Optical zoom helps the new Asus ZenFone Zoom stand out

Can a 3X optical zoom, laser focus and OIS tempt you into leaving your camera at home?

The ZenFone 2 made waves with its 4GB RAM and Intel Atom processor. The Zoom uses pretty much the same recipe, but adds in a Hoya 3X zoom, OIS, laser focus, and redesigned casing.

Remember the ZenFone 2 and its 4GB RAM? Asus have tweaked the recipe now, with a new design, a newer processor and plenty of changes on the camera front - how does a 3X optical zoom sound?

The ZenFone Zoom’s a 5.5in FHD device like its forbears, with the Intel Atom processor bumped up slightly and Gorilla Glass 4 making an appearance. (Yes, you still get 4GB RAM). The Zoom also features a 3000mAh battery, Fast Charging and wait for it, a whopping 128GB storage on-board! And guess what, there’s a microSD slot as well. Sadly, some of you might miss dual-SIM functionality, but there’s 802.11ac WiFi, and 250Mbps LTE to ward away the data demons.

But the Zoom unabashedly claims to be a camera phone - the name is a bit of a giveaway, isn’t it? While only a review will tell whether it lives up to the hype, the specs do sound nice - there’s OIS, which Asus say will deliver up to 4 stops of improvement for better low-light snaps, laser focus for faster shooting and best of all - a 3X optical zoom. Using an all-internal zooming mechanism developed by Hoya, you should be able to get better closeups - with none of the image degradation of digital zoom.

The camera theme extends to the design as well - the front might be similar to previous ZenFones, but the volume and power buttons have been moved to the right edge and the body’s now made of aviation-grade alloy. You also get dedicated shutter and video recording buttons, the backplate is wrapped in leather, there’s a circular lens ‘hump’, and a ridge running across the back which makes it easier to hold while shooting.

The ZenFone Zoom has a list price of 37,999 and is available on Flipkart and at Asus exclusive stores.