It may be late to the market, but the ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe is finally starting to trickle out, with Asia being the next stop for the Taiwanese manufacturer’s most premium — and most expensive — smartphone yet.

ASUS certainly took its sweet time releasing this one, and it shows: The Deluxe is luxe from the inside out and beyond the hardware. Its box alone is likely to elicit “oohs” before it’s even opened, enough to give the impression that what’s inside is valuable. (To be perfectly clear, it is; the $700 5.7-inch Deluxe costs as much as an iPhone 7 Plus or a Pixel XL.)

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SEE ALSO
ASUS ZenFone 3 Max 5.5-inch review

Our 5.7-inch Deluxe in gold came in this sturdy navy blue box. The box features a magnetic flap that keeps it closed and holds the package together.

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The inside of the box reveals a fancy interior (accentuated by ASUS’ concentric-circle detailing, of course); it is broken up into compartments with the unit up top, and the accessories and documentation stored underneath. There’s a pull-out tab for the hidden compartment.

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The bundled charger (and Type-C cable) outputs at up to 9 volts and supports fast charging. We’ll reserve our judgment for the review, but so far we’ve been able to consistently get back to a full charge in a little over an hour.

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The white-and-silver wired earphones are housed in a plastic casing. It comes with three sets of additional earbud attachments, so you’re more likely to find one that fits snug in your ear. We like them. A lot. Apart from the phone (duh!), they’re the highlight of this unboxing. We haven’t tested them thoroughly yet so we can’t be sure of their quality. Check back in the coming days.

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The branded SIM eject tool is the same one you’ll find bundled with other ZenFone models released this year.

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First impressions

By now, you must be wondering: “So, what about the handset?” Well, there’s certainly a lot to like about the the ZenFone 3 Deluxe. It’s lightning fast — absolutely the most powerful and responsive ZenFone we’ve used thus far, bar none; the AMOLED display is lovely and incredibly crisp; and the cameras take vibrant, detailed images.

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Everything seems to be in order here. But, as you know, some phones — especially the most expensive ones — deserve a deeper dive than others. And we’ll be sure to take that plunge in the days to come. By then, we’ll be sure to arrive at a definitive conclusion as to whether or not this phone is worth the wait and high price of admission.

SEE ALSO
ASUS ZenFone 3 review

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