Thursday, 3 September 2015

New player in Market of Smart-Phones ASUS Zenfone2

In today’s era of smart phones when every day there is a new company in market with cheaper phones, with various features in it. These new company sustain in market for short span of time and then vanish. The smart phone wars seem to have no end in sight. This battle is on the rise by the day and one of the latest entrants to this battle is the Zenfone2 by ASUS. The Taiwan base manufacturing company which was nowhere in the smart phone market till last year is making waves for its recent smart phone i.e. the Zenfone2. The Zenfone2 is currently one of the highest performing devices in the market as it packs one of the most highest performing processors in it’s range and it also comes with 4 GB of RAM in the top model. Some of the notable enhancements include the Super resolution picture taken by the camera, the ability to change themes and layout options in the ZenUI and the overall build of the phone. We will talk in detail about this phone as we continue our ASUS Zenfone2 review and do a detailed breakdown for you so that you can find out whether it’s the right device for you or not.
ASUS Zenfone2 specifications:
The specifications that we have given over here are for the top end model i.e. ZE551-ML, we will also discuss about the cheaper models in subsequent paragraphs.
 Display
 1920×1080 pixels, 5.5 inch IPS display, 403 ppi (70.1% body to screen ratio) with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection
 Software
 Android 5.0 Lollipop with ASUS ZenUI on top
Chipset
 Intel Atom Z3580
 CPU
 2.3 GHz Quad core processor
 RAM
 4 GB
 GPU
 PowerVRG6430
 Storage
 16/32/64/128 GB internal and expandable upto 64 GB with microSD
 Camera
 13 MP primary and 5 MP secondary with Pixel Master Camera enhancements, dual tone, dual LED flash with support upto 1080p video at 30fps
 Battery
3000 mAh (Li-Po non removable battery), fast charging (up to 60% in 40 mins)
 Cellular connectivity
 Dual Sim with dual stand by and dual call support (micro SIM supported), 4g LTE supported
 Other Connectivity options
 Bluetooth v4.0, Wi-fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac , NFC enabled, FM radio as well as GPS. micro USB connectivity
 Sensors
Gyro sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity, Compass
 Weight
 170 grams
 Colors
Ceramic White, Sheer Gold, Glacier Gray, Osmium Black, Glamour Red

Now let us just head into a detailed overview of every feature and specification in order to know more about the phone.
ASUS Zenfone2: Build & Design

The build of the Zenfone feels premium though the back is actually plastic with a faux metallic finish to give it a more premium feel. The front of the phone is good enough, but the 5.5 inch form factor is not handy enough for one hand use as the phone feels a bit large in the hand. The phone has 3.9 mm edges and is pretty slim. It has concentric circle designs on both the front soft keys section and on the rear volume rocker. A 72% screen to body ratio means that on paper this phone has a really great design and less bezel but in practical real world usage we found that the phone was somewhat big.

The overall build is pretty solid and the battery is a non removable one, with slots for sim cards as well as MicroSD card visible as soon as you open up the back cover. The body has undergone a minor change as the volume buttons are now beneath the camera and not on the sides of the body. There are no buttons on the sides and that might be a welcome change for few users and be despised by some. As you can see in the above image the speaker grill is on the lower side of the back and the sound gets muffled when you place the phone by it’s back or when you have the phone in the hand, so that’s one con for the phone.
ASUS Zenfone2: Display
The phone has a 5.5 inch display keeping in line with the current trend of large screen flagship phones. The 4 GB RAM variant has a full HD display while the 2 GB RAM variant has a 720p HD display. The colors are vivid and saturation is good on the phone. While one of the issues was that even the maximum brightness of the display didn’t feel much bright in the sunlight. Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection is present for the phone and the display is impressive though not as good as the few latest smart phones. The touch has a really good response time of 60 ms and every touch is registered really quickly. The double tap to wake up and other gesture controls too perform really good on the device.

ASUS Zenfone2: Performance
The phone packs a really powerful hardware combination and is among the first smart phones to have a 4 GB RAM onboard. The 2.3 GHz quad core processor is able to handle a lot of tasks with ease. The phone was able to play a heavy 4k HD video without any lag or any frame drops, this is something which even high performance phones fail to do without frame rate drops in our tests. Apart from that the phone scored around 42,208 on the Antutu Benchmark in our test. 21,850 on the Quadrant Standard and 59.7 fps on Nenamark. In terms of practical usage almost all of your apps would run smoothly and multi tasking is a breeze on this device. But everything is not all glitters. Many applications haven’t been coded well to run on Intel’s chipset and even some popular applications like Instagram etc. have problems and minor glitches. So these are some issues that ASUS needs to sort out by working in conjunction with the app developers or by pushing out software updates for the same. Apart from these the phone makes a really good impression on the performance front.
ASUS Zenfone2: Camera
ASUS has hyped the camera quality of the Zenfone2 a lot and even compared it with DSLR like clarity. Though there’s not much truth in it but still the camera on the Zenfone2 is capable of some pretty decent shots. Low light photography, Super resolution mode ( 51 Mega pixel photos) and HDR along with dual tone flash make for a pretty interesting package. Even the front 5 MP camera doles out some pretty decent pictures and is good for clicking selifes as it has beautification feature turned on by default. Here are some of the pictures we took with the Zenfone2 camera; none of them has been modified/edited or even compressed.

Some of the pictures clicked in different lighting & angles.


5.1 MP Camera- Zenfone2 





ASUS Zenfone2: Battery & Usage
The phone comes with various internal storage options ranging from 16 GB all the way upto 128 GB for the top end model. Apart from that you can always expand the storage via microSD card upto an additional 64 GB more.
The battery life of the phone is between excellent and mediocre. You can’t call the battery backup as excellent as the device tends to eat up battery by 1-2% every hour even when doing nothing. The phone lasts up to 7-8 pm at night if you start the day at 6 AM with 100% battery. The 3000 mAh battery is good but for a phone with a high res display it barely manages to last you through the day. But for low to medium usage users it should be fine as the phone lasts upto 1 day plus on mild to low usage patterns.
Call quality was good but the earpiece was not sufficiently loud enough and it can be a problem when you are in extremely noisy environments or at a discotheque/bar at night.

Overall- Review
The ZE551 ML variant of the Zenfone2 is a sweet value for money phone which does a lot and justifies its price tag of 19,999. The 2GB variant of the same phone priced at 14,999 is equally good though less powerful. The ZE550 ML priced at 12,999 is a slightly weaker proposition and the Xiaomi MI 4i might feel better at that price point but if expandable storage and a good camera is what you need then Zenfone2 ftw.

This phone is currently the best you can get under 20K INR and ASUS has managed to give the competition a run for their money, at least on paper. We will see as to how long this reign lasts.

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