I recently had the opportunity to use ZenFone 3 from ASUS on my visit to Philippines. It is time to share the pictures with you! ZenFone 3 has 16 MP rear camera and 8 MP front camera. Other highlights are World’s First 14nm Snapdragon processor with with 64-Bit Octa-Core CPU @2.0Ghz. For me the camera is the most important feature and that is what I am going to focus in this post. The phone is priced at 22K Indian Rupees.
I loved the Auto Mode
I lug a lot of gear on my trips. Still there are times when I wish to just take a quick picture in the auto mode with a cell phone. Below are some pictures clicked in the auto mode with ZenFone 3, I will leave the judgement to you!
I was in a hurry when I clicked this picture. I was getting late to go for the evening party at TBEX and here was a glorious view waiting to be clicked. That is when having a good cell phone which can click beautiful pictures in auto mode comes in handy.
The boats are known as Paraw and they are popular with tourists for sunset sails! I clickd this picture again in auto mode as our group was about to away from this spot in Boracay, Philippines.
I think I clicked this picture in auto mode because I was simply stunned with the beauty of the Puka Island in Boracay, Philippines. I didn’t think at all, I simply wanted to click!
I was in a hurry to take this picture so that I could get the two kites in the frame. Once again you know what happened, I used the auto mode! I was not thinking.
Boracay is so stunning that I was taking two pictures for every three steps I walked! No wonder I used the auto mode a lot!
Below is a more extensive selection of pictures clicked in Auto Mode on ZenFone 3.
Every hotel that was at the beach front would put out sand art every day! I was quite smitten by this one!
I stayed at Shangri-la Boracay for one night but they offered our group complimentary spa and their Filipino Hilot was divine!
I had a long layover at Changi while coming back to Delhi. I put it to good use by exploring all the terminals! The only editing I did on the ZenFone 3 pictures was increasing brightness or straightening the horizon. Most of the pictures in this post are straight from the camera.
The HDR Mode
My next most preferred mode was the HDR. As I love to click landscapes HDR is an obvious choice.
I feel the HDR pictures come out really well without looking completely unreal! I don’t like those HDR pictures much where everything looks completely overblown. The ZenFone 3 gives good HDR pictures at the click of a button.
Puka Island was a thing of beauty. I clicked this picture a little later on the island, so had the good sense to change the mode and try HDR!
On our last day at Boracay, Typhoon Haima was making a landfall. We were not in its path and yet the weather in Boracay also turned stormy. I used the HDR mode to capture the changing weather.
This was the same day as when the typhoon was making the landfall. Only a few of us were out that morning.
And even in that weather someone was out at the beach to do the art! I think they kept it simple because of the bad weather!
After the HDR it is time to showcase the pictures using the ‘effects’ mode.
The Effect Mode
The camera has an option of sitting to effect mode where we can choose from Hue, vintage, cartoon and many more modes.
This was the walkway at the Lind Hotel which led to the infinity pool! I used the ‘hue’ effect and I quite liked the result!
Once again it is the Lind Hotel, the view from my balcony with the ‘hue effect.’ I quite liked the end result in this case!
I was a fan of Shangri-La because they were not using plastic containers in the bathroom. Using reusable bottles is good for the environment. However, a normal picture looked quite boring. I liked my ‘vintage effect’ for the picture.
The Super Resolution
This is the result of using ‘super resolution’ mode on the ZenFone 3. As I as mostly shooting landscapes I did not get as much opportunity for using this mode. But I love the butterfly picture!
The Depth of Field Mode
Getting the bokeh effect with the depth of field is a lot of fun! That I can get the effect without taking out my DSLR makes it even more fun.
To sum up, I thoroughly enjoyed using the ZenFone 3 camera. I use the cell phone when I am in a hurry and I simply want to put the camera on and click. I loved it that ZenFone 3 takes beautiful pictures in the auto mode. But for someone who needs more features, ZenFone 3 gives you many options right from HDR to Depth of Field and much more in between.
PS. I was given the phone for review on a returnable basis. All the pictures clicked with the phone and the thoughts are mine!
As a Traveler I am looking for two things in a mobile phone. One it should have a long lasting battery and two it should give me good pictures. Asus Zenfone Max scores well on both the criteria. The phone is price at Rupees 9999. I love the phones that do not break my bank and give me good value. This phone was given to me for review and it is mine to keep.
I used the phone extensively on my trips to Sri Lanka and Pench National Park. In those days I would be on the road for a long time. I am quite happy with the battery performance of ASUS Zenfone Max in such a scenario. I never had to take out the power bank to charge the phone mid-way! And I use my phone heavily throughout the day using data!
For pictures I do not use my cell phone as my primary camera, as I have a SLR. However, having a cell phone that lets you take pictures quickly is a big help. ASUS Zenfone Max performs well in this area. Let me elaborate.
Photo Credit- Alvin Lim
In Sri Lanka I actually did a series #fromthemovingbus (you can search the hashtag on Twitter). I extensively took pictures from the moving bus throughout the day. The idea was to show how beautiful the country looked even from the moving bus. I compiled a blog post using those pictures and won the East Coast Blog Challenge at theCinnamon TBC Asia Conference and Awards. You can see the winning entry here. Using the ASUS Zenfone Max I also won a GoProfor #MobitelCare Twitter Contest!
That is the power of a cell phone with F2 aperture and laser auto focus. It worked brilliantly for my traveling needs. I often need to take a quick picture when taking out the SLR and framing the shot is not possible. The phone also comes in handy when I am feeling pure lazy and I do not want to lug around my SLR. The rear camera is 13 MP and the front camera is 5 MP, which is the standard configuration in many phones. However the laser focus and the F2 makes a difference.
The screen is big at 5.5 inches, initially it felt a little awkward to hold but I am used to it now. The phone has 2GB RAM but it is not slow at all! But do remember that I do not play video games. Any game that is found on my phone has been downloaded by the brat pack of my family also known as Brats 1, 2, 3 and 4 (Elder Nephew, Younger Nephew, Niece and Daughter) The phone uses Android OS. If you are a stickler for specs check it out at the ASUS page.
As a user I find the design of the phone comfortable. The back of the phone has a grip and I never feel that it will slip out of my hand. There are phones that initially give me a feeling that they will slip out of the hand. Not this one.
For me ASUS Zenfone Max is always going to be special as I won on the spot awards at the Cinnamon TBC Asia with it!
When we were standing outside in the sun at Sanghol (Punjab) a colleague pointed out a bunch of parrots and asked where my camera was? When I told them I left it at home, their jaws dropped in disbelief, I am considered to be inseparable from my DSLR. However as I had the Zenfone Zoom on a returnable basis and I wanted to travel light for the academic conference I was attending at Sanghol, I actually left my DSLR behind and took just the Zenfone Zoom instead.
Priced at 37,999 it is a primarily meant for smartphone photography. As it has 3X optical zoom, they must have done a lot of R&D to fit the components and still let the phone look like a phone rather than a camera! I also liked the fact that the phone has a leather back and hence a good grip, it doesn’t feel that the phone will slip out of the hand.
Zenfone Zoom comes with 4GB RAM and 64 bit Intel CPU. Other features are:
You can see the complete phone specs from the link above. Do watch the video too. However, I would let the pictures taken by the phone do the talking and you can decide where it stands in the competition of the best camera phone.
My trip to Sanghol in Punjab was for an academic conference but when did that stop us from having fun? I was meeting a lot of colleagues whom I used to work with, before I went the travel blogging route.
The bunch of parrots that were pointed out to me were not too happy with me trying to get close to them! So I decided to test the zoom. The light was not favoring me but I was happy with my shot. I wish I had the phone with me for a longer duration to try more shots!
The Zenfone Zoom is a delight when it comes to clicking the delightful desserts. I didn’t miss my DSLR at all while I was photographing food.
After the conference we went to the fields of the village lambardar and it was flowering sarson all around. I loved the pictures I got without carrying my DSLR. I know the focus of this phone is on zoom but a traveler often seeks the landscape too. If Zenfone is working on another model I would say it should have a winder angle lens too for landscapes.
We also visited the Buddhist remains that have been excavated near Sanghol. Though I am not good with people photography I managed to get the caretakers of the sites to pose for me. I believe a cell phone is less intimidating than a DSLR.
In the evening we went to a dhaba to have chai and pakoras. I quite liked the tree lined avenue I saw. I stopped and starting clicking. If it was the SLR I would have to first take it out of the bag, change the lens, check out the settings if it was in manual and then click the shot. Sometimes I just want to click the shot and go chai and pakoras! If you like to click close up shots, this phone would work for you!