MWC: Asus ZenFone 2 First Impressions


Asus zenfone 2

At CES the Asus Zenfone 2 was one of the big surprises of the show, boasting amazing hardware at a great price, but do the expectations live up to the reality.

The Asus Zenfone 2 packs a wallop in terms of hardware. It has an Intel Atom processor (at least the model I tried), 2GB RAM, 5.5-inch 1080 display, 5 mega-pixel front camera and 13 mega-pixel rear. The design is nice too, taking some styling tips from HTC and LG. It was one of the phones that got me really excited at CES, so how was it when I finally got my hands on the Asus Zenfone 2 at MWC?

Asus zenfone 2

Well the specifications are there, but the design doesn’t live up to the renders we have all seen. At 5.5-inch the phone’s screen is on par with other Chinese flagship devices, but with wide bezels and a thick body the Zenfone 2 feels much bigger than any 5.5-inch phone I have tried so far this year.

Asus have used their own ZenUI over the top of Android 5.0 but it isn’t as crisp or polished as MIUI, EMUI or ColorOS. Stock Android 5.0 Lollipop would have been a much better bet for Asus and would have gone a long way to improve the overall look and feel of the phone as a whole.

Build quality is of good, but the materials used to make the Zenfone all feel like cheaper quality plastics. After using the Mi Note, Huawei Honor 6 Plus and even the UMi Zero, the Zenfone 2 feels a little cheap in comparison.

Pricing for the Zenfone 2 starts from around $299 once the phone launches, rising to higher prices once different versions with different processors and more RAM are launched. At $299 I feel the JiaYu S3 feels like a better designed and made phone, plus it offers similar hardware and more RAM for around $100 less.

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32 Comments

  1. Lars
    March 3, 2015

    so what happend with the price of 199$, in the case, that the zenfone 2 will cost 299$, i will order now my jiayu s3

    • ChecchoT
      March 3, 2015

      from an italian site finally: 249 euros por 5 inch hd model, more than 400 for the 5.5 full hd basic version

    • Lazar Prodanovic
      March 3, 2015

      Their will actually be a 200$ version but with 720p display & base spec (Z3560, 2GB RAM & 16GB storage). Many may see a HD panel as a draw back but on the contrary it will make this particular model as a gaming long lasting rig and will save some juice. One more thing GX6400 actually mets & min base (EGLS 3.1) for upcoming Vulcan. Mali T760MP2 is far from good enough for 1080p gaming.

      • Riccardo Benzoni
        March 5, 2015

        the Hd panel is not a drawback, but with a less powerful SoC i believe there won’t be differences in performance with the Full HD one. Only battery may have a longer life in the HD version (if Mah are the same)

        • Lazar Prodanovic
          March 5, 2015

          Some how I DID mentioned SoC (Z3560) & only performance difference would actually be in EGLS game’s.

      • March 7, 2015

        This is absolutely not true. The $199 is still for the version with 1080p version, with 2gb ram, 16gb and Z3560 CPU.

        You can find the full listing of versions and prices online.

        People need to stop to spread nonsense

        • Lazar Prodanovic
          March 7, 2015

          How about that you REED the article?! After that I just hope you WILL chose words better in the future or at lest won’t spared nonsense.

          • March 7, 2015

            The article is wrong as well. The starting price is definitely not $299.

            See here: http://www.reddit.com/r/zenfone2/comments/2xnroz/tentative_price_chart/

            Asus confirmed a long time ago the $199 would be full HD.

            • Lazar Prodanovic
              March 7, 2015

              Somehow table you refer to is a bad yoke. Look at the other pricing errors in it. We all know what Asus told two months ago & this is what they told at WMC. I don’t think they did it on purpose, they miscalculated + Intel cut the founding. Anyway I think that even my speculation for decent enough attributed 720p model for 200$ are a little too optimistic. Time will tell. So far if you ask me this whose just a another disappointment in the row. Only one who stud up to expectations so far this year whose Jiayu.

            • March 7, 2015

              What errors? I believe this table is legit.

              Anyway we’re gonna see very soon with the launch in Taiwan on March 9th. So we’ll see

            • Lazar Prodanovic
              March 7, 2015

              Put up jour eye glasses & look at the yellow filed prices.
              https://asusclub.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/final.jpg
              Now do you really think that Full HD model with Z3560, 16GB NAND & 2GB RAM will cost 199$? Not only that table is not legit it’s a yoke! Asus actually still don’t know how to price 4GB model’s but shore some prick out there who made table figured it out. By the way you didn’t actually even put a right link to it! You put a link to comments not a, I really can’t call that as article.

            • March 7, 2015

              My god…

              Yes I believe it’ll be since this is the base model and Asus had always said it’d be $199.

              Phone is being released in 3 days. I’m sure they know the pricing.

              I linked to reddit and not the picture on purpose, to provide context and source.

              Whatever man. Believe what you want. You could also learn how to write in English. See ya

            • Lazar Prodanovic
              March 7, 2015

              I ashore you improving my writing will be much easier task then your thinking. Insulting people & not just me based on not even rumors that you from some bizarre reasons think are facts is far from normal adequate social behavior.

            • Gal
              August 5, 2015

              Well, Lazar Prodanovic, what about an apology for Bryan now that we know he was right and you were wrong?

            • Lazar Prodanovic
              August 6, 2015

              For what? He whosent right about anything. Dream on.

            • Gal
              August 6, 2015

              But he was right, and you were wrong. The 2GB 1080p version was sold for 200$ and still is. Just apologize.

            • Lazar Prodanovic
              August 6, 2015

              It whose sold for 206$ in Tajvan only, costed significantly more everywhere else. Discounts & so don’t count we ware talking about regular price. So you are wrong, he whose wrong & so whose I. I don’t expect you to apologize at all.

            • Gal
              August 9, 2015

              Now you’re just being stubborn. Fine, you’re choice.

            • Lazar Prodanovic
              August 9, 2015

              Better stubborn than moron.

            • Gal
              August 9, 2015

              The moron says what?

            • August 10, 2015

              Hey, ready to admit you were wrong?

            • Gal
              August 13, 2015

              LOL 🙂

    • March 7, 2015

      The article is wrong. There is still a $199 with full HD.

      http://www.reddit.com/r/zenfone2/comments/2xnroz/tentative_price_chart/

      It has been confirmed many times by Asus

  2. Dr Solom
    March 3, 2015

    i think 250 $ for 2gb version and 350 for 4 gb version is a great deal

  3. Muhammad Yasir
    March 3, 2015

    jiayu s3 ftw i gess…

    • Yeti hand
      March 3, 2015

      Yes

  4. March 3, 2015

    im disappointed

  5. Coru
    March 3, 2015

    Any sign of the Ulefone Dare N1 at MWC? I’m waiting on buying the Ecoo Aurora till I see what this new rumored Ulefone is about.

    • Airyl
      March 4, 2015

      Looking for that too.

  6. Radier
    March 4, 2015

    Let us wait for next monday launch in Taiwan.
    Aliexpress preorders were all 64GB storage version. So taking that into consideration 299$ for ZE551ML FullHD/Z3560/2GB RAM/64GB internal storage is not that bad. 32GB could be 249/259 and 199$ goes for 16GB internal storage.

  7. Steven Fox
    March 4, 2015

    I would go for the 3560 with 2gb of ram if camera quality is the same, I don`t care for FHD display, HD is just fine, and it saves battery life too. As long as Intel can deliver the same battery life and it already has better graphics, I`ll be happy to pay 199$ for the cheaper model. It’s just 200Mhz CPU speed, I can live with that.

  8. Someone from the other side
    March 5, 2015

    So the specs come down, we have to deal with ZenUI and cannot even use xposed (no xposed on lollipop for x86). Not too impressed anymore…

    On the other hand, the 5inch vs 5.5 is quite welcome