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.

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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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