At its CES press conference in Las Vegas Asus has announced the ZenFone Zoom, a smartphone with 3x optical zoom lens that is only 12mm thin. Asus hasn't given any processor specifications yet but the ZenFone Zoom runs Android 5.0 and features a 5.5-inch 1080p IPS screen and up to 128GB of built-in storage.

It's really the camera specification that makes this smartphone special though. A 13MP sensor is combined with a 10-element 3x zoom lens that offers a maximum aperture of F2.7-4.8. Optical image stabilization is on board as well. No information on sensor size has been released yet but considering the thin device dimensions we have to assume it is of the 1/3-inch variant common to most smartphones. Camera modes include a low light mode, HDR, enhanced beautification mode and a manual mode. Like on the LG G3 a laser-AF system makes sure your images are in focus.

In addition there is a dual-color LED flash and a 5MP front shooter with F2.0 aperture. The optical zoom should make the ZenFone Zoom an interesting option for mobile photographers but it remains to be seen what its comparatively slower apertures mean in practical terms and how the image quality of the optical system compares to intelligent digital zooms, such as the 3x version found in the Nokia Lumia 1020

The Asus Zenfone Zoom will be available in in Meteorite black and Glacier white the second quarter of 2015 and cost you $399 before taxes.

Key Specifications:

  • 5.5-inch 1080p IPS display (403ppi)
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • up to 128GB built-in storage
  • 13MP rear camera
  • F2.7- to 4.8 aperture
  • 10-element lenses with 3X optical zoom
  • optical image stabilization (OIS)
  • laser auto-focus
  • dual-color Real Tone flash
  • 5MP front camera, F2.0  aperture, 88-degree viewing angle 
  • 3000mAh Battery