When Note 4 was Released, I was expecting it to have 4GB of RAM but sadly it didn’t. Just a few months back at CES, Asus which is known for its PC components launched their New Flagship Beast, Asus ZenFone 2 which has an unbelievable 4GB RAM. That is higher than the notebook on which I am writing this Review on :p. So anyways today I would be Reviewing Asus Zenfone 2 after using it for a month. There are many versions of the Zenfone 2 and I would be reviewing the 4GB one.
Asus Zenfone 2 has a hefty 5.5” Display, a big chin and also some large bezels, combining all this makes the phone huge and a little bulky. You have to use both your hands to use the phone. The phone feels a bit too huge on my liking and you simply can’t use your single hand to make a phone call. But hold on, we have Zen UI in which we can enable one hand mode to work with ease. The back of the phone has a brushed aluminum finish even though the back is made of plastic and is removable. It has a 13MP camera with dual tone flash which prevents those yellow shots. Also there are the volume rockers at the back very similar to the LG G2.
Under the back panel we have a dual sim slot, in which 1st sim is 4G and the 2nd sim is sadly 2G. We also have a memory card slot in which we can add a memory card upto 64GB. On the front is the earpiece, sensors, Screen ( :P) and the touch capacitive buttons which are not back light, The buttons are placed on a metallic chin which is a trend of Asus ZenFones.
Comparing it with the form factor of Redmi Note and Infocus M330, we can see ZenFone 2 has almost the same size of the Redmi note but with a curved – sides. As there is nothing on the sides, the phone is slim on the sides whereas thick on the sides which makes it a little slippery.
Overall the design of the phone is nice but is not even near to perfect.
The build of the phone is Rough and tough and can easily handle some shocks. The only defect I found was that the back panel is a little flimsy and can easily get scratched, other than that everything feels tough.
Aesthetically, the design reminds us of the style employed by LG’s flagship G line – where it bears a close similarity to the LG G2. As said ZenFone 2 has many models, the cheapest one has a 720p display and after that you get a 1080p display in all devices.
It has a PPI of 403 giving it a sharp and crispy experience. The display is on a cooler side even though we can switch it to warm but on the standard mode, it leans towards the cool. There is also a slight pink-ness in the display but you can only get to know that if you place another phone adjacent to it. The viewing angles of the phone are also good as well as Sunlight visibility also doesn’t disappoints. The thing which I didn’t like was colour saturation, the colours weren’t that vibrant and the contrast also didn’t felt normalized. Overall the display feels Crisp and sharp with deeper and crisper blacks.
Zen Ui is a custom Android Skin rom Asus, Zen Ui is known for its User friendliness and productivity but till know I wasn’t much known for its performance, with Zen UI 3 we get a great experience with features like one handed mode, Gestures and a hell lot of customization as well as a Great Performance. Zen UI is based on Android Lollipop 5.0 and this is the most tuned skinned Android Lollipop ROM I have encountered till now. Fortunately, Zen Ui has an App drawer in which you can further create group of apps. Zen UI can also create folders on its own by filtering down the apps of each category. Talking about the customization, you can customize your Icons in your quick launch bar, change the font, change the animation of the slides in app drawer as well as on the home screen and change the total theme to some of the themes available which changes the looks of the inbuilt apps in the phone like dialer, messages etc. The phone comes with some pre-installed apps like trip advisor and clean master which thankfully can be deleted. I seriously doubt the use of clean master as Zen UI already has an inbuilt cleaner. It also has all necessary google apps along with these apps.
On my test for 3 weeks, A couple of times the Zen UI stopped responding which was really n ot expected. However it got fixed within a minute or so. Also sometimes the apps used to force close but that bug was fixed with an update.
ZenFone 2 has a 13MP rear shooter which easily clicks some fine and crisp pictures. I have liked Asus’ camera app on its other devices, but for the Zenfone 2, they’ve taken it up a notch by including a deep-set of shooting modes and a full manual mode as well. With the latter, we’re even able to set the shutter speed to as long as ½. Other notable things about the camera app include its low light mode that can capture brightly exposed details under low light, a beautification mode that adds those Photoshop-like effects to faces, depth of field that isolates the focus to a certain spot, and much more. Hardcore shutterbugs will no doubt be impressed by the vast options and controls!
I spent a long time using the camera intimately. While its quality under the automatic setting isn’t a home run, it’s nonetheless still effective to handle ideal shooting conditions with enough detail, sharpness, and natural colors. However, the camera tends to favor an over-sharpened composition – while under low light, it’s prone to blurring and the usual softer details (thankfully noise isn’t too distracting). Overall the camera is not the best but still captures some decent pictures.
According to Dictionary, The term Performance mean’s the ability to perform better but here it is “The ability to perform exceptionally better”. Asus ZenFone 2 has a Intel Atom Z3580 CPU which is a quad-core CPU clocked at 2.3Ghz coupled with the PowerVR 6430 GPU. And oh yeah, it’s the first smartphone to offer a whopping 4GB of dual-channel DDR3 RAM!
In this era of time, we rarely see a phone lagging or hanging tremendously. Having this shiny new hardware combination, the Zenfone 2 falls into the same category as everything else – where it’s more than capable to handle the simple stuff with ease, but for the more processor intensive operations, such as gaming, it doesn’t have the fluid high frame rates we see in high-end phones. Well that’s what the benchmarks tells us-
Antutu(Higher is better) – 41476
Vellamo Metal(Higher is better)- 1369
Geek Bench 3 Single Core/ Multicore- 908/ 1936
No shortage of attention, the Asus Zenfone’s 3000 mAh battery continues to earn good marks from me. That’s partly because it’s above average in regards to other phones in its caliber, giving me well around a full day of normal usage from a full charge – it’s roughly at the 10% on most nights before bed. Putting it through its paces in our battery benchmark test, it achieves a respectable mark of 7 hours and 34 minutes. While the battery isn’t too great but we have got a charging time of 54 minutes which is insanely great for a device like this.
The Zenfone 2 is a great piece of tech. It has a Great UI and some good specs bu the design is definitely let me down. Asus has an almost a same design to all the Zenfone’s and a flagship with this kind of design really doesn’t suits well.
Factoring its outright pricing, that’s undoubtedly a competitive offering that’s taking it straight to the hearts of its competitors – a cautious, yet necessary move for them to garner interest from consumers. Great savings can be enjoyed by picking up the 16GB variant, but the 64GB one is particularly alluring, as it also boasts a better processor and double the RAM.