ASUS’s latest offering comes in the form of the ASUS Zenfone 2, a mid-tiered smartphone that is surprisingly impressive. It’s not the sleekest product on the market, but it covers all its bases well, resulting in a decent smartphone worthy of its pricetag.
Holding the Zenfone in my hand, it’s clear to see that the design of the phone is a little on the bulkier side. It is made of plastic, but it feels nothing like the other smartphones in its price range, thanks to the professional-looking chrome finish on its back and far-from-flimsy components. The curved back fits comfortably in your hand, and looks incredibly sexy in some light — not something you would expect from plastic. It is, however, prone to scratches, so best to keep it separate from your keys.
The screen, a large 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with a 1080p resolution, is easy on the eyes, and shows off its OS — Android 5.0 Lollipop — well. Like most Android phones, it has customisability on its side, and the custom ZenUI is one of my favourites on an Android with its clean and colourful look.
I didn’t face any major problems with its performance; with its 64-bit 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Atom Z3580 processor, the phone operated smoothly without any lag. There was some issue with connectivity — I sometimes had trouble connecting to WiFi spots where other Android phones worked fine. It also came with several unnecessary ASUS apps that only served to take up more space in the 4GB of RAM provided.
The camera, 13 MP PixelMaster, was impressive. It sports an f/2.0 Aperture, 85-degree Wide-Angle Lens, and Dual LED Real Tone Flash, which was a great offering for a mid-tier Android. There was a bit of lag in low-light scenarios and when the HDR mode was on, but other than that, the camera worked well and took impressive shots.
The front camera was decent enough at 5MP, and even came with a flexible Beautify function that allows you to adjust specific features like skin softening, brightening, eye-enlarger, and face-slimming, putting most beauty editing apps out of a job.
The big pain was probably in its battery, which was less than reliable. On WiFi, it could easily last the day, but you would experience a huge drain once 4G is activated, making it pretty unreliable unless you have a backup charger on hand.
There were also some design aspects that I wasn’t fond of. The the home button is positioned on the top of the phone, making my experience a less than intuitive one. It does help that you can tap on the little house icon twice to wake up your phone, but without the actual button feedback, I felt a little lost. The curved back also left the portruding camera as the main point of contact when the phone was placed on its back, and this made me feel like as though it would become prone to scratches with long-term use.
The biggest win would probably be the price: starting at a mere S$249, the phone feels sturdy and well put together, sports a gorgeous full HD screen, and has a professional look that doesn’t scream “cheap”. If you’re in the market for a good quality Android phone, the ASUS Zenfone 2 is definitely one to consider that wouldn’t break the bank.
|OS||Android 5.0 (Lollipop)|
|CPU||64-bit 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Atom Z3580 processor|
|GPU||6430 PowerVR 533MHz|
|Memory||4 GB RAM64GB built-in flash eMMC storage|
|Display||5.5-inch Full HD (1920×1080 pixels)Corning Gorilla Glass 3|
|Rear Camera||13 MP PixelMaster, f/2.0 Aperture, 85-degree Wide-Angle LensDual LED Real Tone Flash|
|Front Camera||5MP Front-facing Camera with Beautify|
|Network||GSM / HSPA / LTE; Dual-SIM support|
|Size||170 grams, 77.2 x 152.5 x 3.9mm|
|Battery||3000 mAh Li-Polymer (non-removeable)|