Surpassed Expectations: Zenfone Zoom and Zenfone Max

Friday, January 22, 2016

Over 28,000,000 people have the Zenfone. If you don't, somethings wrong!

If you've been following me on Instagram and Twitter, you probably have seen that I've been out covering events this weekend in Cebu. It's part of the Sinulog Festival, an occasion where our fellow men from the Queen City of the South pay homage to the child Jesus, the Sto. Nino. Consequently, we were also there to witness the launch of ASUS' two newest phones, the Zenfone Zoom and the Zenfone Max.

The Zenfone Zoom

During the reveal, I was looking forward to the camera features and capabilities of the Zenfone Zoom mainly because it's very compact, plus uses optical zoom rather than just digital. It is after all the thinnest in the world to have 3X optical-zoom and this smartphone performs quite the same as the loaded ASUS Zenfone phones in the past but if it's got that camera, that part is just revolutionary. Imagine how they fit those Hoya lenses inside, of which they've got 10 element lens arrangements. That would mean it'll get you exceptional clarity, close-ups with up to an exceptional 12X magnification, unbelievable I know!

Priced super attractively at Php 26,995, the technology put in on this smartphone is just super worth it. The timeless craftsmanship, the professional photography quality on the camera plus PC grade quality processing fit in the phone, you certainly have one of the most powerful and functional phones in the market. As ASUS Philippines Marketing Manager Jamie Zaldivar puts it, he says “We are thrilled to finally bring the ZenFone Zoom to Filipinos. The ZenFone Zoom revolutionizes smartphone photography in a way that cannot be matched by any other smartphone currently in the market. It puts professional, DSLR quality photography within easier reach – so that Filipinos can all the more enjoy and indulge in the experience of taking photos with their mobile phones.

Here's a video of the reveal in Marriot Hotel in Cebu:

The Zenfone ZOOM hands on:

The phone has an 3,000 mAh battery, is capable of fast charging to almost full in just 39 minutes. It's got 2MB CPU, 4GB RAM, 128GB ROM, Full HD resolution, LTE capable, better audio quality, 5MP front cam, 13MP Optical Zoom and only weighs 115 grams. There's no real straight competition on digital and optical but most photographers like me actually prefer optics as it looks better, feels real too. I've been using HOYA filters and lenses since I started photography and you can ask fellow photographers about how great they are in what they do. They even showed us video stabilization, unbelievable because PR Head Eason De Guzman of ASUS even rode a segue to prove it. The 5.5 inch 1920x1080 Full HD IPS display would be something that would perfectly fit the palm of your hand while giving you the view you want in the entertainment department, movies of any resolution would be a cinch to watch.  Now if that isn't enough reason for you to consider ASUS as your next new phone, I'll tell you about Zenfone Max.

The Zenfone MAX

Before we went to Cebu we were tasked to wait for a "Secret Phone" delivered right to our doorstep. Thursday came and the delivery guy handed over this new Zenfone MAX. I knew it was going to be special because they didn't tell us at first. Judging from the literature, this is their most power efficient cellphone yet as it packs a super grand 5,000 mAh battery. I charged it full when I got it and used it legibly for the trip, taking photos of the whole transit from Manila to Cebu, the activities in the hotel, the streets of Cebu, the lechon, the dried mangoes, the lechon, the otap, the lechon, the buffet, the lechon, the parade of stars, and the lechon. Aside from that, we also got to check out the Zenfone MAX and Zenfone Zoom's capabilities during the mass (inside the minor basilica) and outside Magellan's cross. It was a whole new way to see how faith, communing, friends and family become important things in celebrating this festival. It's not just the practice of religion, but the way we show devotion, our faith, as it get immortalized in photos and videos on this trip.

I got to travel with it and use social media the usual way, the first day went fast and believe it or not, it didn't even get to be at 90% at the end of the day. I decided not to charge it leaving Manila and used the phone again the next day. Now I thought I was going to have to charge it on the third day, but it didn't even reach 50%. Crazy? I know. On the 4th day, the phone was actually still alive and if you think about it, a full charge lasting that long? That's impossible in iPhones. But now, I've seen it happen with the Zenfone MAX in real life. If you have been slaved by that Power Bank you always carry around that weighs a kilogram (if you're like me who carries 4 in my backpack) then you know this is the right phone for you. 

Oh and before I forget, you can actually purchase an OTG cable in online shops (costs less than Php 300) and use the Zenfone MAX as your Power Bank. No joke, you can use it to power your other phones when you need it most. That's the most convenient thing I've ever heard during this week when we were in Cebu. I don't have to go to the hotel anymore and charge my other phones. I'm considering making this a permanent arrangement and clad myself with a full ASUS Zenfone lineup very soon and find blogging apps so I can do work while on the go.

 You can extend the storage, you've got a great camera in a handset that sits on your hand firmly plus it gives you UNBELIEVABLE battery life in a 5.5 inch display. It also costs a mere Php 8,495. You get a premium nicely phone at a very affordable price. It's one of the handsets I've seen so far that not only lived to expectations, but have surpassed it. You all know I'm an iPhone fanatic, but because they've been able to conveniently make me use Android quite easily with their UI, plus handy pre-installed community apps like ZenCircle so you can maximize the use of your hardware and be informed with people that have the same phone too.

That's a lot of good news for the week. Make sure you check out ASUS Zenfone ZOOM and Zenfone MAX in stores this week (SM Cyberzone, Lazada etc.) as they will be available very soon! As for me, I'm a very happy Zenfone 2 Laser and Zenfone MAX owner. Your turn.


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