Meet the ZenFone 3

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There are two really big additions with the ZenFone 3 and its extended family (the ZenFone 3 Deluxe and the ZenFone 3 Ultra). The first is a fingerprint sensor. This is a great way to keep your phone secure while not sacrificing convenience. It can be used for unlocking your phone, logging into banking apps, and lots more. It can recognize up to five different fingers from any angle in a mere 0.2 seconds.

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The other big change is construction. The ZenFone 3 has a premium aluminum build which is smooth to the touch thanks to a fine 0.125 mm sandblasting technique. Both front and back are protected by Gorilla Glass 4, which specializes in preventing scratches and resisting impact. These covers have a 2.5D contour, which means they hug the curvature of the edge of the device. The slim profile measures 7.6 mm, making the ZenFone 3 a particularly comfortable and beautiful daily driver. A range of colors are available depending on your style: Shimmer Gold, Aqua Blue, Sapphire Black, and Moonlight White.

VisualMaster 3.0 technology enhances the ZenFone 3 experience in some incredibly important ways. The 5.5-inch Super IPS+ LCD is bright, sharp, and colorful. With a 2.1 mm bezel and 77% screen-to-body ratio, you get more display and fewer distractions. You can happily enjoy videos, pictures, the web, and apps in absolute clarity no matter where you are thanks to 500 nits of brightness. TruVivid construction reduces the amount of layers between the user’s eyes and the pixels themselves, which means improved transparency and clarity.

Image processing plays a big role in the final visual product too. The Splendid system adjusts color balance based on content and ambient conditions while providing plenty of manual controls for personal preference. For example, a blue light filter mode is available to reduce eye strain, particularly when you’re just about to go to sleep. Tru2Life+ processing analyzes pixel activity in real-time and optimizes each for contrast. Not only does this create extraordinarily sharp video, it also improves framerates for buttery smooth motion.

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The rear 16 MP and front 8 MP PixelMaster 3.0 cameras on the ZenFone 3 are sharper than ever. The really impressive thing is the new TriTech autofocus system. It starts off with the classic contrast-based continuous autofocus mechanism. Then it adds the infrared laser autofocus that many of the last generation of ZenFones enjoyed, except the range has been improved out to 1.2 m.

New to the mix is phase detection, which is quite good at compensating for subjects in motion. In short, it cross-checks light data coming into separate sensors through the 6p sapphire-protected Largan lens, and adjusts lens position until the data gathered between them are identical. All of this is to say you can count on getting a crystal-clear image in 0.03 seconds flat.

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The camera system includes 4-axis optical and 3-axis electronic image stabilization to keep your shots shake-free. There’s also a great new RGB Color Correction sensor, which maintains true-to-life white balance when so many other cameras can leave a cast that’s either too cool or two warm under certain circumstances. The camera sensor employs a technique called Deep Trench Isolation, which ensures light coming into any given pixel on the sensor doesn’t bleed into other neighboring pixels.

Many familiar shooting modes have stuck around. Super Resolution mode produces shots of up to 64 MP, while low light mode provides up to 400% more light sensitivity. The Sony Exmor RS IMX298 sensor can handle 4K video with its own set of handy recording modes too.

Powering the ZenFone 3 is a 2 GHz 64-bit octa-core processor. Combining the 14 nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 with 4 GB of RAM and the Adreno 506 GPU means you have plenty of horsepower to handle the latest in mobile gaming and juggle multiple apps seamlessly.

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The SonicMaster 3.0 audio engine and improved 5-magnet speaker system deserve special attention. A new NXP Smart Amp is built into the ZenFone 3 to increase the maximum volume output possible while avoiding sound distortion. ZenFone 3 is also certified for Hi-Res Audio. This system samples audio at four times the traditional CD rate. With supporting headphones, you can really appreciate 24-bit 96 kHz audio.

The ZenFone 3 has dual SIM slots, which is perfect for world travellers. The primary 4G slot supports Cat 6 LTE for 300 Mbps download speeds (dependant on network availability). The secondary 3G slot also has enough room for a microSD memory card. Along the bottom is the important addition of a USB type C slot. This plug type is fully reversible, so there’s no more fear of fumbling.

The software side is enjoying a big upgrade. Android 6.0 Marshmallow offers a whole range of features, and the ASUS ZenUI is adding even more. Game Genie is a fresh addition which lets you share live video of your gameplay online easily. An always-on mode ensures you can keep tabs on important information without having to wake your ZenFone 3. Select markets will be able to try out the new ZenLife news reader. Home screen wallpapers can now use an optional multi-layer parallax effect based on how you tilt the ZenFone 3.

All in all, the ZenFone 3 strikes a balance that is hard to beat. There’s a lot more to the experience than this, though. Visit ZenFone.ASUS.com to learn more about what the ZenFone 3 can do for you.