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


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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How Gionee Aims to be Among Top 5 Smartphone Brands in India


After a brief hiatus, second-tier Chinese handset maker Gionee is geared up for a big splash in India with new smartphone launches amid a revamped strategy to be among the top five players in the country, a senior company executive has said.

The smartphone maker confirmed its restructuring plans last month, saying it will adopt a new business model under which distributors across the country would do their own marketing to enhance sales.

“India is becoming the second-largest mobile phone market globally and, for Gionee, it is as important as China or the European market. It is our commitment to invest further in this market to bring major change,” David Chang, Global Sales Director, Gionee India, told IANS in an interview.

The Chinese handset maker is in talks with the government to set up its own manufacturing unit in Faridabad, Haryana. Wikimedia Commons


“Setting up a manufacturing plant will help us in making all our phones by ourselves,” Chang added.

“We are aiming to get into the top five smartphone brands in the second half of 2018. In the first half of 2019, we will target to be among the top three players in the Indian smartphone market,” said the Gionee executive.

Buoyed by the response of its first bezel-less display smartphone — the “M7 Power” which was launched in November 2017 — the smartphone maker is set to introduce a series of full-view display devices.

The company said it will launch its first smartphone for 2018 as early as next month. Wikimedia Commons


This will be followed by several other bezel-less smartphone launches within the price bracket of Rs 10,000-Rs 15,000 — essentially either selfie-focused or battery-centric devices.

In an attempt to take on its rivals, the handset maker is also exploring the in-display fingerprint scanning technology.

“We are working on this new technology. We are working on a smartphone with under-the-display fingerprint scanner which would be launched globally,” Chang noted. Wikimedia Commons

The company will also introduce wireless chargers by the end of this year.

Acknowledging that its online distribution channel is not up to the mark, Chang said: “We started investing more in online channels beginning October 2017 and we believe online and offline channels are equally important. Now, we want to be more involved and would invest more in our online partners.”

“We have our exclusive stores, but right now we will focus more on building relationships with retailers directly,” Chang noted.

The handset maker is also mulling to restructure its strategy for online channels. Wikimedia Commons


“Gionee would be partnering with Amazon India, Flipkart and Paytm for introducing our new devices on their platforms.

“We will choose our best-selling models to be showcased online. We’ll also make sure there is no difference in price of the product that is available both online and offline,” Chang said.

Gionee, which has more than 600 service centres in India, said it will also work towards further strengthening its after-sales services in the country. IANS