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Asus ZenFone 3 Deluxe



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Key Features

  • 5.7-inch 1080p screen
  • USB-C
  • Snapdragon 820
  • 6GB RAM
  • Android Marshmallow 6.0.1
  • Manufacturer: Asus
  • Review Price: free/subscription

Asus ZenFone 3 Deluxe hands-on: A budget phone with a huge 6GB RAM

Asus Zenfones seem to be popular in every country that isn’t the UK. Asus has apparently sold 30 million of the things in 30 territories in three years, which is modestly successful. Asus excels in the mid-range portion of the market, but at Computex this year the company went big on luxury, launching the Zenfone 3 Deluxe alongside the regular Zenfone 3.

It’s all about luxury here. There’s an all-metal, super-thin design with fancy-sounding camera tech and a range of colours. Asus was also insistent at its press conference that we should care about the ‘invisible’ aerial, but I find it very hard to raise my care-giving levels quite that high. Still, it might appeal to some.

Related: Best budget phones

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At the rear of the device, under the camera hump, is a fingerprint reader. It was placed just a little too high for my tastes, and I have fairly normal-sized hands so the smaller-handed might have to adjust their grip to reach it.

The phone looks and feels fantastic. The 5.7-inch metal body is thin at just 4.2mm and Asus has added a slight curve to the edge, which makes it comfortable hold. The front is coated in Gorilla Glass, and the bottom of the phone has dedicated touch buttons for back, home and the task view, saving on-screen space.

The screen itself is a Full HD affair, which is a slight disappointment for a premium phone, but its Super AMOLED technology means it looks fantastic, with high contrast and vibrant colours thanks to the phone’s ability to display 100% of the challenging NTSC colour gamut. Asus says there’s an always-on screen mode, although during my time with the device I wasn’t able to experience it.

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Performance comes from a top-end 2.3GHz, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, the same chip found in the LG G5 and some editions of the Samsung Galaxy S7. The whole phone feels incredibly responsive – more so than any phone I’ve played with recently, and with an unnecessary 6GB of RAM, this is a phone that’s unlikely to slow down in a hurry.

Asus has made a big deal out of the Zenfone 3 Deluxe’s camera technology. There’s laser autofocus and phase detection autofocus, with either used depending on lighting conditions. Asus reckons it takes just 0.03s to focus in on a moving object. I put this to the test by repeatedly taking photos of a bottle of water while moving the phone, and the phone did a decent job of catching up, although it wasn’t perfect every time.

zenphone 5

The camera sensor itself is a 23MP affair, with wide f/2.0 aperture to let in loads of light. There’s optical image stabilisation, too. There is also a 92MP, Super resolution mode that stitches multiple images together for extra detail, but I wasn’t able to demonstrate this in a satisfactory manner; it’ll be interesting to see if it works properly in the real world.

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Asus’ ZenUI software has received a few tweaks; you can now place custom icons and widgets on the lockscreen, and phone performance is placed front-and-centre with Mobile Manager encouraging you to close apps, check your privacy and save battery with various options just slightly beyond common sense.

The Zenfone 3 is priced at $499 (£414 inc VAT), which places it underneath the LG G5, HTC 10 and Samsung Galaxy S7. This could be a seriously great value phone if it comes to the UK.


June 2, 2016, 1:02 pm

Phone is really nice and I love the price. I would buy it over the S7 for sure.

Alka Ahir

June 4, 2016, 12:46 pm

“Technical Efforts”

I wanted to purchase the best phone and really made me get in the process of analysis. I had just found out that phones really need to be smart because cells are even found in the games. The color Os really makes difference. This difference is found when you use an android phone and a color OS really makes the difference in giving smartness to the phone. This all things like color OS is found only in Oppo F1 plus. Seriously the color Os makes oppo phones different.

Alka Ahir

June 8, 2016, 1:27 pm

“Phone’s Shadow”

The Oppo F1 plus and vivo v3 max are both similar in features. Both of them are launched in the same month. But it is very hard to find out difference in these two phones. I have seen both the phones but one of the best feature in Oppo F1 plus is its selfie camera. The best camera phone that really shapes your personality is your Oppo F1 plus. Superb phone one could ever have.


June 18, 2016, 5:57 pm

Please feature/review the giant Asus ZenFone 3 ULTRA soon as well.

Ionut Johnny

June 19, 2016, 12:03 am

I'm dying to see Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe or ZTE Axon 7 as well, and maybe some release date for Europe or UK would be nice :D
I am focused on 3 phones, Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe, ZTE Axon 7 and Oneplus 3.
Really like how Asus looks this Year. But from where I can buy it?

Victor Tan

June 28, 2016, 9:29 am

Are you sure? Similar in features?
Both of them are so different in terms of SOC, battery cap, display type, internal storage, no. of sensors and etc.
Are you sure what you are talking about?

Alka Ahir

June 28, 2016, 1:07 pm

yes i am cent percent sure about what i am talking about. and the features are really very perfect about this. Wonderful features.


August 7, 2016, 8:19 am

"Asus Zenfones seem to be popular in every country that isn’t the UK". Mmhm. That must be why they completely sold out on Asus' own UK site, and also were flagged as "selling fast" at Scan then. Please remember to actually research something before stating it as casual fact.


August 20, 2016, 3:15 pm

It's "trusted reviews"....trusted to make false statements and bad reviews.

Paul Shippam

March 8, 2017, 1:55 pm

Very disappointed with mine, it died after 12 days use after falling off a 2 foot high charging shelf onto hardwood floor, in its full Tudia rubber case. The touch screen stopped working instantly and after around an hour there was signs of color bleeding across part of the screen.

Asus are refusing to fix it under warranty as they say the LCD screen was broken internally due to 'excessive pressure', so it'll be the last Asus product I ever buy. $261 to repair, raises the total cost of phone to an extortionate: $761. Yes, should have got insurance, but after using Apple, Blackberry and Nokia phones for the past 20 years and treating them far harsher I've never had anything break or stop working.

The seller 30 day return warranty expired since I waited for my existing contract to expire before using the Zenfone, so was just over the 30 days when it died. Way way too fragile with awful customer support.

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