to-body ratio is certainly impressive. It is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, packing 8 cores, clocked at 2 GHz each. Depending upon the storage variant you pick, you get 3 GB of RAM (32 GB storage) or 4 GB RAM (64 GB storage). The storage can be expanded to 128 GB with the hybrid dual SIM card slot.
The 16 megapixels primary camera comes with laser autofocus and is complemented by the 8 megapixels secondary camera. The 3,000 mAh battery is non-removable. The USB 2.0 Type C port and a rear placed fingerprint scanner complete the package. The phone will be available in blue, black, gold and white.
The Zenfone 3 Deluxe is the actual flagship offering and it makes sure to look the part. With a metallic unibody that boasts invisible antenna design, a first for a full-metal smartphone, the Deluxe is a stunner. The 5.7 inches FHD Super AMOLED screen claims a very impressive 79% screen-to-body ratio. Powered by the Snapdragon 820, it is in the same league as other flagships of 2016. Like the Zenfone 3, the amount of RAM you get depends on your storage variant. There are three of these: 64 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB. The RAM variants are 4 GB and 6 GB though it isn’t clear which storage variant gets how much RAM. The microSD expandability is still applicable.
The camera setup consists of a 23 megapixels primary camera with a number of focusing features and OIS along with an 8 megapixels secondary camera. The 3,000 mAh battery is non-removable. The USB 3.0 Type C port supports Quick Charge 3.0. the fingerprint scanner is located below the primary camera, on the rear. The phone will be available in gray, silver and gold.
The Zenfone 3 Ultra pushes the limits of what can be labeled a phablet. This is a media consumption device and the 6.8 inches FHD IPS screen is the heart of it. It shares the Deluxe’s metallic design. The SoC powering this lies between the one powering the regular and deluxe variants: a Snapdragon 652 that comes with Adreno 510. Storage variants range from 32 GB to 64 GB to 128 GB while the RAM varies with the storage variant, from 3 GB to 4 GB. MicroSD expandability is supported up to 200 GB.
The camera setup is identical to the Deluxe. The much larger size permitted a much larger battery: 4,600 mAh. The USB 3.0 Type C port supports Quick Charge 3.0 and the phone can double up as a power bank, with an output of 1.5A. the fingerprint sensor is smartly placed on the front as accessing a rear placed one wouldn’t be easy on a phone this large. It’ll be available in gray, silver and pink.
All these devices will ship with Android Marshmallow though they’ll also sport Asus’s custom Zen UI 3.0 skin on top of it. The pricing is what makes that phones even more appealing. The Zenfone 3 starts from $249, the Zenfone 3 Deluxe starts from $499 and the Zenfone 3 Ultra starts from $479. Availability hasn’t been announced yet though.
We’ll keep you posted on any further news. Share what you think below.