The ASUS Zenfone 2 is the very first smartphone in the world with 4GB of RAM. In addition, this is ASUS’ first run at the low priced/high quality smartphone market, where the OnePlus One has found so much success. While the Zenfone features specifications that rival flagships from Samsung, HTC and Apple, it does so at half the price. However, those flagships also have generally well received user experiences. Does ASUS do a good job at translating those beastly specs into a good user experience? Let’s find out. Although it was announced at just $285USD, the price is substantially higher due to predictively low supply. It can be found here for $312.89 using the coupon code “ASUSZ2” at Gearbest.
|5.5″ 1920×1080 IPS Display with Gorilla Glass 3||Intel Z3560 Quad Core 1.8GHz|
|4GB RAM + 32GB ROM||13MP + 5MP Camera|
|Android 5.0 Lollipop||GSM 850/900/1800/1900|
|Bluetooth, GPS, NFC||WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100|
|3000mAh Battery (with Fast Charging)||FDD-LTE 1800/2100|
|SIM, MicroSIM, MicroSD||170g, 155 x 7.72 x 10.9mm|
While ASUS has advertised the Zenfone’s 72% screen to body ratio very heavily, that doesn’t make the phone small. It’s side bezels are of a relatively respectable size, so it’s definitely not larger than other 5.5″ phones in that respect. Heightwise, it’s a little less respectable. It is roughly the same size as the OnePlus One (if not a little taller) but it is a whopping 1cm (0.39″) taller than the LG G3 which features the same screen size. There is a small bezel below the capacitive buttons that is the main culprit to it’s height, but it also looks very nice, with a spun metal finish that creates a light focal point that makes it look… Zen. The Zenfone at it’s thickest part is 10.9mm (0.42″) and it feels decidedly chunky. ASUS has wisely minimized that feeling with a curved back that makes it feel slimmer than it really is. The design of the Zenfone is simple yet attractive, the front of the phone is minimalist and the 3 capacitive buttons at the bottom of the screen look exactly like the capacitive buttons on the previous Zenfones. They actually also look very similar if not exactly the same as the capacitive buttons on the Transformer tablet line. LG was the first popular manufacturer to really introduce hardare buttons located on the back of the phone. ASUS is doing something similar to LG, placing just the volume button on the back of the phone where your index finger would usually rest. Whether you like the new location of the volume button will come down to preference, I personally like it on the side better. They have kept the power button on the top of the device, requiring impressive finger acrobatics for someone with smaller hands and possibly a stretch for someone with larger hands, unless you’re Shaq of course, and the Galaxy Note 2 looks like an iPhone 4. The faux metal plastic back initially fooled me into thinking it was metal until I touched it. It has a very brushed metal feel to it while still betraying the plastic nature of the cover, not in a bad way mind you. It looks very premium and feels slightly less so when you touch it. Removing the rear cover reveals the non-removeable battery, a SIM, MicroSIM and MicroSD card slot. A small side note is my first impression when I opened up the removeable cover was the strong resemblance to the innards of a Terminator. I would call the Zenfone’s build quality pretty good because the materials feel well made. However, because most people associate metal phones with higher quality, they might find this phone less high quality because of it’s plastic back.