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Asus Zenfone 2 Review (ZE551ML)

After the regional launch of Zenfone 2 in Jakarta, Indonesia in April, it is finally coming to the Philippines tomorrow, May 16, 2015.

The biggest launch of Asus Zenfone 2 is happening at the World Trade Center in Pasay City, Philippines.

Asus Philippines sent us a review unit for us to test and get our feedback about the most successful brand from Asus. We got the top-end specs, the model with 4G RAM, 32G internal storage and powered by Intel Atom Quad Core Z3580 (2.3GHz) processor.

Z2-4G-32G-Front

By confirming that we got the 4G RAM with Quad Core 2.3Ghz model, it is safe to say that this model is arriving. You have to prepare your money because it will be available immediately after the public launch on Saturday.

Z2-4G-32G-Raffy

Design and build

Zenfone 2 has a great look (pogi sya, pramis!), perfect to hold in your hands with its very simple design from the front to the back. Asus logo on top is not annoying to the eye, while the semi-curved design is blends to the current designs of smartphones available in the market today.

Always hold your Zefone 2 front-facing, because looking at it from the back will remind of your LG G3, volume control is at the back, on top of it is the camera and the LED flash. The only difference is that Asus put the power button on top of the Zenfone 2 which makes it a little harder to reach if you want to turn on or turn off your screen. That said, Asus also immitated LG’s double tap technology to turn on and off the screen.

Although Zenfone 2 has a removable plastic back cover, the battery is sealed to the body. Micro-SIM and micro-SD slots are conveniently located on the cover of the battery of Zenfone 2.

Camera and multimedia

For the tech-savvy future owners of Zenfone 2, you will like the camera so much. It has lots of options to choose from so that you will get the best photo when you press the shutter.

But just like any other Android smartphone, you can’t choose a customized settings and retain it everytime you want to snap a photo. In terms of focusing speed and taking the shot, you can depend on the Zenfone 2. The set of outdoor shots I took in our trip to Isabela was taken while we are inside moving van. So take note of the image stabilization and clarity of photos while a photographer is in motion.

Sample shots taken with the the Zenfone 2.

Indoor shots

Outdoor shots

Panorama shot

Front camera shots

Sample video.

Shoot out: Galaxy Note Edge vs Zenfone 2

Before you judge the results of the photos we took from each of the phones. Take note of the official pricing of both phones too. (Google mo na lang, sir/maam. 😉 ). In each photo, I attached the EXIF (EXIF is  a standard that specifies the formats for images data from a digital camera) so to show the legitimacy of each photo.


I used camera’s automatic settings in taking photos above. The use of default settings is observed here because most of us would snap a photo without customizing the settings. We change the colors, sharpness, and others when we start to post it in our social media accounts such as IG or Facebook.


In terms of colors, the Note 4 Edge has the better color and sharpness. I also observed some washed out photos with Zenfone 2 while Note 4 Edge’s photos are clear.

Battery life

Twelve hours, period. I’d charge Zenfone 2 around 12midnight before I sleep, quick charge app estimates it at more than 2.5-hour charging. I’d wake up at 4PM and from there I turn on the WiFI, but 8AM I’d switch to mobile data until about 2PM. By 3PM, I would switch to Wi-Fi to conserve some more battery. Twelve hours is the recorded battery life from a single charge. Di ko na kelangan magdala ng Powerbank

Benchmarks

For the geeks, here are the benchmarks recorded by Zenfone 2. Antutu gave a high score of 45,911 and Nenamark reports 59.7fps.

Connectivity

For a few days, I went out of my way and worked in my favorite coffee shops in Makati and used Zenfone 2 as my hotspot. Used Bluetooth to stream music and tranfer files. LTE is superb and delivered well by Zenfone 2. I did not notice any heating issue during the test.

Conclusion

I, therefore, conclude that Asus has successfully made it to the smartphone business. The Zenfone 2 is the first-ever smartphone with 4 Gigabytes of RAM. The same RAM I have in my 13-inch Macbook Air. Imagine how much processing power the Zefone has. You can literally connect Zenfone 2 to an LCD monitor via HDMI, connect a Bluetooth keyboard and you now have a powerful computing machine.  (I wish I still have time to do it though). Asus has also put a lot of homegrown apps so that Zenfone 2 can be customizable. You may call it bloatware, but you will love it nonetheless because it makes your experience easy. With Asus ZenMotion or gesture support, you can launch apps by simply drawing a character in your screen during sleep mode — you can draw C to launch Camera , W to launch Browser , O to launch Calendar, e to launch Email, Z to launch ASUS Booster, or V to launch Dialer. These stuff makes your life easier.

Am I buying Zenfone 2? Definitely yes. I am sold out because of the specs, features and the looks. Oh, the price points also will help buyers decite to buy the Zenfone 2.

Zefnone 2 ZE551ML specs

– 5.5in FHD with 1080 x 1920 screen resolution
– Corning Gorilla Glass 3
– 64-bit Intel Atom Quad Core Z3580 (2.3GHz) processor
– 4GM RAM
– 32G internal storage, micro-SD slot for up to 128G
– 6430 PowerVR 533MHz GPU
– Cat4+ 250Mbps LTE
– dual micro-SIM
– 13 MP f/2.0 camera, 5MP f/2.0 front camera
– 3000 mAh Li-Polymer (non-removable)
– 170 g

Zefnone 2 ZE551ML pricing and availability

Tomorrow will be the official reveal of the local pricing. You can guestimate from the regional pricing in Jakarta.

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