The ZenFone 3 is a strong showing from Asus and a good showcase of what the company is capable of when it puts all its effort behind a product. The funny thing is it isn't even the company's flagship device, and we are very much interested in what the ZenFone 3 Deluxe is capable of if the ZenFone 3 is so good.
There is a lot to like about the ZenFone 3. We loved the look and feel of the glass and metal body, and the display is one of the best in this price range. The performance from the Snapdragon 625 is surprisingly good regardless of what you might think based on the spec sheet. And finally, the camera works mostly quite well, and the phone's battery life is superb.
Unfortunately, Asus still has some ways to go, and while the ZenFone 3 is quite good, it's not as close to perfect as we'd like. One area where Asus needs to make strides is in software, particularly in holding itself back with the options. The number of pre-installed apps is bewildering, and there are just too many options and things to distract the user, which is counter-productive to user-friendliness. There needs to be a conscious effort to hold back and focus on the essentials and let the users figure out the rest and install apps and features separately if they wish, instead of making the decision for them and then forcing it on them.
But that's the only major complaint we have with the phone. The price might seem to be a bit on the higher side for the larger model, although we don't think it is a major issue. It is uncomfortably close to the OnePlus 3 price, which includes a more powerful Snapdragon 820 processor, but doesn't necessarily feel any faster in everyday use, and the two phones are more or less on par otherwise.
Overall, the ZenFone 3 is a highly capable device and easily the best Asus has put out so far. We hope the company improves the software experience of its devices, but otherwise, it is on the right track.