A first prototype of the Asus Zenfone Zoom was shown in January 2015 at CES and since then the device has been on show at the Asus booth at several technology shows, mostly behind glass and in a non-working state. However, now it seems the device that squeezes a 13MP camera with 3x optical zoom lens into a 12mm thin body will soon be available to consumers to buy - but unfortunately only in Taiwan.

The Zenfone Zoom's non-camera specifications are largely identical with the standard Zenfone 2. It comes either with an Intel Atom Z3580 or Z3590 chipset, 4GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of built-in storage that can be expanded via microSD-slot. The 5.5-inch IPS display has a 1080p Full-HD resolution and is covered by Corning Gorilla Glass 4. 

The big differentiator is the camera module of course. The Hoya-designed and built lens uses 10 mirrors, a 4-element aspherical lens and a prism to allow for a 3x optical zoom. In combination with digital zoom the Zenfone can magnify your subjects up to 12x. An optical image stabilization system is also on board and Asus says the laser-assisted AF can lock focus in only 0.03 seconds. There's also a dual-LED flash and many photographers will appreciate the dedicated camera button. In video mode the Zenfone Zoom can record footage at a 1080p resolution.

The Asus Zenfone Zoom will be available in Taiwan from mid-December and cost approximately $430 for the Z3580/64GB version and $490 for the Z3590/128GB model. There is no word yet on availability in other regions. 

Source: Asus | Via: GSM Arena