Asus’s 3rd-generation of smartphone lineup has definitely lifted a new face for Asus when they revealed their phones earlier this year. Sporting completely new designs, Asus opted in for much more premium materials to spice up their ZenFones for this generation. Asus also carried on the naming scheme naming their phones, Laser, Deluxe, Max and Ultra which all cater specific users. Although, while we definitely loved the ZenFone 3, Asus’s ZenFone 3 Laser tries to fill in the middle-ground for Asus by pricing it at RM999 in Malaysia, but with this stiff competition, was it able to impress us? Let’s find out!

01| Design & Build Quality

The first and the most striking appeal with Asus ZenFone 3 Laser has to be it’s aluminum back that surrounds the rear of the device. Gone are the days when Asus used the ergonomically pleasing plastic in their phones. The company has definitely stepped up its game and has learned to move with the trends.

This year’s ZenFone 3 Laser carries the Zen appeal here with the smooth rear metal back and a comforting 2.5D glass at the front. The design obviously has cool aluminum appeal but the major drawback here is that the device is quite slippery. So, it is recommended that you use some kind of case with it for better grip.

While the ZenFone 3 Laser is slippery, this is usually the case with such designed smartphones. However, the phone is definitely capable of withstanding some drops.

02|Display/Audio & User Interface

The Asus ZenFone 3 Laser comes with a 5.5-inch 1080p display. While it’s 1440p, it’s still great, especially when Asus adds their custom display tweaker, Splendid, into the mix. Asus’s Splendid tweaker allows the user to customize their display’s color according to their preference which is a great feature, always welcomed in any smartphone. The text appears to be clear and crisp.

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Talking about the audio on the ZenFone 3 Laser, the Asus ZenFone 3 Laser has decent speakers built into it. It’s not the best out there but it’s definitely decent. Volumes are just loud enough and voice calls are pretty clear. Watching videos on the device is definitely an enjoyable experience, that is if you are in a fairly quiet environment as there is only a single speaker on the device that could be easily blocked with your finger.

As for the UI, nothing special here, Asus’s Zen UI still retails it’s colorful yet imitated stock Lollipop look feel. Although, the bloatware is still there which is quite a bummer. The bloatware could be uninstalled. Overall, Asus’s ZenUI works great and adds tons of customizability and personalization to the interface.

03|Gaming & Performance

Asus’s ZenFone 3 Laser comes packed with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 430 which is an octa-core chip clocked @ 1.4GHz. The phone runs pretty smoothly and could run your daily tasks with ease unless you have more than a few apps running in the background.

Gaming on the ZenFone 3 Laser was just okay. Many games are playable but don’t expect the highest settings and smoothest framerates with this device. Real Racing 3 runs at a decent playable framerate, although casual games should run with ease on this device.

04| Camera

The Asus ZenFone 3 Laser comes with a 13MP camera that is accompanied by a laser autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash. The camera on the Zenfone 3 Laser is capable of taking good shots in daylight, although the story quickly changes as you move indoors or in low-light situations. Here are a few shots, captured on the Asus ZenFone 3 Laser:

05| Battery

The ZenFone 3 Laser comes with a 3000mAh battery. The ZenFone 3 Laser is a phone that would last the 9-5 person. From a full charge, the ZenFone 3 Laser would last you 3/4th of the day that is if you use it moderately. The phone does support quick charging technology, although Asus has a bad habit of not including a fast charging adaptor in the box. So, you’ll have to get one yourself. Charging times are okay. It usually takes 2-3 hours to get it to a full charge if the battery is around 10%.

06| Pricing & Conclusion

The Asus ZenFone 3 Laser is currently retailing at RM999 which is an okay price for such a device. Although the phone is pretty good, I would have been more comfortable if the device had a lower price tag. Coming from a device that supports QC3.0 and going back to the ZenFone 3 Laser just made me uncomfortable with the charging times.