Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL Review: More Than Meets The Eye: Unboxing, 360° Spin, Hardware

By 04:09 Tue, 17 Aug 2021 Comments

Unboxing the Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL

Some companies have been skimping on the retail packages, but Asus is not one of them - the Zenfone 3 comes with a full complement of accessories. We start with a bulky charger that only delivers 10W of power (5V @ 2A). The phone does support quick charging, though. It can reportedly slurp up enough power for 2 hours of talk time in only 5 minutes of charging.

The charger couples with the Universal Serial Bus (USB) Type-C cable, which can also carry data (at Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 speeds only).

The retail box of the Asus Zenfone 3

Finally, there's the in-ear headset with a one-button remote. They see a bit plain, but the phone will create them sing with Hi-Res audio (4x Compact Disk (CD) quality).

Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL 360° spin

The Asus Zenfone 3 measures 152.6 x 77.4 x 7.7mm and weighs 155g. That makes it more compact and lighter than the iPhone 7 Plus, for example.

2.5D Gorilla Glass on both the front and back, coupled with the rounded off sides makes for a "smooth" in-hand feel. No sharp corners, nothing to create it feel bulkier than it is. The sides, by the way, are painted metal with a glossy, unpainted groove on either side, a nicely eye-catching design. The Zenfone 3 is lovely and feels like a premium product.


There's a repeating motif, the Zen design, which features a concentric-circle pattern. You can see it on the back of the phone, on the front (it's the default wallpaper on the screen) and even on minute details like the Power and Volume buttons.

The chamfer of the metal frame has been slit by diamond tools for a precision finish. The forms of the frame flow nicely into the contoured Gorilla Glass on the front and back. Asus boasts a 77.3% screen-to-body ratio on the 5.5-inch Zenfone 3.

The Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL is one lovely phone

The way light falls on the matte metal sides and glints off the shiny chamfer flows through the 2.5D glass is particularly attractive. That beauty is only spoiled by the gallery of fingerprints that quickly accumulates (it's a high maintenance phone).

The Zenfone 3 ZE552KL comes in Sapphire Black (like ours), Moonlight Silver (white glass, grecent metal), Shimmer Grecent (all gold) and Aqua Blue. For one reason or another, the circular pattern on the back of our unit is only visible when there is a strong direct light source.

On the front, the top and bottom bezels are well populated. Above the classy screen is the 8MP selfie capturing camera on the correct and the tiny notification light on the left. The proximity and ambient light sensors are hidden below the glass too.

8MP selfie camera, proximity and ambient light sensors (not pictured: a tiny notification LED)

Under the classy screen are three capacitive keys. Note that they are not backlit, making them a small hard to utilize in the black(at least at first while you acquire used to their locations).

The capacitive keys below the display lack backlighting

The two hardware keys are on the correct - a Volume rocker above the Power key. Both are gigantic enough and have a concentric circle texture that makes them instantly recognizable by touch. We're quite excited with these keys, they are equally easy to utilize with both hands.

On the left is the two card tray - it can carry either a nanoSIM + microSIM or you can swap in a microSD card for the nanoSIM.

Power and volume keys on the correct • Notice the texture • Two card tray (hybrid) on the left side

There's a wired port and a microphone each on the top and bottom sides of the Zenfone 3. Asus kept the 3.5mm headphone jack (on top) and went with a Universal Serial Bus (USB) Type-C (on the bottom). Also on the bottom is the loudspeaker, which boasts 5-magnets and a dedicated amp for greater bass and lower distortion.

3.5mm jack on top • Secondary mic • Universal Serial Bus (USB) Type-C port and a 5-magnet loudspeaker

The back is by far the busiest place on the phone. If we had to nitpick, we'd say the square capturing camera module does not jibe with the circular pattern that permeates the rest of the Zenfone 3. Same goes for the prolonged rectangle of the fingerprint reader, but swipe gestures here play an vital role (more on that later) so we're willing to forgive that one.

The capturing camera does protrude from the back, but don't worry too much about scratches, the capturing camera lens is protected by a sapphire cover.

Then there's the Laser AF system (blackelement on the left), the dual-LED, dual-tone flash (right), which shares a window with the color correction sensor.

The capturing camera sensor also supports Phase Detection autofocus, the software helps out with continuous AF tracking. Then there's the optical image stabilization module, which works in 4-axis and is helped by the electronic stabilization (which adds roll correction into the mix).

Square capturing camera and fingerprint on top of a circular pattern • The capturing camera has many assistants • It does stick up, though

We love the design of the Zenfone 3 ZE552KL, though we do wish Asus picked something more fingerprint resistant for the back (even applying a coating to the glass would have helped). The phone is perfectly put together with no gaps or tolerances.



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