Asus At IFA 2016: Zenwatch 3 And Zenfone 3 Hands-on: Zenfone 3 Ultra, Zenfone 3 Laser & Zenfone 3 Max Hands-on

By 10:22 Tue, 17 Aug 2021 Comments

Asus Zenfone 3 Ultra ZU680KL hands-on

When the phablet came into life, a lot of eyebrows were raised and yet, a few years later, we have devices verging on 7 inches, that still want to pass as a phone. Well, the Asus Zenfone 3 Ultra is just a fraction of an inch short of that, and it is big, there's no denying that.

Asus Zenfone 3 Ultra ZU680KL at a glance

  • Screen: 6.8" IPS display, 1,080 x 1,920px resolution (3246ppi); Gorilla Glass 4
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 652, octa-core Central Processing Units (CPU) (4x Cortex-A72 at 1.8Giga Hertz (GHz) + 4x Cortex-A53 at 1.4GHz); 3GB/4GB of RAM, Adreno 510 GPU
  • Camera: 23MP sensor, OIS, f/2.0 lens, Laser/PDAF, 2160p @ 30fps video
  • Selfie cam: 8MP sensor, f/2.0 lens, 1080p video
  • Battery: 4,600mAh
  • Misc: Type-C 1.0 connector (Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0)

For all its sheer size though, its weight is perfectly manageable, a feeling reinforced by its thinness, a mere 6.8mm. Handling benefits from the grippy surfaces and the back doesn't hrecent too many fingerprints either.

Size comparison - Zenfone 3 Ultra vs. Galaxy Note7

The Ultra sports an entirely different control layout, one simply warranted by its dimensions. There is a proper physical Home button, which holds a fingerprint sensor. The volume rocker is on the back, where it was on the previous-gen Zenfones, and where the bulk of this year's models have their fingerprint readers.

Bare left side • Power button on the correct • Physical Home with a fingerprint sensor • Volume rocker on the back

The display is so gigantic that even the FullHD resolution is far from ideal at that diagonal. It's still reasonably sharp, though we wouldn't stretch 1080p any further. We're no fans of the black frame that surrounds it either.

6.8-inch giant

Asus Zenfone 3 Laser ZC551KL hands-on

Moving down the ranks, we find the Zenfone 3 Laser ZC551KL. Positioned below the vanilla Zenfone 3, this midranger does acquire a FullHD display nonetheless.

Asus Zenfone 3 Laser ZC551KL at a glance

  • Screen: 5.5" IPS display, 1,080 x 1,920px resolution (401ppi); Gorilla Glass 3
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 430, octa-core 1.4Giga Hertz (GHz) Cortex-A53 CPU; 2GB/4GB of RAM, Adreno 505 GPU
  • Camera: 13MP sensor, f/2.0 lens, Laser AF, 1080p @ 30fps video
  • Selfie cam: 8MP sensor, f/2.0 lens
  • Battery: 3,000mAh
  • Misc: Frequency Modulation (FM) radio

Not only that, but it's arguably better looking than the base model, as its satin finished back wards off fingerprints a lot more successfully.

Zenfone 3 Laser head on • Satin-finished back • A cluster of sensors

The control layout is identical to the Zenfone 3 - power button and volume rocker on the correct side. This model doesn't acquire a Type-C connector at all, it's the fine recent microUniversal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 at the bottom (you cant see it, but trust us).

Left side • Right side • 3.5mm jack on top • microUniversal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 port on the bottom

Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL hands-on

The Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL is the budacquire model of the lineup, with its priorities set towards longevity. That said, last year's Max had a 5,000mAh battery vs. 4,130mAh for the recent model, but there's a lot more to battery life that just cell capacity, so we won't judge just yet.

Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL at a glance

  • Screen: 5.2" IPS display, 720 x 1,280px resolution (282ppi)
  • Chipset: Mediatek MT6737, quad-core 1.25Giga Hertz (GHz) Cortex-A53 CPU; 2GB/3GB of RAM, Mali-T720MP2 GPU
  • Camera: 13MP sensor, f/2.2 lens, 1080p @ 30fps video
  • Selfie cam: 5MP sensor, f/2.0 lens
  • Battery: 4,130mAh
  • Misc: Frequency Modulation (FM) radio

The 5.2-inch display has 720p resolution, so pixel density is below 300ppi, but still acceptable at 282ppi. The black frame surrounding it is more objectionable though, you may want to stick to blackbackgrounds to mask it. You won't be surprised by control placement, just don't see for the laser autofocus window - there isn't one.

720p display • Satin-finished back • Buttons in the same places • Laser autofocus window is missing



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