Video: Asus Zenfone 2 Hands On and first impressions


asus zenfone 2

The Asus Zenfone 2 is a big deal for Asus and for smartphone fans around the world. Our review model just arrived yesterday, and here is our hands on video and first impressions.

The Asus Zenfone 2 is a big deal for the Chinese smartphone market, and a phone that has the potential to really disrupt the market. Not only is it an affordable device, but it also boasts impressive hardware and almost official global availability! I see the Zenfone 2 as the Asus answer to the OnePlus One, but this isn’t a plucky startup, but a traditional PC maker which could have even more important repercusions on the smartphone market.

asus zenfone 2

Asus really broke the mould with the Zenfone 2, usually a phone boasting such impressive hardware at a low price is available just in China, but Asus have made the effort to release the phone in China, Taiwan, Europe, India and have more launches on the way.

asus zenfone 2

I received my review model from Flosmall with free shipping thrown in. At this price there isn’t much that can touch the Zenfone 2.

If you don’t already know the specifications then here is a brief run down. The Asus Zenfone 2 boasts a 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 Corning Gorilla Glass 3 display, 5 mega-pixel front camera, 13 mega-pixel rear, dual SIM LTE, micro SD card, 4GB RAM (yes 4GB), 32GB internal memory, Intel processor, and Asus’ own UI based on Android 5.0 Lollipop.That’s a lot of phone for the money!

The design of the Asus Zenfone 2 might not be the prettiest though. Asus have taken design elements from HTC and LTE when creating their phone, but the overall buid is good and it looks like a quality device, especially with the brushed alloy look rear panel.

I’ve only had the phone since yesterday, but so far I am enjoying the device much more than I had though I would. I’ll admit that the design isn’t my favourite, and the Asus UI is a bit ugly, but installing a 3rd party launcher will solve that.

Asus Zenfone 2 Photo samples

Asus Zenfone 2 Hands on

Asus Zenfone 2 first impressions

I believe the Zenfone 2 is a very impressive device from a company who have, up until now, struggled to break in to the phone market. Asus now have a device accessible by a large majority of phone users, at a price that is incredible for the specs on offer.

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asus zenfone 2

If they could tap in to the developer community, and offer the phone as a lifestyle product rather than just a flagship smartphone we could really see Asus turn themselves around. If the Zenfone 2 is a sign of Asus phones to come, then I will certainly be keeping a close eye on them from now on.

The full Asus Zenfone 2 review will be published next week. Stay tuned.

[ Flosmall ]
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55 Comments

  1. Rob
    April 28, 2015

    I was reading a review of this phone yesterday and it seems the camera is very poor. Looking forward to seeing what you think and if 3rd party software will fix it.

    • Aman
      April 28, 2015

      Indeed, me too heard that camera is not as it had to be. Waiting for a review.

      • April 28, 2015

        Added a few sample photos for you guys to take a look at 😀

        • Rob
          April 28, 2015

          They don’t look too good. Has your vivo play 3s had any software updates for the camera since you’ve had it? Looking at a good camera phone for the wife and got the xshot (not sure she wants to spend that much), gionee e7, jiayu s3, xplay 3s (if performance has improved) and ecoo 04 amongst others. Thanks

          • April 28, 2015

            Actually took the Xshot for a quick spin last week as its been a while since I used it. I still love it but I have to say the Mi Note offers strong competition in the camera dept.

            • Rob
              April 28, 2015

              Trouble is that’s more expensive then any of the phones I mentioned! She wants to order one tonight so I’ve got to decide what’s best for her, hence why I asked!

            • April 28, 2015

              e7, bargain and great camera

            • Rob
              April 28, 2015

              Yes that’s what I think too, only trouble is the lack of sd slot which she’s adamant it must have. She’s been using a Tianhe phone for past 2 years and she’s a big Samsung fan so gotta make sure the next phones is good otherwise I won’t hear the last of it!

            • balcobomber25
              April 29, 2015

              Gearbest has the 32GB version of the E7 for $175. That might be big enough to where she doesn’t need the SD card. I agree with Andi it is an excellent camera, probably one of the best released last year.

            • Rob
              April 29, 2015

              Did try but she went with the vivo in the end. 3rd person I’ve recommended the E7 to and none have gone for it despite the excellent price. My mum wants a new phone with a good camera so will recommend it to her next!

            • balcobomber25
              April 29, 2015

              Lol someone will bite eventually and they will love it. The OV camera in that is incredible especially for the price. Every OV sensor I have used has been good.

            • balcobomber25
              April 28, 2015

              The Xshot is on sale right now in Thailand for around $300. I already have the Mi4, is the camera that much better?

        • liamo
          April 28, 2015

          What’s the story with the patchy blue sky – or halo – around the tree tops in the photos?

          • liamo
            April 28, 2015

            Or is it blossom?

        • Babidi
          April 28, 2015

          Other than the 2 photos with flowers, all the photos look bad? Is it because the camera is bad or the photo effect(Software) made it this bad?

        • balcobomber25
          April 28, 2015

          Andi any plans to review the THL 2015? I know you had a hands on awhile back.

    • April 28, 2015

      Photo samples added for you to take a look at 😀

  2. Manos
    April 28, 2015

    I believe you have the 2.3Ghz? My Zen is coming 🙂

    • Gordon Shumway
      April 28, 2015

      Only 64gb version comes with z3580 from what i know. This makes Andis zenphone a 1.9ghz one.

      • TheOracle
        April 28, 2015

        My 4gb 32gb version also uses the Z3580.

        • Manos
          April 28, 2015

          Yes that is what I have order… so there is a Zen with Z3580@4GB@32GB

          • TheOracle
            April 28, 2015

            I hope you didn’t order the Chinese version? Make sure it’s Taiwan or Worldwide.

            • Manos
              April 28, 2015

              Well I don’t really know for sure the seller is from Taiwan and post it with Singapore post. The band’s it can play fit for meUMTS/WCDMA/FDD-LTE
              Data Rate: 
              HSPA+: UL 5.76 / DL 42 Mbps 
              DC-HSPA+: UL 5.76 / DL 42 Mbps
              LTE Cat4:UL 50 / DL 150 Mbps 

              2G : EDGE/GPRS/GSM : 850/900/1800/1900
              3G : WCDMA : 850/900/1900/2100
              4G : FDD-LTE:
              2100MHz(1)/1900MHz(2)/1800MHz(3)/1700MHz AWS(4)/850MHz(5)/900MHz(8)/700MHz(28)

            • TheOracle
              April 28, 2015

              That’s the Taiwan version so you should be ok unless you’re in certain European countries and depending on your local carrier. So long as it’s not the Chinese or Indian version.

  3. April 28, 2015

    I can see Asus is bucking the trend with that bezel ;).

  4. SPLEND1D
    April 28, 2015

    Camera is pretty good

  5. April 28, 2015

    Should I buy this phone? Or not … ??? Heading over to take a look at my wallet.

    Nice hands on and first impressions Andi. Im 95% into making up my mind to purchase this phone. Need a tiny more push 🙂

    maybe your review will complete it 100% I would wanna know indepth about the battery life too. No doubt that this is a strong contender in performance but battery is of priority to me.

    • TheOracle
      April 28, 2015

      The battery life is not that great but has been improved a lot with last weeks update. I’ve had to do a lot of tweaking to get decent battery life. Fortunately Asus software allows you to disable/freeze most system apps without root. I’m quite satisfied with battery life now about 16 hours with 5 hours screen on. Lollipop 5.0 is the main culprit.
      I can also confirm that my 4gb 32gb model is dual-sim dual active so that would affect battery life compared to the other models.

      • April 28, 2015

        Thanks for the info Oracle. I think I will order one ASAP. I do like the design though. Dont know why people are saying its ugly. Its quite beautiful to me.

        • Manos
          April 29, 2015

          The design is fine just its not the perfect one!

  6. John Paul
    April 28, 2015

    Hi,
    You know if this phone supports lte for major gsm carriers in usa. Thanks

    • balcobomber25
      April 28, 2015

      Asus is planning to launch this in the USA so I would imagine they have the USA LTE bands supported, or will have a separate model for the US.

    • TheOracle
      April 28, 2015

      I have the worldwide version and it supports 4G LTE on T-Mobile. It also supports At&t 4G but not band 17 I hear. Best to wait for the US model. Do not buy the Chinese and Indian versions unless you live in those countries. They support very few LTE bands compared to the Taiwan, Worldwide and US versions.

  7. balcobomber25
    April 28, 2015

    Overall its not a bad phone but that design is so ugly. If Asus could make a good looking phone they could really compete.

    • TheOracle
      April 28, 2015

      I think it’s very good looking and surprisingly light compared to my Z7 Max. It’s also thin (3.9mm at the edges) compared to the 10.9mm at the back and very easy to handle. When you get your hands on one you’ll change your mind.

      • balcobomber25
        April 28, 2015

        I have had my hands on one, to me it’s even worse in person.

        • TheOracle
          April 28, 2015

          Different strokes for different folks. I like the design.

    • iFool
      April 28, 2015

      beauty is in the eye of the beholder

    • wackenroader
      April 29, 2015

      I agree , not like the large bezels . I saw some other reviews , said the battery has similar length to zenfone 5. Waiting for more reviews …

  8. Arch Gloom
    April 28, 2015

    No. 1 reason to avoid Asus phones is they have locked bootloader, which means no aftermarket rom support, and after 6 months when new flagship phone from asus comes you will never see a update in operating system .

    • Manos
      April 28, 2015

      I hope they will not do that!

  9. koss_x_treeme
    April 28, 2015

    Awful camera image quality 🙁

  10. Aman
    April 28, 2015

    Except the 1st picture, every other pics look awesome but I am not a camera-expert so open for your comments.

  11. Agung
    April 28, 2015

    Is there any chance that this phone can be turn into “dual boot”?
    Because it’s already done for several Chinese Tablet (I have Teclast X98) with similar intel processor and windows 8.1 or 10. I think windows can run smoothly over this AZ 2……with 4Gb Ram….

    May be I’ll wait the one from Elephone…..

    • Mesterio
      May 3, 2015

      What do you think of the teclast x98? I want to get the p98 air.

      • Agung
        May 3, 2015

        X98 Built quality is not so bad, but when buying such product, it’s like gambling. Some receiving trouble X98, but some are lucky to have good batch. Fortunately, I’ve got a good item. I don’t know much for P98 air because it has different processor.

  12. Safety First
    April 28, 2015

    Hi Andy! Is it a fingerprint sensor on Asus Zenfone 2? thanks!

    • winy
      April 28, 2015

      no fingerprint sensor on Asus Zenfone 2,the Asus Zenfone 2 suppose to have ,xiaomi mi5 suppose to coming with fingerprint sensor as xiaomi take their new patent on fingerprint sensor.i read the news on Flosmall.

  13. YankeeMan
    April 29, 2015

    I heard that sim2 is running only 2G with no data transmission (even GPRS), please check it out

  14. Suskind
    April 29, 2015

    Iocean X9 with5.0” FHD display, 6.5mm thickness, metal frame, double glass, 3GB RAM, dual 4G-LTE, and Sony IMX214 , is the price $249.99 high?
    http://www.iocean.cc

  15. Avinash kumar
    April 29, 2015

    from HTC and LTE – typo

    HTC and LG probabaly :).

    Also the build quality is not particularly good(huge bezels, plastics) and lollipop translation of zen UI is bad .Also this will probably have next to none developer support as all intel chipsets have had in the past.

    • TheOracle
      April 29, 2015

      Zen UI is very nice but Lollipop 5.0 is crap. Build quality is very good also. Have you handled one before? Personally I don’t notice the bezels because the phone is relatively compact and easy to handle. The bottom bezel should be smaller, I can’t understand why there’s a double bezel apart from looks. Having said that it’s actually shorter than my Z7 Max which has smaller bezels. Whilst everyone is entitled to their opinion please remember this is a 4GB 32/64GB, Dual-sim dual active, SD slot, Worldwide LTE phone from a solid company for ~$350. OPO, Xiaomi, Meizu, Samsung, HTC, no one offers these at this price point. There have been two OTA’s this month alone. I’m satisfied. I’ve owned Samsung Galaxy Quattro, Lenovo k910 & p780, Jiayu G5, iNew V3, Nubia Z7 Max and currently have this and the THL 4000. The Zenfone 2 is the best so far……… By far.

      • Avinash kumar
        March 17, 2016

        I bought one too for a family member but when i look at my LG G3 , All other 5.5 inches phones look fat and big .

  16. rajnish kumar
    April 30, 2015

    Hi @Gizchina:disqus where is full detailed review that u promised for MI NOTE…still waiting

  17. P3V4X
    April 30, 2015

    andi can you compare the camera between this and the meizu m1 note? specially the night shot and the battery life too.. im having a hard time choosing this or the meizu m1 note.