Announced at CES 2015 and initially scheduled for a March launch, Asus Zenfone 2 is now available internationally through official distributors and resellers.
When Asus designers drew the Zenfone 2, they were clearly inspired by the LG G3, considering that both of them have buttons on the back, just below the camera. That’s not to say that the Taiwanese company didn’t bring anything new to the table. On the contrary, it’s great that Asus has decided to take a different take on the design, and in the process it departed from the same old rules of placing the power button and the volume rockers on the sides of the device. In fact, the iF Design Award that the Zenfone 2 received this year emphasizes Asus’ contribution to the original design.
The Zenfone 2 isn’t different only in terms of design, but also as far as the chipset is concerned. Whereas most mobile manufacturers these days turn to Mediatek or Qualcomm to power their devices (Huawei, Samsung and Xiaomi being the most notable exceptions), Asus decided to give Intel a chance to show its mobile muscles. In that aspect, the 4GB RAM version of Zenfone 2 was built around a 64-bit Intel Atom Z3560 chipset that includes a quad-core CPU running at 2.3Ghz and a PowerVR G6430 GPU. While packing the same GPU, the 2GB RAM version is actually powered by a Intel Atom Z3560 SoC with the quad-core CPU running at 1.8Ghz. Add to that the fact that the Zenfone is running Android 5.0 with ZenUI on top, and we’re talking about a real performance beast here.
For the display, Asus went with a 5.5-inch FHD display that’s protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. On the back, the Zenfone 2 has a 13MP camera with dual-LED flash for more natural colors in low-light conditions, while selfie lovers might make more use of the 5MP camera in the front.
As for connectivity, the Zenfone 2 sports GPS/GLONASS/QZSS/SBAS/BDS, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 4.0 and 4G LTE support in numerous bands, depending on the country. The international model works without any problems all around the world, so you shouldn’t worry about that.
Touted as the first smartphone with 4GB of RAM, the Zenfone 2 is actually available in several different versions, depending on the storage, the actual amount of RAM, and the chipset powering the device. Hence, there are versions with 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of ROM, regardless of the amount of RAM, that are furthermore differentiated by the color of the body. Thus, there are five different colors to choose from: Osmium Black, Sheer Gold, Glacier Gray, Glamor Red, Ceramic White, fact that takes the theoretical number of available options to 30. Talk about variety, eh?
Zenfone 2’s Li-Po non-removable battery has a capacity of 3000mAh. Assuming that the software is optimized properly, users should get more than a day’s worth of battery life without any problems. It should be noted that the 4GB RAM version of the phone comes with a 18W BoostMaster adapter that enables users to charge the battery to 60% in just 40 minutes.
The 4GB RAM/32GB ROM version of Asus Zenfone 2 can be purchased now on GearBest for $312.89 by using the coupon code ASUSZ4GB at checkout, while the 2GB RAM/16GB ROM runs cheaper, at $244.98 with coupon code ASUSZ2GB. Considering the build quality, the design, and the software this 4G phablet comes with, it definitely represents one of the best Android devices you could buy with that kind of money. Ironically, both versions are more expensive on Amazon, and considering that GearBest also offers free shipping, the price difference might make the wait worth it.