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_18.104.22.1688 – September 2, 2016
- Version WW-22.214.171.1243 – September 20, 2016
- Version WW126.96.36.1995 – 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 Many of the photo comparison articles are outdated from what we’ve seen. How outdated?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.