It is little hard to see a phone as powerful as a flagship in the middle price segment, but Asus does not want this situation to remain that way.
The Asus Zenfone 2 was announced in the January of this year and till now we have witnessed teasers of about 7 variants of this phone. Five of these variants are already listed on Flipkart.com. The rest of the two variants of this powerful smartphone were introduced at Computex Taipei just a few days earlier, so it might take a little time for us to see them in India.
The Zenfone 2 is the only phone of its kind. However, the strange thing is that the price of this smartphone varies a lot while moving from the variant with lowest specs to the variant with the highest specs.
Excellent Built and Design
You might find this smartphone having a close resemblance to the various popular flagships of other smartphone manufacturers. Brushed back with curved edges will make you remember the HTC One M8. The soft keys are located below the display and they do light up.
Asus has experimented with the power button by putting it at the top between the 3.5 mm audio jack and the noise cancellation microphone. There are no buttons on the either side of the phone as the volume rockers are placed on the back side below the camera. Overall, it is a nice looking phone, not so user friendly power button position. Although Asus might be telling you that it is a 5.5 inch phone in a 5 inch body, but in the hand it feels quite big.
All 5 variants that are already available in the Indian market feature a 5.5inch display with an impressive resolution of 1080 X 1920 pixels. The high pixel density of 401 ppi really makes this phone an exception at this price. The IPS panel results in relatively good contrast levels, saturated colors and wide viewing angles. You will not face problem on this display even in the bright daylight as the brightness really gets much high. Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection makes the display scratch resistant in the daily life scenario.
The recently announced 2 variants feature little different specs, at least on the display front. Both the two variants have 5 inches display and got a low display resolution of 720 X 1280 pixels. However, you do get the benefit of Corning Gorilla Glass 4 on these variants.
On this front all the variants, including the newly announced ones, feature a 13 MP rear shooter and a 5 MP front facing camera. Asus has placed a Toshiba sensor behind the rear camera that performs exactly as you would expect from it. In the daylight you will be able to capture images with great details and vibrant colors. Both camera features f/2.0 aperture wide angle lens for better photography. Front camera lens can cover upto 85 degree wide angle selfie that is also in panorama mode. Most of the power to the rear shooter comes from 5 element auto focus and dual colour real tone flash.
The only issue that you might face will be of the wide dynamic range. User can record FHD 1080P video with the rear shooter, but missing Optical Image Stabilization is something translates into poor video output. Selfie lovers will definitely be happy with this phone as it features different modes for enhancing the shots.
In addition, the 6 inch variant features a laser auto focus system that helps in focusing the subject in low light conditions.
Different hardware configurations are the main distinguishing aspects of all the variants of this phone. The Zenfone 2 with the quad-core 1.8 GHz processor (Intel Atom Z3560 chipset) comes in two variants, one feature 2 GB of RAM coupled with 16 GB of storage while the other variant features 4 GB of RAM with 32 GB of storage. In contrast, the Zenfone 2 with the quad-core 2.3 GHz processor (Intel Atom Z3580 chipset) is available in 3 variants.
The first variant features 4 GB of RAM with 32 GB of storage, the second one features 4 GB of RAM with 64 GB of storage and the last one features 4 GB of RAM with 128 GB of storage. You might get surprised by the fact that all these variants also come with a micro SD card support enabling a user to expand the storage by 64 GB.
To make the graphics smooth Asus has also put a PowerVR G6430 GPU into each of the variants. All this might feel a little confusing, but the only thing that matters for the performance is the processor and RAM.
With the launch of new variants Asus has tried to impress Snapdragon SoC lovers. The 5 inch model features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor whereas the 6 inch model comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor.
Each of the variants performs differently in the benchmarking tests. However, only the variant with the highest configuration can be regarded in the review process. The model with 4 GB of RAM and 2.3 GHz quad-core processor impresses in almost all the benchmarking tests.
AnTuTU gives this variant an attractive score of 41442. In Vellamo Metal this variant of the Asus Zenfone 2 manages to get a respectable score of 1368. GFX score of 27.6 cannot be regarded as below the mark. A score of 59.7 fps in Nenamark 2 hints that this variant can easily run almost any game currently available out there.
Again it is important to tell that the above benchmarks are only achievable on the variant with highest configuration. All other variants will certainly get lower scores than these.
All the variants of the Asus Zenfone 2 are capable of running almost every game available on the Play Store without any problem. Reflections within the games like Asphalt 8 and NOVA 3 are rendered pretty smoothly. This phone has tendency to get heat up upon regular gaming, but that can be ignored as comfort remain intact. High resolution display of this phone further makes the gaming experience more immersive. You can also attach external controls for the supported games.
It is a dual SIM pone and the good thing is that all five variants currently available in India support 4G LTE networks. Other connectivity features like GPS, NFC, Wi-Fi, micro USB and FM radio are also available on this phone. You can also connect this phone to your TV using a MHL cable.
The Asus Zenfone 2 features all the needed sensors like Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Light Sensor, eCompass and Hall Sensor. You will not find any kind of issue while running special utility apps.
Long Lasting Battery
All the models of this phone are powered by a massive 3000 mAh non-removable battery. The Intel processor featured in the models currently available in India consumes less power resulting in long battery backup. However, there are some kinds of issue with software because of which the screen on time is recorded less than expected.
Fast charging features is making user worry free as 3000 mAh battery is boosted to 69% in just 39 minutes. Only 10 minutes of charging will give you about 4 hours of talk time on this phone. The phone also comes with a special power saving mode that may prove to be helpful in emergency situations.
User-friendly User Interface
The Asus Zenfone 2 runs Android 5.0 lollipop out of the box with Zen UI on top. Although the icons and interface is not that attractive, but a built-in theme engine allows for changing of every piece of the user interface. You can also install the icon packs available on the Play Store.
You might find a few stutters here and there because this phone runs an earlier version of Android 5.0 that comes with a bunch of bugs. However, you will not have to worry as all these problems can be solved by a minor update.
- High resolution display (In case of the variants currently available in India).
- Great camera with special low light mode and dual-tone flash.
- Position of volume rockers allows for an easy controlling of sound levels.
- A lot of variants to choose from. First device to feature 4 GB of RAM.
- Good gaming performance.
- Eye catching design.
- Quick charging feature.
- Built-in theme engine.
- 4G and NFC.
- Double tap to wake feature.
- Unreachable position of the power key.
- Low sound volume.
- Low battery backup resulting from poor management of the OS.
The Asus Zenfone 2, in no question, is one of the best smartphone available in the mid-price range. Best part of this phone is that Asus has converted this model into a series that provides a lot of options to the customers. However, you can also wait for a few weeks until the newer variants with Qualcomm SoC are launched in India.
|Price||13000 to 23000 Rupees|
|SIM||Dual SIM, Micro SIM, GSM|
|Screen||5.5 Inches, 1920 x 1080 pixels, 403 PPI|
|Processor||QC, 1.8/2.3 GHz, Intel Atom Z3560/80, 64bit|
|GPU||PowerVR Series 6-G6430|
|Memory||DDR3, 2/4GB RAM, 16/32/64GB Memory, 64GB SD-Card Support|
|Camera||13MP[P], 5MP[F], Dual LED Flash|
|Battery||3000 mAh, Li-Po, Non-removable|
|Body||10.9 mm [Th], 170 grams [W]|
|Connectivity||4G, BT, NFC, 3G, Wi-Fi, USB|
|Buy||Asus Zenfone 2|