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Asus ZenFone 2 review

7.8/10 AVG.
RATING



7.8/10
Informr score
The Asus ZenFone 2 currently has an Informr score of 7.8 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 28 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Snappy performance
  • Vivid and crisp display
  • Sturdy build

What's bad

  • Suffers from bloatware
  • Slow shutter speed
  • Not bright enough for sunlight legibility and too bright for night-time use

Asus hopes to make its mark in the smartphone market with the ZenFone 2 – a good unlocked phone offered at a relatively low price. It doesn't feature any premium materials, instead flaunting an all plastic build with a brushed aluminum finish. The finish combined with the curved back made it very comfortable for reviewers to hold while also providing a good grip. With that said, at 6 inches tall and 170 grams, many did find it to be a bit unwieldy and bulky.

The 5.5 inch IPS LCD display offers a full-HD resolution of 1,920 x1,080 pixels. While not as sharp as QHD screens, critics describe the screen as crisp with barely any discernible pixels. They add it offers excellent viewing angles and bright and vibrant colors though blacks tended to be a bit lighter than they expected. The only downside was in the screen's brightness. Many found it didn't get bright enough for good sunlight legibility or dark enough to comfortably view in the dark.

The ZenFone 2 offers two configurations: a 1.8GHz quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM and a quad-core 2.3GHz processor with 4GB or RAM. Experts all received the 2.3GHz quad-core version. When put to the test, it performed admirably during everyday use without a hitch and even when they started to put more pressure on the CPU with multitasking they didn't notice any problems. With that said, they add it does take a bit longer for apps to load and there were occasions where it got uncomfortably warm.

The biggest issue with the ZenFone 2 is the amount of bloatware preloaded on the phone. In total, experts counted 67 installed apps, many of which they immediately uninstalled to open up space. Battery life is decent though not great providing them with around a full day of juice with moderate usage.

At such a low price point, reviewers were expecting a more mediocre camera experience. For the most part they were proven wrong. Their pictures were generally detailed and accurate though it lacked the contrast of higher-end phones. The camera app provides 17 different modes to choose from though most either stuck with Auto or HDR. Surprisingly, low light pictures turned out fairly well thanks to the low-light mode PixelMaster, though critics point out that without optical image stabilization getting good low-light shots required a very steady hand. The biggest complaints were with its overall speed and poor focusing abilities. Still, consider it perfectly passable for posting photos on social media sites.

At the end of the day, most reviewers recommend the ZenFone 2. Android Central states, "If you're looking for a larger phone and don't need to have the absolute bleeding edge in every single aspect…the ZenFone 2 is here for your consideration." The Verge adds, "The ZenFone 2 still makes a fantastic package considering what you're paying." On the other hand Gizmodo says, "The ZenFone 2 is a fantastic phone for the money, but OnePlus redefined how much phone you could expect…"


Operating system
Android
Processor
2.3 GHz
Screen Size
5.5"
Camera
13+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Android Guys

Overall I could not be more happy than to start my journey into the budget to mid-range devices with the Asus Zenfone 2. I picked this phone to start with, because I know Asus has a great track record for creating great products at affordable prices like the Nexus 7. Intel has also proven to be quit...

- Derrick Miyao, Android Guys
SlashGear

The ZenFone 2 Laser is, in mostly every way, the same as the ZenFone 2. The differences lie under the hood, which translates into a slight drop in performance, and in features, the most notable of which is laser-assisted auto focus. The price starts at $199 USD, putting it in the sweet-spot budget r...

- Brittany A. Roston, SlashGear
Reviewed

The Asus ZenFone 2 is the very definition of a "budget" phone; it doesn’t have a curved screen, it’s not at all water resistant, and it certainly isn’t the most attractive piece of hardware out there. But Asus found a way to pack the ZenFone 2 with a bunch of value, and not at the...

- Michael Desjardin, Reviewed
TechnoBuffalo

Despite some shortcomings, the Asus Zenfone 2 is easily one of the phones to beat in the value category.

- Mark Burstiner, TechnoBuffalo
tech2

Asus Zenfone2 presents a good overall package with high performance numbers. But the excessive bloatware can be a concern for many buyers. While Asus may think it is adding value for its users, not everyone likes unnecessary software shoved down their throats. The least Asus can do is give the optio...

- Nimish Sawant, tech2


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Quick view

Screen Size
5.5"

The Asus ZenFone 2's screen size is 5.5 inches with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution.

Processor
2.3 GHz

There is a Intel Atom Z3580 Quad core 2.3 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 5.0 Lollipop (Update Available: 6.0 Marshmallow) operating system (OS).

Camera
13+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 13+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 5+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
64 GB

Internal memory is 64 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 64 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
3000mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol), 3000 mAh battery. Asus's performance ratings are 1680 minutes, 472 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

ZenFone 2 Specs

Overview
Release date March 31, 2015
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1900/2100 MHz
LTE:
1700/1900/700/800 /850/900/1800/2600 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card size
Micro-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 5.0 Lollipop (Update Available: 6.0 Marshmallow)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Intel Atom Z3580 Quad core 2.3 GHz
Internal Storage 64 GB
RAM 4 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 0.351 W/kg
Body: 0.332 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 3000 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 514 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 472 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 1680 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 15 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Glacier Gray, Osmium Black, Glamour Red, Ceramic White, Sheer Gold
Dimensions [H x W x D] 15.2 x 7.7 x 1.1 cm (6 x 3 x 0.4 in)
Weight 170 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Pixel density 403 pixels
Size 5.5 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer Yes
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC, aptX
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 64 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support Yes
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
13+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (Dual LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, ISO, Multi-shot, Panorama, Self-timer, HDR, Zero shutter lag
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Video Recording Parameters
Front Camera
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
Selfie Panorama
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, WMA, WAV
Radio Yes (FM)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
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Additional comments
Related Links Quick Start Guide (PDF)
Manual (PDF)
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