Focusing is a snap with the Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe

The phone has powerful specs but has the same issue as many other Asus products - bloatware.
The phone has powerful specs but has the same issue as many other Asus products - bloatware.PHOTO: ASUS

The Asus Zenfone 3 was released in three configurations - regular, Ultra and Deluxe - with the Deluxe edition the most specced out.

In Singapore, you can select from either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor or the more affordable 820.

Both come with 6GB of RAM, which is quite a bit more than the usual 3GB or 4GB that most flagship phones come with nowadays.

It has a 23-megapixel rear camera with both optical and electronic image stabilisation, as well as three kinds of focusing - laser, phase detection and continuous - and the software to choose the right type for each occasion.

The Deluxe looks quite different from the regular Zenfone 3 model, as its metal front is etched with concentric circular rings, giving it a distinctive shine under the light.

The button placement of both phones is the same: volume rocker and power button towards the top of the right edge, soft keys at the bottom, and a fingerprint sensor at the rear.


Using the Deluxe was a smooth experience overall, and ZenUI was easy to navigate, with the icons and menu options well spaced out.

The Deluxe's camera is also very quick, both to start up and to focus. Moving the phone around, I found that the objects I tapped on snapped into sharpness very quickly.

However, there were a few times when the focus consistently refused to lock in, although the object I clicked on was about a metre away.

I also found that the phone's soft keys are not the most responsive. About 20 per cent of the time I found myself having to hit the button twice before a touch registered.

While the phone has powerful specs and a reasonable interface, the Deluxe unfortunately suffers from the same issue as many other Asus products - bloatware.

It comes pre-loaded with apps such as TripAdvisor and Lazada, and shortcuts to games like SimCity BuildIt.

Users will also get a constant stream of notifications from Asus apps like ZenCircle and ZenUI Themes. Once you manage to uninstall or quell those noisy apps, the Zenfone 3 Deluxe is a lot more pleasant to use.

Lisabel Ting


PRICE: $998 (Qualcomm Snapdragon 820) or $1,188 (Qualcomm Snapdragon 821)

PROCESSOR: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 or Qualcomm Snapdragon 821

DISPLAY: 5.7-inch full HD display


CAMERA: 23-megapixel, f/2.0, laser/phase detection autofocus (rear), 8-megapixel (front)

MEMORY: 6GB of RAM and up to 256GB of internal storage

BATTERY: 3,000 mAh








A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 16, 2016, with the headline 'Focusing is a snap with the Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe'. Subscribe