We saw the ASUS ZenFone Zoom in last year’s CES, and we were wondering when the ZenFone with the incredible rear camera would make it to market. The ZenFone Zoom has actually made appearances already in Taiwan (ASUS’s home market) and in Europe, but ASUS is claiming that what will make it to North American shores this year is a better model than those.
First up, they’re calling the ZenFone Zoom the world’s slimmest phone with a 3x optical zoom camera. They might be right in that sense. The ZenFone Zoom ZX551ML has 13MP main camera whose zoom lenses are made by Hoya. That 3x zoom will be good for some close-up macro photography – giving you great pictures even at distances of mere 2-inches from your subject.
Underneath the hood, you are getting a quad-core Intel Atom Z3590 processor clocked at 2.5Ghz. That will be supported by 4GB RAM, either 64GB or 128GB internal storage, and expansion via microSD of up to 128GB. The screen is a 5.5-inch FullHD (1080p) LCD display with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection. Keeping the lights on is a 3,000mAh non-removable battery. Everything will run under Android 5.0 Lollipop – no info if it will get an upgrade to Marshmallow, but it should.
The ASUS ZenFone Zoom will retail at USD$399, just around where the high-end ZenFone 2 was priced as well. The back is covered with real leather, and none of that faux leather stuff from other OEMs too. Looking at it, you see glimpses of the Nokia Lumia 1020, but that leather back really gives you a premium feel. ASUS says the new phone will be available in the US “early February”. We get to test the camera by then.