Last week, we covered the South East Asian launch of the Zenfone 2 in Indonesia. It was our first official glimpse and hands-on experience of the Zenfone 2. We all got the chance to fiddle with the device, and tried to compare it with few of the device we brought along with us – the Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Just today, we’re privileged to acquire a unit for unboxing and review so we can all help you decide in your upcoming purchase. The phone is scheduled to be launched this May, and Asus seems to be teasing when it is. But, we’re taking everything with a grain of salt until we receive an official invitation from them. Today, allow us to share with you some photos and video of our unboxing.
The unit we got is the ZE551ML, Silver, LTE (32gb, 4GB RAM). Asus didn’t give us the official SRP of this variant; but if we’re going to base the price in Indonesian Rupiah that Jerry Shen announced during the launch, this variant should be around PhP14,286 to PhP17,143. That basically costs far less (by 50% margin) than the Samsung Galaxy S6. For your reference, we have also included the unofficial prices of the other variants with the following formula: Price in RP / PhP280 [up to] Price in RP / PhP280 x 20% (for customs tax)
- Zenfone 2 (ZE551ML); 1.8GHz ZE3560, 2GB RAM, 16GB MLC Storage: RP2,999,999 (est. PhP10,715 – PhP12,858)
- Zenfone 2 (ZE551ML); 2.3GHZ ZE3580, 4GB RAM, 32GB MLC Storage: RP3,999,999 (est. PhP14,286 – PhP17,143)
- Zenfone 2 (ZE551ML); 2.3GHz ZE3580, 4GB RAM, 64GB MLC Storage: RP4,999,999 (est. PhP17,858 – PhP21,429)
If you haven’t taken our quiz about what Zenfone 2 variant is best for you, then you better check out this link.
Let me give you a rundown of my first impressions:
- Zenfone 2’s look isn’t too far from the previousZenfone line launched by Asus last year. The most evident different is that they moved the volume rockers at the back of the phone; and the Sleep/Wake button on top of the phone.
- When we talked to Gabriel Padit, Technical PR of Asus Philippines, he said that ZenUI’s Touch Gesture can turn on and off the phone and some applications.
- The back panel is matte-plastic but exudes a faux-metallic look.
- It takes a while to remember that the phone’s volume keys are the back.
- There are a couple of pre-installed applications: Clean Master, TripAdvisor, Gameloft Promotional App, Dr.Safety, Amazon Kindle and Zinio. This list does not include Asus-preloaded applications.
- At boot, the phone has 25GB available internal storage.
- The Phone is USB-OTG capable. It took the phone 4 minutes to read my 16gb USB thumb drive.
- It is Dual LTE capable. We haven’t put in our SIMs as of this writing, but we’ll definitely update you more about this soon.
- Antutu score is 47,129.
- In terms of screen reachability, I’d give it a 4 out 5. I’ve got bigger hands and fingers that’s why my thumb can reach the top and bottom of the screen with none to little effort. If you’ve got small hands, buy your Zenfone 2 case immediately because there’s a chance that you might drop it.
- It’s FAST and LAG-FREE! Seriously, I haven’t seen and tried anything like this before… EVER
There are still tons to discover about the Zenfone 2. While we’re developing this article, please let us know if you have any comments and questions. Now is the time to unleash everything while we all wait for its official release!
Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of gadgetpilipinas.net, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.