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Review: ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser

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ASUS has been very busy last couple of months. After announcing the ZenFone 2 last April, the Taiwan tech giant unveiled new variants this August. Among them is the ZenFone 2 Laser. Instead of an Intel processor, this one comes with a Qualcomm chipset and an affordable price tag.

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ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL) Key Specs:

  • 5.5 inch IPS HD display (1280 × 720; 267 ppi); Corning Gorilla Glass 4
  • 1.2 GHz quad core 64-bit Qualcomm MSM8916 Snapdragon 410
  • Adreno 306 GPU
  • 2 GB LPDDR3 RAM
  • 16 GB storage (+microSD up to 128GB)
  • 13 MP main camera, PixelMaster, laser autofocus, dual tone LED flash, f/2.0
  • 5 MP front camera
  • Dual Micro SIM card
  • LTE, HSPA, 3G
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n; Bluetooth V4.0; GPS
  • 2070 / 2400 mAh battery
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop with ZenUI
  • PHP 8,695 (ZE550KL)
  • PHP 7,695 (ZE500KL; 5 inch HD display)

Design

The ZenFone 2 Laser has similar design elements found on the first ZenFone 2. If you look at it from the front, you can barely tell it apart. It has the same screen size, shape and the same logo placement on the screen.

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From the back, the Laser features the same curved back panel, and the same volume button and speaker placement as the original ZenFone 2. The difference lies on the placement of the dual tone flash and the addition of the laser autofocus sensor. Both flank the camera on the sides.

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Visual comparison with the original ZenFone 2. The Laser is on the LEFT with the ZenFone 2 on the RIGHT.

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Display and Performance

Our review unit is the ZE550KL model, which has a 5.5 inch HD IPS display. It has a 1280 × 720 resolution with a pixel density of 267 ppi. Text are crisp and easy to read. The screen itself is bright with good color reproduction. If you want it to look more saturated, you can set the color mode to Vivid. Icons and images look good, and text look crisp.

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The Laser is powered by a 64-bit Qualcomm 410 quad core processor and 2 GB of RAM. The SOC is midrange and provides good balance between performance and battery life. That being said, the phone’s UI is butter smooth and responsive, and the overall operation is fast and snappy.

Playing games on the Laser was a pleasant experience. The Adreno 306 GPU does a good job at keeping games running well. Dead Trigger 2 played exceptionally well. While in some games like Asphalt 8, there were minor drops in frame rates at the highest settings. Do remember that the Snapdragon 410 is midrange and can only do so much. But despite that, the overall gaming experience is quite good.

Benchmarks

The Laser scored 24,134 in the AnTuTu 64-bit benchmark test. On Geekbench 3, the phone scored 485 points in the single-core test, and 1,452 points on the multi-core. The scores don’t do this phone much justice as the Qualcomm 410 SOC did a good job at keeping the UI smooth and responsive.

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Camera

The Laser has a similar 13 MP camera as the original ZenFone 2. Test photos show similar results. I found the images to be good, especially in bright natural light. Color saturation is good as well. The image sharpness is also good. At low light shots are average to good, with noise becoming increasingly visible as it gets darker.

The laser autofocus (the reason behind the name) does a good job of keeping images reasonably sharp. It is fast and accurate.

Here are some test shots so you can see for yourself the quality of Laser’s camera. I resized the photos for web in Photoshop with quality set at 70. Click on the images to get a larger view.

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Conclusion

Priced at just PHP 8,695, the ZenFone 2 Laser is highly recommended because of its great value-for-money offering. ASUS really did a good job on this one. Not only does it perform well, but they were also able to cram a very good 13 MP camera with laser autofocus, a beautiful 5.5 inch screen, an impressively smooth UI, and 16 GB of storage, all on an aesthetically pleasing and svelte body.

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4 Comments

  1. aboutmarkanthony Reply

    ZE550KL (5.5) : 3000 mah battery.
    ZE500KL (5.0) : 2070 mah
    ZE500KG (5.0) : 2400 mah.
    🙂

  2. Dennis Green Reply

    I hope there will be no overheating issues, and ASUS might wanna out up some STORES that sells these phones,. Overall Im quite impressed.

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