Asus Zenfone 3
Asus' new glass-encased mid-ranger is fancy. Just don't drop it
You have to give it up to Asus for trying to tread a different path with the Zenfone 3. While other phone makers are going down the all-metal body route with their offerings, Asus has dared to experiment a little and give the Z3 a back panel finished in Gorilla Glass. Whether or not it feels premium in the hand is debatable, but it certainly attracts attention.
The 5.5-inch IPS display reproduces colours well, and the Snapdragon 625 processor, with 4GB of RAM, ensures the Z3 performs smoothly, if not blazingly quickly. It handles games with aplomb, and with very little in the way of heating, you will likely end up spending plenty of time gaming on this. The Zenfone 3, too, runs Android Marshmallow, but while Asus' Zen UI skin is reasonably light, the phone is stuffed with bloatware. It's packing apps which one will probably never even open. Can we do away with those, please?
Pictures taken by the 16MP primary cam are pretty good. Noise is kept to a bare minimum, and colour reproduction is fairly accurate. Of course, asking this unit to excel in low-light conditions would probably be asking a bit too much, but for most occasions, this camera will delight the casual photographer in you. Plus, the quality of pictures snapped by the 8MP front-facing camera is surprisingly good. It captures plenty of detail, and the SnapChat-obsessed crowd will absolutely love it.
The highlight of the Z3 has to be its 3,000mAh battery: this thing just refuses to die. Power management is superb. There were times during its stay with us that the phone soldiered on for well over a day and a half. This, with pretty heavy usage. This is an impressive strength in today's times of heavy reliance on power banks and fast charging.
Okay, so it may not better the OnePlus 3 in any aspect, but the Zenfone 3 is a pretty solid alternative. Better still, for those of you who find a 5.5-inch screen too big, there's also a 5.2-inch version with 3GB of RAM, but if it can perform as well as its big brother, it'll be a steal, as it is a full Rs 6,000 cheaper. This one is definitely worth a look.
Rs 27,999 (4GB + 64GB)