Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review- Built For Photography
Not long before, Asus ZenFone 3 series have been published. This time, one sery of Asus ZenFone 3 series- Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL, it is liked by many people. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL is built for photography, it takes 16.0MP rear camera, this phone looks very beautiful. Today, I will tell Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review, you can learn some details about this phone.
Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review: What’s in the box
Asus ZenFone 3 is placed in a rectangular box that (in our case) matches its color – the sapphire black, which sometimes looks as a very, very dark blue. On the top of the lid the model’s name is imprinted in gold. Inside, in the top level compartment you’ll see the device itself, carefully packaged.
The set of accessories includes Asus ZenEar with Mic earphones, a Type-C to USB cable, a SIM-tray ejector pin, some documentation (warranty card and user guide), as well as the 5V/2A charger. The latter is the US NEMA-1 plug standard meaning it has two flat pins and no grounding area. This standard is used in the US, Canada and some Latin American countries, and if you reside elsewhere, you’ll need a plug adapter.
Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review: Specifications
Asus ZenFone 3 is built around a 5.5-inch Super IPS+ display with an FHD resolution and 600 nits brightness. It is protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 with 2.5D curved glass edges and oleophobic coating.
The same glass protects the back. The chassis and frame are made of aluminum alloy. Inside the body ticks a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 MSM8953 chipset with a 2GHz octa-core CPU and an Adreno 506 GPU. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. The SoCs performance is aided by 3/4GB of RAM (LPDDR3, single-channel, 933MHz). Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. The internal storage can be either 32GB, or 64GB. Power is supplied by a 3000 mAh battery with a 5V/2A charger. The model features an advanced camera department. The primary camera is equipped with a 16-megapixel Sony IMX298 Exmor RS sensor with a 1.12 µm pixel size along with a 6-element Largan lens with an f/2.0 aperture.
The latter is protected by a sapphire glass. It employs a TriTeck auto-focus system that focuses in 0.03 seconds and includes laser, PDAF and continuous AF systems. The camera also features OIS and EIS for blur-free photos and videos. The software is also advanced and includes a manual mode along with 19 others. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. The selfie snapper packs a 8-megapixel OmniVision OV8856 CMOS BSI-2 sensor and a 84° wide-angle lens with an f/2.0 aperture. The model supports a wide range of networks, which are market-dependent and include 4G LTE with VoLTE. ZenFone 3 also supports Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, WiFi-Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.2. It is equipped with a 3.5 mm jack and a USB Type-C port. The device runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with ZenUI 3.0 on top, which includes VisualMaster 3.0, SonicMaster 3.0, and PixelMaster 3.0. For the full list of Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL specifications you can check the model’s page.
Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review: Specifications Summary
Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review: Software
Perhaps the achilles heel of the Zenfone 3, the phone still runs a very bloated version of Android 6.0 dubbed as Zen UI 3.0. Right from the lockscreen to the pre-installed apps, there have been customizations all the way through. In a recent conversation with Peter Chang of Asus, we were told that users quite enjoyed this implementation, it’s certainly a little hard to believe though.
The lockscreen shows the time, date, weather and notifications. You can also have three shortcuts placed here while swiping up from the corner reveals the camera module. Drop into the homescreen and you get access to the all the apps and widgets placed here. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. The homescreen can be modified via additional icon packs, themes and more. Additionally, unlike recent devices, you can tap a shortcut on the homescreen to enter the second level app drawer.
Asus has taken upon itself the task of providing users an app for almost every use case possible. From file managers to task lists to even a laser ruler! Removing Google’s apps from the equation, we counted a whopping 26 pre-installed apps. For what it’s worth, a couple of these can be uninstalled. You can disable most of the others but they still do end up occupying space on the phone.
There’s also a full range of gestures and shortcuts built into the device that stretch from double tapping the homescreen to enter one hand mode, long pressing the app switch button to take a screenshot as well as double tapping the fingerprint reader to open up the camera. There’s more strewn all around and they do add to the ease of use. As we said earlier, this is a very heavily customized version of Android but the additions are quite useful for the most part.
For performance and gaming junkies, a Mobile Manager and Game Genie app are built into the device. The former offers some useful features like a permissions manager, data usage tracker and a security manager all in one single place. You can also use it to clear out RAM but that’s not really advised on Android. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. The Game Genie app as the name suggests is designed entirely for hardcore gamers. You can use this app to capture your screen while playing and also live stream to YouTube or Twitch. A very cool feature here is that you can overlay a live video from the front facing camera over the stream from your screen while broadcasting to a social platform.
From an interface perspective, the software on the Zenfone 3 is quite inoffensive and is generally about as good as the competition while offering a couple of additional options. What we didn’t appreciate was the copious amount of bloat pre-installed on the device, something that the average user wouldn’t be able to get rid off.
Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review: Design, build and controls
Asus ZenFone 3 combines glass and metal into one, creating a body that is sculpted with precision and attention to the smallest details. The metal chassis is covered with a 2.5D contoured Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on both the front and rear. The shiny surface of the glass is combined with Zen’s signature concentric-circle hairline finish, creating a fluid, multi-dimensional look. The glass panels on both sides finish in 40-degree diamond-cut chamfered edges that are 0.88 mm wide. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. The body is graced by a 5.5-inch FHD display with 2.1 mm thin bezels. It accounts to 77.3% screen-to-body ratio, meaning 77.3% of the total front surface of the device is taken by the display. The precision goes even further by creating a 0.37 mm bevel framing the fingerprint sensor and a 0.18 mm ring around the rear camera. The rounded aluminum frame between the two edges is only 6.16 mm thin and the overall depth of the device is 7.69 mm. More importantly, following Zen’s philosophy, all parts of the body stick and feel like being one, which brings aesthetic and tactile pleasure. While the device is well-below average 5.5-inch smartphones in terms of thickness, its width and height fall within average limits and measure 77.38 and 152.59 mm, respectively. At the same time with its weight of 155 grams, Asus ZenFone 3 is one of the lightest smartphones with a 5.5-inch display and a 3000 mAh battery. We are reviewing a sapphire black unit. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. Exquisite build and looks don’t remain unnoticed. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. The model has won the d&i Award at Computex 2016 (iF certificate) and this month it has received the Good Design Award 2016 by the Japan Institute for Design Promotion. Along with Reddot awards, these two form the top three most important awards for design in the industry. It is available in four beautiful colors: Sapphire Black, Moonlight White, Shimmer Gold, Aqua Blue.
The layout of controls is pretty classic. The top frame of the device is where you’ll see a 3.5 mm jack and a microphone hole. The bottom frame houses a microphone hole, USB Type-C port and a speaker grille. The left frame is where the dual-SIM card tray is placed, while the volume and power buttons are on the right frame. On the back of the smartphone you’ll see the laser module to the left of the camera and the dual-tone LED flash to its right. Below the camera is the fingerprint sensor, which has an unusual rectangular shape and a 0.37 mm bevel. Above the display, on the front, from left to right, are positioned the LED notification light, earpiece, light and proximity sensors, front-facing camera. Below the display there’s a capacitive navigation bar containing a back, home and menu button. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. They are not backlit, but made of a shiny material visible at all times. The Asus logo is at the lower end of the back. The display has an oleophobic coating, but it actually does not prevent entirely from smudges.
Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review: Display
Asus ZenFone 3 is adorned by a 5.5-inch Super IPS+ display. It is protected by a 2.5D contoured Corning Gorilla Glass 3, the same protects the back of the device. The 10-finger capacitive touch display panel has a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels, peak brightness of around 600 cd/m², 178˚ wide-viewing angles. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. Asus shares that the display has 60 ms response time, while competitor devices have 80-100 ms response time. The display hardware is supported by Asus VisualMaster 3.0 – a suite of visual enhancement technologies, which includes Asus Tru2Life+, Color Gamut Display and Bluelight filter.The bezels are 2.1 mm thin. The display has a fingerprint and smudge-resistant oleophobic coating, supports glove touch and employs a blue light filter for eye care. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. The Tru2Life+ technology is actually created for 4K UHD TVs. It optimizes every pixel to provide better contrast and sharpness, and employs motion-estimation and motion-compensation (MEMC) algorithms for blur-free videos.
Indeed, the peak brightness of our review unit of ZenFone 3 is 615 cd/sq.m. and the smartphone is perfect for outdoor viewing without any doubt. The only other smartphone that we have reviewed and has a similar peak brightness is the Elephone S3. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. White and black values proportionally decrease with the decreasing of the brightness level from 100% to 0%, hence the contrast ratio remains almost one and the same at all brightness levels – 1235-1270:1, which is a sign of a quality display unit. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. Another indicator for this is the stable temperature of the white dot. Besides varying only a little at all brightness levels, it is also within the normal range for a smartphone display – around the 7700 K mark. In case you want to tweak your display, you can use the Splendid app or Settings>Display, both open one and the same options, including a color temperature bar, choice of color modes (balanced and vivid), a customized mode, in which you can change the hue and saturation, as well the Bluelight filter bar, which disables the color temperature one.
The display panel of Asus ZenFone 3 has a traditional striped sub-pixel geometry. By default, the device employs the balanced display color mode and under it the CIE diagram shows a standard gamut coverage, which is close to the sRGB one with slight deviations in the blue, green and red areas. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. It remains almost unchanged (the color gamut does not expand further) even if you change it to vivid color mode. Viewing angles are specified as being 178-degre ones, and though colors are excellently preserved, there is a certain loss in brightness, when the device is looked at from aside.
Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review: Audio
ZenUI does not offer a special music player. It utilizes Google’s default one, which besides several tools for arranging and playing files, offers nothing else. However, there’s a special app called AudioWizard 3.0 (powered by ICEpower) part of Asus SonicMaster 3.0 technology – a combination of optimized software and hardware for improved audio performance. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. It contains 6 pre-set audio profiles. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. The Smart one is witched on by default and cannot be altered. The Outdoor one cannot be changed, either, however, the other four profiles can be edited. They include Movie, Gaming, Music, and Vocal. For each you can adjust the volume, bass, treble, switch on/off dialog enhancement and set equalizer properties (it is flat for all profiles by default).
ZenFone 3 takes a new audio chamber powered by Smart AMP, which increases the sound pressure level to 94.5dB SPL, lowers the resonance frequency and reduces bass total harmonic distortion. There’s a dual internal mic with ASUS NoiseZero Talk Technology and, of course, the company’s signature 5-magnet speaker, which has been introduced with the ZenFone 2 and is driven by a powerful NXP Smart AMP. However, the new one is 20% louder, extends low frequencies by 17% and produces 42% fewer distortions when the bass is increased. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. According to specifications, the device is able to play back 192kHz/24-bit audio that is 4 times better than CD quality. Subjectively speaking, the sound through headphones and from the speaker, does come out very good.Actually, this is the first smartphone we’ve tested with a result lower than Very good. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. At the same time noise levels are Excellent, which is a very rare quality. However, we have detected a frequency boost at 3kHz, which to our opinion is made on purpose, but we could not find a way to disable it, so it rates as Poor, influencing the overall result of the device to be Good. THD + Noise is rated as Average and the rest of the parameters are very good. We do our audio test by using the TASCAM US-2×2 audio interface and the RightMark Audio Analyzer software.
Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review: Networks, calls and connectivity
Asus ZenFone 3 features a dual-SIM card tray with 4G/3G support. It can house either two SIM cards (micro- and nano-), or a micro-SIM card and a microSD card (up to 2TB) for additional storage, when needed. Network-support is market-dependent. Download 4G speeds are Cat. 7 ones (up to 300Mbps), VoLTE is supported as well. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. Reception and call quality have been excellent at all times during our test period. The model also provides extensive wireless connectivity options, including Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Hostpot, Wi-Fi Direct, and Bluetooth 4.2. The device works with 2G GSM (850, 900, 180, 1900 MHz), 2.5G CDMA 800 MHz, 3G TD-SCDMA (1880-1920 and 2010-2025 MHz), 3G UMTS (800, 850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz), 4G FDD-LTE (700, 850, 900, 1800, 1900, 1700/2100, 2100, 2600 MHz) and 4G TDD-LTE (1900, 2300, 2500, 2600 MHz) networks. They work like a charm. The device packs a USB Type-C port and supports GPS, Glonass and BeiDou, and during our test, it managed to detect a good number of satellites from all three systems with excellent accuracy.
Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review: Performance
Asus ZenFone 3’s hardware is based on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 MSM8953 chipset. It includes a 2GHz octa-core CPU and an Adreno 506 GPU. The system-on-chip is made following the 14nm FinFETs process and its goal is to provide a balance between performance and power efficiency. In fact, it provides 35% improvement in power efficiency compared to its predecessor – the Snapdragon 617. At the same time the Adreno 506 GPU supports the latest APIs, including both DirectX 12 and OpenGL 3.1, which means you should not experience gaming issues, unless you run very heavy graphics. Actually, ZenFone 3, together with Samsung Galaxy C7 is one of the first smartphones to employ this SoC from earlier this year. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. The device managed to score 62586 points in AnTuTu, a result, which is very good having in mind that Xiaomi Mi Max and Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro score more than 70000 points and are based on a Snapdragon 650 MSM8956 chipset. Moreover, if you compare the PCMark Work performance results, the ZenFone 3 outperforms both Mi Max and the Redmi Note 3 Pro.
The model has two variants in terms of RAM and storage. The first is with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. We are reviewing the second variant with 4GB of single-channel, LPDDR3 RAM clocked at 933MHz and 64GB of eMMC storage, expandable with up to 2TB. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. Asus also offers 2 years of free 100GB Google Drive space. The RAM is generous enough and despite being of an older generation, it manages in helping the device run swiftly and smoothly. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. The storage also performs excellently, according to both the PCMark Storage and Androbench tests. As long as it concerns the on-board sensors, the ZenFone is equipped with an accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroscope, gravity sensor, step counter and motion detector, light and proximity sensor. On the back, below the camera module is placed a fingerprint sensor made by FPC. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. Its structure is as follows: FPC + sensor IC + diamond cut + smooth coating. It provides 360-degree recognition and can store up to 5 IDs. Adding and managing fingerprint ID(s) is very easy and besides for unlocking the device, you can use them for authorizing purchases, answering a call, snapping photos or just launching the camera app. The module is very sensitive and unlocking is extremely fast even from a switched-off screen.
Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review: Cameras
The camera department is ZenFone’s series main selling point. ZenFone 3 arrives with the latest PixelMaster 3.0 technology, which in its essence is a combination of advanced hardware and optimized software fro DSLR-like shooting experience. The camera application is strongly modified to suite the camera’s advanced capabilities. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. The Manual mode lets you adjust the focus, shutter speed, ISO, exposure value (you can even achieve 32 seconds long exposure), and white balance. It also contains a Histogram feature, which can help you determine the correct exposure for your photos. The Super Resolution mode burst captures five 16-megapixel photos and combines them to create one photo with the equivalent resolution of up to 64MP. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. The Depth of Field is created if you want to achieve beautiful bokeh effect on your photos, while shooting close-up objects. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. The home screen of the app contains a shutter button, a video recording button to its left and a shortcut to the manual mode on its right. There’s a shortcut to the list with photos and to the one with various modes. PixelMaster 3.0 includes 20 different shooting modes – Auto, Manual, Beautification, HDR Pro, Super Resolution, Children, Low Light, QR Code, Night, Depth of Field, Effect, Selfie, GIF Animation, Panorama, Miniature, Time Rewind, Smart Remove, All Smiles, Slow Motion and Time Laps. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. The Low Light mode increases light sensitivity by up to 400%, using pixel-merging technology to merge four adjacent pixels into one. The Smart Remove removes unwanted moving objects from the background. Children mode plays fun tunes to grab your kids’ attention and once detected it manages to snap a photo in mere seconds.
From the home screen of the Camera app you can also choose a preferred flash and HDR mode as well as directly access the camera settings, which are quite extensive, too. The settings for the rear and front camera differ slightly and include options for both shooting photos and videos. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. For example, you can further optimize the photo by selecting a manual mode, which gives you access to changing the contrast, saturation, sharpness, noise reduction, backlight and detail optimization. You can also change the metering and focus modes, change the white balance and exposure values for videos, too. The two cameras have a Beautification mode, which includes skin tone adjustment, cheeks slimming, eyes enlargement, makeup, blush effect, etc.
There are also plenty of editing options after you take a photo. There’s an additional beautification mode, a shortcut to a rotate function, while the list with editing options includes a choice of filters and stickers, cropping, straightening, and otherwise adjusting the photo as well as tweaking the autocolor, exposure, vignette, contrast, etc. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review You can share any via all available apps on the phone, even send it to a paired device like a TV, for example. There’s a spacial information shade about every photo, containing data about its properties.
Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review: Primary camera
Asus ZenFone 3 is “built for photography” and indeed, its camera department is feature-packed. For starters, the primary shooter is equipped with a 16-megapixel Sony IMX298 Exmor RS sensor with a 1.12 µm pixel size along with a 6-element Largan lens with an f/2.0 aperture. The latter is protected by a sapphire glass. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. More importantly, the camera employs a subject-tracking TriTech auto-focus. It includes a 2nd generation laser AF system, an advanced phase-detection AF system, and a continuous AF one for movement tracking. Furthermore, the camera boasts optical image stabilization (OIS) and electronic image stabilization (EIS) for blur-free photos and videos, respectively. More specifically, the OIS functions across all four axis and is aided by an 8-direction OIS compensation and 4 stops OIS stabilization. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. At the same time, the EIS functions across thee axis and includes 6-direction EIS compensation.
This advanced stabilization system will allow you to use very low shutter speeds in low light conditions and still make good photos, which is otherwise impossible. Another important feature of the ZenFone 3 camera is its excellent color reproduction. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. It combines a deep trench isolation technology (DTI) with a color correction sensor and low-light enhanced ISP. DTI prevents photons of light from leaking from one pixel on the sensor to another, meaning details and definition will be better. The color correction sensor detects unusually-lit subjects and makes them look natural in the photo. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. You can also enjoy several advanced functions, mentioned above, such as the HDR Pro with real-time preview feature and Super Resolution, for example. Finally, the dual-LED Real Tone flash provides a very natural illumination for more realistic photos. The camera makes photos with a resolution of 4656 x 3492 pixels and shoots 4K videos at 30 fps. For the latter it applies High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) to keep your 4K UHD file sizes to a minimum without sacrificing quality. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. Other smartphone that we have reviewed and have the same Sony IMX298 sensor are the Xiaomi Mi 5 Standard Edition, OnePlus 3, and nubia Z11.
Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review: Secondary camera
Asus ZenFone 3 features an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, equipped with an OmniVision OV8856 CMOS BSI-2 sensor and a 84° wide-angle lens with an f/2.0 aperture. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. It makes photos with a resolution of 3264 x 2448 pixels and can capture FHD videos at 30 fps. Other smartphones that we have reviewed and have the same sensor for their front camera are the ZTE Axon 7 and the Zopo Speed 8.
Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review: Battery
As mentioned earlier, Asus ZenFone 3 has a special app called Mobile Manager. It contains many tools for optimizing the performance of the smartphone and one of them is the Power saver. It contains a scanner, shortcuts to main functions that consume power, several pre-set battery saving profiles and two smart switch toggles for additional convenience. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. You can run the scanner at any time and it will come up with suggestions what can be optimized, so the device could save more power. The pre-set battery saving profiles include Performance, Normal, Power saving, Super saving, and Customized. You can change the settings only of the Customized mode and these the brightness and networks options. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. The Power saver can be accessed from the Power Management settings as well. It also provides you with an option to auto-start the manager. Of course, you also get the standard Battery monitor with shortcuts to the Power saver and the Battery optimization.
Asus ZenFone 3 is equipped with a 3000 mAh Li-Ion, non-removable battery, coupled with a 5V/2A charger. The latter is the US plug standard, so you’ll need a plug adapter if you live outside the US, Canada and some Latin America countries. The graph below demonstrates the time, needed for the battery to charge in full from 0% to 100% (the yellow line). Our review unit needed almost 2 hours to charge completely. It started charging rapidly right from the start and 50% of the charge were reached in 35 minutes. Another 17 minutes were needed to reach 70% of the charge, when the speed started slowing down. Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review. The next 10% to 80% needed 13 minutes and the charging speed slowed down even more. The last 20% to 100% needed 55 minutes. The red line in the chart depicts the battery temperature during charging. When the process started, the temperature was 28°C and gradually increased to 36°C. At 70% of charge it started decreasing and reached 25°C at the end of the process.
In addition, ZenFone 3 showed some serious battery stamina during our test period and the PCMark Work battery life test, which showed almost 10 hours (9 hours and 52 minutes to be exact). This is an excellent result for a smartphone with an FHD 5.5-inch display and a 3000 mAh battery. As usual, the test has been performed with the display’s brightness calibrated at 200 nits as per Futuremark’s recommendations.
Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL Review: Price
About Asus ZenFone 3 ZE552KL price, we have found this phone in Fastcardtech, sale Only US$ 338.10 Free Shipping. The appearance looks very beautiful, and processor is excellent. Which always provides cheap and valued phones.