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ASUS Zenfone Zoom: Is it a phone or a camera?

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Photo: www.kolomgadget.com

From the times when having a camera on your phone seemed miracle, ASUS ZenFone Zoom now comes with a revolutionary 13-megapixel 10-element primary camera with 3x optical zoom, laser focus and dual flash.

With loads of features and such high camera quality, once again ASUS ZenFone series has shaken the market.

What works for this smartphone?

According to general consensus, an optical zoom camera (as in Samsung Galaxy K zoom) should pop out of the main body. But the 10-element HOYA lens kit camera — including two prisms — in Zenfone Zoom does all the zooming inside the casing.

Taiwanese mobile maker ASUS offers a leather finish back panel in the ASUS ZenFone Zoom

Taiwanese mobile maker ASUS offers a leather finish back panel in the ASUS ZenFone Zoom

With its ultra-thin 5 mm edges and hardware technology that gives clearest and sharpest images, Zenfone Zoom puts DSLR-like photography experience in your pocket – giving a total of 12x zoom and 5-cm macro focus.

The device enables auto-focus in 0.03 seconds, helping click a photo in a blink. The 4-stop optical image stablizer (OIS) enhances image quality by reducing “shakes” while clicking pictures.

We tested the device with its nearest competitor Google Nexus 6P and guess what? It beats 6P, producing sharper and clearer pictures even in low-light condition. But 6P tops zoom with its front-facing camera.

Coupled with a Panasonic Smart FSI image sensor, ZenFone Zoom captures more light and more color — in both natural and low-light compositions. You can turn on the night mode by touching an icon similar to an owl’s eyes.

The rear camera benefits from dual-LED Real Tone (and blinding) flash for natural indoor portraits. The manual mode is quite detailed and even indicates if the subject or the frame is straight or tilted with its on-screen tilt-meter.

It has a total of 19 photo and video taking modes inbuilt into the software — including features like time-lapse, pano-sphere and slow-motion.

Apart from an impressive camera, the phone comes with a sleek design. The device boasts of a 5.5-inch 1920×1080 full high-definition IPS ASUS TruVivid technology display for enhanced detail.

The Corning Gorilla Glass 4 offers twice the drop-damage resistance of its predecessor and a 2.5X increase in retained strength. Chip manufacturing major Intel has provided a powerful 64-bit Quad-core Atom 2.5 Ghz Z3590 processor to give computer-grade performance.

The device has a 4GB DDR3 RAM making operations smooth and easy. We did not experience any lag while multi-tasking and playing games.

The 128GB on-board memory and option to expand memory with a micro SD card gives a user ample space to store multimedia files. Equipped with BoostMaster fast-charging technology the charger filled up the phone’s battery in approximately an hour.

The 3,000 mAh battery lasts for a day under normal use, including data on for seven hours and music playback for 70 minutes.

What does not work

Although the zoom is quite impressive, the phone takes a lot of time to zoom in or out for clicking images. Prolonged gaming or keeping mobile data on tends to heat up the phone a bit.

The leather finish at the back is impressive but also makes the phone slippery. At Rs.37,999 the company could have included a fingerprint scanner into the device.

Verdict: Well, it’s an all set phone to go with, keeping in mind the Nexus 6P or Moto X style, you can also consider ASUS ZenFone Zoom with high expectations. A superb phone for photography lovers. (IANS)

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NASA’s TESS Discovers New Worlds Only 5 Months After Its Launch

With four special cameras, TESS uses a detection method called transit photometry.

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TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, is shown in this conceptual illustration obtained by Reuters on March 28, 2018. NASA sent TESS into orbit from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. VOA

A planet-hunting orbital telescope designed to detect worlds beyond our solar system discovered two distant planets this week five months after its launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, officials said on Thursday.

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, better known as TESS, made an early discovery of “super-Earth” and “hot Earth” planets in solar systems at least 49 light-years away, marking the satellite’s first discovery since its April launch.

TESS is on a two-year, $337 million mission to expand astronomers’ known catalog of so-called exoplanets, worlds circling distant stars.

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TESS Deputy Science Director Sara Seager. VOA

While the two planets are too hot to support life, TESS Deputy Science Director Sara Seager expects many more such discoveries.

“We will have to wait and see what else TESS discovers,” Seager told Reuters. “We do know that planets are out there, littering the night sky, just waiting to be found.”

TESS is designed to build on the work of its predecessor, the Kepler space telescope, which discovered the bulk of some 3,700 exoplanets documented during the past 20 years and is running out of fuel.

NASA expects to pinpoint thousands more previously unknown worlds, perhaps hundreds of them Earth-sized or “super Earth” sized — no larger than twice as big as our home planet.

Those are believed the most likely to feature rocky surfaces or oceans and are thus considered the best candidates for life to evolve. Scientists have said they hope TESS will ultimately help catalog at least 100 more rocky exoplanets for further study in what has become one of astronomy’s newest fields of exploration.

 

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An artist’s concept provided by NASA shows the Keplar Spacecraft moving through space. VOA

 

MIT researchers on Wednesday announced the discovery of Pi Mensae c, a “super-earth” planet 60 light-years away orbiting its sun every 6.3 days. The discovery of LHS 3844 b, a “hot-earth” planet 49 light-years away that orbits its sun every 11 hours, was announced on Thursday.

Pi Mensae c could have a solid surface or be a waterworld as the composition of such planets is a mixed bag, Martin Spill, NASA’s program scientist for TESS, said in a phone interview.

The two newest planets, which still need to be reviewed by other researchers, offer the chance for follow-up study, officials said.

Also Read: Parker Solar Probe of NASA Sends Back Its First Images

“That, of course, is TESS’ entire purpose — to find those planets around those brightest nearby stars to do this really detailed characterization,” Spill said.

With four special cameras, TESS uses a detection method called transit photometry, which looks for periodic dips in the visible light of stars caused by planets passing, or transiting, in front of them. (VOA)

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