A Well Rounded Act
Everything that you could probably ask for from a smartphone is on Zenfone 2. From a powerful processor that could play even the most hardware heavy games, RAM that could allow you to multitask as much as you want, a highly capable storage space that could hold a huge number of games and media files, to a camera that more than just delivers according to its price tag.
The Zenfone 2 ze551ml is powered by an 64 bit Intel Atom z3560 Chipset, which is equipped with a Quadcore processor clocked at 1.8GHz. This means, it can easily and smoothly run and process information, media, and apps, being a 64 bit processor also means that its speed is equally fast as a desktop’s. Aside from that its PowerVR G6439 GPU is one of the top notch GPU that could bring out the best graphics in most mobile games.
Multitask All You Want
The Zenfone 2’s most prominent feature is its major memory upgrade, which boasts 4GB worth of Random Access Memory, allowing user to run a vast amount of applications all at the same time. This is a perfect hardware upgrade for users who are into mobile gaming, as it could easily support even the most graphic heavy in Google’s PlayStore.
Pixel Perfect Camera
The Zenfone 2 ze551ml is a pixel shooter smartphone, with its 13MP rear camera that is equipped with LED dual-tone LES flash, capturing that precious moment will be as clear and vivid as you’d get. Plus, you can relieve those moments in full HD video quality, because it supports 1080p video recording. Aside from that, its selfie camera can capture great selfie moments at 5MP clarity.
Work, Play, Shoot All Throughout the Day
Battery capacity has always been a controversial issue for all smart phone users. With today’s technology, we ought to have something that could last a day at least, don’t fret because that is what Zenfone 2 ze551ml has in store for its users. With a battery capacity of 3000mAh, Zenfone 2 will surely keep you productive all throughout the day with a single charge.
Store More Files
The Zenfone 2 ze551ml comes in 2 variants, the 64GB and the 32GB. On top of that, it has a microSD slot that supports upto 128GB of storage. Surely, you’ll never have to delete those files, photos, videos, or games, as often as you did.
Zenfone 2 Hands-On Review
The Asus Zenfone 2 stirred the entire high-end smartphone market during the time of its release with its excessively generous offering. For a price that’s barely half of the flagship devices from leading smartphone brands, users could already get 13MP Camera equipped with all the high-end goodness, 32GB worth of Internal storage, and a hefty 4GB RAM. The main specs offer the best high-end smartphone experience which is only available in the more expensive smartphones from other leading smartphone brands. However, Zenfone 2 managed to break the tradition and pulled off a perfect device with a perfect price tag. With the power to do so much at a price that’s too little for its kind, there’s nothing much to complain about the Asus Zenfone 2.
Overall Design and Build
The Asus Zenfone 2 is big in almost all context: the size, the features, the memory, the storage, the camera features, and more. The most glaring feature of the phone that is big is its aesthetics. It’s definitely a big phone that sports a 5.5-inch widescreen with generous bezels. It sports the classic look of its predecessors but now with a steel finish at the back. The design of its back somehow borrows its inspiration from the LG G3’s volume rocker placement and design, which works well as a shutter key for the phone’s camera.
The phone measures about 152.5 x 77.2 x 10.9mm, which is just about right for a phone with a screen size of 5.5-inch. The phone’s thickness is 10.9mm and it may seem quite big for today’s standards. However, its beautifully curved back lessens the thickness as it traces down to the sides and it’s not really that big of a problem at all. If you’re willing to tolerate a bulkier build in exchange for a larger screen, then you’re definitely looking at the right phone for you.
Full HD IPS LCD Screen
The 5.5-inch of the Asus Zenfone 2 is as detailed as it gets. The phone’s screen gives a lot of space for more pixels to be squeezed in. Despite that, the display still managed to look very detailed and crisp that pixels won’t already appear invisible in plain sight, even as you zoom them in. This phone makes use of an IPS Panel with a resolution of 1080p (FullHD), which generates a high pixel density – 403 pixels per inch.
The screen display of the Zenfone 2 is also almost as vivid as the AMOLED display. Despite lacking an AMOLED screen unlike Samsung flagship devices, the Asus Zenfone 2 makes up for it with its “Splendid” feature which allows the user to adjust the phone’s contrast and gamma levels. The depth of the dark shades of the Zenfone 2 isn’t as deep as an AMOLED’s, but it can fair very closely with it.
The Zenfone 2 is equipped with a 3000 mAh non-removable battery. This amount of battery can be considered as average for a smartphone this size. For a phone that’s meant to do a lot of heavy processing and rendering of full HD graphics, Zenfone 2 won’t really get you through the entire playing running those games or apps. However, when it comes to some smartphone business like browsing, social media, streaming, and playing music, it’s somehow above the average. The Zenfone has its own battery saver feature which will adjust your phone’s usage to conserve battery. On the average, the Zenfone 2 can run up to 7 to 8 hours with moderate use such as browsing, social media, and playing the music.
(photo courtesy of gsmarena.com)
Intel Inside Performance
The Zenfone series has been powered by Intel Atom chipsets since the debut of its first model. The Zenfone 2 is equipped with Asus’ signature chipset and has an on-board quad-core processor which is clocked at 1.83GHz. The processor department is one of the Zenfone 2’s strongest feature because it can easily match up with many flagship devices, even against those that are carrying quad-core processors. In the graphics department, this phone runs with a PowerVR G6430 GPU. Despite being a couple years old, the Zenfone 2’s GPU still manages to give out a solid performance with HD games, it can even manage to beat the Galaxy Note 3 and LG G3 when it comes to this performance aspect. Aside from that, 4GB RAM gives the phone a boost in multitasking performance and in running the games smoothly. The Zenfone 2 is a great alternative for high-end smartphones if you’re looking for one that doesn’t come with a premium price tag. It delivers a strong performance that outperforms many of well-known high-end phones, and for a price that’s just half of its competitors, the Zenfone 2 proves to be a solid device for a hardcore user experience.
A 13MP main camera with pixel master technology is one of the crowning glory of the Asus Zenfone 2. This sensor can produce photos at a 4,096x3072 resolution with a native 4:3 ratios. The lens is reasonably fast and is accompanied by a dual-LED flash for low light shooting.
The App interface of the Zenfone 2 combines everything that you need is one menu plus the volume rocker which is situated at the back of the phone underneath the camera can be used as either a camera shutter button or a zoom in / zoom out button.
The Shooting modes of the Asus Zenfone 2 retains its predecessor’s wide array scene selections which offer some of the greatest photography experience compared to most flagship devices. For one, the low-light scene of this phone provides a tremendous boost in adjusting light exposures in darker scenes. Due to that, the Zenfone 2 is among the best shooters in low-light photography which can only be credited to Zenfone’s pixel master camera technology.
There are more scenes that are really efficient in delivering their purpose. Among these is the Depth of field scene: a camera scene that produces a macro shot where the camera’s focus is concentrated towards a single object and blurring its background. The scene will require users to take two shots and will combine them in one photo, resulting to a perfect close-up photography with a blurred background.
The camera of the Zenfone 2 also has beautification scene which is perfect for an edit-free photo, it will automatically do the job for you.
The Zenfone 2’s latest firmware updates improved its camera’s sharpness and contrast when capturing photos. The photos that it shoots are now easier to perceive because of its rich detail and the contrast is coarser now with the phone’s firmware update.
The secondary camera of the Zenfone 2 is also blessed with a pixel-rich 5MP sensor and the same aperture as its back camera. With the front camera almost performing as good as its primary camera, sometimes it’s hard to tell which camera a selfie was taken from. The selfie camera also has its beautification scene which instantly applies filters and skin tone adjustments to your selfies.
Video Recording at 1080p
To say the least, the Zenfone 2’s video recording capability is nothing out of the ordinary. The 1080p video mode of the Zenfone 2 records at 15MBps bit rate and the audio are recorded at 192kbps with stereos. Basically, this results in a video recording of 1.8MB per second on the average.
The output quality, to be honest, is not something that you’d really expect to see with a 1080p resolution. The camcorder department is where its camera obviously falls short because its output greatly dulls in comparison to the 1080p recording of flagship devices like LG G3 and the Galaxy S6. More or less, the output of its 1080p recorded video is closely comparable to a 480p video. Just to be fair with this phone, though, it’s a budget smartphone with a very generous offering. Apparently, we can easily forgive this phone for underperforming in the video recording function because not all phones are perfect especially if they come with a shoestring price tag.
Below is a video sample of Zenfone 2's video mode at 1080p.
Overall Camera Result
The photos taken with the Zenfone 2’s 13MP camera are decent and are at par with the camera performance by other flagship devices from big names in the smartphone industry like Samsung. However, most often than not, the camera of the Zenfone 2 often leaves us with photos that appear to have an oil painting color on them. This especially happens when the photo is taken under a poorly lit environment and the only thing that lightens up the scene is the camera’s setting. Then again, this is not to say that the photos that this phone generates are bad, it just has its own flaws that can be fixed eventually will further firmware updates. Also, these minor setbacks on its camera department are not really permanent since they’re software-centric for the most part.
The Zenfone 2 over delivers more than it fails to impress. It is indeed the smartphone that it's advertised to be – a value for your money midrange smartphone. In fact, calling it a midrange phone doesn’t quite give justice to this phone because it can easily step into the high-end category without breaking a sweat. However, the fact remains that this phone is offered at a midrange budget with some shortcomings cement it to the ground below the high-end spectrum. Its video recording for one is not polished enough to consider it as a high-end output.
For a device that’s so powerful as the Zenfone 2 offered at 1/3 of the price of most of its competitors in the midrange market, it’s perhaps the best phone that you could out there in its category. There will definitely be more to like about this phone that you’ll easily forget the minute flaws that comes with it. The Zenfone 2 is a solid smartphone that will definitely please you and your budget.