Asus hit sales figure of 1.5 million ZenFone’s per month during the Q4 2014 quarter and to celebrate this proud moment, Asus also announced at CES 2015 two new smartphones – the Zenfone 2 and the Zenfone Zoom to join the Zenfone series. It’s official that the much awaited ZenFone 2 is coming to the India within a week! Zenfone 2 seems to be a nice upgrade over Asus’s previous Zenfone devices because it has got the specs, the looks and the price.
The naming convention turns out to be a huge confusion as there was no Zenfone 1; instead there were Zenfone 4, 5 and 6. The question why Asus Zenfone 2 after Zenfone 5 might pop in your mind. Zenfone 2 is an upgrade and not a downgrade over the last gen devices. You can confirm the same via specifications. Also, there are multiple versions of Zenfone 2 with different specifications. The Zenfone 2 has interesting specs to offer that sparks confidence in the consumers. Here are my first impressions of Asus Zenfone 2:
The Asus Zenfone 2 runs Android 5.0 Lollipop and not 5.0.1 or 5.0.2. The company’s own Zen UI sits on top. The custom skin has the material design influence which is noticeable only in the notifications, toggles, recent apps and animations. It also has Android Lollipop features like multiple user profiles. Those who are already using a Zenfone will not feel hard pressed.
The Zen UI is an attraction in itself. You can customize the interface with the built-in theme engine with different fonts and icons. You can modify the lock screen and notification shade. The launcher preferences can also be customized. You can also use third party icon packs from the Google Play Store. Scroll effects can be applied to widgets, wallpapers, and home screen.
SnapView promises to keep private files separate from work files which eliminate the need to carry two phones. You have an Easy Mode with a simplified interface, and a one-handed mode, that gives comfort for one-handed use. There are also a few gestures that can be used while the screen is off, called ZenMotion. There’s also a kids-only area. Asus has pre-loaded the Zenfone 2 with quite a number of own apps, and a suite of links, like the PC link that essentially lets you connect the phone to a PC.
Zenfone 2 features PixelMaster 13MP rear camera (aperture of f/2.0) and 5MP front camera with Real Tone Flash.PixelMaster Camera offers you the best low light features. You can take selfies with the front-facing wide angle lens of the 5 MP camera. The camera comes with a real-time beautification feature, and also a selfie panorama mode. It has a built-in low light and the PixelMaster allows for up to 400% brighter photos. The camera includes all the regular setting like white balance, exposure, ISO, HDR, Manual and 1080p video capture.
PERFORMANCE AND HARDWARE:
Zenfone 2 is packed with Up to 2.3GHz, 4GB Ram 64-bit Super Quad Core Z3580 Intel Atom Processor backed by the PowerVR G6430 GPU. The hardware is available in three variants and the performance may vary accordingly. The device feels responsive. The animations and applications are smooth and it handles gaming and multi-tasking well. The Zenfone 2 comes with a non-removable 3,000 mAh battery coupled with the power frugal Intel Atom chip. The dual sim card and stand by facility is handy.
ASUS ZenFone 2 featured 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display with a 1080p resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 403 ppi with three touch buttons beneath for back, home and multi-tasking. You have that shiny concentric pattern at the base that is the trademark of the ZenFone series. The display seems very good in terms of brightness and clarity. The screen is sharp, vivid and of perfect size.
The thickness of the ZenFone 2 is a mere 3.9mm wherein unique NCVM molding techniques are applied. The metallic finish with solid grip is mesmerizing. The ZenFone 2 is recognized globally for its incredible product design and has got 2015 iF Design Award. ZenFone 2 has an incredibly slim profile. Zenfone 2 sports an Ergonomic Arc Design with Intuitive Rear Controls. Diamond-cutting technology is used for Impeccable Precision with and this phone has the best visual effect due to the iconic spin-cut concentric circles. ZenFone 2 is a 5.5-inch smartphone.
ZenFone 2’s sound chamber is now 25% larger with a three-magnet construction and square, metal voice coil that delivers more powerful sound. You have a Fast-charging Battery. The volume rocker is also on the back this time. The IPS screen shows time and date in low-power mode when the display is turned off but it does not show notification icons. Double tapping on the screen wakes up the phone.
PRICING: The phone has the best features and is likely to be priced lower when considering the features that it offers and hence is worth the wait. Zenfone 2 will be launched on the 23rd April and sold on Flipkart
VERDICT: The Zenfone 2 packs a lot of cool features into one device. It’s speedy, appealing, smooth to touch, and offers time- and space-saving features. It’s camera will you happy, and its fast-charging battery makes you stress free. The Asus Zenfone 2 is a lot in terms of build, quality, specifications, and features and could prove to be revolutionary in the smartphone market. The Asus Zenfone is technically a mid-range smartphone with its budget-friendly price point, but it certainly doesn’t feel cheap.