ASUS Zenfone 3 Ultra: Unboxing and First Impressions

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In Computex 2016, Asus announced a new range of its best selling ZenFone series – including the Zenfone 3, Zenfone 3 ultra, Zenfone 3 Deluxe and Zenfone 3 Laser, all of which has their own unique standpoint and were also announced in Malaysia in August 2016. Asus kindly provided us a Zenfone 3 Ultra for review, and here’s our first impressions.

Unboxing

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The packaging of the Zenfone 3 is definitely a special one. In pursuit of more premium quality and higher price point, the packaging is unlike anything else on the market. The phone is presented right on top once you open the flap, and unlike other packaging, the accessories were presented in a drawer tray, which consists of a quick-charge wall adapter, USB-C cable and premium ZenEar earphones. Pretty sure it’ll come with some documentations to help you get started, which isn’t present in our review unit.

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First impressions

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The Zenfone 3 Ultra is the biggest phone in the whole Zenfone lineup, featuring a 6.8-inch display. Think your Galaxy Note is big enough? Think again. Our first impressions of the phone is quite positive, even though we needed some time to get used to the massive size of the phone. Still, it’s not as big as the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab. This is what you call a proper phablet. Single handed operation is almost impossible, you definitely need two hands to operate while holding it.

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The build quality is quite impressive. Premium Gorilla Glass front and metal sides and back. The Zenfone 3 Ultra comes in 3 colours: Glacier Silver, Titanium Grey as well as Rose Gold. The one we had here is the Glacier Silver, which is more of a Champagne colour. Compared to most other phones, its actually on the heavier side, weighing in at 233 grams. Still, for a device with metal body and 6.8-inch screen, its well weighted and feels proper premium.

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Like the rest of its siblings in the lineup, the Zenfone 3 features a Full HD (1920 X 1080) display, and with only 324 pixles-per-inch, we would like to see sharper displays, especially when the phone is marketed towards consumers with higher content consumption.

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The ZenFone 3 Ultra comes with a fingerprint sensor which is embedded into the home button at the front. The power button is at the right side, and the volume rockers are at the back, which is easier to operate compared to having it on one side of the phone. Overall, everything looks fine so far.

Specs

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Powering the Zenfone 3 ultra is Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 with an octa-core setup. The version we get in Malaysia comes with 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB storage configuration. It does come with a dual-SIM and expandable storage setup, even though you only get to choose one of them. If you fancy dual SIM it does mean that there’s no available slot for expandable storage, and vice versa.
The screen is a 6.8-inch Full HD (1920 X 1080 pixels) IPS display, with 324 pixels-per-inch. The front camera is a 8-megapixel setup, while the rear camera is 23-megapixels, fully loaded with tech you would want including optical image stabilization, laser autofocus, and dual-tone LED flash. It’s also able to record 4K video at 30 frames-per-second.

That’s our first impression of the new Asus Zenfone 3 Ultra. Do check back us for full review of the phone!