Zenfone series is what turned laptop maker Asus into a serious smartphone contender. In most markets, Zenfones sold out multiple times. Especially, the response to Zenfone 5 has been great in India. This year, a lot is riding on its successor the Zenfone 2. At the lavish launch event hosted at Kingdom Of Dreams in Delhi, we got to try out the latest phone.
Design Not just the size, the ZenFone 5's successor has changed a lot in terms of design too. Compared to its predecessor's sharp lines, the ZenFone 2 is more on the curvy side.
The phone looks a lot like the LG G3. Mostly because of the the plastic back with a brushed metal finish and rear volume buttons. The power button is on the top side, which is a bummer considering the handset's relatively bigger size. I'm already missing the handy Zenfone 5.
The removable back-panel gives access to a couple of micro-SIM slots and and microSD slot. However, the battery is not user accessible.
Screen The Zenfone 2 comes with an improved screen. The 5.5-inch panel now packs in 1920x1080 pixels. That makes up for the pixel density of slightly more than 400 ppi. To put things in perspective, the iPhone 6 has pixel-density of 325 ppi.
The IPS (In-Pane Switching) screen produces good colours. However, brightness is quite underwhelming. Lastly, like most phones these days, the screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 3.
Specifications The Zenfone 2 has multiple variants. Despite different specifications, they are all called Zenfone 2 with weird codes such as the ZE551ML and ZE550ML at the end. All this is very confusing. The only thing I'm sure of right now is that the device I tested at the event had 4 GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage. It is priced at Rs 20,000.
The phone is powered by the Intel Atom Z3580 SoC. The quad-core SOC (System on Chip) is clocked at 2.3GHz. For gaming, you get PowerVR G6430 GPU.
In the photography department, you get a 13 megapixel rear camera rear with a dual-LED flash. For selfie-lovers there's a 5 megapixel snapper too.
Software The Zenfone 2 ships with Android 5.0 Lollipop. On top of that, you get the Taiwanese company's ZenUI. Most including me like Asus's UI due to its clean design and optimisation.
Not much has changed in terms of performance. It still runs without a stutter. The UI has changed a bit though. It looks more colourful and fancy now. Thankfully toning it down is not that difficult.
Taking inspiration from Nokia and LG, the Taiwanese brand has implemented double tap to wake option. It comes in handy considering the lock button is on the top side. Then, there are couple of silly gestures too.
Camera The Zenfone 2 comes with a 13 megapixel camera with Asus' PixelMaster technology. According to the company, this camera module offers better brightness and detail in low-light conditions. From the few sample shots I clicked, I can tell that the low light performance is quite good. However, to find out how it stacks up against the competition, wait for our review.