Asus to launch the ZenFone 2 Deluxe, ZenFone 2 Laser, ZenFone Selfie, ZenFone Max Android phones in India


What's more exciting than the launch of a new Android smartphone? The launch of a whole bunch of new Android smartphones, of course! At its ZenFestival in Delhi, India, Asus showed off the latest additions to its ZenFone family of Android handsets. These are the stylish Zenfone 2 Deluxe, the camera-centric Zenfone 2 Laser and Zenfone Selfie, along with the long-lasting Zenfone Max. All of them are coming to India really, really soon.

Asus ZenFone 2 Deluxe


The Asus ZenFone 2 Deluxe was the first phone to be shown on stage by Asus Chairman Jonney Shih himself. On a hardware level, the handset is identical to the ZenFone 2, which Asus announced in January. On the outside, however, the Deluxe model looks quite different. Its outstanding design feature is the multifaceted texture on the back plate, and we're told that it provides a comfortable grip on top of looking really cool. The phone will come in either purple, pink, or white, with a "chameleon-like coating", which appears to be a fancy way of saying that the color hue shifts as you tilt the phone.  

As we mentioned above, the hardware specs of the Asus ZenFone 2 Deluxe have remained unchanged from those of the non-deluxe model. Here are the highlights: 

  • 5.5-inch IPS display with 1080 by 1920 pixels of resolution, Corning Gorilla Glass 3, and a 60ms touch response time
  • 1.8GHz Atom Z3560 or 2.3Ghz Atom Z3580 quad-core processor based on Silvermont architecture
  • 4GB of RAM (only for the Z3580 model, presumably)
  • 64 or 128GB of storage, expandable via a microSD card
  • Android 5.0 with Asus Zen UI
  • 13MP main camera with dual-tone LED flash and a 5MP fixed-focus front-facing camera
  • Dual-SIM, dual-active connectivity, LTE
  • 3,000mAh battery with quick charging capabilities, allowing it to go from zero to 60% charge in 39 minutes

The Asus ZenFone 2 Deluxe is going to retail for around 23,000 rupees (~$400) when it goes on sale in India. Keep in mind that the version with the faster Atom processor is going to be a tad more expensive than that.


Asus ZenFone 2 Laser


The highlight of this smartphone is the 13MP main camera with laser-assisted auto-focus. Thanks to the latter, the ZenFone 2 Laser can lock the focus on an object in as low as 0.3 seconds. It's not all that impressive of a figure since we've had equally fast smartphone cameras for well over a year. But not in the mid-range smartphone category, to which the ZenFone 2 Laser belongs. Better yet, the phone's laser focusing system should work well even in low light, when traditional contrast-based auto-focus is more likely to struggle.

One more thing you need to know about the Asus ZenFone 2 Laser is that it will come in 3 different versions. Brace yourselves as things are about to get a bit confusing. The cheapest among the ZenFone 2 Laser models will have a 5.5-inch display, a Snapdragon 410 SoC, and 2GB of RAM. A more powerful version, with a 5.5-inch display, Snapdragon 615 SoC, and 3GB of RAM, is also being planned. And the third variant is a 6-incher with a Snapdragon 615 SoC and 3GB of RAM. Further specs include: 

  • Corning Gorilla Glass 4 screen, resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels
  • 16GB of storage, expandable via a microSD card
  • Android 5.0 with Asus Zen UI
  • 13MP main camera with dual-tone LED flash and laser auto-focus, a 5MP fixed-focus front-facing camera
  • Dual-SIM, dual-standby connectivity, LTE
  • 3,000mAh battery

The Asus ZenFone 2 Laser will go on sale for as low as 10,000 rupees (~160$). If you want to upgrade to a better model, you'll be looking at a price of 14,000 rupees (~$220) for the model with 3GB of RAM and Snapdragon 615. The larger, 6-inch model will sell for 18,000 rupees (~$282).


Asus ZenFone Selfie


The Asus ZenFone Selfie, first announced in June, stands out with its potent front-facing camera. It shoots 13MP selfies, captured by a 1/3.2" Toshiba image sensor. There's also a dual-tone LED light and a laser auto-focus beam on the smartphone's front. The lens has a wide, 88-degree viewing angle, expandable to 140 degrees when the Selfie Panorama mode is used. The phone's main camera appears to be equally powerful, with its 13MP image sensor, dual-tone LED flash, laser-assisted auto-focus, and macro focusing down to 6 centimeters. In terms of specs, you also get:

  • 5.5-inch IPS display with resolution of 1080 by 1920 pixels and Gorilla Glass 4
  • Snapdragon 615 SoC
  • 2GB of RAM with 16GB of storage, or 3GB of RAM with 32GB of storage, both options expandable with a microSD card
  • Android 5.0 with Asus Zen UI
  • Dual-SIM, dual stand-by connectivity, LTE
  • 3,000mAh battery

The Asus ZenFone Selfie will go on sale for as low as 16,000 rupees (~$251). To get the model with extra RAM and storage, you'll have to spend a bit extra cash on it.


Asus ZenFone Max


The very last phone Asus brought on stage was the ZenFone Max. However, many would find it the most exciting phone of all shown at the event. Its key selling point is the massive, 5,000mAh battery – one of the largest to ever find itself inside a smartphone. What's more, it can be used as a power bank to charge other USB-powered mobile devices. Surprisingly, the phone itself is promised to be slim – down to 5.2 millimeters at its thinnest point. 

  • Gorilla Glass 4 screen
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 64-bit SoC
  • 13MP main camera with dual-tone LED flash and laser auto-focus, a 5MP fixed-focus front-facing camera
  • Android 5.0 with Asus Zen UI
  • Dual-SIM, dual stand-by connectivity, LTE

Sadly, the Asus ZenFone Max is going to take longer to launch than the rest of the ZenFone gang. It is expected to become available in October of this year, and a yet-to-be-confirmed price. 

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