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Asus Zenfone Zoom first look review at CES 2015

Asus has launched its very first phone with an optical zoom, the Zenfone Zoom cameraphone. We had a look at CES 2015 in Vegas.

As well as the impressive Zenfone 2, Asus launched a second smartphone at CES this year: say hi to the Asus Zenfone Zoom, Asus’ first dedicated cameraphone. Sure, the 13-megapixel camera matches the snapper of the standard Zenfone 2 for sheer megapixels and there are just as many features, but the Zenfone Zoom also boasts a 3X optical zoom for getting up close to your subject, making this one of the more intriguing offerings to emerge in Vegas so far.

Optical zooms are incredibly rare on smartphones and for good reason – the Samsung K Zoom, one of the only true Zoom rivals, was a bulky chap that filled even the baggiest of pockets, which made it a less-than-wonderful smartphone. However, the Zenfone Zoom has shaved a significant chunk of weight off that bulky beast and actually looks like a proper phone, with a lens that barely juts out of the rear casing.

The 13-megapixel snapper boasts Optical Image Stabilisation and laser auto-focus, just like the LG G3. As well as zooming in on distant objects, the Zenfone Zoom can also apparently take impressive macro shots, something we’ve already seen with our hands-on time with the standard Zenfone 2.

As for the other specs, they appear to remain unchanged on the whole from the Zenfone 2, with a 5.5-inch Full HD screen and Intel Atom processor on-board. That should make for satisfying media playback (although the lack of Quad HD visuals is a shame) as well as slick performance.

Sadly we weren’t given a chance to play with the Zoom, only take photos and admire the form factor, so we’re assuming this is another ‘work in progress’ from Asus. That said, the Zenfone Zoom will be available starting from just $399 in Q2 2015.

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