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Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML Review
World Domination was Surely on the mind of at least one top exec over at Asus headquarters, When The crew gathered to outline the Zenfone 2 game plan. The smartphone will be sold globally, and the stores in a few lucky countries Already port their well stocked Shelves. The company is aiming to sell 30 million phones this year, with the second being a chief contributor to Zenfone that number.
Now, Asus does not make it easy on the prospective buyer if they 'offering the Zenfone 2 in a number of model variants - a range of devices under one and the arrangement of names. The entry-level ZE500CL comes with a five-inch 720 display, Intel Atom Z2560 chipset with its quad-core processor clocked at 1.6GHz, and 2GB of RAM. The ZE550ML ups the screen size to 5.5 inches, while keeping the HD resolution. The processor inside the Atom Z3560 tics at 1.8GHz, and RAM is the compositie.
Then there's the ZE551ML this housing sports a 5.5-inch diagonal and a resolution FullHD. If the moniker ZE551ML mention anything not tell you what's packed inside, if there's a version with the Atom Z3560 compositie and 2GB of RAM and a top model, sporting an Atom Z3580 with specs going all the way up to 2.3GHz and 4GB of RAM.
To '' give Asus credit, dan then probably not all models will be available on all markets and that Nov. settle it for you, depending on where you live. The one we harbor at the office is the ZE551ML With The lower-specced hardware, meaning an Atom Z3560 and 2 gigs of RAM.
With therein confusion cleared up, we're now moving to the task at hand.
5.5-inch IPS touch screen with 1080p resolution and capacity 403ppi density, Gorilla Glass protection 3
Intel Atom Z3560 chipset with a 1.8GHz quad-core processor, PowerVR G6430 GPU
2GB of RAM, 16GB or storage and a microSD slot for expansion work area
Dual SIM, Dual Standby Capability
LTE Cat.4, NFC, Bluetooth; GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS
Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot; microUSB 2.0 port, MHL, USB host
13MP camera with dual LED main dual-LED flash toes, 1080p @ 30fps video recording; 5MP front camera
3,000mAh battery, fast charging to 60% in 40 minutes
Android 5.0 lollipop out of the box with Asus ZenUI overlay
Nice build quality, sleek looking back cover
No 2160p video recording
Non-Removable Battery on on Despite the Removable back cover
Rather large and hefty
Zenfone 2 has a confusing naming convention - not only are there different or Them, but ZE551ML comes in two hardware versions
The Zenfone 2 ZE551ML port buried a looker, sporting a plastic back that emulates brushed steel, and does so quite successfully. Our unit was dressed in Red Glamor but multiple color options are available to please a wider target audience.
Asus Zenfone 2 official photos
What All That adds up to is a proficient package, positioned in the upper midrange. At a price point around the $ 220 mark, it's a compelling offering also hard to say no to. Could you opt for the faster processor and double the RAM, and therein bow to set you back around $ 280, still a bargain. Mind you, Those are the numbers for Validating musts of Asia, while European figures are noticeably higher With The top model priced at € 299 for a limited time, after which the price will Become € 349.
Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML 360-degree spin
The Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML measures 152.5 x 77.2 x 10.9 mm, this housing is about right for 5.5-inch device. The LG G3 run a smaller footprint, but it comes on-screen buttons eating up screen space. The iPhone 6 Plus on the otherhand were killed taller at 158.1mm, which goes to show that if premium offerings do not come with an advantage in compactness. That said, the 5.7-inch Samsung Galaxy Note 4 comes in a body only marginally Larger dan de Zenfone 2.
The 10.9mm Thickness Might look huge in today's smartphone world, but the back has a nice curve that brings the Thickness to Less Than half towards the edges, and it's not that big a problem or. At 170g, weight also is not stellar, but it's bearable.
There are no two ways about it - the Zenfone 2 is quite large and hefty, but in phablet territory, You Should be Prepared to tolerate a bulkier device for the added benefit of the larger screen.
The Asus Zenfone 2 sports a simple, yet attractive design Aesthetic. The front is dominated by the 5.5-inch display, flanked by generous Rather bezels. The strip with the capacitive Back / Home / Task switcher buttons are shown Projects.
Asus Zenfone 2 front
The back cover is Certainly more Striking. The cover design CLUES Borrows From The LG G3 and sports a brushed steel effect Despite its otherwise plastic nature. A more confident Asus logo is joined by an Intel inside inscription to her demo streets Allegiance to the non-ARM camp in the Android realm.
All in all, the rear cover looks great, it does not make smudges visible and it's Removable at that. Popping it off gives you access to the array of slots inside. You get two micro SIM slots and a dedicated microSD slot. The battery is not user replaceable sadly, even though you kan access it from here.
Asus Zenfone 2 back • Rear cover removed for access to SIM and microSD slots
The Zenfone 2 Has A Rather unusual control layout. In other move, inspired by LG, you get a volume rocker on the back right under the camera lens. It's positioned Exactly where your index finger rests and Typically it's Surrounded by a gentle indentation to Easily locate it on touch alone.
The main camera lens Immediately Above the rocker, joined by the dual-LED flash dual-tone work area up.
Towards the bottom of the back you get a speaker grille, but do not let size fool you her dan the actual speaker is only a quarter or her size, located in the euro in the euro at the far left. It was apparently a push for Symmetry and The dual-tone flash port Might cost a night's worth of hauling to a more obsessed designer.
Asus Zenfone 2 back
The sides of the smartphone are bothering '' completely loveable notice, if you do not count the thin slit on the bottom right, which is used for the cover Removing.
Asus Zenfone 2 Sides
On the top you'll find the power button dead center, flanked by a 3.5mm headphone jack and a secondary microphone. The Bottom is home to the microUSB port in the middle and the pinhole for the primary mic.
One thing worth noting is therein with a phone this big it's hard to reach the top-mounted power key.
Asus Zenfone 2 Top and Bottom
The Zenfone 2 handles well for a 5.5-inch device. The back surface is grippy Reasonably And The curve on the back together with the slim sides work to deliver a comfortable feel in the hand. The capacitive keys are well positioned and easy to reach, while the side bezels are large enough to Avoid touch input from your thumb.
Handling the Zenfone 2
The power button on top requires two handed use or stretching your index finger, together with repositioning your grip, and is not at all comfortable. The button does not have much travel Either. Thankfully, the smartphone supports double-tap to wake, so you'll only need the physical button for powering off.
5.5-inch FullHD IPS panel
A 5.5-inch display adorns the front of the Zenfone 2. It Infrared an IPS panel or 1080p resolution that results in 403ppi, well what's cognition Considered a Retina Grades 300ppi. Indeed, the display is sharp enough not to let you distinguish individual pixels and text is crisp even at very tiny sizes. The viewing angles are good, and the notice on on Despite loveable brightness and contrast-fallout-when viewed sideways, the screen remains legible CLEARLY.
The screen is Gorilla Glass Covered in 3 for scratch and shatter resistance. It's very prone to smudges and care must be though taken to keep it clean. There is a dedicated fashion glove for Increased touch sensitivity at the Expense or slightly Shorter battery life.
Asus Splendid has the app, lets you adjust your screen that color profile. The default setting out of the box is Vivid, which produces pleasing colors with plenty of punch. However, if the Vivid setting is too much for your taste, you kan opt for a more subdued fashion and Balance bothering harbor a slider for color temperature adjustment.
Reading mode brings the saturation field of work and down ensures Other slider, which gives us a yellowish whites us tone progressively, to make it Easier on your eyes in lung research sessions. Finally, a Customized mode lets you adjust hue and saturation and excursions separately.
Zenfone 2 display settings
Our microscope Revealed a standard RGB matrix with an equal number of sub-pixels for all three colors.
The Zenfone 2 did not impress with brightness and at The maximum setting posted only average results. The high black value also Blood Transfusion Less Than a stellar contrast. At the 50% setting the display is actually closer to a quarterback or maximum brightness and is in fact quite dim. Contrast deteriorates work area as well.
Black, CD / m 2
White, cd / m 2
Black, CD / m 2
White, cd / m 2
Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML
Oppo Find 7a
HTC Desire 820
Meizu MX 4
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
Samsung Galaxy A7
Xiaomi Mi Note
Meizu m1 notes
The smartphone did manage an average sunlight legibility ratio Despite its low maximum brightness. In reality, while you'll be loveable to discern what's shown on the screen, you're better off finding a shade.
Sunlight contrast ratio
Nokia 808 PureView 4698
HTC One (E8) 2185
Oppo N3 2181
Nokia Lumia 920 2:17
Huawei Honor 6 2169
HTC One X 2158
Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML 2149
Nokia N8 2144
Nokia Lumia 620 two thousand one hundred and forty-two
Nokia 515 2134
Archos 50 Diamond 2134
HTC Desire 500 2129th
Samsung Galaxy Mini 2 1114
Battery life test
The Zenfone 2 ZE551ML is Equipped with a 3,000mAh battery, which is sadly not user-replaceable one on Despite being the back Removable. This sort of capacity is about average for a 5.5-inch smartphone.
While the Scorecards Projects omit the standby times, our procedure or of includes Measuring Those as well and they 'are calculated in the overall rating. Our tests Revealed that the two can Zenfone burden much as 10 days in standby-when a single SIM card used this housing drops to about 8 and a half days-when-you pop in a second SIM. Voice calls will drain your battery in a bit under 16 hours that a respectable achievement as well.
Video playback longevity is nothing special but at 8 and a half hours it's adequate. What's more troubling is the browser where the department was nearly the the Asus Browser Twice as quick at depleting the smartphone's battery Compared to Chrome and scored a measly four and a half hours. Having that in mind, we Chose to use Chrome-when calculating the Zenfone 2's endurance rating - it's only natural that the user will opt for the more efficient solution, especially with such a great difference in longevity.
The Zenfone 2 ZE551ML is well stocked on connectivity options. First off, there's quad-band 2G / GPRS / EDGE on bothering & SIM cards and that's where the second card is capped. SIM 1 also gets quad-band 3G and a multitude of LTE bands, which are dependent region.
Dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac radios are on board as well, with Wi-Fi Direct and Hotspot support.
Bluetooth version 4.0, ITT and offerings A2DP support for streaming audio. We're seeing increasing use of the newer 4.1 iteration that fixes issues with Bluetooth / LTE interference, but not on the Zenfone 2.
A GPS receiver with A-GPS and GLONASS Should provide precision tracking. NFC functionality port buried serving.
The microUSB port with USB host comes suport Attaching your choice of peripherals and MHL support. The headphone jack is the standard 3.5mm affair, allowing you to plug in just about ny set of headphones out there.
There's a dedicated microSD card slot also for storage expansion that takes cards up to 64GB.
An FM radio receiver is Provided for listening to music on the go without generating data traffic. There's no IR blaster, though, so you can not save control home appliances with the Zenfone 2.
With The Power button all the way up on top, you'll be Grateful there's a double tap to wake feature. Mission the phone back to sleep works by double-tapping on an empty area of the interface. If you're running a full-screen app, double-tapping on the notification bar will do the trick. Could you disable the feature in settings, if you want to Additional 1-2 percent or standby endurance, but we do not see ourselves doing that.
The lockscreen is a Typical Asus affair. You're greeted with a time and weather widget, but also three shortcuts to the camera, dialer and messaging applications. Ø Ø They are customizable too, and you kan assign ny installed app or your choice to Either of the three slots.
The list of notifications and Follows unlike some other builds Lollipop, double tapping on one, takes you straight to the app that Pushed it. Unlocking only works with an upwards swipe and there's no shortcut to Google Now From The lockscreen.
Asus themed lockscreen
Beyond The lockscreen is the Android home screen with four customizable shortcuts docked at the bottom, the app drawer shortcut always in the middle. You can not save more add icons synthesis beyond four, but there is support folder. Removing one doesn't rearrange the others, leaving a vacant Oddly placeholder.
There are preloaded Asus and Google flyers, packed to the brim with a selection of applications from the respective companies - Asus custom apps into one, and the default Google apps in the other.
Default home screen
A pinch zoom lets you rearrange your homescreens, as well as select a default home screen and add Additional zones up to seven total, which can be cycled. Unlike other custom Android overlays that omit the app drawer altogether, Asus opted to stick with it portability.
Holding your finger on a home screen Brings a popup menu. It gives access to icon packs (or that there's only one on board, but the Play Store has plenty), scroll effects (a grand total of 11) and wallpapers. Additionally, it allows other way to get to the app drawer and settings menu.
You kan port a total of seven homescreens • Customization menu
The notification area has extensive customization blessing as well. A single-finger pull-down only Brings up the notifications and no quick toggles. Side swiping removes the notifications and a "clear" button does away with all of Them at once. A second swipe from the date just Projects reveals the toggles, and whatever you left port notifications get squished to the little space underneath.
A two finger pull-down gets you straight to this statement, that features a brightness slide with an auto mode, a 4-in-a-row set of tools and a quick 3x4 grid or toggles. Both the Quick Tools and The toggles can be Chosen and rearranged, but you need to port Exactly 4 tools and at least 8 toggles lined up.
Notification shade with tools and toggles
The task switcher is the standard styles Lollipop virtual rolodex, but with a twist. In between the Typical "Close all" button and shortcut to the Apps section of the Settings menu, you get a pinning option. What that does is keep the selected application in view Regardless of taps on the capacitive buttons. It's a bit fiddly to get out of Requiring a press-and-hold on the back and task switcher buttons simultaneously.
Task Switcher with pinning
Quick trigger is Asus' answer to the problem of handling large single-handedly devices. It's evoked with a double tap on the home button, Provided you've enabled it first in settings. What it does is shrink the entire interface to a portion-of the-screen, this housing is resizable and can be moved around to suit left or right handed use. Very similar '' to what Samsung introduced with the Note series.
With The touchscreen Always-on for the double-tap-to-wake feature, Asus Laptops ulcers to implement a few other nifty shortcuts. For example, drawing the letter "C" on the screen while it's sleeping will wake the phone up and straight launch the camera app. "W" launches the browser and presumably stands for Web. While the characters are preset and you get six or Them, you kan assign ny app or your choice to Any letter - very convenient!
The Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML stands avant us after the rigorous battery of tests, keeping proven Itself as the smartphone it was advertised to be - a balanced midrange offering therein are easy on your wallet. Its good looks and solid build are complemented by proficient hardware, but the smartphone is not without shortcomings her.
One call the Nov. 2 Zenfone an LG copycat, as it's clear where the designers port Looked for inspiration. The volume rocker on the back, together with the cover's texture scream LG G3, but ook as the Zenfone 2 looks great and Nov. Suitable for a premium handset.
The 5.5-inch display is not overly bright, but well out great colors and the FullHD resolution is still plenty sharp at this diagonal. Battery endurance is not anything special but the second run Zenfone still two and a half days overall and on-screen times are around the 8-hour market. That is, if you refrain from using Asus' own browser, which kills the battery in no time.
The smartphone's camera are proving to be the major letdown herewith image quality does not match that his aspirations. Noisy, Watercolor-like images with insufficient detail leave a lot to be desired. Video output builds on that bath impression and is far from 1080p content from the leading offerings on the market.
Key Findings test
The build is solid, the plastic back sports a brushed metal effect and looks high-end, without breaking the bank. The back is Removable, but the battery is not. The top-mounted Power key is a fuss, Tap to Wake saves the day;
The display is sharp, colors are vivid, but also customizable, viewing angles are good; on the bath side, it's slightly dim at max brightness and contrast are not impressive Either
Battery life is not spectacular, but a 59-hour endurance rating is yield yield acceptable these days. Stay away from the Asus Browser though, as therein app drains more power than it Should; the fast charging feature really does work, hitting 60% in 40min ('' You can check out how it Performed in real life in our Battle of the fast chargers );
The Dual SIM, Dual Standby capability will please users or multiple carriers, second slot is limited to 2G though
ZenUI consistent, looks and feels fluid and offerings a range of customizations, not present in stock Lollipop
The Intel Atom Z3560 coupled with 2GB of RAM offers solid performance, on par with the likes of LG G2 and G3 and the Galaxy Note 3
Capable gallery, image editor and music player; though video player is basic at best and severely limited codec support available
Audio quality is excellent, and excursions with the headphones and-als hooked to an external amplifier
Unsatisfactory camera output from the main unit 13MP - colors are good and exposure is accurate, but the images come out noisy and subject knowledge in detail;
Video recording is capped at 1080p @ 30fps and resolves Hardly the best level of detail
The competitors of the Zenfone 2 ZE551ML are largely dependent on where you are in the world, and the reason is two-fold. First, the availability of its Rivals is largely market-dependent, and secondly the Zenfone 2 is quite differently priced in Different parts of the globe. What can be had in musts of Asia for the equivalent of $ 220 will retail in Europe for around € 300.
The LG G2 is among the top competitors the Zenfone needs to face. At 5.2 inches, the G2 has a slightly narrower than the screen Zenfone 2. It also packs a superior camera with optical Image Stabilization. The Zenfone 2 consistently beats it in benchmarks and comes with dual SIM slots and microSD expansion, and The G2 is Lacking in bothering aspects.
Samsung's Note 3 Neo à-screen size, but at 720p it's not as sharp, but it is nonetheless AMOLED. The Note 3 Neo is not as powerful as the Zenfone 2 in benchmarks, but it has a stylus and a Removable battery. There's also a version Duos For those who consider the dual-SIM capability to be a top priority. Its price in Asia is close to the equivalent of $ 300, so it commands a significant premium over the Zenfone 2. In Europe it can be had for around € 300 making it as expensive as the Zenfone 2.
The HTC Desire is 820 Other viable proposition in the midrange phablet world and it's 720p at 5.5 inches. It comes with dual SIM flavor too and has a microSD slot. An 8MP camera Nov front sway the more narcissistic folk, ITT direction. While it '' may be priced on par with the Zenfone 2 in Europe, it's more expensive in Asia Substantially, as regional considerations comes JSON play once again.
HTC Desire 820
With The invites no longer that much of an issue, the OnePlus One is still a strong one Contender on Despite a recent Price increase. It offers a screen size and the resolution dan compositie in the Zenfone 2 but you need to live with a single SIM and no microSD slot. The 16GB / 64GB versions cost € 300 / € 350 in Europe and $ 300 / $ 350 in Asia as the Zenfone 2 can Easily tasks on the One in everytime market.
The Oppo Find 7a recently got a price cut and can now be had for € 350 with a whole bunch of accessories, making it worth your while. It has the co-sized 5.5-inch 1080p display, and a microSD slot available as well, but no second SIM LOCK . Video recording goes up to 2160p on the Find 7a, unlike the Zenfone 2's mediocre 1080p.
Oppo Find 7a
The Zenfone 2 is a feature-rich package with a semi-premium design, dual SIM flexible and plenty of power for daily tasks. All of that comes at a compelling price, too. How far up your shortlist it will end up depends largely on how willing you are to live with less than ideal camera output.
Obviously, the spot where you are in the world will play a chief role as well, with more value to be found in the Zenfone 2 ZE551ML on its home continent Rather than outside of it. Either way, the smartphone has enough merit to grab a chunk of the midrange Crowded