The ASUS ZenFone Zoom is finally launching after it was announced a year ago at CES 2015 and shown off at this year’s CES. It was the first Android device to feature an optical zoom lens rather and a digital zoom, which is the usual case. Canadians can finally get their hands on one, but it will be a slight struggle. The device will be sold exclusively through the New York-based camera superstore B&H Photo Video and will retail for $399 USD. Per their usual policy, any shipments over $99 offer free shipping to Canada, although there will be a customs fee making the final cost to Canadians about $664, although given its specifications that is not a bad price.
Most people purchasing the ZenFone Zoom will be purchasing it for its camera capabilities, but the other specifications are impressive as well. It sports a 5.5-inch IPS LCD Full HD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 403 pixels-per-inch (PPI). A 64-bit Intel Atom Z3580 quad-core processor clocked at 2.3 GHz acts as its brain and a PowerVR G6430 is used for its GPU. It is packing 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage that is expandable via a microSD card slot for an additional 200GB. The ZenFone Zoom will also come with 100GB of Google Drive storage, making sure that you will have plenty of room to store your photos. It also has WiFi, Bluetooth v4.0, GPS, NFC, a built-in IR Blaster and a 5MP front-facing camera (FFC) for selfies and video chatting. Power is provided by a 3,000 mAh battery with rapid charge capabilities.
The main reason for purchasing this smartphone will certainly be the 3X optical zoom camera lens that uses an innovative periscopic design that maintains a thin and sleek smartphone when not in use. The lens is a 4-11mm f/2.7-4.8 optical zoom with a Hoya designed Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). This is equivalent to a 35mm with a focal length of 28-84mm. The camera features a 13MP PixelMaster main camera with laser autofocus for almost instantaneous focusing, especially in low-light conditions and a dual-tone LED flash. The camera comes with modes for Super HDR, Low Light, and Super Resolution, but it also offers complete manual control where you can change the shutter speed, ISO, white balance, exposure value, and more at the touch of a button. You can zoom in and out by using the volume key and there is a dedicated shutter button on the phone. All of these features make using the ASUS ZenFone Zoom like a real camera.
The ZenFone Zoom is compatible with all the major networks in Canada – Bell, Telus and Rogers – as well as regional carriers such as MTS, SaskTel and Videotron. It measure 78.8 x 158.9 x 12.0 mm and weighs in at 185 grams. It is running Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box. It is available for pre-order and shipping will begin Monday, February 1.