OK. Early last year, we saw ASUS take a stab at smashing the smartphone camera scene wide open with the introduction of a handset that had 3X optical zoom but had a form-factor that didn’t equal gaffer taping a smartphone to your DSLR. It was an interesting idea, but, as we now know, the device wasn’t a smashing success.
There were many reasons why the ZenFone Zoom flopped, so this year, when ASUS invited me to an undisclosed location in Pahang to try its successor — the brand new ZenFone 3 Zoom — my mission was to find out if they’ve learnt their lessons…and not get killed in some jungle.
ASUS recently launched the world’s thinnest 3x optical zoom smartphone, the ZenFone Zoom, here in Malaysia and the first question on everyone’s mind is: Whats the big deal? Now the word “optical zoom” may not be a term everyone recognises. Some of you might be thinking that your current smartphones can zoom jolly well, so why would you bother about this device?
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Yesterday, ASUS officially launched the much anticipated ZenFone Zoom on Malaysia and we got to spend some time with their new flagship device. Here’s what we think of it. Do note that the white unit with the black camera module is a prototype given to professional photographer Peter Tan.
At long last ASUS have brought their much-anticipated smartphone, the ZenFone Zoom, to Malaysia today. Sporting a massive 3x optical zoom camera mounted at the back, this device is supposed to be the thinnest of its kind, featuring a 5mm “ultra-thin edge” thanks to the ZenFone series’ familiar curved back.
According to a report published in 2013, over 90% of people who have ever taken a photo in their life have only done so on a phone, not a traditional or standalone camera. That is a staggering number of people if you think about it, especially taking into consideration the keyword in that phrase is ‘ever’. Which means that, even two years ago, when smartphone cameras were arguably worse than they are now, people still defaulted to them for that snapshotting needs. This is completely understandable simply because a smartphone is more portable, usually cheaper and are just generally more convenient.
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The ASUS ZenFone series is doing quite well in Malaysia with over 700,000 units sold in 2014. For its upcoming ASUS ZenFone 2, ASUS Malaysia has shared that it will be coming to our shores in Q2 2015. For those wanting to take better photos, the ZenFone Zoom with a 3X Optical Zoom will be coming in as well. You can check out the full specs in our ZenFone 2 announcement post.
So far they have yet to reveal any local pricing details but it was announced at CES 2015 with a starting price of US$199 (about RM703) for the lower spec ZenFone 2 and US$399 (about RM1,409) for the ZenFone Zoom. Hopefully they would not suffer delays like how it did with the first ZenFone last year.
Meanwhile ASUS has also scrapped its plans of offering its ZenWatch smart wearable in Malaysia. At the moment, its Android Wear powered watch is currently sold at selected markets and ASUS Malaysia shares that they will be focusing on its next model that’s going to be launched in the 2nd half of 2015. According to earlier reports, ASUS is currently developing its next generation model that boasts a week long battery life. Hopefully this is the smart watch worth waiting for.
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ASUS has announced the sequel of its popular ZenFone smart phones series, which has shipped over 1.5 million units per month worldwide. Continuing its approach of empowering luxury for all, the new ZenFone 2 continues to impress with premium build and impressive hardware in an affordable package.
seen heard in its morse code teasers, the new ZenFone 2 claims to be the world’s first smart phone to come with a whopping 4GB of RAM. During its CES 2015 announcement, ASUS has also made a surprise reveal of its new ZenFone Zoom, which they claim to be the World’s Thinnest 3X Optical Zoom Smart Phone.