The idea of DSLR quality images on a smartphone is something that has been tried a few times in the past. The latest product to go down this road is the ASUS ZenFone Zoom, an Android phone packing a 13MP PixelMaster camera with built-in Optical Image Stabilization and 3X Optical Zoom. That's right, Optical Zoom. Let's go ahead and unbox the Zoom and See The World Up Close.
The Zoom came to me in a huge box. Inside of it sits a box containing the Zoom, a smaller box containing Zencredible cards, and next to that is Zenny, ASUS's company mascot for the ZenFone line. The Zencredible box is sort of interesting because inside are a selection of white and black cards, which when matched together gives you a scenario for you to take an image of Zenny, the mascot, and share it to social media.
Now over to the Zoom. Once we lift up the top, you are presented with the ZenFone Zoom itself which at first pick up, feels really beefy and well-built. It definitely reminds me of a Lumia 1020 but the material on the back is definitely full of texture, kind of like the Galaxy Note 4. If you're looking at the Zoom from the front, you can easily mistake it for a ZenFone 2 because it looks absolutely identical.
Also in the box is a little accessory wrist strap, the same thing that comes to cameras, which is nice if you're going to use this as a standalone camera. Beneath that are a bunch of user manuals, the charger, and a pair of earphones and little inserts to fit all of your ear shapes.
While the camera is the main event here, the Zoom is packed with some pretty good specs. It has a quad-core 2.3GHz Intel Atom processor with a PowerVR GPU, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. It also has a microSD card slot for even more storage for all the photos and videos. Up front, we have a 5.5-inch 1080p IPS LCD panel and inside, a 3000mAh battery. If you flip this to the back, you do see the main story: a 13MP camera with HOYA lens. It also features laser auto-focus and if you continue reading, you'll find the Zoom has 3X Optical Zoom. You can also manage ultra close macros at only 5cm away, which is a little less than 2 inches for European people. Also found on the camera are physical camera buttons including a shutter button and volume buttons labeled W for wide and T for telephoto. We also find a little record button for your 1080p video.
One of the impressive things about this phone and camera is the slimness of it all. Unlike things like the Galaxy Camera, which had to pack an entire lens which poked out while you're using it, the Zoom packs everything internally. There is no lens breathing to speak of, which basically means the lens doesn't have to physically move to zoom.
So that's been a brief look at the ASUS ZenFone Zoom.