With a price tag that surprised everyone, the Asus Zenfone was one of the most popular mid range phones offered last year. Half a year later the Taiwanese company has launched sequels that offer many specifications for the user to choose from. But will the Asus Zenfone 2 be as successful as its predecessor? My take after using the phone for a week.
The Asus Zenfone 2 has a classic Taiwanese design. I’m saying this because the rear of the phone looks almost like that of the HTC M9. The phone also has rear volume tickets like the LG flagship phones. However, the power button is on the top. All this gives the phone a very sophisticated look, which is great for those who are buying the most affordable versions of the phone.
Specs: 5.5-inch (1080x1920p, ~403 ppi) IPS | Intel Atom Z3580 quad-core 2.3 GHz with 4 GB RAM model | 32 GB storage expandable up to 64GB | 13 MP rear camera with dual-LED, 5MP front camera | Zen UI on Android Lollipop | 3000 mAh battery.
Price: Rs 19,999 (32GB)
What is good
The overall performance of the phone is very good. I did not feel any lag and multi-tasking was effortless. Yes, the phone does heat up at times, especially when it is doing something online. But that does not affect performance at any point. The phone has a superb benchmark score just above the OnePlus One and below the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
I liked Zen UI from the first version and this is one better with more features brought in by Android Lollipop. The UI is also heavily customisable, almost like CyanogenMod.
The camera is good, especially in low light. However, the images can be a bit over-saturated like with the original Zenfone. But you will love the fact that this phone comes with additional storage and you can just keep clicking photos or shooting videos without getting hassled about storage space. There are more modes than the regular point and shoot camera. Plus, the easy beautification mode will have the selfie junkies more than happy.
The overall build quality of the phone is better than what you would find in most other phones price at Rs 13,000– all versions look the same. Though plastic it has a metal feel and finish that inspires confidence.
The review unit given to me came with 32GB storage out of which about 20 GB is free. The full HD display is also very sharp and clear. Play around with the display modes and you have lots of options to suit your visual palette.
What is not that good
That has to be the battery life. With a full charge at 6 am, this phone is almost drained out around 3 pm with regular use. That is about 9 hours. Just not good.
Plus, the phone heats up leading to a big fall in battery life. The heating issue is not as bad as with some of the Snapdragon phones I have tested recently, but it is bad enough to bother you once a week.
The Zenfone had a good camera. This one should have been better. It seems like the same camera as last year’s phone. The native keyboard is bad and keeps taking you where you don’t want to go. You will need to download a third party keyboard.
Should you buy it
This is one of the best phones in the mid-range at the moment especially since it offers top of the line storage and memory options. Buy a good powerpack and you will have a winner combo.