[REVIEW] ASUS ZenFone 3 Laser - Decent Mid-range Smartphone Sub RM 1,000

12/27/2016 Joshua Wong 0 Comments

ASUS has launched a full line-up ZenFone 3 series, from flagship; ZenFone 3 Deluxe to the budget model; ZenFone 3 Max & ZenFone 3 Laser.

The ZenFone 3 Laser following suit with the other ZenFone 3 ditched the plastic built material and have brushed metal body and much refined build.

Here's a quick unboxing of the ASUS ZenFone 3 Laser;



Specification of ASUS ZenFone 3 Laser

• Qualcomm Snapdragon Octa-core 430
• Adreno 505 GPU
• 5.5-inch Full HD 2.2D curved Corning Gorilla Glass Display
• 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM
• 32GB Onboard Storage
• Hybrid Dual SIM (microSIM + nanoSIM/microSD)
• 13 megapixel PixelMaster 3.0 with Dual-tone LED Flash, f/2.0, Laser AF & 3-axis EIS Rear Camera
• 8 megapixel f/2.0 Front Camera
• Fingerprint Scanner
• Dual 4G, Dual Standby
• 3,000 mAh Battery
• Android 6.0 Marshmallow with ASUS Zen UI 3.0

Design & Built

ASUS has improved all their new ZenFone series devices with brushed metal/glass body and rounded borders. The ZenFone 3 Laser has all metal body on the rear and the front of the device comes with a 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass.

Holding the ZenFone 3 Laser is quite comfortable despite it sports a 5.5-inch display. This is because it has narrow bezel and has a 77% screen-to-body-ratio making it smaller to hold.



On the rear is a 13 megapixel SONY IMX214 camera sensor with laser auto-focus assistant and dual-tone LED flash. Below the camera module is a rectangle fingerprint scanner. There are two antenna lines running on the top and bottom on the rear panel.



The 3.5mm audio jack is present on top along with a microphone.



On the right-side are the power-button and volume rockers, while the Hybrid SIM card slot is no the left.



The ZenFone 3 Laser still having micro USB for charging and data transfer that located on the bottom. Next to it is single bottom firing speaker and microphone.



Display

ZenFone 3 sports a 5.5-inch Full HD resolution IPS display and protected with Corning Gorillas Glass. Like the ZenFone 3 that I reviewed earlier, the color reproduction is good and the much improved brightness levels outdoor usability. Blue filter feature were retained for less eye strains for prolonged viewing.

Performance

It equipped with an Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor and Adreno 505 GPU coupled with 4GB of RAM. It packs with 32GB onboard storage and can further expanded up to 128GB with microSD card.

The ZenFone 3 Laser performs decently on multi-tasking and does faced some lags while playing with some heavy games. During testing, I didn't face any heating issues except for it getting slightly warm when charging and on intense 3D gaming.

The fingerprint sensor on the rear work very fast and accurate. The phone can be unlocked with a fingerprint even when it's in standby which is convenient.

On AnTuTu benchmark tests, the ZenFone 3 scored 43,895 and 24,054 on Quadrant tests which ain't that bad for a mid-range smartphone.

Camera

ZenFone 3 Laser sports a 13 megapixel SONY IMX214 camera sensor with dual-tone LED flash, f/2.0 aperture lens, Laser AF and also 3-axis EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization)

The laser focus is impressively fast and able to take close up shots with no hiccups. The camera interface is easy to use and have a lot modes options like Manual, Super Resolution, HDR Pro, Low Light, Night, Depth-of-Field, GIF Animation, Panorama, Miniature, Slow-mo and much more.



The color reproduction and details are captured well in good lighting condition. The camera does face some visible noises when comes in medium and low lighting.

Video recording was the same, noises when record in poor lighting environment but the footage recorded was quite smooth thanks to the Electronic Image Stabilization.

ZenFone 3 Laser packed with an 8 megapixel f/2.0 aperture camera and able to capture decent selfies. Beautification mode has a lot tweak settings allows you to have perfect selfies; Skin Tone, Blush, Skin Softening, Eyes enhancement and a lot more.

Here are some camera samples taken with ASUS ZenFone 3 Laser's rear camera.

All the photos has been compressed to fit the screen, click on the image for higher resolution
4
Indoor

4
Details

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Portrait with Depth-of-field mode

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Close up

Battery

ZenFone 3 is backed with a 3,000 mAh non-removable battery and during my test, it able to last over a day with almost 4 hours of SOT. The ZenFone 3 Laser doesn't support fast charging and the power brick that comes along with it only provide 5.2V / 1.0A output.



Verdict

There are a lot good sub RM 1,000 smartphone out there and ASUS ZenFone 3 Laser is one of it. It has a good build and display, decent camera and performance. ASUS can actually do better in term of pricing since Xiaomi are able to offer similar specs on the Redmi 3S with much lower price-point.

Like the ASUS ZenFone 3, the biggest drawbacks are no backlit capacity keys, no fast-charging and too much pre-loaded ASUS bloatware apps.

Built - 8.0/10
Display - 8.5/10
Software - 7.0/10
Camera - 7.0/10
Battery - 7.5/10
Value - 7.0/10

Overall - 7.5/10

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