1. Raptor007's Avatar
    First let me say I review based on my personal preferences and taste, that said you should ALWAYS check things out in person and judge for yourself before deciding to buy or not to buy.
    My thoughts and use of the ASUS ZenFone 2 and how it is/isn’t working for me on a daily basis.

    So I was one of the fortunate AC members to get the ASUS ZenFone 2 and was happy to put it through its paces. For those who don’t know me I buy, use, sell and buy, use and sell a lot of phones in a given year. Way too many and I am trying to cut back on it.

    That said shiny new things do catch my eye and I will say the ASUS ZenFone 2 is a solid phone for many reasons, and not solid in other areas, but they may or may not be as important to you and that is for you to decide.

    Look, Feel and Overall build: I got a lot of questions about the phone, a lot of people asking if it was the new LG G4 and I said no its the new ASUS ZenFone 2, in the US many users are not aware that ASUS does phones and I think in time that will change as their product offerings grow.

    I am not afraid to use a metal/plastic and glass phone, a company who harps on “plastic” phones started out with plastic and switched to metal and then offered plastic again. To me (and you as well) the materials used to make the phone are not the key factor, its how well they do or do not hold up.

    I don’t mind the volume rocker on the back, its not my optimal choice but that is a user preference and not a deal breaker, same with the power button the top.

    Solid frame, 1080p display (which frankly is enough for the vast majority of users) and the back cover being plastic is mute, you can remove it and attach a wide array of cases with covers integrated or new back covers. So in terms of build I would say give it a good 9 out of 10.

    Hardware: Its my first use of a smartphone with an Intel Atom processor and so far its done the job well, played games, email, youtube, etc so no hiccups or issues. 4GB of RAM (top end model) and it comes with task managers (remove move then don’t use them and they shouldn’t be there) with that much RAM you won’t be hurting anytime soon. 64GB ROM + microSD (higher end model again) is a plus and honestly IF this was the standard config on most Android Phones I would be happy. Plenty of space for apps, and a micoSD for media.

    Does it need a Heart Rate Monitor, fingerprint sensor, not really, would it be nice but do you want to pay $100 more for that, not really and it doesn’t suffer from not having it either.

    OS, Android 5.0 well that is not where it should be given the launch window it should be at least 5.0.2 or above and 5.1.1 should be offered soon (but we don’t know). That said I have ZERO stutters, hiccups, delays, nada compared to other UI/UX overlays (Touch Wiz). The Zen UI is fluid, smooth and just plan works. I commend them for that and give it a 9 out of 10.

    Sound (or lack there of): This is one area that I am disappointed in, I am not expecting HTC Front Facing Speakers, but, even Samsungs Galaxy series with the speaker on the back had more even sound to them, and I did have my flip cover open. I do not use headphones since I wear hearing aids so I can only speak to speaker quality. I give that a 7 out of 10.

    Camera: I will say I don’t rely on a phone to be my main camera, I have Nikon and Canon for that. Still I do want pictures to be crisp enough. Based on some simple comparisons between the GS6 Edge, iPhone 6 and the Zen Fone 2 its an average performer, BUT, they do give you 18 different camera modes that can help. My Score 7 out of 10.

    Battery Life: I travel a lot for work and have a work phone so my personal phone at time sits idle and pulls in email and a few other things like Google Now so it can ride shotgun at times. Yesterday I had Google Now on and it took the battery down from 100% to 55% from 8am to 7pm. Today I had Google Now off and went from 100% to 73% from 8am to 7pm so Google Now can impact but so can cellular coverage etc. I plan on doing a side by side comparison of the ASUS Zen Fone 2 and Galaxy S6 Edge running the same apps, etc and sitting side by side for a day to see how they compare in a 12 hour run this weekend. I will post that up later.

    So I give battery life a 7 out of 10, its not the worst but its not the tea sipper either.

    For an overall score I am giving this phone a 7.8 out of 10, based on comparing it to the higher end phones on the market like the GS6 and iPhone 6, etc. I will say if you are comparing this to mid-range devices I would actually rate it much higher closer to a 9 out of 10 given the overall features and performance.

    For me the Sound and Camera were the two weak points, and even though I don't shot a lot of photos with my phone I do want it to be good enough and I know there are users out there who rely on their camera a lot and listen to audio a lot. That said you can do wonders in post production photo editing, you can use Google’s tools as well.

    Thoughts, comments or general questions feel free to ask.
    06-16-2015 07:18 PM
  2. planoman's Avatar
    Nice Review! Thanks!
    06-16-2015 07:52 PM
  3. Raptor007's Avatar
    I wanted to add one final thought. The ASUS Zen Fone 2 is $300 OTD (Out The Door), no contract, no bull, no nothing and for $300 you do get A LOT OF PHONE.

    Compare a $300 Samsung phone

    I have to agree and should add to my thread, this is a $300 phone, its not a $1000 Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, that said if you look at a Samsung Galaxy J1 which is in the price range of $235 retail this is what you get Samsung Galaxy J1 - Full phone specifications

    4GB of ROM
    512MB RAM
    480x480 display

    Does this sound appealing to you, thought so. So if you are looking for a solid phone in the $300 OTD range this is the one!v
    06-16-2015 07:59 PM
  4. Raptor007's Avatar
    I wanted to update my original post to add this. The more I have been using the ASUS Zen Fone 2 the more I actually like it. I actually like it enough that I canceled my Galaxy S6 Edge and will be sending it back to AT&T and will continue to rock the ASUS Zen Fone 2.

    Now I am not saying this phone is perfect or that its equal to the Galaxy S6 (I had both the S6 and S6 Edge on Verizon and AT&T) but I will say I didn't see any reason to spend $1014.99 on a phone that albeit is a sweet device and is super high tech when I can do nearly everything on the Zen Fone 2 that I can do on the Galaxy S6 for 1/3 the price $300 out the door unlocked.

    Now I am still having issues with getting AT&T LTE speeds in my market and from the ASUS specs the AT&T LTE bands are there so I am going to hit up ASUS on this one an ask other Zen Fone 2 users for in put.
    06-17-2015 09:18 PM
  5. planoman's Avatar
    I wanted to update my original post to add this. The more I have been using the ASUS Zen Fone 2 the more I actually like it. I actually like it enough that I canceled my Galaxy S6 Edge and will be sending it back to AT&T and will continue to rock the ASUS Zen Fone 2.

    Now I am not saying this phone is perfect or that its equal to the Galaxy S6 (I had both the S6 and S6 Edge on Verizon and AT&T) but I will say I didn't see any reason to spend $1014.99 on a phone that albeit is a sweet device and is super high tech when I can do nearly everything on the Zen Fone 2 that I can do on the Galaxy S6 for 1/3 the price $300 out the door unlocked.

    Now I am still having issues with getting AT&T LTE speeds in my market and from the ASUS specs the AT&T LTE bands are there so I am going to hit up ASUS on this one an ask other Zen Fone 2 users for in put.
    Same for me with my Nexus 6 which was over $700. I did update it to 5.1.1 but trying to find a reason to use it over the Zenfone 2 and it is a great device but simply not twice the phone the Zenfone 2 as I do not think any are.
    AceofZeroz likes this.
    06-17-2015 11:35 PM
  6. Golfdriver97's Avatar
    Nice write up!

    I think something that a lot of people need to always keep in mind is like you said, Raptor:
    The ASUS Zen Fone 2 is $300 OTD (Out The Door), no contract, no bull, no nothing and for $300 you do get A LOT OF PHONE.
    planoman and Raptor007 like this.
    06-21-2015 10:09 AM
  7. Raptor007's Avatar
    The price is just too good to pass up, even if you aren't sure about Android as an OS, it's just not a super expensive phone and you can always have it as a spare phone.
    06-22-2015 08:49 PM

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