[REVIEW] Hands On with the ASUS ZenFone 3 Laser

ASUS has been keeping busy lately. Recently, with their release of ZenFone 3S Max, ZenFone AR and ZenFone 3 Zoom, ASUS has been churning out devices for all sorts of price segments. We got our hands with the ZenFone 3 Laser and here are our thoughts on it.

Design

Similar to other ASUS’s other ZenFones, the ZenFone Laser features an all-aluminum unibody construction. The back is smooth and cool to touch, and the fingerprint sensor rests just below the primary camera. The hardware power buttons and volume buttons are located on the right side of the device. On the left, the SIM/MicroSD card tray is available. There are no physical navigation buttons, but ASUS has opted for capacitive navigation buttons just below the screen. However, we would have liked the capacitive buttons to be backlit, as they can get a bit hard to see under sunlight, but nonetheless a small annoyance. The device weighs in just in shy of 150 grams.

The aluminum material does make it a very slippery, so if you’re worried about dropping the device, putting on a case might be a good idea.

Display

The display is a 5.5 inch IPS LCD Panel with a resolution of 1920×1080 (Full HD). The viewing angles are decent, text and images look clear and crisp and is visible under outdoors under sunlight. Overall, this is very good display for this price bracket and there are no complaints.

Camera

In the camera department, the ZenFone 3 Laser rocks a primary 13MP sensor which supports Full HD video recording and is supported by a laser-assisted autofocus system (hence the name ZenFone 3 Laser).

Outdoor shots are perfectly fine as long as there is ample amount of natural lighting. The low-light imaging takes quite a hit here, as shots get grainier as the light decreases. Detail is lost as the light decreases, and it struggles to find focus points under this scenario. The Full HD 1080p recording is decent outdoors and does a good job of switching focus points, although there is no image stabilization here, so you might end with shaky videos here.

Connectivity

On the top of the device, we find the 3.5mm headphone jack and on the bottom, there is the usual microUSB port. We would have hoped to see USB Type-C considering it’s 2017, but ASUS has decided to use the older standard. Dual SIM support is present here, although it is either Dual SIMs or a Single SIM and a micro SD card slot. The device is 4G enabled. We also have Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, hotspot functionality and Bluetooth 4.2.

Hardware and Storage

The ZenFone 3 Laser is powered by a Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor coupled with 4GB of RAM and Adreno 505 graphics. It is available in the 32GB variant (expandable via microSD). The operations are smooth and day to day use is perfectly fine. Demanding games like Asphalt 8 ran without problems and 4GB of RAM is plenty. Considering this price range, the ZenFone 3 Laser is very good and a provides very respectable performance.

Software

The ZenFone 3 Laser runs ZenUI 3.0 out of the box, which is based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. ASUS does provide their own custom skin on top of Android, which may or may not be pleasing to the eye, depending on your taste. The software is extremely similar to other ZenFone devices. The built in theme engine allows you to play around a bit, customizing your experience. The stock launcher provides various customizability options, but if you don’t prefer it, you can always opt for a custom launcher.

Battery

In the battery department, the ZenFone 3 Laser is impressive. Powered by a 3000mAh battery, the device can easily last for a day or more, depending on your usage scenario.

The only downside to all this is the charge times. Due to its 3000mAh battery and Asus’s decision to stick with microUSB, it takes around 3.5 hours to charge the battery to full. This is a bit of a let down if you want to charge your phone quickly and moving around the whole day, but thanks to its great battery life, this shouldn’t be a hindrance to most users.

Verdict

The ZenFone 3 Laser is available in Flipkart for Rs. 16,999. It is only available in the silver color variant. For a price range of 15k – 20k, the ZenFone 3 Laser might just be the fit for you, but you must also consider other options. Offerings from Motorola, Xiaomi give a good competition to the Laser.

What do you think of the ZenFone 3 Laser? Let us know in the comments section.