The Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom is a smartphone with a 5.5 inch full HD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. But the most interesting feature is the camera system: as the name suggests, the Zenfone 3 Zoom has an optical zoom feature thanks to the dual cameras on the back of the phone.
Like the iPhone 7 Plus, the Zenfone 3 Zoom has one telephoto lens and one “normal” lens, that allows you to snap a regular picture or one that features 2.3 x optical zoom.
The rear cameras have 59mm and 25mm lenses, and in addition to using them for optical zoom functionality, you can also use the two cameras for bokeh-style depth effects (where the background of an image is blurred to better accentuate items on the foreground).
Other features include a USB 2.0 Type-C port, a microSDXC card slot, dual SIM support, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The phone has a 5,000 mAh battery and supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2, has a 13MP front-facing camera, and should support AT&T or T-Mobile’s wireless networks in the US.
The $330 list price for a factory unlocked phone makes the Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom quite a bit more affordable than Apple’s dual-camera phone. But Apple isn’t the only competition: there’s a growing number of dual-camera smartphones on the market, and one strike against the Asus model? It ships with Android 6.0 software instead of Google’s newer Android 7.0.
Of course there is a cheaper way to get a smartphone with optical zoom: the original Asus Zenfone Zoom with a 3X optical zoom lens, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and an Intel Atom Z3580 processor is selling for just $199… but despite the 3X zoom, the phone’s camera gets mediocre reviews for actual image quality.