With 218,000 followers on Instagram, photographer Humza Deas knows a thing or two about operating a camera. Deas is my tour guide around New York’s Chinatown as we test drive the new ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom smartphone. I’m always someone who brings a portable battery on days when I know I’ll be using my phone a lot, but this device packs a 5000mAh battery that can last up to 40 days on standby (on but not actively in use).

When Deas points out his favourite feature, the phone’s various camera modes, I immediately think of every photographer/selfie enthusiast I know. First, there’s the portrait mode. It’s best for food snaps because it creates a shallow depth of field and focuses on one object—like the frothy top of a latte (this is also good for selfies). Night mode works best in low light situations. The shutter will close slowly to allow more light in (good for—you guessed it—night selfies). And then there’s the beautification mode: With a 13mp front camera and flash, this feature allows you to soften your skin’s appearance, brighten complexion, enlarge eyes, add blush and thin the cheeks (ultimate selfie goals). Eerie or eerily perfect? You decide. 

Triumphal arch at the Manhattan bridge entrance


For the budding photographer, this phone is the closest thing to shooting with an actual DSLR camera. If you play around in manual mode, you can create some amazing effects as demonstrated by another photographer friend of mine who was really impressed with the functions. 


Taken in one shot using manual mode


ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom 32GB ($479.99), at bestbuy.ca

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