B&H has Zenfone 3 Zoom (ZE553KL) pre order – Just $329 USD

There is some odd pricing going on right now with the arrival of the Zenfone 3 Zoom. Originally it was slated to have a $399 USD price but that was before the actual launch. So this week we posted about the Amazon.com listing for a price of $406 USD which is about what we expected. Now today we see a super friendly pre order price of $329 USD from B&H.

Shopping Link –> Shop B&H: $329 Zenfone 3 Zoom

 

What we can say is that the B&H listing is live. What’s better is that B&H ship to Canada for free (minimum $99) and they also ship internationally. This would be the North American variant of the phone so beware of network compatibility. Check the details!

With this kind of price tag, $329 USD, it’s a great option. Even if you’re not an avid photographer, consider the massive 5,000mAh battery onboard and the AMOLED display which is nicer than the original Zenfone 3 (ZE552KL and ZE520KL).

Model: ZE553KL-S625-4G64G-BK

Surprise! Zenfone 3 Zoom (ZE553KL) now available to buy from Amazon.com for $406 USD

Update: The Amazon listing/link below is currently showing as “unavailable”. In the meantime, we spotted a US based retailer (with international shipping) selling the Zenfone 3 Zoom for $329. Check it out here.

The Zenfone 3 Zoom was originally coming in February, then was going to be delayed until Q2 2017 for improvements. But as of today, you can buy one for $406 USD from Amazon.com! If you live in Canada, they will also ship to you.

From the listing, it’s sold by and shipped by Amazon.com. They list North American carrier compatibility. In other words this appears 100% legit and is not a 3rd party selling an international version of the Zenfone 3 Zoom.

Shop Now: Click here to buy or check out the Zenfone 3 Zoom (ZE553KL) listing from Amazon.com

Something noteworthy here is the display. I have a Zenfone 3 Deluxe which sports the super AMOLED display which is truly premium. Yes, the Zenfone 3 Zoom has this same AMOLED display technology! So I can honestly tell you that it’s absolutely visually stunning as comparison to the LCD screen type.

The Zenfone 3 Zoom packs a big 5,000mAh battery which surpasses the 4,100mAh found in the Zenfone 3 Max series. The Zenfone 3 Zoom is also reverse charge capable so you can connect other devices and charge them off of this battery. The processor is a more power efficient Snapdragon S625 along with 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage. The color is the terrific Navy Black which is amazing from the photos and hands-on videos that I’ve seen.

This phone is really all about the cameras. It features dual rear camera with 12MP/12MP with 2.3X optical zoom, 4K video recording and 13MP front camera.

ZE553KL Image Gallery:

Zenfone 3 (ZE552KL) now available to buy in the US from Asus online store for $299 USD

Asus is always full of surprises. To the shock of many, Asus did not initially bring the main, middle priced Zenfone 3 (ZE552KL) smartphone to the US market, yet it was released in Canada. This was likely to not change, but apparently it has!

So if you’re looking for a good overall smartphone, you can get one for $299 USD in either the white or dark blue color. This is certainly not a wide release, but it’s available in the US Asus online store, right now.

Based on our time with the Zenfone 3 (ZE552KL) we recommend it. You can read our full review here. What you may also be interested is the fact Asus just rolled out the Android 7.0 Nougat update last week for this phone.

 

 

 

How did I get this official Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe clear case?

I can honestly say that it was next to impossible for starters. I did get this case as of yesterday but it was not easy that’s for sure.

I live in North America and one official Asus accessory that you cannot find (at the time of this writing) is the official Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe clear case. For some people this may not be a big deal. Afterall there are many clear case options that cost less than $10 from places like Amazon.

There is however quite a big difference between the official Asus case and all the other 3rd party cases. The current Zenfone 3 Deluxe clear case that I’m using is completely fine with one exception.

Most every clear case covers the power and volume buttons. This ultimately makes a pleasant button into a more resistant button. Additionally, the Asus case is better fitting in the sense that it doesn’t crowd the ports, sensors or camera. Having a case “cutout” that crowds a camera sensor is not a good thing and many of the 3rd party cases are very much hit and miss.

So what is the story behind this case?

I looked all over the web in my search of the official Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe (ZS570KL) clear case. I looked high and I looked low. I only found two markets that had some for sale. These countries were Taiwan and Japan. So living in North America, there was no simple “add to cart” option to get one of these.

So what did I do? I turned to craigslist. I ran an ad in Taiwan and Japan and asked if somebody could help me out and buy the case and then ship to me. I got a LOT of responses which was shocking to be honest.

The question becomes who can you trust? Complete strangers afterall. So I used my gut instincts and chose a person based on their quick replies and sensible communication. The bottom line is that it’s total blind faith. My thought process was pretty simple. This will make a good story and if I get ripped off on this first time effort, it will give me a good laugh. What are the chances that somebody would offer to help and then rip me off for a few bucks?

The person was from Japan and originally I was going to get them to buy from Amazon Japan, but I decided they better get it from the official Asus Japan online store, which they did. After a few days, they got the case.

Payment was pretty simple. I used Interact online banking and paid half up front and the rest when the person shipped the case to me. Perhaps paying the second half before receiving it wasn’t such a good idea?

I was very happy and was shown a picture of the case when they got it from the Asus store. Given the price I was willing to pay, we decided to use economy shipping. Big mistake!  Check the dates below:

Date Shipped: Jan 30, 2017

Shipping Method: Economy

Date Arrived: March 21, 2017

At the time the sender shipped the case to me, they provided a tracking number and a website (Japan) to check the package. However, want to guess what happened? The entry field for the tracking number wouldn’t accept the tracking number. This gave me that worried feeling. I let it go, and decided to wait. And wait I did.

At some point during early March I emailed them and said I hadn’t received the package. They gave me a suggestion to try and track down a lost package. Oh please no, let’s not think bad thoughts!

In the last week of waiting, I became worried. I thought a month would be likely but when it went well beyond that, I asked the sender if they could verify what the tracking info says. When I asked the person to check that tracking number on the website they referred me to, guess what? No reply. This is when you get that uneasy feeling. As in, I’ve been had! Why wouldn’t they check the tracking number and report the status to me?

The fact is when I was getting highly worried, that’s the time I got the parcel slip in my mailbox. I was thrilled of course! Now I have the case but the cheap clear case that I bought a couple months ago is still working out well. What to do? I’m going to open this official case and give you a review. That’s what I’m going to do!

The moral of this story is that anything is possible. If Asus makes next to no accessories, you might still be able to find one, somewhere. Take a chance, have some fun, and whatever you do, don’t use economy shipping!

Where there is a will, there is a way

Zenfone 3 Zoom (ZE553KL) gets price in Malaysia via retailer listing

Multiple sources are suggesting the retail price for the Zenfone 3 Zoom (ZE553KL) in Malaysia is RM 2099.00. Keep this price in perspective because it’s not official from Asus. This is a retailer, DirectD showing a listing of this price.

Price wise, we’ve seen a listing in the US for the Zenfone 3 Zoom at $406 and one listing showing $329. There does appear to be some debate on the true price so the same pricing situation may apply to what we’ve seen in Malaysia.

[source: DirectD and Technave]

How to fix “Do not disturb” on Zenfone 3 after Android 7.0 Nougat update

If you’re like me, the “Do not disturb” setting was/is ideal. I use it every day at work. However once my Zenfone 3 Deluxe (ZS570KL) updated to Android 7.0 Nougat in the past week, something happened.

I don’t classify this as a bug. The DND (do not disturb) functionality is there, but something turned invisible. You can use the settings but you just can’t see the settings icons.

So in reality this is not so much a “fix” but an informational fix as it were. This knowledge will technically fix this issue for you!

The issue (for now until this is fixed) is that when trying to adjust the length of time for DND via quick setting menu, the “+” and “-” symbols are invisible. If you can believe it, this is simply an issue that Asus has a white background on the menu, and it seems that the Nougat icon color is white. Thus you cannot see them!

It was ultimately a fluke that I discovered the “+” and “-” exist. For now you can just feel your way and touch the screen where you think the icons are. The “+” is nearest the edge of the screen, and the “-” is slightly left of that. This works for now.

I’ve submitted this issue to Asus via their Zen Talk forums and let’s see what they can do about it or how long it actually takes to fix it. It’s odd to think of the many small issues like this that can arise out of a software update. As in, who would have thought of it? Colors can alter functionality apparently.

So in closing, the settings for do not disturb are available where they should be, but you can’t see them. Don’t panic!

For a better understanding, please refer to these screenshots to guide you:

This is where the “+” and “-” symbols should be as displayed on a Google Nexus device.

This following screenshot is how the setting appear on your Zenfone 3 as of March 21, 2017. Use the previous screenshot to help guide you as to where to press on your screen to make use of the buttons/icons.

You can buy the Zenfone Live (ZB501KL) in Taiwan now

The recently announced Zenfone Live is for sale now in Taiwan. It comes in two colors, with 2GB RAM, 16GB storage for NT$4,990. I won’t convert to USD simply because this model is not headed for North America. From what we can see, the phone also comes bundled with a handy mobile tripod.

This is actually part of the Zenfone Go series which is focused on budget pricing rather than high end specs. It’s a 1280 x 720 display resolution. The main selling point and the “live” aspect of the naming comes down to the streaming enhancement. You can look years younger apparently!

[source: Asus Taiwan]

Zenfone Live (ZB501KL) benchmarks show up on Geekbench

Originally considered the Zenfone 3 Go, Asus has rebranded this yet to be released smartphone as the Zenfone Live.

The “live” aspect is indicative of the live streaming enhancements that this budget phone features. Overall the Zenfone Live (ZB501KL) is mid ranged in terms of overall specs. Official price hasn’t been revealed but it should be cheap in comparison to the other Zenfone 3 offerings.

The benchmark results posted on Geekbench 4.0 don’t tell us a lot, other than it’s mid to low range in terms of results. It show the phone is running Android 6.0.1 along with 2GB RAM. Also the official model number is listed as ASUS_A007.

This will be a limited availability release so certainly don’t expect to see it in North America and it may not even come to Europe. Stay tuned for release dates, prices and availability. News expects soon!

[source: The Mobile Indian / Geekbench]