Event Coverage

Hands-on with the ASUS ZenFone 2

By Ian Chee - 22 Apr 2015,12:51am

Hands-on with the ASUS ZenFone 2

Overview

We’ve managed to take a quick look at ASUS’ new smartphone, the ZenFone 2. It comes in several configurations, but the top-of-the-line, flagship model will arrive with a 2.3 GHz, 64-bit Intel Atom Z3580 quad-core processor, 64GB of storage and a world's first 4GB of 64-bit dual-channel LPDDR3 RAM on a smartphone.

Design

The ASUS ZenFone 2 measures 152.5 x 77.2 x 3.9~10.9 mm. The reason there are two thickness ratings here is because the back isn’t completely flat. It’s thicker at the center, and curves its way to thinness on the sides for a more ergonomic feel when held in your palm.

On the back, you’ll find a button below the camera. If you’re familiar with LG’s smartphones, you might mistake this for the power button, but it’s not. What this is, is the volume rocker. At the bottom, you'll find the speakers.

The power button, on the other hand, resides at the top, with the 3.5mm audio port next to it. Due to the position of the power button and volume rocker, the sides are barren, and on the bottom, all you’ll find is the Micro-USB port and the microphone.

This is primarily for you to pull open the back cover.

On the front, things are pretty much the usual business; the main three buttons are touch-capacitive instead of on-screen, and there’s ASUS’ circular reflection bit at the bottom, which is also found on the volume rocker at the back.

The screen itself is a 5.5-incher, and depending on your choice, could be an HD or a Full HD resolution display. Whichever the display resolution, the phone has a 72 percent screen-to-body ratio, with Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3 over it.

Features

On the customizability front, ASUS boasts some of the usual enhancements like theme changing, but one aspect that stands out from the rest of the smartphone crowd is the fact that you can change the font used in the UI.

Most of the exciting features, however, are in the camera. In use, it has extremely quick auto-focusing, and images are quite a notch above what you usually expect from smartphones. This camera also apparently has zero shutter lag, which allows for really quick, successive shots, and we’re quite inclined to believe so, as we can take shot after shot with much less delay as we usually got from cameras on the back of phones.

Another feature you get with the camera is the Super Resolution Mode, which takes four shots of whatever you’re photographing through its 13-megapixel camera and stitches them together to deliver an image with the detail of a 52-megapixel camera.

As for the front-facing secondary camera, it’s a 5-megapixel camera with an 85-degree field of view. There’s also a 140-degree Selfie Panorama mode, which lets you shoot a selfie with a big group of your friends.

Performance

As mentioned before, the top-of-the-line, flagship model of the phone comes with a 2.3 GHz, 64-bit Intel Atom Z3580 quad-core processor, 64GB of storage and 4GB of 64-bit dual-channel LPDDR3 RAM. This would amount to faster file transfers and smoother multitasking, but it would take a proper benchmark and test run before we would give it the affirmative on that. All that power is kept on with a 3,000mAh battery, which can apparently be charged from zero to 60 percent in 39 minutes.

Variants

There are two main variants of the ZenFone 2. The first comes with an HD display, Intel’s 64-bit, 1.8GHz Z3560 quad-core processor, 16GB of internal storage and 2GB RAM. This costs IDR2,699,000 (approx. RM757). This particular variant comes in three colors: Oxium Black, Glamor Red and Ceramic White.

The second variant comes with a Full HD display, and this is where all the different ZenFone 2 sub-variants with different specs fall under. The first comes the 1.8 GHz Z3560 processor with 2GB RAM and 16GB storage, and is priced IDR2,999,000 (approx. RM841). The next comes with the 2.3 GHz Z3580 processor, 4GB RAM and 32GB storage and is priced at IDR3,999,000 (approx. RM1,120). The final, top-of-the-range variant comes with the 2.3 GHz Z3580 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. This one costs IDR4,499,000 (approx. RM1,264). These variants come in Glacier Gray, Osmium Black, Glamor Red, Ceramic White and Sheer Gold, all in what ASUS calls a “premium metallic hairline finish.”

As we mentioned before, ASUS is being quite tight-lipped about local prices, but assures us that we will find out more in the coming weeks.