Asus announced four new smartphones in India on Friday, as part of its ever expanding Zenfone series of smartphones. The devices announced include the Zenfone Selfie (ZD551KL), Zenfone 2 Laser 5.5 (ZE550KL), Zenfone 2 Laser 5.0 (ZE500KL) and Zenfone 2 Deluxe (ZE551ML). The company had showed off some of these devices at the Computex 2015, held in Taiwan earlier this year. Online speculations had indicated back then, that India will be one of the first markets outside of China to get these devices. The latest announcement from the company now seems to have proven those rumors to be correct. It is worth remembering however, that while the devices have officially been announced, they’re not yet available for purchase. Actually, the smartphones are yet to officially get their respective price-tags. That will happen on August 6th, according to Asus, when all the just-announced smartphones will be launched for sale as part of the upcoming ‘Asus Zen Festival 2015’, to be held at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi.
Coming to the devices that have been announced, all the latest offerings shun Intel processors for the first time, and adopt either Qualcomm’s or Mediatek’s chipsets. While all the devices come with mid-range hardware at best, Asus has seemingly put a lot of emphasis on the devices’ imaging capabilities, and the one factor that seemingly distinguishes all these smartphones is the presence of laser auto-focus for their primary rear cameras. The feature was first seen in a mainstream device only last year, when LG launched its flagship G3 with the technology. Even now, it is not something that is widely available at any price segment, much less in mid-range or entry-level models.
As for hardware specs, the most high-end amongst the smartphones is the Zenfone Selfie (ZD551KL). The device features a 5.5-inch 1080p display, with Corning Gorilla Glass protection. The device is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 615 SoC, which comes with an embedded 64-bit octa-core CPU and an Adreno 405 GPU. The device will come with an option of 2 or 3 GB of RAM and 16 or 32 GB of internal storage. The smartphone will run Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box, with Zen UI 2.0 overlayed. The handset will also come with a 3,000 mAh battery and LTE connectivity. But as mentioned already, the USP of all these devices will be their laser auto-focus, which will be available with the 13-megapixel rear-facing camera. The front facing camera meanwhile, will come with a 5-megapixel sensor.
The Zenfone 2 Laser 5.5 (ZE550KL) comes next, and also features a 5.5-inch display, but this time around, it is of the 720p HD variety. The smartphone is powered by a 1.2 GHz quad-core CPU and an Adreno 306 GPU found embedded within the Snapdragon 410 chipset from Qualcomm. It will come with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage, and will run on Android 5.0 Lollipop with Zen UI 2.0 on top. The size of the image sensors remain unchanged from the Zenfone Selfie, and the phone will also carry a 3,000 mAh battery and support LTE connectivity. There will also be a Zenfone 2 Laser 5.0 (ZE500KL), which will largely pack the same hardware, apart from a smaller 5-inch 720p display and a significantly less powerful 2,070 mAh battery. The phone will also reportedly come with an 8 GB storage option along with the 16 GB version.
Alongside the aforementioned devices, Asus is also likely to announce another smartphone dubbed the Zenfone Go, which is expected to be the cheapest of all the phones from the Asus stable this year. The company however, did not announce the phone on Friday. Asus is also expected to announce its ZenPad series of tablets and some other products during its ‘Zen Festival’ event next week, according to sections of the Indian tech-media. As for the Zenfone Go, it comes with a 5-inch 720p display, and is powered by a Mediatek MT6580 SoC instead of a Qualcomm chipset. The device is expected to come with 2 GB of LPDDR3 RAM and offer a choice of 8 or 16 GB of storage. It will run on Android Lollipop, but strangely enough, it will give LTE connectivity a miss, supporting only up to HSPA+. The device will also lack the laser AF feature, and its cameras will also see a bit of a downgrade to 8 MP and 2 MP respectively. As for the Zenfone Deluxe, it will come with the exact same internals as the Asus flagship Zenfone 2 (ZE551ML) that was released earlier in the year, but will come with a new premium back cover.
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