ASUS ZenFone 2 was all about the impressive 4 GB RAM quantity it had last year, but the ZenFone 3 wants to be so much more. Part of a range that includes the first Snapdragon 821 handset to go mainstream, the ZenFone 3 Deluxe, a big phablet, the ZenFone 3 Ultra and the battery phone ZenFone 3 Max, it’s the ZenFone 3 that gives this series its name, so it’s a central character in a new and appealing story. We unboxed it below, in the 5.2 inch ZE520KL version, that should set you back $300, or $400 tops.
There are two versions of the ZenFone 3, one with a 5.2 inch screen and one with a 5.5 incher and we’re playing with the first. Announced at the end of May, the product stands out from the predecessor with the aid of two glass panels (2.5D), at the front and back. Inside the box we find the USB Type C cable, headphones looking like those from the previous gen models and plugs for them, as well as a 5V/2A charger, manual and metal key.
The key is used to access the two SIM slots and you should know that even the 5.2 inch version of the ZenFone 3 has two sub versions, one with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage and one with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. The device has a slim metal frame, with a 7.69 mm thickness and it weighs only 144 grams. It opts for a Full HD IPS screen with Blue Light Filter option and also brings a main 16 megapixel camera, with goodies like OIS, 4K video capture and laser focus.
The selfie shooter is an 8 MP unit, by the way and the battery is a 2650 mAh unit, that goes to 3000 mAh for the 5.5 inch model. The handset runs Android Marshmallow with Zen UI 3.0 on top and certainly looks like a real flagship and an evolution from last year’s ZenFone 2. One may argue that the ZenFone 3 Deluxe looks better, but I actually prefer this one, glass smudges and all.
We’ll be back with a full review soon. The updated price is here.