Asus zenfone 3 ze552kl

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The original ZenFone would be two years old this month, but I doubt many of them are still in use. It was highly anticipated before release, và widely panned shortly thereafter. I have friends who bought the first generation ZenFone, and the issues were obvious right from the start: the battery couldn"t last half a day, the UI was clumsy và unresponsive, it got so hot you could barely hold it, & the build quality and design really weren"t up lớn par.

A lot has changed in the last two years. The ZenFone 2 was well-received by our team và continues to lớn be a good buy for the price. But hãng asus has been hard at work, và I am happy to tell you that today, the ZenFone 3is getting me that much closer to điện thoại thông minh Nirvana: a good phone,and it"s cheap. Doesn"t look too bad, either.



There are a lot of models to choose from in the new hãng asus ZenFone lineup. Six, actually; or seven, if you count the ZenPad 3.The mid-range "vanilla" ZenFone 3hit the shelves in Taiwana couple of days ago, và I picked one upto replace my aging Sony Xperia ZL. I was torn between the 5.2" ZE520KL và the 5.5" ZE552KL, but eventually decided on paying the extra $60 and I"m glad that I did. Let me cut right lớn the chase: everything that was wrong with the ZenFone 2 tia laze from our previous nhận xét has been fixed with the ZenFone 3, and then some. Well, almost everything: the software bloat remains.


Model ZE520KL vs.ZE552KL
Size 5.2" (146.9 x 74 x 7.7mm, 144g) vs. 5.5" (152.6 x 77.4 x 7.7mm, 155g)
Display 1920x1080 Super IPS+, Gorilla Glass 3
Processor 8-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625
Battery Life This was the same with the ZenFone 2 Laser, and apparently asus has made some huge strides since the original ZenFone. Battery life is great. I"ll have no problem going all day, & I use my phone a lot. It took about 90 minutes lớn go from 4% to lớn 97% charge.
ZenUI I almost never lượt thích skins, but the new ZenUI is not bad at all. It has some quirks, but overall very clean.
Camera The picture unique is pretty good, even in the low light scenes, và the camera ứng dụng has just about every manual feature I could want. It probably can"t compete with the Galaxy S7, but then again, the S7 can"t even come close on price. Oh, and it shoots in 4K.
Screen It"s bright. Very bright. Clearly visible in broad daylight, unless the screen is pointed directly at the sun.
Price Yet again, asus has put out a great bang-for-your-buck device. $250 for the 5" version, & around $310 for this 5.5" ZE552KL -a great price for a very solid phone.

Capacitive keys Granted, these are not unique to ASUS, but coming from Sony (soft keys FTW), I am not a fan. I like to have that extra bottom bezel khổng lồ hold the device with my thumb. Also, there"s no backlight, so they are impossible to see in the dark. (Yeah, I know, there are only 3 and they"re pretty easy khổng lồ remember, but a backlight would be nice - doesn"t Taiwan overproduce LEDs anyway?)
Glass back Why? Just why? và why does this seem to be so popular these days from many different manufacturers? It looks good; not great. It gets smudged khổng lồ hell, instantly, every time you hold the device. It can shatter, just lượt thích the front, & would be just as difficult to replace.I"ll take unbreakable, unsmudgeable plastic over glass on the back of a budget phone any day of the week.
Audio It"s loud, but that"s about it. The speaker unique is not something Iwould be ableto listen to for any length of time. The included equalizer software helps a little bit.
ZenSocial hãng asus is pushing its own two social apps, ZenCircle và ZenChat, as basically Facebook & Messenger equivalents. Except no one uses them. & everything on ZenCircle is in Mandarin (possibly because I have a Taiwanese device, but it"s set to English). I already have at least a dozen different messaging & social apps, I certainly don"t need another one specific lớn people who have asus phones.
Other bloatBetter than previous generations, but there were still 8 pre-installed 3rd tiệc ngọt apps on the phone, none of which I wanted. These apps can be uninstalled. There are also around 25 asus apps in total, that can only be disabled (but not uninstalled). Some of them are useful (system-wide audio equalizer, FM radio, chú ý pad); many are not.

Features và Highlights

If a phone falls in the woods with no-one around khổng lồ hear it, does the screen still crack?

This phone is slippery. It"s glass on both sides. The ring around the edge is smooth but ever-so-slightly-rubberized plastic. I really think hãng asus should have gone for a more tactileplastic instead of the glass, or at least something more grippy around the outside. I guess it looksand/or feelsmore premium with glass, but it just doesn"t make any sense. Thankfully, I bought a case together with my phone, and I strongly advise you to get one. If you just want a rubber bumper case, that would be fine. I went for a 3rd party flip case. Asus is making their own flip case for this phone, but it"s more expensive. Apparently you can see the clock through a circular cut-out on the front, a feature that I don"t really care about.

But before you tuck your phone into its case, and before you smudge your grubby little hands all over this fingerprint magnet of glass, take at least a little while lớn admire it - it is actually quite good-looking. The buttons on the right side of the phone are very tactile. They"re raised enough & patterned enough khổng lồ be obvious, & very satisfyingly clicky.


The fingerprint reader placement is also pretty good, but it"s almost a double-edged sword. Without a case, the placement is perfect. With a case, or at least with my thicker 3rd các buổi tiệc nhỏ flip case, you kết thúc up trying to stick your finger in the cut-out to lớn hit the fingerprint reader just right. It feels rather clumsy. Surprisingly though, it works. My fingerprint works about9 out of 10 times, và I"m still getting used khổng lồ it.

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Size-wise, this phone is big - for me. If you"re used khổng lồ 5.5" phones or larger phablets, it"s probably nothing new, but I"m coming from a 5" phone with soft keys. The extra half-inch of screen size, combined with the capacitive buttons being below the screen rather than at the bottom of it really makes a difference. It is just barely possible for me lớn reacheitherthe bottom row of capacitive buttons orthe notification bar without feeling like the phone is going khổng lồ pop out of my hand. I"m glad I didn"t wait for the 5.7" Deluxe model. This one is big enough, & I"ve got big hands.

The rest of the phone is pretty straightforward:

USB Type C and speaker on the bottom headphone jack ontop SIM tray on the left, which you need a pin to lớn pop out.
The screen doesn"t vì too well in direct sunlight - it"s pointing directly at the sun in this photo.

ZenUI: Clean, straightforward. Very Zen. (Except for the bloat.)

So the first thing to do when you get a ZenFone is xuất hiện up your phầm mềm drawer, tap the menu, and tap Uninstall. Then you can uninstall or disable any apps you don"t want with a single tap & confirm dialog.

The pre-installed apps for the Taiwanese version include: Amazon Kindle, a couple of Taiwan-specific shopping sites, Yahoo Auctions, Puffin Browser, Instagram, a Taiwan game phầm mềm store and some games (Need For Speed và The Sims). There were 8 of those in total, which I removed.

Here is a các mục of all of the included hãng asus Zen apps:

asus Game Center AudioWizard (Equalizer) Calculator Camera Clock Contacts vày It Later (Todo List) tệp tin Manager Flashlight FM Radio Gallery tia laze Ruler MiniMovie điện thoại Manager MyASUS Phone PhotoCollage Quick Memo Share liên kết (WiFi tệp tin transfer) Sound Recorder Splendid (Screen calibration) System Update Themes Weather ZenChat ZenCircle ZenFone Care.

I"ve disabled all but 10 of those. Curiously, when using the ZenUI home screen, the phone, camera, & a couple of other Zen apps always display in Chinese even with the device set to lớn English. The English names show up if I switch lớn another launcher.

Note: some of the apps in the screenshots were installed when I synced my Google account.

One of the things I lượt thích about ZenUI is the multi-purposingof various buttons. Smartphones generally don"t have more than a couple of buttons, but the whole idea of Zen is that sometimes less is more. Here are some shortcuts I"ve found lớn be useful:

Double tap trang chủ to enter one-hand mode (partially solves the "bigness" issue) Long press the phầm mềm switch button to lớn take a screenshot (beats the pants off volume down + power finger gymnastics) Double tap the fingerprint sensor to xuất hiện the camera; single tap lớn take a picture Double tap the home screen to lớn sleep / wake Double-click either volume keyto jump into the camera from sleep Customizable "ZenMotion" cảm ứng gestures for launching apps from wake.

The are evena couple of "ZenMotion Motion Gestures" (yes that"s what they are called on the phone)you can do without touching the screen. For instance, when you get a call, you can turn your phone face down khổng lồ silence it, or put it next to lớn your ear khổng lồ answer.

Mobile Manager, ASUS"s version of an apk housekeeper,does a really goodjob of cleaning up all of the mess and gunk that builds up on a phone over time. From one app, it is super simple to lớn clean up apps that spam your notifications, appsthat start on boot, apps that take too many permissions, or apps that eat too much sản phẩm điện thoại data. You get fine grained control over all of those things in a very intuitive interface. It also has a "speed boost" appthat supposedly clears your RAM.You should not use a task killer on Android, but since many people don"t know any better, maybe at least including it with the phonewill prevent people from downloading one of the junk, spyware-like versionsfrom the Play Store.

2 Images
Here are a couple of other cool features hãng asus provides that someone might want lớn know about:

Any tiện ích can be placed behind a lock screen using the aptly named AppLock Themes. Lots và lots & lots of themes. Some free, some cost a buck or two, but there are many themes to lớn choose from. Và icon sets.
Easy Mode, which, let"s face it, is basically Old Person Mode, complete with extra-large font & a maximum of 9non-movablehomescreen apps Kids Mode, which is almost the same as Easy Mode except you need khổng lồ enter aPIN khổng lồ access other apps, answer phone calls, or leave Kids Mode.
One thing I found rather frustrating was that the quick launch buttons (the ones in the notification shade) are divided into two sections, labeled ambiguously as "tools" (green) và "items" (blue), & you must have exactly 4 "tools" (one row) and either 8 or 12 "items" (2 or 3 rows). I found that I only wanted 2 of the "tools" but 10 of the "items", which also adds up khổng lồ 12, but is not a possible choice. This is pretty stupid.

Zenning out with some games

I tried Need For Speed: No Limitsand as a (very) casual gamer, I am more than satisfied with the performance of the ZenFone 3. Sure, it"s not as fast as the Snapdragon 820 (or now the 821), with undoubtedly slower benchmarks and all of that jazz. But you know what? It runs smoothly without any discerniblelag or choppiness, và the graphics look about as good as they get on phones. Good enough for me, & I would say good enough for the majority of casual gamers.

Indirectly related to gaming, there is also a pretty cool feature asus has included called game Genie. As the name suggests, it"s meant for gamers, but you can in fact use it in any app. It"s essentially just a screencasting tool that allows you to lớn simultaneously record the screen, the front facing video clip camera, and microphoneina single video.Watch me play Need For Speed:

Note: the slight choppiness in the đoạn clip is not there with trò chơi Genie turned off - I guess the graphics rendering struggles a bit while simultaneously recording the screen và front-facing camera.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden ZenFone

I stopped by the local zoo to kiểm tra out the camera, and I"m very happy with the performance for the price of this device. Manual focus, exposure, and shutter speed definitely allow for some better looking pics than the tự động mode, although tự động hóa is OK for a quick point & shoot. One thing is noticeable about the camera immediately: it"s fast.For the autofocus and for the actual image capture; both feel very, very fast. You can even shoot in rapid fire succession and sort through your pics afterwards khổng lồ find the best ones, I got up to lớn about 15 photos before the camera tiện ích finally paused for a moment to lớn work on the processing. After 1-2 seconds it was ready to go again.

Night time pics arenot great. There is a lot of blooming, and backlit signage is practically invisible. The picture looks a bit grainy as well if you zoom in, presumably because of the higher ISO setting. Daytime pics, however, look really good.These pics were taken"mostly auto," i.e., in manual mode but with most of the options set khổng lồ auto. You can see in the filename whether or not the photo was taken with HDR mode on (if the filename ends with "HDR_On"). The đoạn phim camera records in 4K, and the video clip below was shot in full tự động mode và uploaded directly khổng lồ YouTube.

Rating /10

ASUS ZenFone 3 ZE552KL

Overall, the ZenFone 3 is an excellent mid-range, mid-2016 smartphone. The low points for me are some aspects of the design, the audio quality, and the software bloat. The high points are basically everything else:it"s fast and smooth,the screen is bright (but could be better in direct sun),the camera shoots 4K video, & some of theZenUI apps are actually useful. Best thing about it? It"s only $250-300, unlocked.

I would definitely recommend this phone to someone who is not a phone snob, but who would appreciate a chất lượng phone at the right price. I almost never buy phones that have just been released as the prices drop so quickly, but the ZenFone 3 was cheaper than almostanything comparable, even against other phones that have been outfor 6 months or a year already.

It will be importantto see how the ZenFone 3 holds up after a few months of daily use, and since it was just released we really have no way of knowing.But I am keeping my fingers crossed.While it hasn"t brought me directly to Phone Nirvana, I"ve been pleasantly surprised by the Zen of the ZenFone 3.