The Asus Zenfone 2: Full Review
Asus launched it's mid-range smartphone this year, But certainly the cost factor that Asus kept in mind does not make the Zenfone 2 feel like a Mid-Tier Smartphone. The Design of the Zenfone 2 is not particularly different from Asus's last Generation devices, but keep in mind that is not necessarily a bad thing, Apple has been doing the same thing for over years now just changing the design a bit or the materials used and why not do that for if it is a great and popular design, Asus has also kept in mind that quality matters and so they have given a great and solid build for The Zenfone 2. The body has been made out of plastic like all the previous Zenfone's, and we know at such a low price and with such great features it sometimes is not possible to also give in premium materials like metal. We know that the phone is having a plastic build but for sure it does not feel cheap in the hand as it is having plastic made to feel like brushed metal.
We also had a great opportunity to be able to visit the launch - Read About it by Clicking Here
The Zenfone 2 has a quite simple but elegant design. The Zenfone 2 comes with nicely smoothed edges around the corners, and the back is nicely curved design that tapers down towards the edges that makes it feel very comfortable while holding the device in your hand. The back is made out of plastic that features a metal like design, which makes the device feel premium and also results in having a great look, The back due to the metal feel has a great grip and also features a Anti-Fingerprint Coating so that you do not leave smudges all over. The Back Panel is removable and when taken off shows you the Sim Card trays and the MicroSD Card Slot, But due to the battery still being sealed in like the previous generation Zenfone's we feel that this is just a gimmick, but they do have many types of back panels that you may like and want to have, so it basically just comes on the preference of the person.
The Zenfone 2 sports a 5.5 inch Gorilla Glass 3 Protected Full HD Screen in a compact body shell that helps a person in single hand usage of a large phone, and due to the phone being a little bit compact it does not enter the Phablet Zone. Though we felt while testing the device out that the bottom chin that has been given could have been left out and it would have been a much compactor phone. Now All of that said, the Zenfone 2 is a very sleek looking device that offers a great experience to the user.
A Design Element that you are for sure to notice and Asus made a big point of that element on the launch event is that there are nothing on the right and left sides of the Zenfone 2. They moved the power button to the top of the phone near to the secondary mic and the headphone jack, and just like the LG G Lineup the Volume Rocker is at the back of the phone just under the Camera. Though reaching the power button is a pain but the Zenfone 2 also comes with the Double Tap to Wake and Sleep Feature that makes turning the device on and off really easy. the Volume Rocker is easy to reach and access as it is where your hands will rest while using the phone and also the buttons on this phone have great tactical feedback. At the bottom of the phone you can see the microUSB port with the primary mic. And at the Back of the phone you can see the Dual LED Flash, The 13MP Camera, the Volume Rockers, with the Speakers. In the Front you notice a Great 5.5 inch touch screen, a secondary camera, earphone grill, and the touch capacitive buttons, with the metal chin under the buttons.
At such an affordable price for all of the variants of the Zenfone 2 that Asus has launched, We did not expect the phones to bring into the market groundbreaking features but Asus has taken us by surprise and brought into the market the real flagship phones that cost low on the price meter. The Zenfone 2 has a nice look, And also Asus has been listening to it's customers and taking them seriously as every consumer has been telling the manufacturers that the buttons need to be tactically responding and Asus has provided us with satisfyingly clicky buttons be it the volume rockers or the power button. Though, the power button is inconveniently placed on top of the phone you can still use the Double Tap to wake up and sleep.
The Asus comes with a beautifully stunning display on 5.5 inch, and for some people it is a deal breaker but it is not the case for the Zenfone 2 as it is quite manageable, and also with the one handed mode is great for daily usage while drinking coffee, or doing some other stuff with your free hand. And due to the brushed metallic feel on the back the grip on this phone is amazing.
The Zenfone 2 also sports, a Full HD 1080p LCD panel, That for certain looks gorgeous. Since being an IPS Display Panel, it delivers great viewing angles, and in our tests we also tilted the phone to about 180° and we still could view what we were watching. But with all that good stuff comes some Bad thing and that is we could have gotten a much more brighter screen by using newer technologies like LED's, OLED, etc.
The Review Model that we got from Asus is rocking a quad core 2.3GHz Intel Atom Processor and a PowerVR G6430 GPU, And Also came with it a whopping 4GB of RAM with 32GB of Internal Storage. Asus also has a model that has model that has 2GB of RAM and a 1.8GHz Intel Atom Processor. We cannot tell you anything about the 2GB model but, the one we got has plenty of power, We were Playing Heavy Games like Injustice, Doing Multi Tasking with a lot of Apps open Simultaneously and the Zenfone 2 was handling all of that like a breeze. It usually gets quite warm with alot of stuff going on but if you are a daily user you won't even notice anything, and also keep in mind the tests in our labs are a lot of great difficulties a phone needs to go through to get our approval.
What makes you buy a device and not repent? For me it is that the device does not slow down even under high pressure and performs well. Therefore for testing this theory i loaded a ton of Apps and Large Games, and kept most of them open under the multitasking bar and never swiped off even 1 of the App that i opened, of course i know this is not a daily scenario for every single person but we wanted to test the devices limits. And well how to put it, The Zenfone 2 performed great with the multitasking and took all the heat no sweat. And this here is to say that this phone uses the 4GB of RAM efficiently and also handles every App you throw at it with ease. For such most phones in the market don't handle Injustice: Gods Among Us properly and crash the App frequently even with no multitasking, but the Zenfone 2 handled it with multitasking no sweat and for that alone we were totally impressed.
The Zenfone 2 Supports GSM, HSPA, LTE; The Bands it runs are 2G, 3G, 4G. It has Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot. And Supports Bluetooth Version 4.0 with A2DP and EDR. The Zenfone 2 has GPS with A-GPS, and GLONASS, it also has NFC for faster transfers and to pay off bills at a few shops which have NFC Transactions supported. And also supports FM Radio with RDS. The Zenfone 2 has a microUSB Version 2.0 (MHL TV-out), USB Host.
The Zenfone 2 rocks a 3,000 mAh Battery that is not removable, and also sports the power frugal Intel Atom Chip that allows you to get more battery as it is efficient in handling the tasks given to it in a efficient manner. We usually could squeeze out a full day of usage, and then again we used the Zenfone 2 like monsters adding every game we ever liked, doing multitasking all day and moreover using the phone for a full day and not keeping it down, so we feel with normal usage the battery will perform much better, and using this power hungry phone with a 3,000 mAh Battery we were scared that it would be on the charger the whole day like the iPhone but that was not the case.
The Asus Zenfone 2 has a 13MP Primary Shooter, complemented by Dual Tone LED Flash. The Camera has an aperture of f/2.0 that gets you great shots. The Camera uses Asus's Pixelmaster Technology that is supposed to get better photos and videos in low light. The Camera Application provided on the phone is very simple and straightforward to use. It has all the kinds of settings that you would come to expect from a high end phone but at a low cost, such as HDR, Panorama, 1080p Video, etc..
Like anyone would have expected the camera on the Zenfone 2 performs amazingly in good lighting conditions, and with the aperture of f/2.0 allows you to get nice depth of field. Now all of that said the camera also has some quirks like the lack of dynamic range. While you can take a decent shot from the zenfone 2 more often you would get the highlights blurry, but don't worry this is solved by the HDR Mode that allows you to get great shots.
We were certainly disappointed with the low light shots that we took with the camera, as at low ISO the image quality worsens and a lot of noise is introduced into the photo. And even the image processing that the device does, does not lower the noise. The already built in Low Light mode takes the advantage of the PixelMaster Software at lights up the photos by 400%, though it works the images have low resolution, and this increase in light makes the noise introduced digitally more visible.
If you love taking selfies, the front facing 5MP Shooter is the way to go, with a wide angle lens, real time beautification, and the selfie panorama mode this is the phone to buy for the selfie lovers.
Out of the box the Zenfone 2 comes with Android 5.0 Lollipop, that is not the latest version of Android that is 5.1, but we surely do get regular updates. On Top of Android 5.0 there is Asus's own Zen UI, that retains the material design of Android but also adds in a few much needed tweaks into the system.
Though the Zen UI is great but it is definitely heavy, and the Zenfone 2 also comes in with a lot of bloatware, though some of the bloatware is nice to have sometimes, like the Easy Mode, One Handed Mode, Kids Mode, etc. but Asus has some bad bloatware like an individual Torch App instead of using the one on Android 5.0 itself. There are also some great gestures that you can use Asus has called them ZenMotion, They include double tap to wake up, Write a letter and open an App like Write C and it would open up the Camera App. There is also a feature called the snap view it helps you make two profiles on your phone 1 for work and another for personal use.
One of the great things we liked about the Zen UI that it is greatly customizable, you can have customized each thing on your phone or just simply downloaded a theme available in the Market.
- Great Build Quality
- Bright And Vivid Screen
- Fast Charging Technology
- Customizable UI
- Fantastic Performance
- MicroSD Expansion
- Exceptional Camera
- 4GB RAM
- Mediocre Battery
- Weak Speaker
- Low Light Photography is noisy
The Looks are great for some people and for some they are just straight forward bland, The Zenfone 2 might be a Great Camera at day time and at night not be so great. But after looking at such a low price of the device all such negatives start to fade off.
We loved all of the aspects in the Zenfone 2, and overall it is a much better phone than any of it's competitors as it has Great Features and ASUS also has a great service network compared to all of it's competitors in the market like the Oneplus One, Or the Motorola Phones you do not find the support that Asus has to offer anywhere else.
Ultimately, at the price that Asus has offered the ZenFone 2 at makes it a really fantastic grab in the market and for sure if you are looking for a new smartphone having great specifications in the market this is the route to take.
So For The Final Verdict We Give It A -