The Asus ZenFone 2 (yep, the phone that took claim as the first to sport a 4 GB RAM variant) isn’t new at all. In fact, we gave it the hands-on treatment all the way back in January after its original unveiling at CES 2015. It was uncertain at the time when the phone might be making its way to the United States, but now we have confirmation—via an Asus press release—that the flagship smartphone is on its way to the United States market unlocked and contract-free.
Starting tomorrow, May 19th, consumers in the US can order the phone for $200 from select retailers. But that’s just for the base model. If you’re looking for that 4-GB-of-RAM beast that has been talked about for months, you can grab it—and its 5.5-inch 1080p display, 64 GB of storage, and 13-megapixel camera—for a slightly higher $300. The phone will be available in four colors: red, black, gray and silver.
There’s a reason that many were excited about this phone when it was first introduced in January, and that hasn’t changed much. The phone is still very equipped—even the base model—for the price you pay. It’s a great competitor and alternative to the likes of the Moto G, which starts at $180. The higher-end model is still one of the only phones on the market that offers 4 GB of RAM, so if that’s something you’re looking for, you should be happy with the ZenFone 2, too.
Here’s the press release:
Incredible Comes to New York: ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih Announces Availability of ZenFone 2 in North America
New York, USA (May 18th, 2015) — ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih today introduced ZenFone 2 and the latest ZenBook models to the United States and Canada at the Incredible Comes to New York press event. Hosted at the sophisticated and stylish Gotham Hall in Manhattan, the event showcased a line-up of meticulously-crafted products in their North American debut. It also featured a stunning acrobatic dance performance that creatively highlighted the possibilities of photography with ZenFone 2.
ZenFone 2 is the flagship ASUS smartphone designed to be an empowering luxury for everyone to enjoy. A marvel of craftsmanship and engineering, ZenFone 2 features a 13MP camera with ASUS-exclusive PixelMaster camera technology, the brand-new ZenUI user interface, Dual-SIM, Dual-Active (DSDA) capability, and incredible performance that delivers a premium smartphone experience to users. ZenFone 2 is coming to market in the United States unlocked and contract-free, giving users freedom to enjoy the smartphone on the service provider of their choice.
“ZenFone 2 has been incredibly popular with consumers in Asia and Europe, and we are very excited to bring this empowering luxury to North America,” said Mr. Shih. “Striking the perfect balance of beauty, functionality, and performance, ZenFone 2 embodies every aspect of the ASUS In Search of Incredible brand spirit to provide an unparalleled experience to users.”
Aicha Evans, Intel Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the Communication and Devices Group, joined Mr. Shih onstage in celebration of the long-term partnership between the two companies. “We are excited to support ASUS in bringing the popular ZenFone 2 to North America,” said Ms. Evans. “We are proud that our long-standing relationship with ASUS continues to deliver innovation. With the ZenFone 2, people will have a great mobile experience in an affordable and sleek form factor, enabled by the 64-bit Intel Atom processor together with Intel’s LTE-Advanced XMM 7260 modem for fast and reliable cellular speeds.”
Also making an appearance at the event was digital artist and Instagram sensation Robert Jahns, who endorsed the ZenFone 2 See What Others Can’t See photography campaign, a global campaign designed to showcase the advantages of ZenFone 2’s PixelMaster camera technology.
See What Others Can’t See — ASUS ZenFone 2
ZenFone 2 is the new flagship smartphone in the hugely-successful ASUS ZenFone family, featuring an all-new design, 13MP PixelMaster camera, and uncompromising performance delivered by a 64-bit Intel® Atom™ Z3580 (‘Moorefield’) processor with up to 4GB RAM. An Intel LTE-Advanced modem provides ultra-fast and reliable 4G/LTE connectivity. Building on the success of ZenFone and leveraging a quarter-century of engineering accomplishments, the highly anticipated ZenFone 2 provides a wealth of exciting new features and a refined ASUS ZenUI experience to deliver a new level of empowering luxury for everyone.
ZenFone 2 has a gorgeous, all-new design that employs iconic Zen design elements, such as a sleek, brushed-metal finish and concentric-circle detailing, and introduces new refinements, including a graceful curved case that tapers to an incredibly thin 3.9mm at the edges. The exclusive Ergonomic Arc design provides a comfortable, secure grip, and features an intuitively placed volume-control key on the rear of the phone within easy reach of the user’s index finger. The 5.5-inch Full HD IPS+ screen has a large 72% screen-to-body ratio that provides a maximized viewing experience, while reducing ZenFone 2’s overall size.
ZenFone 2’s 13MP PixelMaster camera with its f/2.0 wide-aperture lens lets users quickly and easily capture beautiful, high-resolution photos with zero shutter-lag. Camera features, including Low Light mode, Backlight (Super HDR) mode, and Super Resolution mode, ensure incredible photos even in dimly lit situations.
ZenFone 2 has a 3000mAh battery that provides more than enough power to get through the day, and it also features BoostMaster fast-charge technology for dramatically-reduced recharge times.
World’s slimmest 13.3-inch QHD+ ultraportable — ASUS ZenBook UX305
ZenBook UX305 has a subtle and refined new shape that incorporates the DNA of the classic ZenBook. It features an elegantly-tapered design with smooth, comfortable edges and diamond-cut highlights that subtly emphasize the sleekness of the 12.3mm-thin case — and it weighs just 1.2kg.
ZenBook UX305 is powered by an Intel Core™ M processor, a remarkably power-efficient processor designed for ultra-slim devices that delivers smooth and effortless performance. In combination with up to 8GB of RAM and an ultra-fast up to 512GB SSD, UX305 delivers impressive all-round performance for daily computing.
A stunning ultraportable needs a display that’s out of the ordinary, so ZenBook UX305 is fitted with an ultra-sharp 13.3-inch in-plane switching (IPS) multi-touch display with an up to QHD+ resolution of 3200 x 1800 pixels and wide viewing angles. This display has five times (5X) the resolution of a standard HD display, and features an amazing pixel density of 276PPI for crisp, vivid and lifelike images and video. With 300cd/m2 brightness, a contrast ratio of 770:1 and an ergonomic anti-glare coating, blacks are deep, whites are stunningly pure, and the wide color gamut (72% NTSC) ensures accurate colors.
ZenBook UX305 is also equipped with three SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports for data transfers that are up to ten times (10X) faster than USB 2.0. One of the USB ports supports ASUS Charger+ technology for rapid recharging of mobile devices. A USB-to-Ethernet adapter is bundled with UX305, along with a mini DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter — enabling easy connection to an external monitor.
A perfect blend of power, elegance and performance — ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501
At the heart of ZenBook Pro UX501 is the ultra-powerful quad-core Intel Core i7-4720HQ processor, providing effortless performance for any task. With a massive 16GB of RAM, multitasking is super-smooth and there’s plenty of processing horsepower in reserve for even the most intensive number-crunching tasks.
ZenBook Pro UX501 also features the amazing new NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX™ 960M graphics-processing unit (GPU) for gaming-grade graphics performance. With up to 4GB of fast GDDR5 video memory, users enjoy silky-smooth 4K/UHD video playback, effortless 3D rendering, and immersive gaming with ultra-high frame rates.
ASUS VisualMaster displays set the standard for laptops, incorporating some of the very latest technology to give users unrivaled visual clarity and detail. ZenBook Pro UX501 has a 15.6-inch multi-touch display with a pin-sharp 4K/UHD 3860 x 2160 resolution — four times (4X) higher than Full HD — and an incredible pixel density of 282PPI for stunningly-detailed and lifelike images. IPS technology with wide 178-degree viewing angles ensures that colors and contrast are not degraded from any viewing position.
Ultra-fast storage is essential for fast boot times and effortless file operations, so ZenBook Pro UX501 is available with the world’s fastest SSD. With a PCI Express® (PCIe®) x4 interface and up to 512GB capacity, the read/write speeds of up to 1400MB/s are twice as fast as competing PCIe x2 models, and 16 times (16X) faster than common SATA 6.0Gbit/s hard disk drives. And with no moving parts, ZenBook Pro UX501’s SSD is both reliable and totally silent.
An advanced thermal-management system combined with ZenBook Pro UX501’s 96Wh lithium-polymer battery means that users won’t need to find a mains-power outlet for up to six hours — and even beyond.