The Asus Zenfone 3 Ultra is a tablet pretending to be a smartphone

The Asus Zenfone 3 Ultra is a tablet pretending to be a smartphone

Asus recently hit us with its new Zenfone 3 series. Three metal-clad smartphone are incoming: a 5.5-inch standard model, a 5.7-inch luxury variant and a 6.8-inch handset. Wait, 6.8 inches? That’s not a smartphone, that’s a tablet. 

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Smartphone or a tablet: the Asus Zenfone 3 Ultra explained. / © Asus

Essentially, it looks like Asus may be trying to bridge the gap between two worlds. Why buy a smartphone and a tablet when you could have both in one package?

Tablet sales have been crashing following their initial explosion so it seems sensible that Asus would be careful on how it markets this huge phone. Calling it a tablet could automatically hurt its chances of commercial success.  

But the Zenfone 3 Ultra actually appeals to me more than any tablet for the last few years.

For starters, it’s a tablet which could produce super photos: a 23 MP camera with 0.03s autofocus and optical image stabilization means the Zenfone 3 Ultra could easily outshine the average tablet in terms of photography.

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Impressive specs for the Asus Zenfone 3 Ultra camera. / © Asus

What's more, it houses a Full-HD display, protected by Gorilla Glass 4, with a 79 percent screen-to-body ratio. Sound quality should also be superior to most smartphones and tablets thanks to the utilization of SonicMaster 3.0 technology and 7.1-channel surround sound.

The Zenfone 3 Ultra looks the part too: sandblasted aluminum, chamfered edges, a number of color variants – it's a package most manufacturers don't offer with tablets. Add to this a 4,600 mAh battery which Asus claims allows for 11.5 hours of video playback and can be charged to 60 percent in 45 minutes apparently (not to mention it can be reversed to charge other devices) and you're looking at an incredible array of tablet features.  

Here is a better look at it.

The Zenfone 3 Ultra will no doubt be expensive for a tablet – current conversions reportedly put it at around $479. And carrying a 7-inch (7.34 x 3.70 x 0.27 inches) device around might make this too big for those who want to use it like a traditional smartphone. But if Asus had called it a tablet, it would surely look like one of the most attractive to date.

The ZenFone 3 Ultra will be available in mid-June in Taiwan, Asia Pacific, the EU and China. There's no word on a US release date yet, but we'll let you know when we know more. 

What are your thoughts on the Zenfone 3 Ultra? Let me know in the comments. 

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  • I am posting this from my Sony Z3 compact tablet.
    It's an 8" tablet that also makes phone calls.
    I'm not impressed by a 6.8" screen.

    Oh, forgot about my Sony Z ultra, 6.5" screen

  •   18
    Deactivated Account Jun 15, 2016 Link to comment

    Impressive features. What will be the cost?

  • I cannot wait to buy this phablet. Belive it or not, it does fit in the pocket without a problem. By the way, why is nothing over 5.7 inches available in the U.S.?

    • Yeah, the US always get the shaft with larger phablets. The problem with the Zenfone 3 Ultra is that it will not support LTE in the US. Unless they eventually release a US version we are out of luck with this one.

      • Why does ever manufacturer believe that North Americans (I'm Canadian) don't want a phone with a big screen? I can't get a replacement for my Xperia Z Ultra without loosing LTE. 6.8" sounds pretty good. I had the Xperia Tablet Compact (which was also a phone) but it was just a little too big to fit in my pocket comfortably.

  • Not to big a phone if you use the Samsung Galaxy View 18.4" as your tablet!

  • I'd rather be completely refunded for the broken Zenfone 2 Asus sold me (or a free exchange for a Zenfone 3 -- provided its screen doesn't break down in under 30 days, too!) before I'd consider a Tablet from Asus ....

    Poor Customer Service / No Product Warranty - you lost me as a customer!

  • Woah, two in one, sounds cool!

  • the question is when?

  • As the ancient saying goes: WE'RE FREAKING HUMAN AND NOBODY'S PERFECT!!!

  • One minute of silence for the author and the editors. People over at ASUS are having a heart attack after seeing this 😂

  • Sandy Jun 14, 2016 Link to comment

    May be you should think of replacing your writing team

  • Really, LENOVO??? Somebody please do your job correctly and report on the correct name of the phone... It's gonna be a show stopper, can't wait to get more specs... Will pro ably purchase!!!

  • Wow, no time to proof read? Asus Zenfone 3, not Lenovo.
    Do a replace all with Asus for every Lenovo.

  • Huawei P8 Max & Lenovo Phab Plus have the same screen size as Asus Zenfone 3 Ultra at 6.8" and they never sold it as tablets but phablets.

  • Lenovo Zenfone 3???

  • Lenovo?!

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