I finally got hands on the 4GB version of Zenfone 2 that’s supposedly faster and better than the 2GB version I unboxed last month. Specifically, I wanted to find out if it was the higher $100 price tag which I paid around $326 for the 4GB version and $220 for the 2GB version.
On paper, the Zenfone 2 4GB comes with the faster Intel Z3580 2.3Ghz quad-core processor while the 2GB version comes with Z3560 1.8Ghz quad-core processor. (UPDATE: It seems that I have actually the Z3560 model, buyer BE AWARE, there are TWO different processors for the ZE551ML(4GB) model, make sure you check that it has the faster Z3580 processor!)
The screen on the 4GB model is much better with a full 1080P screen versus a 720P HD screen. With the 2GB version, you can actually see the pixels while the 4GB version has a nicer 1080P screen.
(4GB 1080P model shown above)
For Antutu benchmarks, the 2GB version actually outdid the 4GB version, scoring only 42,094. (Again, this is the 4GB version with same processor as 2GB version. The scores for the higher 2.3Ghz processor should be much faster around 46,000.)
While we couldn’t test out the real 4GB version (as we got “had” by GearBest.com who was selling 4GB with slower processor), we could still see that the extra 2GB of memory did help in loading games/apps a bit faster. Of course, it came nowhere close to our Galaxy S6 Edge, it was still pretty fast for a phone under $350.
Overall, my current thoughts on ASUS Zenfone 2 is that it’s still a great dual-SIM phone but performance, display, camera, and battery life seems not on par with its nearest competitor, OnePlus One.
In comparison to OnePlus One (which costs around $299 for the cheapest model), the Zenfone 2 comes short as the display isn’t as good, performance is not as good (even with the 4GB 2.3Ghz processor, your Antutu scores are less than OnePlus One), and battery life is one of the worst phones we’ve tested so far. Also camera quality seems to be much worse than OnePlus One. Considering OnePlus One came out last year, Zenfone 2 seems to be a bit behind as far as number of features offered in comparison.
But it’s still a great dual-SIM phone, perhaps the best dual-SIM smartphone you can buy for the money. As far as rooting and custom ROMs go, Zenfone 2 (and ASUS) in general is light years behind the OnePlus One. If you travel a lot and want to get a cheap dual-SIM smartphone, get the Zenfone 2 but otherwise you may be better off waiting for OnePlus Two or something else that comes out later this year.