You can order Zenfone 3 Deluxe in US for $499 right now!

Updated December 26: Asus has taken a while to get stock to North America, but they have now delivered. You can now order the Zenfone 3 Deluxe in the US for $499 from Amazon.com if you live in the US or Canada. Yes, Amazon.com will ship this to Canada! B&H has units in stock and they do ship international orders and offer free shipping to Canada! This is an unlocked smartphone that’s compatible with most every carrier but will not work with CDMA networks like Verizon, Sprint and US Cellular.

Order Now US and Canada –> $499 – Zenfone 3 Deluxe (ZS570KL) from Amazon.com – Click Here

International and Canada From B&H –> ZenFone 3 Deluxe 5.7″ ZS570KL 64GB Smartphone (Unlocked, Glacier Silver)

From Canada? You can order from Amazon.ca now – full details here.

Network Compatibility – The Zenfone 3 line-up is compatible with GSM Networks including AT&T, T-Mobile and cellular network providers utilizing GSM network. This phone (or any other Zenfone 3) is not compatible with CDMA networks such as: Verizon, Sprint, and US Cellular. In Canada, the Zenfone 3 line-up is compatible with GSM Networks including Rogers, Bell, Telus, Wind Mobile, Fido, Virgin, Koodo and cellular network providers utilizing GSM network. This phone (or any other Zenfone 3) is not compatible with CDMA networks.

GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
WCDMA: Band 1/2/4/5/6/8/19
FDD-LTE Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/18/19/20/26/28/29/30

This ZS570KL models comes with 64GB of storage, 6GB of RAM and the Snapdragon 820 processor. This is not the “Special Edition” model that has the Snapdragon 821 with 256GB storage. If you’re not sure how the top two Zenfone 3 Deluxe models compare, we have a benchmark comparison article here.

So if you’re holding out for the super top end Zenfone 3 Deluxe Special Edition, then I suggest you sign up for our newsletter and or check in with us. We hope to break that news for you! Is it later today? Tomorrow? Later than that? We simply don’t know right now.

If you heard about the Google Pixel XL launch yesterday, then you realize how much of a value the Zenfone 3 Deluxe is at $499 USD.

pre-order-zenfone-3-deluxe-us-for-499-dollars

Welcome the Zenfone Live (ZB501KL) – It’s not Go

Well Asus has thrown a curve ball here. It’s not a new Zenfone Go phone, rather it’s a Zenfone Live phone. This is the first from this new “Live” series which is focused on live streaming excellence. It’s going to be price friendly like the Zenfone Go series, but Asus decided to go with a newly named line-up for this design.

This is the first time we’ve spotted ZenUI 3.5 so we will dig into what’s new. Overall the ZB501KL is a budget spec phone which will like be a limited release.

 

ZB501KL Spec Sheet:

[source: Krispitech]

 

 

Asus has a Zenfone camera team of 70 to 80 people

According to Asus CEO Jerry Shen who spoke at the recent investors conference, the company has 70 to 80 people working on the Zenfone camera technology. Many of them are senior engineers with PhDs according to Shen.

There is a lot of challenges with smartphone cameras and the fact Asus is putting together such a large and diverse team says they are serious. It would make sense that with the Zenfone 4, the fruits of their labor should be realized.

It’s interesting in our long running poll on this site that the result indicate that people are far more interested in price.

The Zenfone 3 Zoom should be a hint on where Asus is progressing in terms of their photo taking prowess. With the Zenfone 3 Deluxe having the newest Sony camera sensor, the phone didn’t get top reviews in terms of video quality. The good news is that with the current Zenfone 3 models, Asus has continued to roll out software updates which list camera improvements. Clearly the company cares.

When you think smartphone photo quality, it’s usually Samsung at the top followed by Google Pixel phones. For Asus to continue pushing into the higher end smartphone market, their photo technology needs to compete. Let’s hope that the Zenfone 4 really shines!

New Zenfone 3 Go (ZB501KL) excels at live streaming

Asus has just made some news with details about the new Zenfone 3 Go (ZB501KL) smartphone. The Go series is entry level price and at this point the price and launch countries are unknown.

What we can tell you is that Asus is touting the Zenfone 3 Go live streaming capability. Think of this as an enhancement technology that will make you look more beautiful. There is also quality microphones onboard to help with the live streaming quality. If you are familiar with technical details, the Zenfone 3 Go has dual MEMS microphones which make for a clearer chat with less noise.

The Zenfone 3 Go has a soft LED flash for brighter selfies. Based on photos of the phone, we don’t see a fingerprint sensor.

The tag line for the Zenfone 3 Go is “Livestream beautifully”.

Details are emerging so we will have some update specs and information very soon.

Asus CEO Jerry Shen shares a few Zenfone 4 details

With a recent launch event in Taiwan for the Zenfone 3 Zoom, an interview by ePrice with Asus CEO Jerry Shen has uncovered a few Zenfone 4 details. We are dealing with translations here, but we can at least share in general terms what Jerry Shen has said.

First, it appears that some of the top end Zenfone 4 models will not have the 3.5mm headphone jack. According to Shen, there would need to be a design or performance reason for removing it. Removing the headphone jack for the sake of removing the headphone jack doesn’t seem to be something Asus is contemplating. It seems quite clear though that most of the mid range and lower Zenfone 4 models will have the headphone jack. Water resistance or water proofing might be one justification for the headphone jack removal in our opinion.

Next, Shen indicates that Asus will have some premium priced Zenfone 4 models with top-end specs. This should be along the lines of what the Zenfone 3 Deluxe established in terms of pricing. With the move from Zenfone 2 to Zenfone 3 Asus has already raised their pricing and the Zenfone 4 series appears to have a similar pricing strategy. Based on what Shen is saying, expect the Zenfone 4 series to be even more premium overall than the Zenfone 3 series.

[source: ePrice]

New benchmark listing gets Zenfone 4 rumor mill started

People seem quick to jump onto rumors. There has been a benchmark spotted online which is certainly curious, but it’s highly unlikely to be the Zenfone 4.

Timing is the most glaring issue here. Zenfone 4 being tested in February? This seems very unlikely considering Asus is a sure bet to unveil the Zenfone 4 and Computex 2017 which is the first week of June. More than that though, Asus isn’t likely to have the Zenfone 4 in stores until a month or two following the unveiling at Computex 2017.

Next the screen size of 5.7-inches is not part of the flagship Zenfone series. The Zenfone 2 is 5.5-inches as is the main Zenfone 3 model. When you’re getting into 5.7-inches, that is Zenfone Deluxe territory. But if this benchmark is a Deluxe model, the specs certainly don’t say “next generation” Zenfone 4 Deluxe considering the processor is less than the best current Zenfone 3 Deluxe model.

So we do indeed have a mystery going on here. What do we believe? Well let’s consider the India market which just go a Zenfone 3S Max (ZC521TL). It’s entirely possible that this benchmark is part of a Zenfone 3S Deluxe (ZS572KL) model. The benchmark suggests an higher resolution screen and Android 7.0 which are differences enough to warrant a “3S” naming. It’s also worth mentioning that the current ZS570 Deluxe model comes with a 23MP rear camera but this new benchmark shows a rear 21MP camera.

Ultimately a benchmark test is only one indication. There is zero other evidence to suggest this is a Zenfone 4 or a Zenfone 3S Deluxe. It has created speculation which is fun, but let’s wait for some more details to emerge.

 

[source: GFXBench]

 

Cheap Zenfone 3 Deluxe (ZS570KL) Case Review – Qosea Crystal Clear Case

The Zenfone 3 Deluxe is a beautiful looking piece of hardware. Covering up beauty with a case is nonsensical so I shopped around for a clear case. This is where things turned into a misadventure.

I admire the official Asus clear case. It’s perfect and because it’s official, you know it’s going to fit as it should. It’s a case you can trust. But as it turns out there is a global shortage of the official Asus clear case. It’s virtually impossible to find. Japan and Taiwan are the only markets with in-stock levels and you can’t even get them on eBay right now. What I discovered is that there are very few options if you want a nice case for a Zenfone 3 Deluxe.

As a result, I ventured into the cheap 3rd party cases from Amazon. As you may be aware of, most 3rd party cases are bulky and quite ugly. So at $8 for the Qosea (may be spelt Qoosea) clear case I was highly skeptical. A clear case is essential, so I took a gamble and ordered it.

As you can see, we’re talking super cheap and the packaging says as much.

What I can say about this case is that it’s thin. Super thin. So thin that it makes me wonder how helpful this case will be in a dropped phone situation. This is not a hard shell case, but it’s soft and bendable silicone. It’s very easy to put on and it is a terrifically snug fit.

I compared this Qosea case to the official Asus clear case and there are some subtle differences. This case is total coverage with the openings for the ports and sensors only. Asus does not cover up the power and volume buttons or the bottom of the phone near the speaker and USB-C port. This Qosea case covers as much as possible which you can see in the photos below.

Most importantly, the holes line up very well, but almost too well. I would prefer a bit of spacing from the ports, sensors and speaker holes. I don’t like crowding ports or important aspects of the phones performance.

I notice that the official Asus clear case has more cutouts. This Qosea case gets right up against the ports, connections and sensors with their cutouts. There is much less room for error when they create the cutouts. As you can see in the image below, the finger print sensor cutout on my case is slightly off. Thankfully it doesn’t affect my ability to use the finger print sensor. It would be less of an issue if they simply cut out more space to begin with.

This case is perfect for those people who dislike cases. It’s about as thin as you can get, but it will likely save your phone from too much damage from a drop. I can’t test the protective aspect of this case unfortunately. A drop from your pocket or hands onto a hard surface like pavement is a scary situation. A certain point in time I didn’t worry about damaging my devices. After seeing three screens on my devices recently being damaged and cracking, I’m a bit wiser. It’s a big gamble having zero protection.

In the marketing materials for this case, Qosea claims there are “tiny holes for losing heat” on the rear side of the case. It’s true there appears to be tiny holes but to the naked eye they are almost impossible to see. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. The fact is those little holes can’t be seen when you put the case on the phone.

What I didn’t like is that the power buttons and volume buttons become a bit of a chore (see image above). It’s a subtle resistance because of the case but it makes the buttons a bit more difficult to interact with. A deal breaker? I don’t think so. I would call this a nuisance though. I wondered about creating my own cutout for the buttons, but I don’t see the risk being worth it. It’s also worth noting that the Asus official clear case has a cutout around the buttons which is a design I wish this case had.

With this case being so cheap, I question how long it will last. I’m going to update this review over the next few months. Will it stretch after being put on and removed over a period of time? The snug fit is essential and if that starts to go, then I guess it’s not that big of a deal to order another one at $8. The question is though, how long will it last. Also, will the case break near the charging point as this is the narrowest piece of silicon on the case. It’s a budget case and I realize durability may not be its strong suit. However, I will update this post as I move forward.

So do I recommend this case? Yes. It’s only $8! It’s perfect if you believe that a thin silicone skin can save your Zenfone 3 Deluxe from screen damage. If your phone tumbles out of your hand onto a cement or pavement surface there will be some absorption qualities from this silicone case. Of course everything depends on the angle of the contact and the height of the drop. It fits perfectly as well. It doesn’t sit up on the edges or corners to interfere with the look and use of the phone. It’s about as inconspicuous as you can get. For that, I love it.

I’m impressed enough with this case that I will likely buy a Qosea clear case for future devices.

If you are fearful of dropping your phone and you really want a thick bumper style case, then look at different cases.

Availability: You can find this Qosea brand case on Amazon so look there first. You may also find this case spelt as “Qoosea”.

USA Amazon.com link

Canada Amazon.ca link