Last week, I unboxed a relatively unsung gem which I would not have discovered had it not been shoved in my face.
Yep. The lovely folks from Asus Philippines sent me the new Asus ZenFone 2 Laser — which by the way traveled from one continent to another to get in me hands — so that I could road test it. “Road test” a tad literal for I indeed took it with me ‘on the road’ in rugged Australia. I am no techie/gadget reviewer nor an Android nerd, just a mum backpacking too much… And I reckon that’s the whole point.
So here’s what I, a perpetual explorer, think of the Asus ZenFone 2 Laser:
I won’t lie. After my daughter hurriedly unboxed and dug out the Asus ZenFone 2, I was a bit put off by its size. The old phone I was using was smaller, though not significantly lighter. Asus ZenFone 2’s ergonomically-crafted shape with a curved back surface and ultra thin edges, however, really makes up for this. It’s surprisingly comfortable to hold.
The power button (and audio port) is placed on the top center and may be difficult for the index finger to reach, but the phone has a double-tap feature to “wake” the phone and also to lock the screen (try drawing “C” on the screen, it will open the camera!). Also, as part of its Ergonomic Arc design, the volume rocker (controller) is on the back below the rear camera.
(Tip: For lefties like me, choose “one-handed operation” icon on ZenUI home and follow instructions to ‘shrink’ the screen and move icons to the left for your left thumb to reach.)
The Asus ZenFone 2 comes in a variety of colors, and I got the gold one — I’ve never had a gold-toned phone and I’m actually loving it! Its brushed metal finish makes it look posh and pricey.
The Asus ZenFone 2 has a 5.5-inch IPS LCD display, meaning, it’s really awesome for a mid-range phone with such affordable price tag. The graphics/images are so sharp, colors are so vivid and alive. Remember when I said I initially didn’t like its size? The display single-handedly converted me. Watching HD videos on it is pure pleasure.
Because the screen is very reflective under harsh sunlight, outdoor visibility may be an issue (don’t all phones have this prob?) but can be fixed by cranking up the brightness.
Performance And Battery Life
As techie/nosebleed-y as it gets (which I don’t exactly get): “ZenFone 2 is powered by a 64-bit 2.3GHz Super Quad-Core Intel Atom Z3580 processor, and is the world’s first smartphone with 4GB of dual-channel DDR3 RAM. Featuring LTE Category 4+ for download speeds up to 250Mbit/s, and a 60ms touch response time…”
Translation: Amazeballs. I don’t play games on my phone, but opening and surfing from one app to another is so quick. The geek husband, upon persual, said it’s a bit of an overkill. In a good way.
16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage is available and can add more via a microSD (back cover is opened to insert this).
Its battery life isn’t the best, but not the worst either. To address this (given the way we utilize our phones today as often as we breath oxygen), Asus ZenFone 2 added a feature called quick charge — it only takes about 30+ minutes to charge ZenFone 2 from 0% to 60%. Also, its battery is replaceable. I’m sure no one can be bothered carrying a spare battery these days since external battery packs are the way to go, it’s still nice to have that option.
The Asus Zenfone 2 comes with a 13MP rear camera, 5MP front camera and a laser auto-focus system (which gives the gadget the name Asus Zenfone 2 Laser). For its price, it’s got really decent cams. Macro shots are pretty sharp, and lowlight shots are surprisingly good. There are heaps of settings and filters which I had fun tinkering with.
I reckon Asus Zenfone 2 Laser is a dang brilliant contender in the battlefield of mid-range phones. Great hardware, heaps of memory, dual SIM, bright and sharp display screen, and good cameras. I’ve already gotten used to its size, so no complaints about that.
Asus Zenfone 2 Laser is definitely bang for one’s buck.