Asus has released the Android 7.1.1 Nougat update for the photography-oriented ZenFone 3 Zoom. Besides the usual suite of Android improvements, Asus has introduced a new feature on the phone’s camera: Portrait Mode.
The ZenFone 3 Zoom is Asus’ second attempt at making a smartphone with a primary focus on photography. It features two separate 12MP sensors with two focal lengths: a standard 12MP 25mm lens with f/1.7 aperture and a 12MP 56mm “zoom lens” with f/2.0 aperture, which combined offers 2.3x optical zoom. It also has a full suite of software for the camera, from an extensive manual mode to RAW capture.
Retailing at RM2,099, it is a rather pricey upper mid-range device with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor and 4GB RAM. Rounding up the specs list is a 5.5-inch Full HD display, 64GB of internal storage, a huge 5,000mAh battery, and a 13MP front camera.
The Android 7.1.1 update for the ZenFone 3 Zoom introduces several new features to the device, including Multi-Window, Quick App Switch, and a better data saving tool built in. But the most significant update is the new Portrait Mode feature on the device.
Utilising the two rear camera sensors with different focal lengths, the Portrait Mode feature on the ZenFone 3 Zoom works similarly to that on the iPhone 7 Plus. The depth information collected by both sensors allows for a simulated depth of field look on the final image. However, Asus has gone one step further than Apple in this regard – the ZenFone 3 Zoom offers the option of tweaking the bokeh effects via a slider in the Portrait Mode interface.
There’s now even a dedicated Portrait Mode button in the camera UI as well, replacing the Manual Mode button – that’s now bundled in with the Modes button.
Perhaps the best part of this is the fact that this new feature is being introduced on a device that’s about six months old. The RM2,099 RRP may be a little steep, but the ZenFone 3 Zoom can now be purchased for slightly lower – a quick check at local online stores show prices from as low as RM1,899.
Check out our extended hands on of the ZenFone 3 Zoom for more on the device.