Holy battery, Batman! Asus ZenFone 3 Zoom packs serious 5,000mAh muscle (hands-on)

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Running out of battery should be the last thing on your mind when playing with the Asus ZenFone 3 Zoom's many camera features. A phone built around the camera experience would naturally suck down battery resources with all that photo processing, which is another reason to go ahead and let your jaw drop at the 5,000mAh battery packed within the phone's aluminum frame.

That's a lot of battery.

In addition to the promise of long battery life, this whopper of a power bank can also charge other devices.

At heart, though, the ZenFone 3 Zoom is all about photography. It has:

  • Two 12-megapixel cameras (one 25mm, one 56mm with 2.3x optical zoom)
  • A 13-megapixel front-facing selfie camera, with screen flash
  • Portrait mode to artfully blur the background in an image (yes, like the iPhone 7 Plus does)
  • Raw file support -- once it updates to Android 7.0 Nougat (that comes default in the new software)
  • Full manual mode
  • Enhanced low-light sensitivity

It's hard to get a sense of just how good a camera is when you're in a bustling conference ballroom bathed in the harshest of artificial lights, devoid of things you'd actually want to take photos of. That said, the settings were thorough, the camera was easy the navigate, and the phone's light, thin, curved (if a little plasticky) body made it easy to aim and shoot. The screen reliably flashed when I took (and then immediately deleted) my selfie.

What else does it have? A 5.5-inch screen, aluminum body and Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor. It goes on sale in February, though we don't yet know for how much.

Story updated at 2:19 p.m. PT with hands-on impressions.

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Where to Buy

Asus ZenFone 3 Zoom

Part Number: CNETZENFONE3ZOOM

Visit manufacturer site for details.