Asus Zenfone 2 hands-on

Asus Zenfone 2 hands-on

Don’t get us wrong, Asus makes some top-notch, high-end laptops that radiate with the premium qualities we’d want in something cutting-edge. With its lineup of smartphones, however, they haven’t been as compelling. Instead, its portfolio has been more middle-of-the-road than anything else. At CES 2015, the company unveiled its successor to the Asus ZenFone – the aptly named ZenFone 2. On the surface, it might not look all too menacing with its neutral demeanor, but it should be noted that it’s the first smartphone outfitted with 4GB of RAM.

Design
Asus Zenfone 2 hands-on
Asus Zenfone 2 hands-on


Holding the ZenFone 2 for the very first time, we can’t help but say that we’re unmoved by its design. For the most part, it’s more of what we expect from the company – a mostly all-plastic constructed smartphone. However, we will mention that we dig how there’s some personalization with the various covers and finishes that the rear casing is available in. With our particular test model, it sports a brushed red metallic finish, but it’s instantly recognizable that it’s still plastic. Despite that, the various textured patterns that are available help to give this otherwise bland looking smartphone some style. We should note, too, that its volume controls have been put in the back of the phone, for a more natural feel as we hold the phone in our hand.

Display


The façade is dominated by a 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 IPS display, which as we all should know, is nothing to brag about. Indeed, it’s super detailed and has a natural color production – one that comes off nice looking to the eyes, but it’s barely anything ground-breaking we haven’t seen before. Still, from our quick analysis, its brightness output seems potent enough to make whatever is on-scree visible to the eyes.

Interface


Slowly and steadily, we’re increasingly becoming attracted to Asus’ customized Android experience – the ZenUI. Here with the ZenFone 2, it’s running the most up-to-date version of the UI on top of Android 5.0 Lollipop. That’s awesome news! Especially considering that many current high-end Android phones are still waiting to be updated. Visually, there’s a balance between minimalism and responsiveness, as nearly every interaction is accompanied with some sort of cool animation. Needless to say, we’re eager to get more intimate time playing around with the new interface.

Processor and Memory


Intel is increasingly stepping up its game, and it shows here with the Asus ZenFone 2, seeing that it’s powered by a 64-bit based Intel Atom Z3580 processor – coupled with a whopping 4GB of RAM. You read that right folks, a staggering 4GB of RAM. From our cursory look, we can tell you that the phone is buttery smooth with all sorts of basic operations. Who knows how it’ll fair with things like gaming, but maybe that 4GB of RAM will surely aid it in reaching its maximum potential with little effort.

Depending on the version of the ZenFone 2, it’ll be available in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB capacities, which can be supplemented by its microSD card slot.

Camera
Asus Zenfone 2 hands-on


Asus talked big about the handset’s camera, a 13-megapixel rear camera that features a 5-element f/2.0 apertures lens and a dual-color Real Tone LED flash. In addition, they highlighted that it’s an excellent thing to use for low-lighting situations, as its dynamic-range mode is able to adapt and enhance photos to expose improved details and the color range. Around the front, it’s slapped with a respectable 5-megapixel wide-angle camera with an f/2.0 aperture lens. Everything sounds good, but until we see real sample from a final unit, we shall reserve our judgment.

Expectations


Knowing the specs and all, it’s almost hard to believe that Asus has the ZenFone 2 priced at an impressive outright cost of $200. That’s unbelievable, right? Especially for something with a 5.5-inch 1080p display, a 64-bit based processor, and running Android 5.0 Lollipop. However, we should note that’s most likely for the 2GB model, so it’ll be interesting to hear later on what they say about the 4GB model. Still, at $200, it’s a steal on so many levels – even for an outright phone.



Related phones

ZenFone 2
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Intel Atom, Quad-core, 2300 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh

FEATURED VIDEO

24 Comments

1. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

The spec's war is over. I'm thinking of getting this once available in our region. Kudos Asus.

3. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

The $200 price tag is totally made up though. Just like the first Zenfone it'll never see the shores of the USA so quoting a price in USD is stupid. If it ever came to the USA at $200 my head would explode. But I'm confident it'll never even see this continent.

11. Camikazi

Posts: 25; Member since: Dec 20, 2014

Dude, they us of US currency as a standard is due to the fact that for people in other countries get an idea of what the speculated price will be of contract. Whether it reaches your dominion or not, has nothibg to do with it.

20. BREvenson

Posts: 240; Member since: May 17, 2012

It may not show up in the US for sale from the carriers or anything like that, but seeing how the previous Zenfone models can be found on Amazon or other online retailers (though, in most cases, it's shipped from all over the world: China, India, the Philippines, etc.) I would certainly hope this shows up in a way that we can get it here in the States one way or another. It's pretty much worth it at that price and with those specs.

23. 0kax0el0

Posts: 238; Member since: Nov 15, 2012

Are you all right pal? Is your head still in one piece? Ha ha just joking, got here from the article about the announcement in NY

24. TBomb

Posts: 1205; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

Sounds like it came true.... I dont expecta response though since your head would have exploded by now:http://www.phonearena.com/news/Asus-ZenFone-2---where-to-buy-the-199-beast-in-the-USA-and-Canada_id69439

7. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2299; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I agree and disagree. The spec wars as in the chipset may have reached somewhat of a limitation recently, but I still think manufacturers will find a new frontier to compete on that would deal with specs. Personally, I think 2015 will be the year of the megapixel/camera war.

2. Scarambay unregistered

One of my friends has Zenfone 4, and its UI is so clunky and hideous. The much touted PixelMaster cam is nothing to write home either. The loud speaker is one of the loudest I have ever heard, though. From the looks of it, the UI hasn't changed much with the Lollipop update. The Zenfone 2 should be good enough considering its price, nevertheless.

9. Phonedingo

Posts: 399; Member since: Aug 16, 2014

Isn't that phone like under $100? Are you fricking serious right now?

13. EcoCare

Posts: 444; Member since: Jul 30, 2014

It's under $100, you shouldn't put much expectations on it anyway. And actually PixelMaster on Zenfone 4 is likely a software tricks, if you want to see the real technology in action, you should try Zenfone 5 or 6 with enhanced hardware like f2.0 aperture. And did I mention that Zenfone 4 also gets Lollipop update by April? For that price it's actually hot cakes in developing country.

4. karas

Posts: 85; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

ASUS is doing it right!! Take the best features from other manufactures and implement in their flagship.. Nice Screen + Good Camera+OIS +5MP FrontCam + 4GB ram + 64 bit proc + Pricing+ battery = I am sold.

5. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Both girls are awesome but I'm picking the left one. She's damn sexy.

8. hellbread

Posts: 309; Member since: Nov 21, 2014

Good. I am goin' for a blonde one, so we have a deal. :-)

12. 777light777

Posts: 63; Member since: Aug 14, 2013

But I already picked up the phone and both girls, sorry guys. :( ... :)

6. arjunezdaz

Posts: 32; Member since: Nov 30, 2014

This is Asus Zenfone LGG3 2

10. ianbbaa

Posts: 332; Member since: Mar 20, 2013

really nice hands on video - 1minute of moving finger on the launcher - 2cm quickly right/left is exactly that what i was always interested for. Now we all know how that intel cpu coupled with 4gb ram doesnt lag on home screen. Pity that there was no room in that video to show some more, probably to open that Antutu icon to show readers how it fares in numbers - or quickly load some more apps in a row to see how quick and fluid it opens those apps. Anyway - nice phone but that lock/unlock button at the top of the device nailed it.

14. KyleRiemen

Posts: 170; Member since: Oct 29, 2014

Let's say absolute High-End for ca.300$ and Mid-Range with everything you need for about 200$, this is hard to compete with. Going be a really tough year for all competitors.

15. thisPhone

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 08, 2015

What about HD voice supporting on this phone? Does it???

16. jhaiystar

Posts: 4; Member since: Jan 01, 2015

Think of buying this one on my b-day.

17. Metalspy8

Posts: 148; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

John V = a hater.... Basic operations... GTFO so the iphone series is what kind of operations?? anyone.??

18. material

Posts: 80; Member since: Jan 08, 2015

G3 Done Right! Asus Sense of Design is Good ,Its premium. ZenUI is good as It is modern and Fluid.

19. akkiforever007

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 09, 2015

Sweeett..I hope there is something for the audiophiles and an IR blaster..

21. Pierro

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 07, 2015

looking at the specs of the phone with lollipop 5, i cant wait to see it released so that i have my hands on the device. Though we know the galaxies and apples and the rest but at 200$ and the specs i gonna give it a try. please any news of when it will be released

22. BREvenson

Posts: 240; Member since: May 17, 2012

I said it before, I'll say it again: this is definitely a phone worth getting. Will most likely have to order it (Asus phones usually don't see a release in the US) but either way, I want this phone.

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