Asus only began selling smartphones over a year ago but it has quickly risen to become an un-matched vendor in emerging markets, including India, by offering feature-packed Android-powered handsets at affordable prices.
While Asus has had a rocking last year, it now aiming to become even more dominant handset player with the newly launched Zenfone range - unveiled just a week back at this year's CES tech show in Las Vegas.
The newly unveiled Android-enabled smartphone is bigger, better and more powerful compared to its predecessor. Running on Android 5.0, the 5.5-inch FHD handset has a 64-bit Intel Atom quad-core processor coupled with 2GB or 4GB of RAM.
Asus' Zenfone 2 smartphone was on display at CES 2015, giving us a rare chance to check out the device. Let's find out what we thought of the Zenfone 2 in our first look article.
Asus Zenfone 2: Form Factor, Display, Design and Operating System
We were kind of impressed by the design of the Zenfone 2. Even though you won't find any breakthrough in the design department; nonetheless it still feels really innovative.
Notably, it does bear resemblance to the LG G3 with its rear-back buttons, while the phone's curves remind you of the HTC One (M8). No more the Asus Zenfone 2 boasts plastic design; instead, it now comes with brushed metallic body. It's light in weight, and feels so perfect to hold.
The Zenfone 2 sports a brilliant 5.5-inch Full HD display with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels. . The 5.5-inch FHD screen should be reasonable fine to view long length movies and videos. During our testing we found the display to be just right, and the colors to be vivid in nature.
While, of course, the 5.5-inch FHD display is surely one of the highlights to own the Zenfone 2. At the same time, we instantly got immersed ourselves into the Zen UI. It's a crazy take on the stock Android user interface (UI).
Running on Google's Android Lollipop OS, Asus had made several new chances in the ZenUI. The slapped UI is simply intuitive, and it's getting more immersive with every additional update. Now it includes unique launchers and themes that'll surely get you addicted to the device.
Asus Zenfone 2: Processor and Connectivity Options
Both Asus and Intel share a cordial relationship. As we know, the Zenfone 2 features an Intel inside processor, like its predecessor. However, the newly launched handset finally gets a 64-bit processor.
Notably, there are two variants to choose from. The high-end variant comes with 4GB of RAM (a quad-core Atom chipset clocked at 2.3 GHz and a 1080p display), while the entry-level handset boasts 2GB of RAM, a quad-core Atom chipset clocked at 1.8 GHz and a 720p HD display).
Inside the Zenfone 2 is an Intel Atom quad-core processor, which we'll need to run our benchmark tests on when we get the handset for full review. During our testing, however, we found the device to be fairly accurate and responsive. In addition to that, the Android 5.0 Lollipop mobile OS adds an extra touch.
Both variants will be made available in 16, 32 and 64 GB storage capacities and microSD card support. Connectivity features include 4G LTE (Cat.4), Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.
Asus Zenfone 2: Camera and Video
The Zenfone 2 is an impressive handset as far as the camera is concerned. With a 13-megapixel rear-facing f/2.0 camera and 5-megapixel front-facing camera, one should expect some really good shots.
The rear-facing shooter also sports a dual-LED Flash. Notably, the camera UI is very fast and easy to operate. In addition, users can even use operate a manual mode which is an add-on, and totally worth it, given the retail price of the device.
The front-facing camera performed brilliantly during our testing. We even tried to test the video capture feature (1080p Full HD), although we need to take more time to determine the video quality.
Asus Zenfone 2: Battery, Price, Release Date and Final Verdict
The Zenfone 2 comes with a 3,000 mAh battery that is non-removable. Well, to be honest, we couldn't determine any estimates just by having a close look. However, we do expect the handset to run at least a day on a single charge.
The handset release date is scheduled for Q2 2015 in India, as confirmed by Peter Chang, Regional Head, Asus India, during our conversation at CES 2015. No word on pricing though.
We were really astonished to see the Zenfone 2. It has got all the right incidents to surpass consumer expectations. We wish it would come at the right price. For full verdict, we'll have to wait and see how much the device costs in India.
Stay tuned to GizBot for more updates!