Last Tuesday was an exciting day in Jakarta, Indonesia. And if you’ve been following us on Facebook, then you most likely know what we’re talking about – the ASUS ZenFone2 is here. And it’s coming to the Philippines.
Held at the Pullman Hotel in Jakarta, we were in attendance as the Experience 2Morrow event kicked off. ASUS CEO Jerry Shen took the stage to officially launch the new ASUS ZenFone 2 in the region. The venue was packed with select bloggers and media from different countries including the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand.
“We strongly believe that ASUS ZenFone 2 can meet our loyal ASUS ZenFone customers’ expectations. With a more affordable price than other premium smartphones available in the market now, there is no reason not to choose ASUS ZenFone 2 as your first choice smartphone,” said ASUS CEO Jerry Shen.
Winner of the 2015 iF Design Awards, ASUS’ next generation flagship sports the familiar Zen-inspired design of its predecessors. The familiar metallic hairline finish is at the front of the design, followed by a slim profile of just 3.9mm at its thinnest edges, and an ergonomically curved rear cover.
The volume buttons are located at the back. It could be a thing now.
Looking at the device in person, 5.5-inch screen doesn’t at all make the ZenFone 2 imposing to hold. It’s 72% screen-to-body-ratio makes it look compact with the body size matching most 5-inch smartphones.
The World’s First 4GB RAM Smartphone
The ZenFone 2 is dubbed the world’s first smartphone with 4GB of RAM. Yup, you read that right. That’s 4GB for your multitasking needs. Powering the already impressive smartphone is the latest 64-bit Intel Atom Super Quad Core processor. ASUS claims that it’s so fast; it boasts a 60ms touch response time for a lag-free input.
Another notable feature is the 3,000mAh lithium-polymer. It uses ASUS’ BoostMaster fast-charging technology allowing for up to 4 hours of talk time with just 10 minutes of charging.
ASUS ZenFone 2 runs Android 5.0 Lollipop – the latest, 64-bit mobile operating system — and ASUS ZenUI 2.0.
See What Others Can’t… See
One of the features I’m personally impressed with was the ZenFone’s 13MP PixelMaster Camera. It has a large aperture of f/2.0 and 5-element lens allowing for improved image quality, details and colors.
The photos produced by the PixelMaster came out really well. Especially if you consider the price of the ZenFone 2. The UI of the PixelCamera is nice and clean.
Another impressive feature is the Low Light mode. The new tech allows up to 400% brighter photos and videos at night or in dimly lit scenes. The demo really impressed.
ZenFone 2 is equipped with a Real Tone Dual LED flash that warms skin tones and helps produce natural colors.
Here are some test shots. I just re-sized in Photoshop with no enhancements. You can click on the image for a larger view.
Entertainment at the Forefront
The ZenFone 2 has a5.5-inch Full HD IPS display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and an impressive 403 ppi. The screen is impressively colorful and crisp. It has a wide 178-degree viewing angle and ASUS’ TruVivid technology that improves the brightness and colors during gaming and video-watching.
ZenFone 2 also comes with ASUS’ SonicMaster technology. Compared to its predecessor, the ZenFone 2 has 38% larger audio chambers and improved speakers resulting in 4X more powerful sound output, 4X deeper bass (increased by 14dB), and 2X higher pitch.
So how much does it really cost? And when do we get to see it?
At this point in time, we still don’t have an official price for the ASUS ZenFone 2 when it becomes available in the Philippines (I know right). But we do know its coming this May. However, we can make a guestimate based on the price for the Indonesian market. We computed the price at PHP1.00 / 280 Indonesian Rupia.
Imagine our (PH bloggers and media) collective surprise when the price was shown. There was a pause, then we all took our phones and fired up the calculator.
- ZenFone 2 ZE551ML, 1.8GHz Intel ZE3560 processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, will retail for 2,999,000 Indonesian Rupiah or roughly PHP10,700+.
- ZenFone 2 ZE551ML, 2.3GHz ZE3580, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage will retail for 3,999,000 Indonesian Rupiah or roughly PHP14,300+.
- ZenFone 2 ZE551ML, 2.3GHz ZE3580, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage will retail for 4,499,000 Indonesian Rupiah or roughly PHP16,000+.
Remember that the prices are in Indonesian Rupiah converted to Philippine Peso; meaning it could change when it officially launches in the country.
Closing and additional photos
We can say with confidence that all the excitement over the ZenFone 2 is well founded. The design, the camera, and performance all look promising. We can’t wait for it to launch in the Philippines.
ASUS ZenFone 2 ZE551ML key specs:
- 5.5-inch super-bright IPS display (1920 x 1080; 403ppi)
- 2.3GHz/1.8GHz 64-bit Intel Atom Z3580/Z3560 Quad Core Processor
- PowerVR Series 6 – G6430 with OpenGL 3.2 support
- 4GB RAM 64-bit dual-channel LPDDR3
- 16GB/32GB/64GB, ASUS WebStorage 5GB (lifetime)
- 13MP main Auto-Focus PixelMaster Camera, large aperture f/2.0, 5-element lens
- 5MP front PixelMaster camera with 85 degree field of view, large aperture f/2.0,5-element lens
- Dual Micro-SIM support with Dual SIM Dual Active
- 4G LTE Cat4
- Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac dual band up to 433Mbps
- Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP
- NFC support (ZE551ML model)
- 3,000mAh lithium-polymer; ASUS BoostMaster fast-charging technology
- ASUS ZenUI 2.0 based on Android 5.0 Lollipop
Here are some additional photos from the event:
They told us to wear a suit. Enjoying the ASUS’ version of the Google Cardboard.