Yes, the mid level Zenfone 3 (ZE552KL) is what most of us have seen and heard about. In a somewhat surprising decision, the US market does not have it. Future availability is also questionable right now. Some people are upset by this situation because Asus has brought the Zenfone 3 Deluxe 5.5 (ZS550KL) to the US instead.
So yes, the US market may end up with the ZE552KL eventually, but perhaps this situation isn’t as bad as it seems. At $399, is the Zenfone 3 Deluxe 5.5 (ZS550KL) really that much more expensive?
Although you may be convinced that the Zenfone 3 (ZE552KL) is perfect, we want to let you know some of the ways in which the Zenfone 3 Deluxe 5.5 (ZS550KL) is actually better. There are in fact some key differences which you may be unaware of.
Design and Exterior
Both phones by all accounts are very nice looking and comfortable to hold. Actual dimension wise, the Zenfone 3 Deluxe 5.5 does come in slightly smaller. Smaller only by a close margin and the Zenfone 3 (ZE552KL) is slightly thinner.
Weight wise, the ZS550KL is 150g and the ZE552KL is 155g.
The actual size and weight is so close you could essentially call this a tie.
The screen-to-body ratio is a virtual tie, but the 78% of the Zenfone 3 Deluxe 5.5 (ZS550KL) does edge out the 77.3% of the Zenfone 3 (ZE552KL).
The Zenfone 3 (ZE552KL) does offer a greater variety of colors depending on where you live in the world. The Zenfone 3 Deluxe 5.5 (ZS550KL) comes in silver, grey or gold unlike the more colorful options of the ZE552KL which include white, dark blue, gold and aqua blue.
The Zenfone 3 (ZE552KL) is wrapped in Gorilla Glass whereas the Zenfone 3 Deluxe 5.5 (ZS550KL) is an all metal design. In terms of which looks better it’s really a matter of personal preference. Both look premium in their own right.
Conclusion: It’s hard to call the Zenfone 3 Deluxe 5.5 (ZS550KL) better in terms of design and exterior, but specs wise it does come out slightly ahead of the ZE552KL. The all metal and invisible antenna design of the Zenfone 3 Deluxe 5.5 (ZS550KL) slightly edges out the Zenfone 3 (ZE552KL) for a premium, top end look. We also understand that design is very much subjective and your idea of more beautiful may very well be the Zenfone 3 (ZE552KL).
Battery Quick Charge
There has been some misinformation regarding the Zenfone 3 (ZE552KL) and quick charge capability. The reality is that the Zenfone 3 (ZE552KL) does not have Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 but the Zenfone 3 Deluxe (ZS550KL) does.
The BoostMaster Fast Charging found in the ZS550KL) provides 60% battery capacity in 39 minutes (via 18W charger). The technology inside is Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0.
Conclusion: Having the ability to quick charge your phone is going to be worth paying a bit extra for. It’s something that you can make use of each and every day you own your phone.
If you don’t know what NFC is, then perhaps this isn’t that meaningful or worth paying extra for. However it does future proof your purchase. NFC is become more than just an easy way to share files between devices. Making payments with your mobile phone is something the big companies like Apple and Google are really starting to push.
Conclusion: NFC does provide some future proofing as mobile phone payments is going to be more common place in the near future. The only question is whether you will take advantage of paying by phone or not.