It would be near the top of our recommended phones list if this 4GB model were $100 cheaper, but its $299 and S$499 price (which translates to about £245 and AU$475) makes it tough to recommend in a world of capable phones priced below $200.
It is also possible to purchase the phone in a cheaper 2GB version for $199 (approximately £127 and AU$249 We have not yet had time to spend with the 2GB version yet, so at this time we cannot say how it compares to the 4GB version. In the US, you can purchase both versions of the phone from Amazon, Newegg, and Groupon unlocked. In terms of specs and features, the 4GB ZenFone 2 falls somewhere in between a budget smartphone and a flagship handset, but it doesn’t provide the most impressive performance and features a flagship handset would. Regardless, it’s a capable computer in its own right, and thanks to its combination of four gigabytes of RAM and an Intel Atom CPU it provides silky smooth performance. The 13-megapixel rear camera of the Galaxy S6 and Apple iPhone 6 may take decent shots, but it performs better in low light with reasonable quality. While the screen is vibrant and sharp it is disappointingly cheap and bulky due to the plastic build. With its Zen UI, which is clean, aesthetically pleasing, and filled with useful features, it can often be a bit difficult to navigate thanks to the changes Asus made to Android 5.0. It has a longer battery life, decent cameras, and is less than $200. If you are looking for a device for less, look no further than the Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime. With a 2-year contract, buyers can buy the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge for $600 but they must commit to a $600 price tag.
Asus’s ZenFone 2 consists of two models, each with a different screen size. Three of them are 5.5 inches, and the other two are 5 inches. There are several models of the mobile phone, each with its own price point, RAM, and storage capacity, but they are all marketed as the same. As a result of the ZenFone 4 and 5 confusing consumers last year, the ZenFone 2 is released under a new name – ZenFone 2. To alleviate some confusion, we’ve created a table that lists the details for each new ZenFone 2 model. Review units come in 5.5-inch models with 4GB RAM and 32GB flash storage and retail for S$429 and $299 in the US, equating to about £210 or AU$410.
In this case, the 5.5-inch full-HD display of the ZenFone 2 makes it rather hefty — it measures 152.5 x 77.2 x 10.9 mm (6 by 3 by 0.43 inches) and isn’t the thinnest of smartphones. The phone is just slightly shorter than the iPhone 6 Plus, but thinner at 7.8mm compared to the Apple device. ZenFone does make its presence felt in the pocket due to its thickness, and more and more phones are taking a slimmer approach, so the ZenFone 2’s size and weight of 170g (6 ounces) is not in its favor.
As with the first ZenFone, the ZenFone 2 is clad in plastic. However, it sports a brushed metallic finish, instead of the soft-touch feel found on the original. In spite of the metallic appearance, the case still feels slightly plasticky (I prefer the original, though I can see why Asus chose this style) and at first glance, it seems a lot more premium than the original. It is worth mentioning that the rear cover can be replaced, and you can choose both the standard black and white, as well as more colorful choices like red, gold, or In addition to the covers, Asus will also sell a special collection of crystal-patterned covers called “Illusion”. On the front, the ZenFone 2 is almost identical to its predecessor, right down to the Asus logo near the top speakers and concentric circle pattern below the 5-inch Over that is where the touch-sensitive buttons are located. Asus has kept the familiar, so in a way, I’m happy, but I wish the phone had software buttons instead — this would have allowed for a more compact, smaller design.
In the upper right corner, we see an awkwardly placed power button, and it’s an odd choice because Asus decided to copy LG’s great idea and move the volume buttons to the back If using just one hand to hold the phone, it’s quite a stretch to reach the power button. Asus should have placed the power button on the rear, alongside
Access to the dual-SIM card slot and microSD slot is provided by a removable back cover. You will not be able to switch out the battery for a fresh one since it is not removable. It does not allow dual 4G connections, such as some other dual-SIM phones, as it only allows one 4G SIM to function, while the second SIM can only function at
With four gigabytes of RAM, this model of the ZenFone 2 is powered by Intel’s Atom Quad Core Z3580 processor clocked at 2.3GHz. A typical smartphone has 3GB of RAM at most the ZenFone 2 has 4GB of RAM to allow it to do multiple tasks at once (more later on this), as it can run multiple apps at once and are not required to be reloaded each time. We reviewed a model that had 32GB of onboard storage, but if that isn’t enough, you can add up to 64GB of microSD cards at the same time. On the back, the device has a 13-megapixel camera, and on the front, it has a 5-megapixel camera.
This device features a 5.5-inch full-HD display with a screen resolution of 1,920×1,080-pixels, which is protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3 technology. Even though it doesn’t produce the quality of QHD displays found on some flagships, few users will be able to tell the difference between full-HD and 2K resolution. As well as having a wide viewing angle, the colors on the screen are bright and vivid. when the screen is used directly in the sun, it maintains its integrity Although Asus Zen UI has been improved, it still relies on Google’s Android 5.0 Lollipop for a majority of its duties. The Zen UI is incredibly flat since it was first introduced in 2017. Several features from the earlier version are available, including Do It Later, a handy reminder app that keeps track of SMSes you need to reply to, articles you need to read, and missed calls you need to call back.
In addition to allowing you to switch themes, Zen UI is also compatible with Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi’s MIUI. This allows you to change your phone’s theme if you don’t like the way it looks. The next cool thing you can do is change the font color on your phone – this works if your wallpaper is lighter than the font color. You can then use a darker font color against the lighter wallpaper to make it stand out. ZenMotion allows you to draw on the screen when the phone is locked to activate features, and it also features a guest mode that you can share with a friend so they can use the phone (but remember to password lock your phone first to prevent them from accessing your data).
A bunch of hidden tweaks also make this phone a great choice for power users, such as turning on one-handed mode by double tapping the Home button. You can also choose which apps you want to autorun when the phone boots to help it boot While designing the user interface, Asus seems to have forgotten about some crucial elements. A ‘clear’ button for notifications on the lock screen would be nice, something that other Lollipop phones have. But in short, it’s a pretty good UI, and Asus has really injected its own personality into My biggest complaint is that the UI is so cluttered with lots of features that it takes time to master them all, and it feels like the Samsung kitchen-sink approach again where there are just way too many features that never get any attention or use.
This year, Asus focused on improving the 13-megapixel f/2.0 rear camera on the ZenFone 2 so that it could perform well in low light. Under a feature called PixelMaster, the phone’s low-light mode tweaks its imaging to take well-lit photos even when there is little Although low-light mode has its benefits, it is not without some limitations. you’ll have to be extra careful when taking pictures in this mode since they are highly sensitive to movement. Therefore, you’ll want to hold the phone steady or use a tripod to avoid blurry pictures. Using pixel binning, the resulting image is only 3 megapixels in size instead of the 4 that it otherwise would be. Because it can read a larger amount of light data, the pixel will be more efficient at taking photos when it is low-light. It is a surprisingly bright picture compared to other mobile In fact, I can attest that it works as the picture is surprisingly bright when compared to some high-end phones, such as the iPhone 6 and You should know that this is not a new feature, it was already present on the first ZenFone, but it seems to have been enhanced. Besides the 5-megapixel camera on the front, there is also a beautification mode that can help smooth wrinkles and touch up blemishes on the face. Though not something that has never been seen before in other phones, it is still useful nonetheless. ZenFone 2 is capable of recording full-HD video, and like all smartphones, videos are best captured when there is a lot of light. While I tested it, I found I had to tap the screen to refocus, since the autofocus didn’t kick in when I switched from a background to foreground.
As a laptop and desktop processor manufacturer, Intel has done a decent job of trying to gain a foothold in the handset market. In earlier versions of its mobile processors, the company was not as power-efficient Intel has improved the performance and efficiency of its Atom devices since the first model was released in 2007. Although most of its chips are better for tablets, Intel has spent years designing its processors for smartphones. Right now, there aren’t many Intel-powered smartphones on the market so it’s pretty difficult to compare them directly with other models. According to benchmark results, the quad-core Intel Atom Z3580 processor found inside the ZenFone 2 is capable of facing off with Qualcomm’s midrange chipsets, such as the Snapdragon 615 As far as benchmark results are concerned, both systems appear to perform around the same. Clearly, benchmark results cannot tell the full story of performance, but after using the ZenFone 2 for a while, I noticed it to be quite smooth. It began booting up in 44 seconds, and the camera started working right away. I tested the phone with a range of games including Asphalt 8, a hardware-heavy 3D driving game it worked smoothly without any hiccups, and loading times were quick. On the basis of the performance numbers shown below, it appears that the Intel Atom CPU is capable of performing similarly to a midrange Qualcomm chip, such as the Snapdragon 615 found Despite almost identical results on Quadrant — 24,606 points to 22,991 points for ZenFone 2, the Mi 4i takes first place in Geekbench 3 with scores of 2,926 points to 2,936 points for ZenFone 2. We didn’t encounter any problems when opening apps or navigating the interface, and even though we didn’t encounter any issues when playing games, don’t expect performance to match that of top flagships such as the Galaxy S6 and This may be the first time Intel’s Atom chips can be used in phones, and we may see more devices powered by the Intel Atom processor going forward — this could further open up the market, since devices no longer need to run on ARM. Let’s hope a GPU upgrade is in the works for future versions of the processor. As tested by our continuous video looping test, the ZenFone 2 lasted for approximately 9 hours and There’s a difference of more than four hours between that and the Xiaomi Mi 4i, which is equipped with a 3120mAh battery. This isn’t as good as the Xiaomi Mi 4i, which lasted 13 hours and 18 minutes. I find that I usually get a full day of use out of the phone, which isn’t great, but still good enough. Perhaps some of this may be due to the weaker video playback capabilities.
The ZenFone 2 made calls without any issues during my time with it. My voice was clear and crisp, and the party on the other end was able to hear me Although it has a loud speaker, the phone’s speakers can be a little soft, so if it’s noisy you may miss calls or notifications. As noted, the ZenFone 2 performed quite well in 4G LTE speed tests — this phone was tested in Singapore on SingTel’s 4G network, using the Ookla Speedtest app, the phone managed 72.85Mbps download speeds on its highest setting.
The hardware inside the ZenFone 2 won’t wow you with a beautiful design or premium materials, but it is a long way from being a slouch. Intel’s ZenFone 2 manages to hold its own, but it’s still too early to say if it will lead to more Intel-powered smartphones in the near future. The relatively high cost of $299 (with no contract) for the top model may make it difficult for Asus to gain market share against much cheaper handsets such as the Mi 4i , which is available in the same markets in Asia, and the $200 Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime . Additionally, if you consider the $260 price tag of the Mi Note (which is limited to China), the ZenFone 2 may seem a bit The $199 option still exists, but it only includes 16GB of storage and 2GB of RAM (as opposed to the $299 option’s 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM), and since we’ve only used the 4GB version, we can only testify to its pros. It is interesting, though, that the $299 price for the 4GB does place it in an odd position, when so many devices that have been released recently are either high-end or low-value. For those who do not want to be tied down to a contract, the ZenFone 2 could still be a good option.