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Asus Zenfone Zoom

Zenfone Zoom is a great performer. It has an Intel Atom Z3580 chipset with a 2.5GHz quad-core CPU, a 4GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage with possible expansion to 128GB.

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Asus has managed an interesting fete. They've given a regular smartphone 3x optical zoom capabilities without having any parts jut out of the device. There have been other phones with a real optical zoom, not just a software zoom that sort of fakes it, but this time the innovativeness is in how a ten-element camera Hoya lens has been fitted into the relatively flat body of the phone. This device is not cheap, at Rs 37,990, and so probably not the best buy for those who are happy with casual photos.

There are two buttons on the lower right edge. One fires up video recording and the other, the camera. The volume button doubles up as the zoom control. The zoom really does do its job though it's sometimes a bit sluggish getting there. The aperture on the 13MP camera is an f2.7. Just for comparison, the camera on the Galaxy S6 series has an f1.9 aperture and now on the S7 this is wider at f1.7. A wider aperture lets in more light. The camera also has OIS, dual flash, and laser auto-focus.

So how does it fare? Pretty nicely, really. It doesn't however match up to the level of the iPhone, the Galaxy S6 and S7, or the Sony Z5. The zoom is impressive but many things feel artificial such as the night mode and lighting up an image. The bokeh or blurring of a background in favour of clarity on a focused object, looks very fake. But it's still an interesting camera if you don't want to pay a lot more for one of the others.

Otherwise, the Zenfone Zoom is a great performer. It has an Intel Atom Z3580 chipset with a 2.5GHz quad-core CPU, a 4GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage with possible expansion to 128GB. The 5.5-inch display is only 1080p and not crisp, but it's usable.


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