With the third generation of Zenfone lineup Smartphones, Asus is making their shift from budget-oriented to premium mid-ranger Smartphones very clear. The latest of the Asus Zenfone 3 series is the Zenfone 3 Laser which is a camera-centric Smartphone.
As we have recently got the chance to actually get around with the Zenfone 3 Laser, today we bring you with a review of the Asus Zenfone 3 Laser, touching all the important aspects of the Smartphone.
Before we begin, let us storm through the important hardware specifications of the Asus Zenfone 3 Laser.
Asus Zenfone 3 Laser Specifications
- 5.5inch IPS LCD display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection
- 1080x1920pixel Full-HD resolution display with 401PPI
- Snapdragon 430 chipset clocked at 1.4GHz
- 4GB RAM
- 64GB internal storage
- Storage expansion support up to 256GB
- Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow version with Asus ZenUI 3.0 interface
- 13MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture. Features include laser autofocus and Dual-LED flash
- 8MP f/2.0 aperture selfie shooter
- Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner
- 3000mAh non-removable battery
Hardware and Build Quality
The Asus Zenfone 3 Laser follows the footprint of its other siblings under the Zenfone 3 lineup with its premium-looking high-quality metal built.
The front portion of the Asus Zenfone 3 Laser houses the array of sensors and the selfie shooter above the display along with the capacitive navigation keys to the bottom of the display which are not back-lit.
The rear of the device houses the fingerprint scanner atop which lies the primary camera with its laser autofocus module and a Dual-LED flash module on its either sides. There is also an Asus branding to the bottom of the rear part. The left top end of the device will give you access to the Dual-SIM card tray which also extends as a MicroSD card slot if you sacrifice an SIM-slot. The Power and Volume keys are to the right of the device, whereas the bottom features the USB 2.0 port for charging and syncing along with a microphone and a mono loudspeaker.
The Power and Volume keys are to the right of the device, whereas the bottom features the USB 2.0 port for charging and syncing along with a microphone and a mono loudspeaker. Overall, the design and built quality of the Asus Zenfone 3 Laser screams quality and precision.
The 5.5inch Full-HD display on the Asus Zenfone 3 Laser offers vibrant colors and great outdoor visibility. You can also manually adjust the color temperature of the display using the Asus Splendid application.
Despite its size, single-handed usability is somewhat not a pain on the Zenfone 3 Laser. The display is really good for tasks such as watching videos, playing games or even normal multitasking.
Performance and Gaming
The Zenfone 3 Laser is powered by a Snapdragon 430 chipset and depending on the storage variant you choose, you will be getting 4GB RAM.
No matter which variant you opt for, the performance is average on the Asus Zenfone 3 Laser. The device can handle basic tasks ranging from multitasking to gaming. But the performance is just average and you can’t expect more from a Snapdragon 430 chipset.
Talking about gaming, in our testing the Zenfone 3 Laser was able to run all the current gen graphic intense games. However, we have seen framedrops and lags while heavy graphics intense games like Asphalt 8 Airborne, Modern Combat 5.
The camera application launches very fast, no matter whether you are opening it from the home screen or the lock screen. The camera interface is quite easy to navigate and get used to. The modes and settings in the default camera application include HDR Pro, Low-Light, Manual Mode, Beautification, Night, Super Resolution, Slow Motion, Time Lapse, Selfie, GIF Animation and Depth of Field.
Even as the name suggests, Asus does make a great deal out of the laser autofocus feature in this camera and claims to have a 0.03 second focus time. In our practical review use, we did find that camera focuses real quick even when there is a lot happening.
Talking about the camera performance of the Zenfone 3 Laser, the output from the camera is very impressive with a good level of details and awesome color reproduction. But in the low-light, the camera struggles a lot. The pictures taken in low light are grainy and noisy. But considering the price segment, we can bear it.
The front-facing selfie shooter clicks decent selfies in good lighting condition. Once you shift to the front camera lens from the default application, the Beautification mode is set ON by default. If you are not a fan of this feature you can opt to disable it whenever you want to.
Software and UI
The Asus Zenfone 3 Laser runs on Android version 6.0.1 Marshmallow out of the box and on top, the Asus ZenUi v3.0 is featured. The custom ZenUI v3.0 gives a colorful and good-looking interface to play with and also features several customization options as well.
There is also an Asus Theme Store which features several wallpapers and custom themes across genres to help give your device an even more unique look.
Battery and Sound
The device houses a massive 3000mAh non-removable battery. Thanks to its size, the device can easily last over a day on battery backup with moderate usage. One bummer is that the device does not support fast-charging and topping up the battery to 100 percent will take some time actually around 3 hours to be precise. But once charged up, you can comfortably take this device on a long road trip without the need to worry about charging.
The sound output from the mono bottom-facing speakers of the Asus Zenfone 3 Laser is average, and the speaker grill can easily be covered while watching videos or gaming. The call clarity is good and legible enough.
As the name suggests, the Asus Zenfone 3 Laser is primarily a Smartphone that focusses on its camera performance. That said, the performance of the device does not lag behind either. The device is good for all your day-to-day tasks including multitasking, gaming, and web browsing. And thanks to the massive battery, you can enjoy all the features of the Asus Zenfone 3 Laser without worrying about having a charger beside you always. But there are other smartphones like Coolpad Cool 1 at the same price segment which easily outranks Zenfone 3 Laser.