ASUS ZenFone 3 5.2 Z017D Review

Thursday, November 03, 2016

     I've been using ASUS ZenFone 3 for more than a month now. Like what I've said in my unboxing and first impression post, I'll be sharing with you my thoughts on this phone. I'll focus more on the photos, gaming, and audio performance. I'll leave the technical part to tech bloggers and will share my experience using this phone every day, how it fits my work and lifestyle.

     I'm pretty sure that you've seen positive reviews of ZenFone 3 from your favorite bloggers. Yes, it has a premium feel and the price is higher than ZenFone 2 models but you're really getting what you've paid for. I'll be musing more of experience after the jump, so without further ado here's my take on ASUS ZenFone 3 5.2 Z017D- photos, videos, and my thoughts below :)

ASUS ZenFone 3 5.2 Z017D Review

Phone Specifications

1. Display- 5.2-inch 75.6 % S to B ratio, IPS Display: 600nits brightness
2. Weight- 144 g 
3. Resolution- FHD 1920 x 1080
4. Protection- Corning Gorilla Glass 3 with Zen UI 3.0
5. OS- Android Version 6.0.1 Marshmallow
6. Memory- 4GB RAM
7. Processor- Qualcomm 14nm Snapdragon 625 Octa-core 2.0Ghz CPU
8. GPU- Adreno 506 GPU
9. Connectivity- 4G LTE/GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou
10. Camera- Front 8 MP PixelMaster Camera, f/2.0 aperture, Rear 16MP PixelMaster, Sony IMX298 f/2.0 aperture
11. Battery- 2600 mAh (Non-removable)
12. Colors- Sapphire Black, Moonlight White, Shimmer Gold, Aqua Blue
13. Price- Php 16,995

ASUS ZenFone 3 5.2 Z017D Review
Phone Features

     I will not enumerate all the features of the phone. I'll be highlighting here the features that are so useful for me and my son plus okay the hubby too. No further explanation of technicalities here because I want to share with you my real experience while using the phone. At first, I'm scared methinks that it's fragile because the aluminum body is sandwiched in two corning gorilla glass but oh boy once you're used to holding it, it's like you're holding a precious thing that you don't want to let go.

1. The ZEN UI

     I love this feature of ASUS ZenFone. I can download themes whenever I want to beautify the theme of my phone. It's so responsive that's why I don't complain of lags. There are pre-installed apps and games too. I think the only downside of this is the unnecessary pre-installed apps and games but no need to worry because I can uninstall it anytime I want. The OC in me rejoices because I can change the font style and size when I want to. I can re-arrange the apps and widgets on my phone in an instant.

ASUS ZenFone 3 5.2 Z017D Review
Default ZEN UI

2. The Battery Life

     I'm online for more than 10 hours a day that's why I need a smartphone that has a long battery life. ASUS ZenFone 3's battery is a great performer! I will only charge once if I'll be using the phone for 10 hours and twice if I'm planning to go online the whole day. I tested the battery life of this phone with Data On during Kenzo's field trip and I'm amazed that it lasted for more than 5 hours. I'm also using the camera that time and if you'll look closely at the time of the photos below, there's still 30% left battery before I recharged it that day. Charging takes up to an hour though.

ASUS ZenFone 3 5.2 Z017D Review
See the clock for comparison

3. The Audio

     The hubby is a self-confessed music lover. He listens to his favorite songs on his smartphone (which is, by the way, a ZenFone 2 Laser) while cooking lunch, during his past time, and when he is busy doing some household chores. He doesn't wear earphones all the time that's why a good speaker is a must but with ZenFone 3, no need for speakers. He's amazed the first time he heard the audio- not too loud and not too low, and from that moment he always borrows my phone. Hahaha! 

ASUS ZenFone 3 5.2 Z017D Review

4. The Game Genie

     I'm a gamer, played online games before but when I became a mom and a blogger I lost my interest in gaming. I guess the main reason is the lack of time and interesting games (for me) to be played. I'm fascinated with games that have cute characters and the only game I saw worth playing now is SIM City. I'm glad that there's a pre-installed SIM CITY Buildit game in ZenFone 3. Although I have not tried playing it until now, I can say that it's a fun game because Kenzo likes.

     What makes him like the game more? The Game Genie! Kenzo is an aspiring toys and hobbies reviewer on YouTube and he enjoys playing and recording his game at the same time. This feature is a big plus for us once Kenzo decides to create his own YouTube channel and review smart phone games. All we have to do is record and upload the video and tada~ a game review coming up!

5. The Video Recording

     Tested the recording of ZenFone 3 during Kenzo's field trip. The video you'll see below was taken in 4x zoom. I can say that it's still clear and has a minimum to no blur whenever I move the phone while recording.

6. The Camera, camera, camera!

     I already rave about the camera of my ZenFone 2 Laser 5.2 and 5.5 because of clear photos and for ZenFone 3's 8MP Front Pixel Master and 16MP Pixel Camera with dual tone flash what more can I ask for? I take pictures most of the time, especially for the blog. To tell you honestly, there are times that I'm too lazy to use my mirrorless camera because of this phone.

ASUS ZenFone 3 5.2 Z017D Review
Camera features
     Mirrorless camera is lighter than DSLR but it's a no-brainer that a smartphone is the lightest among the three, right? But others will say a camera is a camera and a smartphone is a smartphone but what if you have a smartphone that has the same quality of those mirrorless and DSLR cameras? Of course, I will choose a smartphone and that's what I did during Kenzo's field trip. I brought my mirrorless camera with me but it's lying in my bag because I found ZenFone 3 easier to use and hey the quality of photos are great! 

     Sharing with you sample shots of my favorite modes like Super Resolution, Depth of Field, Low Light, Auto Mode, and Effect. I've tried the Beautification and set it to level 2. So the selfie you'll see below was set to level 2 brightening and smoothening. I've tried the Panorama but I think I need to practice more on how to use that camera feature.

Super Resolution

ASUS ZenFone 3 5.2 Z017D Review

ASUS ZenFone 3 5.2 Z017D Review
Auto Mode

ASUS ZenFone 3 5.2 Z017D Review

ASUS ZenFone 3 5.2 Z017D Review
Depth of Field

ASUS ZenFone 3 5.2 Z017D Review

ASUS ZenFone 3 5.2 Z017D Review
Effects in Grayscale

ASUS ZenFone 3 5.2 Z017D Review

ASUS ZenFone 3 5.2 Z017D Review
See more photos HERE

What I like:
  • The packaging is stylish and in a sleek box. 
  • The design- it's so sleek and the premium feel is real. It has a beautiful design because of the corning gorilla glass. 
  • There are four beautiful colors to choose from.
  • The camera is great! Should I say more? I don't complain about lighting at night because taking a photo in low light mode still gives a clear shot.
  • I'm not a photo-savvy individual but the camera features got me sold. The modes make me take photos of effects that I like. These features are perfect if you have a blog, or you like taking photos using a smartphone, and upload it to your photo collection. 
  • It's very responsive. Loading is fast and I have no problems multi-tasking and uploading photos.
  • The battery will go a long way. I'm active in social media and the battery lasted more than 10 hours with WiFi or data on. Usage will be around 5 hours.
  • The ZenUI is perfect for the so-called 'oc-organizer' type of individual like me. Some of the pre-installed themes got me like the games, beauty plus, and puffin. I'm the type of individual who likes organizing stuff, arranging the things I like in a neat and coordinated way. Every time I look at my chosen theme, I feel so happy. It brings good vibes to me every day. 
  • The game genie is promising. I think I'll be doing a video blog soon together with my son :)
  • Finger-print sensor FTW!

What I don't like:
  • Loaded with unnecessary pre-installed apps.
  • The price will be a question for budget-conscious individuals.

Will I repurchase/recommend? Yes! I will highly recommend this to my friends who are photo-savvies and to those who have the budget to buy an upgraded version of ZenFone 2. ASUS ZenFone 3 is built for photography so with a beautiful design, great camera, and excellent performance what more can you ask for?


     I give this a 4.75/5 rating. ASUS ZenFone 3 is an upgraded version of the phones they released last year. This time they made a smartphone that is beautiful inside and out. Yes, the price can be out of range for those who have a tight budget but once you got a hold of this, you can truly say that you get what you paid for. The price range of this phone can be compared to the mid-range phones but in my opinion, the features are really worth the price. The audio is good, there's a game genie app, the camera is great. You can do mobile photography using a beautiful and sleek device. 

     Tech bloggers already did their job. They made the benchmarking and other tests to gauge ZenFone 3's performance. If you have the budget, I will highly recommend this phone. It's incredible, indeed.

Share your thoughts on ASUS ZenFone 3 below :)

For more information about ASUS  Philippines, visit their website:
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Follow them on Twitter: @ASUSph
Follow them on Instagram: @asusph
#IncredibleIsNow #ZenFone3 #BuildForPhotography

Good Times!~

DISCLAIMER: ASUS ZenFone 3 was sent to me by ASUS Philippines for review. The thoughts expressed are my honest opinion about the product and the real user experience. We may have different standards in describing our experience/s. Kindly leave a comment below to share your thoughts. 


  1. Hi Ms. Kath! 😊 Yes, the new Zenfone 3 line are superb! So incredible! As in! Actually, I 'm one of the luckiest person to witnessed as theyre launched the Zenfone 3. The Zenvolution event held at Sofitel Hotel Manila. I've given a chance to tried the Zenfone 3! Super ganda nya! The features, the designs,the colors and the style! Plus, the finger print sensor for about 2 and or 5 seconds is for the win! Even if so pricey sya but, it's so worth it nman! I'am a person who loves taking selfie. And this Zenfone 3, perfect for taking selfies. I will surely definitely all the photographers will love this! Perfect for taking pictures! 😊 My dream phone now! When the event is done, I've said to myself na I will buy a Zenfone 3 someday. That's why super nag iipon ako now to buy one of Zenfone 3. But because of you Ms.Kath and ASUS I have given a chance to have a new Zenfone 3 in me. Thank you for this giveaway. It will be perfect gift for my upcoming birthday this November if I win. Hehe. Best to capture the moments in my life. Thank you Ms. Kath and God Bless you more. 😘😊 #IncredibleIsNow #Zenfone3 #BuildForPhotography

  2. Ang ganda talaga nyan,Ganyan phone ni hubby ko nakikihiram ako lagi hindi kasi naglalag.

    1. Hi Almira,

      Yay! Yes, ang ganda outside and inside. Sana ibile ka ng sarile mong Zenfone 3 ni hubby :)


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