It’s been more than a year since ASUS unveiled the Zenfone Zoom, their camera phone that has an optical zoom sensor akin to what you’d find on a point and shoot. Thankfully the wait for its arrival is finally over, with ASUS launching the phone in the US through B&H Photo starting next month.
B&H’s listing shows the device for $399, and even tells of a February 1st shipping date that we hope isn’t just a placeholder for something later in the month.
The centerpiece of attention on the device is its 13-megapixel OIS PixelMaster camera lens. Optical zoom allows you to get up close on photo subjects without sacrificing quality. You’ll be able to shoot from 4 to 11mm in focal length (it would be 28-84mm in a 35mm format) which comes with an aperture range of f/2.7-4.8 — not bad at all, we’d say. The glass is supported by an upgraded camera app that gives you more fine controls than you might be used to, like the ability to adjust ISO, white balance, shutter speed and exposure value.
Beyond that, it’s a phone through and through with a 5.5-inch Full HD display, 2.3GHz Intel quad-core ATOM Z3580 chipset, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage with microSD and more. It’ll come with Android 5.0 Lollipop as standard, and we won’t be surprised if that’s eventually upgraded to Marshmallow down the line. Let us know if this is something you wouldn’t mind having in your pocket as a dual threat once it’s finally available for purchase.