Zenfone 3 Deluxe (ZS570KL) with Snapdragon 821 (2.2GHz) with 6GB RAM and 256GB available now!

Update: If you want the Snapdragon 821 version of the Zenfone 3 Deluxe, I just confirmed with an eBay seller that his listing is for that top model. I contacted the seller directly and I have been assured that they are selling the Snapdragon 821 version, Silver color. This seller ships to anywhere in the world.

This is what I asked the seller and here is their response:

Question: Hi there. I want to certain of this detail about the processor. There are a few different Zenfone 3 Deluxe variants but only one has the Snapdragon 821 processor. The 821 version has just been released as of yesterday I believe. Can you please confirm 100% that this model you have does come with that Snapdragon 821 processor.

eBay Sellers Answer: I am sure 6G/256G is with Snapdragon 821 chip. The phone had not be released yesterday. Asus asks for me not to ship before this week. So I will ship the phone next Monday or Tuesday. I will ship the phone by Fedex priority if you buy from me. Silver is in stock, but gold has not in stock till the end of Sep.

Link to eBay Listing

Asus has been able to be first to market with the snappy fast Snapdragon 821 processor (2.4GHz). It’s only available in Taiwan for now, but we are expecting to have news about other countries. Yes, we are hoping to have details for those of you in the US market!

So when it comes to the most powerful smartphone on the market, it’s going to be hard to be the Zenfone 3 Deluxe Special Edition. With this Snapdragon processor, 23MP rear camera (Sony IMX 318), 6GB RAM and 256GB of UFS 2.0 storage, it’s virtually impossible to find a more robust phone on the market today.

New promo video condenses all things good about the Zenfone 3 Deluxe in 65 seconds

Asus has been getting quite creative with their videos. This latest video is focused on the hero Zenfone 3 Deluxe and Asus decided to condense all the key specs and features into a short, and sometimes confusing video.

What we found most impressive with this video is the look of the phone and how great Asus did in that department. Equally impressive is the video demo and the crisp detail of those videos.

The no antenna lines design is something that is certainly overlooked. It’s not widely mentioned in reviews or when comparing to the other flagship smartphones out there. It’s unfortunate but the general public seems rather oblivious to antenna lines or what that even really means.

Needless to say we can’t wait to get our hands on one to try out!


Video Screenshots:

Best Buy now selling Zenfone 3 models starting at $199

Best Buy in the US is now starting to sell Zenfone 3 models. So far it’s the Zenfone 3 Laser at $199 and the Zenfone 3 Deluxe 5.5 model for $399. It’s not yet clear which other models Best Buy will be selling, but it’s expected that they will sell the Zenfone 3 Deluxe 5.7 (ZS570KL) as well. If you’re wondering about the Special Edition of the Zenfone 3 Deluxe, there is not indicators that anyone other than the Asus US online store will be selling it.

Shopping Link: Zenfone 3 now available at Best Buy in US – Shop Here

As we reported earlier, Best Buy Canada has been selling the Zenfone 3 earlier than the US stores. In Canada Best Buy locations,  you can now check them out in-store. The listings had been up, but only a couple days ago the in-store stock became available. This includes the Zenfone 3 (ZE552KL) which is currently available in Canada but not the US. Details here.



Need a Zenfone 3 now? $199 for Laser – In Stock Now

If you are looking for a new smartphone now in the US, the Zenfone 3 Laser is available now for $199. Obviously this price means there are reduced specs in comparison to the Zenfone 3 Deluxe options, but for some of you the Laser should be more than sufficient.

Here is what the Zenfone 3 Laser does have. It has an IPS full HD display (1920 x 1080) resolution, Snapdragon 430 @ 1.2GHz, 2GB RAM, 32GB storage, 13MP rear / 8MP front cameras, microSD card slot for up to 128GB more storage, and has a 5.5-inch display size.

Compatibility for the US: Compatible with GSM Networks including AT&T, T-Mobile and cellular network providers utilizing GSM network. This device is not compatible with CDMA Networks such as: Verizon, Sprint, and US Cellular.

The Zenfone 3 Laser does not come with NFC, USB-C, quick charge or 802.11 ac wifi standard.


Update: Asus US online store shows sold out status for both top end Zenfone 3 Deluxe models

The Asus US online store was (and currently still is) the exclusive retailer for the Zenfone 3 Deluxe Special Edition. Pre orders started just over a week ago but now it’s showing as being “Sold Out”. The Special Edition is one of the most feature packed and fastest smartphones on the planet. It has a massive 256GB storage with the top end Snapdragon 821 processor.

More than that, the 64GB model with Snapdragon 820 is also sold out on the Asus US online store. The non Special Edition with 64GB storage and Snapdragon 820 processor is still available to pre order and we have all the details here.

With the price sensitivity out there right now, it’s interesting to see the Special Edition as being sold out. We can’t say what allotment was for the US market, so this much be much ado about nothing. Perhaps there simply weren’t that many units available for pre order. However the fact is the US market right now has no retail options for buying the Zenfone 3 Deluxe Special Edition. This development could spur Asus to have a wider retail release because the demand and interest is clearly there.

We don’t expect the “sold out” status to remain for long. Once supply gets updated, we’re expecting to see pre order begin once again. If you are very interested in this particular model, we have some suggestions and you can get this phone via Taiwan directly. Check out details here. So you can in fact still get this phone, but there are some associated.


Official video shows Zenfone 3 Ultra unboxing and hands-on

If you aren’t thinking of buying the Zenfone 3 Ultra, this video may change your feelings. Obviously at 6.8-inches it’s going to be considered too big by many, however it’s going to give you a much more enjoyable experience. More screen is just going to make things look better and easier to interact with.

It’s hard to say what the shortcomings are of the Zenfone 3 Ultra. The build quality is looking pretty dapper here. It’s quite possibly the nicest looking of all the Zenfone 3 models, but it’s hard to judge from afar.

The video has a quick unboxing and shows the contents which includes a headset and the charging cables/charger. There is a light overview of the specs, but take note of the expandability of 2TB via microSD card. That’s going to let you store tons of video for those times when you need some entertainment. The battery is also noted at 4,600mAh which is large, but it’s not widely known yet how good the battery life is on the Zenfone 3 Ultra.

So far so good! We love the looks of this one but too bad there is no news about a North American release!

Watch the unboxing video and hands-on:

Asus firmware update(s) for Zenfone 3 Deluxe improves camera image quality

It’s tricky to read reviews and trust what is being said. Sometimes details are missed or features are simply not mentioned. When it comes to smartphone reviews, photo quality is a big part of most reviews and most reviews feature some comparisons to other top smartphones. As it turns out, many of the Zenfone 3 Deluxe reviews may misrepresent the camera capabilities.

The Zenfone 3 Deluxe photo quality from earlier reviews may not be accurate for one reason. It’s called firmware updates. Asus has listed “Update camera to improve image quality” in almost every firmware update since early September!

The following firmware updates all list updates to the camera to improve image quality:

  • Version WW_4.11.40.928 – September 2, 2016
  • Version WW- – September 20, 2016
  • Version WW4.11.40.1085 – October 3, 2016

With this information, you should careful not to misjudge the quality of the photos that the Zenfone 3 Deluxe is able to take. If you are viewing an article showing sample photos from the Zenfone 3 Deluxe, it might be worth checking the date of the article and cross referencing with these firmware updates. Better yet if you see articles that list the firmware version on the Zenfone 3 Deluxe being used when taking the photos. It’s a detail that you will likely find missing however.

A lot of the photo samples online will be from early firmware versions which may in fact short change the phone’s capabilities. Early review units for early reviews mean the photos will likely be worse that what you would get today from the same camera. Many of the photo comparison articles are outdated from what we’ve seen. How outdated? In a funny way, the only way to see the improvements from the firmware would be to do a side-by-side comparison with a Zenfone 3 Deluxe running an early firmware version vs. a newer firmware version. In other words, it’s very difficult to know just how much better the image quality is thanks to these updates. After three consecutive updates though, I think it’s safe to say it should be better now than it was at launch.

Based on the top listing in the firmware for “Update camera to improve image quality”, Asus is taking the quality issue seriously. With the Sony IMX 318 sensor inside the Zenfone 3 Deluxe, the photo quality should be among the best from a smartphone. What we hope for are reviews of the Zenfone 3 Deluxe that are utilizing the newer firmware versions. Only then you will get a true idea of photo image quality. At that point, doing photo comparisons is actually representative of the differences among the other top photo taking smartphones on the market.

[source: Asus.com]