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December 4, 2017

Best ASUS Phones

by John_A

  • Best overall
  • Best for photography
  • Best for AR

Best overall

ASUS ZenFone 4 Pro

zf4-pro-10.jpg?itok=qmlKxSLf

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ASUS’s latest flagship, the ZenFone 4 Pro, packs a lot of power into a well-built metal and glass phone. It features the powerful Snapdragon 835 chipset, along with 6GB of RAM, up to 128GB of internal storage, and an impressive 3600mAh battery. The ZenFone 4 Pro also has a dual camera setup, offering a 2X telephoto lens alongside the primary f/1.7 lens.

Bottom line: The ZenFone 4 Pro is ASUS’s top offering at the moment, combining powerful specs with premium design.

One more thing: There are many different flavors of the ZenFone 4, so if the Pro doesn’t resonate with you, you can choose from a number of other options.

Why the ZenFone 4 Pro is the best

From the specs to the performance and design, everything about the ZenFone 4 Pro feels high-end.

The ZenFone 4 Pro comes as part of the broader ZenFone 4 lineup, and stands as ASUS’s current top dog. Its 2.5D glass melts into the metal frame for a premium look and feel, and the new ZenUI 4 software running on top of Android 7.1.1 is fast and responsive. That’s aided by its top-tier specs, including Qualcomm’s ever-popular Snapdragon 835 chipset.

The dual camera layout allows for 2X optical zoom, as well as portrait mode to help you achieve that artificial bokeh effect. The ZenFone 4 Pro is also one of ASUS’s only phones with an AMOLED display, and though it doesn’t have the fancy 2:1 aspect ratio of many of today’s flagships, the bezels are still relatively small and make room for a fingerprint sensor built into the home button on the front.

Best for photography

ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom

asus-zenfone-3-zoom-black-4.jpg?itok=732

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The Snapdragon 625 processor and 1080p screen may not be top of the line, but they’re perfectly serviceable for the average consumer. Instead of having an optical zoom kit like with the original ZenFone Zoom, ASUS outfitted the ZenFone 3 Zoom with two camera sensors, the lenses of which have different focal lengths. This allows for optical zoom without the added thickness of its predecessor, and the artificial bokeh effects that have since become standard in modern flagships.

Bottom line: The ZenFone 3 Zoom takes the DNA of the excellent ZenFone 3 lineup and adds superlative specs and a fantastic dual-camera setup.

One more thing: With the larger focus on cameras with the entire ZenFone 4 lineup, it’s likely that this will be the last ZenFone Zoom.

Best for augmented reality

ASUS ZenFone AR

zenfone-ar-array.jpg?itok=zksj06Oo

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The ZenFone AR is interesting not because of its specs, but because it is the first device to combine Google’s Tango and Daydream platforms into one device. The specs are nothing to sneeze at, either: a Snapdragon 821 processor and either 6GB or 8GB RAM makes it pretty powerful, and the 5.7-inch QHD Super AMOLED display is covered with Gorilla Glass 4.

Bottom line: The ZenFone AR isn’t just one of the best ASUS phones, it’s the best phone for virtual and augmented reality.

One more thing: Though Verizon briefly carried the ZenFone AR, it’s no longer being offered on their site, so your best bet is to buy the unlocked model.

Conclusion

ASUS has a habit of releasing a handful of nearly identical phones all at the same time, leading to a wide range of confusing options, but a lot of those options are truly great phones. The ZenFone 4 Pro is an all-around heavy hitter with powerful specs and speedy performance, and the combination of a 1080p display and a large battery makes it an endurance champ, too. At the same time, the ZenFone 3 Zoom lets you get closer to your subject than almost any other phone with 2.3X optical zoom, and the ZenFone AR is one the company’s more ambitious projects with support for the most popular AR and VR platforms on Android.

Best overall

ASUS ZenFone 4 Pro

zf4-pro-10.jpg?itok=qmlKxSLf

See at Amazon
See at Best Buy

ASUS’s latest flagship, the ZenFone 4 Pro, packs a lot of power into a well-built metal and glass phone. It features the powerful Snapdragon 835 chipset, along with 6GB of RAM, up to 128GB of internal storage, and an impressive 3600mAh battery. The ZenFone 4 Pro also has a dual camera setup, offering a 2X telephoto lens alongside the primary f/1.7 lens.

Bottom line: The ZenFone 4 Pro is ASUS’s top offering at the moment, combining powerful specs with premium design.

One more thing: There are many different flavors of the ZenFone 4, so if the Pro doesn’t resonate with you, you can choose from a number of other options.

Update, November 2017: Removed some older devices from the list and crowned the ZenFone 4 Pro as the top ASUS smartphone.

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