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Asus Zenfone 2 Review

Asus ZenFone 2 8.3

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Asus Zenfone 2 Review

Asus Zenfone 2 Review
Asus Zenfone 2 Review
Asus Zenfone 2 Review
Asus Zenfone 2 Review
Asus Zenfone 2 Review
Introduction


Ever wonder why we’re seeing fewer high-end phones nowadays? Well, when there’s an abundance of high-performing entry-level smartphones permeating the space of late, like the Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 for example, there’s no wonder why there’s been a shift in focus of late with manufacturers. One of them in particular, Asus, has tried repeatedly to secure itself in being an established name in the smartphone world, but even through all of it, they’ve yet to make any sort of headway – failing to generate any sort of meaningful interest from consumers. However, it seems as though things are changing with the arrival of the Asus Zenfone 2, a phablet-esque sized smartphone that’s priced aggressively at as low as $199 outright!

The package contains:

  • Asus Zenfone 2
  • microUSB wall charger
  • Users guide

Design

The brushed metallic finish looks sweet, but underneath it all, it’s still a conventional plastic phone.

By just looking at the Zenfone 2, one could presume it’s a premium thing because of the brushed metallic-like finish with its casing. Once it’s actually held in the hand, though, it becomes evidently clear that it’s nothing more than a plastic thing. Certainly, this shouldn’t be too much of a surprise considering the Zenfone 2 is positioned to be an entry-level thing.

Aesthetically, the design reminds us of the style employed by LG’s flagship G line – where it bears a close similarity to the LG G2. While there are numerous rear covers to choose from, the personalization it offers still isn’t enough to move its design style out of conventionality. Needless to say, it’s a handful to use due to its size, but there’s a substantial feel to it due to the weightiness of the phone. At the end of the day, the Zenfone 2’s design is still typical of past Asus phones – so we don’t find it as enthralling as the Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3.

Looking around the phone, it’s almost hard to not say that its design is influenced by LG’s style – mainly because of how the volume control is placed on the backside of the phone. Unlike LG’s smartphones, it’s a long and flush button, which makes it tough to differentiate the two by touch alone. At times, too, we find ourselves hitting the wrong button or smearing the camera lens with our finger. Also, we’re not fans of how the power button is placed squarely on the top edge because it requires some serious stretching from our index finger to access.

Despite that, folks will appreciate that the back cover can be removed to give us access to its dual SIM slots and microSD card slot – albeit, the battery is fixed and cannot be replaced.


Asus ZenFone 2
6 x 3.04 x 0.43 inches
152.5 x 77.2 x 10.9 mm
6.00 oz (170 g)

Asus ZenFone 2

Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (5.5
6.01 x 2.96 x 0.29 inches
152.7 x 75.14 x 7.4 mm
4.96 oz (141 g)

Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (5.5")

OPPO N3
6.35 x 3.03 x 0.34 inches
161.2 x 77 x 8.7 mm
6.77 oz (192 g)

OPPO N3

HTC Desire 820
6.21 x 3.1 x 0.3 inches
157.7 x 78.74 x 7.74 mm
5.47 oz (155 g)

HTC Desire 820


To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


Asus Zenfone 2 Review
Display

Neither great nor abysmal, the display is your run-of-the-mill thing.

Who knows what the reasoning behind it is, but it looks as though many companies are liking the 5.5-inch screen size for their budget phones – and the Zenfone 2 follows suit. Specifically, it’s fashioned with a 5.5-inch 1080 x 1920 IPS-LCD Display with Gorilla Glass 3 layered on top for protection. Much like the other 5.5-inchers with 1080p resolution, it’s more than sound with its detail and sharpness.

Diving deeper into the display’s other characteristics, like its 7622K color temperature and gamma value of 2.8, they indicate that it isn’t necessarily the most pristine screen around. Its color temperature, naturally, means that it exudes a colder tone, which casts a bluish hue on colors. In addition, its 2.8 gamma tells us Asus has gone for a contrasty look, but has ultimately achieved a rather inaccurate image representation.

Even though it doesn’t hit all of the target values in the sRGB color chart, it’s not as saturated as some other displays. And finally, its 442 nit luminance might not be as potent as we’d like, making it sometimes a chore to view under direct sunlight, but it’s not totally unviewable either. After our eyes feasted on the astonishing display of the Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3, we find the one here in the Zenfone 2 to be bland.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Asus ZenFone 2 442
(Good)
28
(Poor)
1:1336
(Excellent)
7622
(Average)
2.8
6.44
(Average)
6.16
(Average)
Alcatel OneTouch IDOL 3 (5.5") 665
(Excellent)
29
(Poor)
1:960
(Average)
7280
(Good)
2.14
5.34
(Average)
5.68
(Average)
OPPO N3 426
(Good)
3
(Excellent)
1:1852
(Excellent)
8825
(Poor)
2.55
10.89
(Poor)
11.12
(Poor)
HTC Desire 820 543
(Excellent)
17
(Poor)
1:1813
(Excellent)
7119
(Good)
2.19
3.83
(Good)
5.16
(Average)
View all


38 Comments
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posted on 29 May 2015, 08:10 2

1. iphonexus (Posts: 130; Member since: 04 Jan 2015)


are u joking .... u should re ran the benchmark intel atom 3580 multi core performane is far more than u have posted

posted on 29 May 2015, 08:21 2

3. hound.master (Posts: 1044; Member since: 27 Feb 2015)


They may use the 2gig version with have Intel atom 3560.

And hey why Lumia 1520 isn't listed on battery life benchmark since it have one of the best battery lives the best according to the gsmarena.

posted on 29 May 2015, 09:52

11. waddup121 (unregistered)


OMG 2 REVIEWS IN ONE DAY!? This review actually shoulda been earlier but okay.

But anyways, this device ain't that bad! Plus that charging time, godly as ever.

posted on 29 May 2015, 10:15

15. BobbyBuster (banned) (Posts: 854; Member since: 13 Jan 2015)


Honestly PA, your benchmarks suck.

What do you think why the games run so bad on this phone?

Since roughly half of the apps don't support x86 native, the poor x86 is forced to run binary translation to from ARM on the fly that reduces the performance roughly by 70%.

Had PA done compatibility tests and measured the power consumption while running ARM-only apps, it wouldn't even have scored 5.0

Really people, you should avoid x86 Android phones at all costs. They suck, and you will say "never again".

posted on 29 May 2015, 10:18 1

17. BobbyBuster (banned) (Posts: 854; Member since: 13 Jan 2015)


Read below for a bitter reality check.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/05/02/arm_test_results_attack_intel/

Swallow it, and don't trust every BS Google spreads.

posted on 29 May 2015, 10:38

18. BobbyBuster (banned) (Posts: 854; Member since: 13 Jan 2015)


Hey John, why don't you write an article about status quo of x86 Android, if you don't believe the report above performed by ARM?

Convince yourself and believe me, you won't recommend x86 phones to anyone, and Intel will hate you.

So much for Android's platform-agnostic crap, including Java and 64-bit.

posted on 29 May 2015, 13:35 2

27. thunderc8 (Posts: 97; Member since: 15 Dec 2014)


Dude either you are full of s**t and dont know it or the intel CPU is so good that it looses so much perfomance in traslation and still be that fast.
I have the zenfone 2 64gb/4gb/z3580 and this thing is fast as hell, alot faster than my galaxy s5 and my friends z3 those are the only phones i can compare it.
And when you are multitasking this phone puts down galaxy s6 and iphone 6 just for fun, 4gb rulles, dont believe it? check youtube.
Or you are just trolling...
Edit:its super fast but the battery is only for one day with heavy usage alot worse than my s5.

posted on 29 May 2015, 13:57 1

28. guest (Posts: 338; Member since: 13 Jun 2012)


Thanks for quoting a 1 year article that was written by ARM, pretty sure they are unbiased, prior to the release of 5.0. Anrdoid 5.0 with the new runtime is processor agnostic since the apps are installed the old fashion way. Your ignorance is blinding stop spreading the FUD.

posted on 29 May 2015, 13:13 1

25. hound.master (Posts: 1044; Member since: 27 Feb 2015)


If Intel chipsets was that bad wouldn't you think some one would notice it so why don't you throw a real proof in front of us even proofs are becoming Chinese.

Go for a trusted site first these sites are just full of rubbish reviews and stories.

posted on 29 May 2015, 08:12 1

2. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3718; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Whoah! That charging time.

Nice camera.

posted on 29 May 2015, 10:12 1

14. TheStanleyFTW (Posts: 248; Member since: 20 Feb 2013)


That charging time blew my mind!
Good job ASUS :D

posted on 29 May 2015, 08:31

4. hound.master (Posts: 1044; Member since: 27 Feb 2015)


The f**k is wrong with your benchmark results you listed Zenfone 2
On gfxbench trex on screen 1235 and Manhattan one 638.95 are you ok no really WHAT THE f**k.
Microsoft Lumia 640 on t rex is listed 420.

posted on 29 May 2015, 12:58

24. hound.master (Posts: 1044; Member since: 27 Feb 2015)


Ok i just guess no one knows what that means "THAT MEANS 1235 AND 638.95 FRAME PER SEC" how can anyone made such a mistake???

posted on 29 May 2015, 08:36

5. middlehead (Posts: 119; Member since: 12 May 2014)


Does anyone know if this has MHL? I'm seeing conflicting reports on different spec sites.

If it does I might have to get it, flaws and oversized screen be damned.

posted on 29 May 2015, 09:05 1

7. buccob (Posts: 2578; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


I think Asus has been using SlimPort instead, for a while... please reply when you know for sure.

posted on 29 May 2015, 12:09

23. middlehead (Posts: 119; Member since: 12 May 2014)


I asked on another site, somebody tried their slimport adapter and said it didn't work.

posted on 29 May 2015, 16:04 1

31. buccob (Posts: 2578; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


That sucks, maybe Asus didn't implemented a wired TV out option...

Even I was against the use of adapter when I had to switch from the Xperia Acro S, I loved the microHDMI option, but now that I have a Z3C with MHL 3.0 and the adapter sent by the Consortium itself, I've come to appreciate the tech behind it and the practicality... but whatever it is, I love having a wired TV out connection. I use it daily for Movies and Games

Too bad that Asus is not taking advantage of neither... it is a major con for me.

posted on 29 May 2015, 16:12 1

32. buccob (Posts: 2578; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


http://www.mhlconsortium.org/devices.aspx

Asus has only listed the PadFone 2 for Mobile MHL compatible device, however this page might not be up to date cause I read somewhere that the Zenfone 5 did in fact use MHL

posted on 29 May 2015, 08:55

6. Commentator (Posts: 3709; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


Are we really seeing fewer high-end phones nowadays? To me it feels like we're seeing way more than a few years ago, what with LG transitioning to a premium manufacturer, Sony releasing a new flagship every few months, and new companies like Xiaomi and OnePlus joining the ring (or arena, if you will), not to mention Samsung introducing the Note and Edge lines. Even Apple doubled its flagship output last year.

posted on 29 May 2015, 09:09 4

8. buccob (Posts: 2578; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


John V. you should have stated exactly which model you are reviewing, for the looks Price and Benchmark it seems as if it was the lower version.

posted on 29 May 2015, 09:29

9. Dude2014 (Posts: 442; Member since: 12 Feb 2014)


Hey PA ... I wanna know if the camera on RAM 2GB model and the camera on RAM 4GB model are the same or not?? Can you confirm it?

posted on 29 May 2015, 09:33

10. Dude2014 (Posts: 442; Member since: 12 Feb 2014)


If yes, I'm going to buy a cheaper one just for the camera. Those HDR shots are the best I've ever seen from a smartphone. I love highly saturated pics!! ;)

posted on 29 May 2015, 10:03

12. hound.master (Posts: 1044; Member since: 27 Feb 2015)


If they were different should be mentioned in sites but normally the expensive version have the better specs.

posted on 29 May 2015, 11:53

21. Dude2014 (Posts: 442; Member since: 12 Feb 2014)


I'm afraid Asus would do stupid things like HTC did on M8 and E8. HTC claimed both phone had the same 5mp front camera, but the E8's camera is noticeably much worse than M8's camera as the put a cheaper one on E8.

posted on 29 May 2015, 10:09 1

13. guest (Posts: 338; Member since: 13 Jun 2012)


The Real antutu score

http://www.gsmarena.com/asus_zenfone_2_aces_antutu_scores_above_the_50k_mark-news-11349.php

Zenfone 2 scores 50k+ on antutu this is the lower end model. I can't believe you guys couldn't spend the extra $100 to give a real review. Brother and sister in law just picked one up and it is rock solid for $300. Super smooth and all the apps work!

posted on 29 May 2015, 10:16 1

16. dubbsix (Posts: 12; Member since: 19 Oct 2012)


Without bashing the reviewer, I will say that i own the 4GB variant and its buttery smooth. ASUS has some work to do with bugs and kinks in the ZenUI but this phone makes me stuff my Note 3 in the sock drawer. i have played asphalt 8 and moder combat 5 at the same time and I didnt notice a single skip.

To me this phone is a no brainer. The Intel chips may be slower in benchmark tests, but I think anyone thats picked one up and used it will notice that benchmarks arent everything as thing phone is quick.

posted on 29 May 2015, 11:51

20. BobbyBuster (banned) (Posts: 854; Member since: 13 Jan 2015)


The Intel chip is WAAAAAY slower running apps that are built exclusively for ARM.

Over 50% of top apps aren't built for x86. Some of them even refuse to launch.
Get real and forget Intel.

posted on 29 May 2015, 13:16 1

26. hound.master (Posts: 1044; Member since: 27 Feb 2015)


I really don't care if Intel is slower than arm cause Intel possessor > arm one.

posted on 29 May 2015, 14:17 1

29. guest (Posts: 338; Member since: 13 Jun 2012)


Google the Antutu benchmarks and then go buy one from amazon play with it then talk. I have used it already and it blows the Nexus 5 out of the water and really is just as fast as the other current flagships I have played with.

posted on 29 May 2015, 10:52 1

19. Zenzui (Posts: 114; Member since: 13 Feb 2012)


LOL to this author using lower version 2GB with lower CPU spec to benchmark.

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Asus ZenFone 2

Asus ZenFone 2

OS: Android 6.0 5.0
view full specs
Display5.5 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (403 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera13 megapixels
Hardware
Intel Atom, Quad-core, 2300 MHz
4 GB RAM
Size6.00 x 3.04 x 0.43 inches
(152.5 x 77.2 x 10.9 mm)
6.00 oz  (170 g)

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