ASUS has just taken the wraps off its new ZenFone 2 flagship, the first smartphone in the world to feature 4GB RAM. The new device, which has already picked up a 2015 iF Design Award for its outstanding design, is the epitome of 'affordable luxury and performance.'
Revealed at Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2015), the ZenFone 2 impresses in both form and function sporting the signature metallic concentric circle design that's an ASUS trademark.
It also impresses in the performance department, boasting the latest quad-core Intel Atom Z3580/Z3560 processor, mated to a high performance PowerVR Series 6 - G6430 GPU.
If you currently own a ZenFone (or even if you're don't) and are looking to upgrade, here are five top reasons why the ZenFone 2 will be perfect for you.
#1 Design and build
From its attractive brushed metal finish to its curved, ergonomic back plate, the ZenFone 2 surpasses expectations in terms of style and finish. It looks much more expensive than it actually is. It's also amazingly thin --- topping out at just 3.9mm at its thinnest edge.
The curved back fits perfectly in your palm, and because of the most minimum of bezels, you get a 72% screen-to-body ratio that maximises the display in a 5-inch body form factor. New attractive colours and some stylish new backplates makes it a highly desirable device.
#2 Amazing camera
It may not pack the most megapixels into its shooter, but the 13MP f/2.0 main camera impresses in many ways. Coupled with the famed PixelMaster 2.0 technology that absorbs 400% more light, it "lets you see what others can't see." You'll need to see it to believe it but I haven't seen such great low light performance since the Lumia 1020/1520.
HDR and Super HDR modes also impress, delivering balanced photos even in the most contrast-heavy, starkest of conditions.
Low Light Mode is remarkably good, returning visible images even in the dark.
#3 Performance, performance, performance
The latest Intel Atom Z3580 and Z3560 power the new ZenFone 2, a high performance SoC that delivers outstanding compute performance. Coupled with up to 4GB RAM, the ZenFone 2 breezes through your daily tasks, photo and video processing, multitasking and more. 3D gaming performance is also assured with the built-in PowerVR Series 6 - G6430 GPU.
In fact, this combo can outperform other platforms with more cores.
# It's all about you
ZenUI is ASUS' intuitive, minimalist and fluid user interface running on top of Android 5.0 Lollipop. The UI is light and simple to use, with less bundled bloatware that plagues other smartphones.
If you do wish to extend or enhance features in ZenUI you can though, because ASUS has made available over 30 ZenUI apps and extensions downloadable for free on Google Play.
ZenMotion lets you activate functions while at the lockscreen. For instance, draw a 'C' to launch the camera. Or double-tap on the display to unlock the phone.
There's plenty more including ZenLink, Kids Mode, SnapView, One Hand Mode and Trend Micro Security, just to name a few.
#4 Well connected
The ZenFone 2 is a dual-SIM, dual-active (DSDA) device supporting LTE Cat4 for data download speeds of up to 150Mbps. It also gets dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, NFC, and 5 satellite navigation system (GPS, GLONASS, QZSS, SBAS, Beidou).
#5 Affordable, value-packed
The ZenFone 2 is an outstanding piece of kit. And yet, it doesn't burn a hole in your wallet. In fact, for the 1.8GHz, 5.5-inch HD display, 2GB RAM and 16GB storage variant, you'll be paying less than RM800.
For the top of the line ZenFone 2 that packs a 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage option, you're looking at just under RM1,300. That's outstanding value.
In summary, performance to match the best flagships, and at a wallet-friendly price.
The ASUS ZenFone 2 is expected to debut on Malaysian shores come 9 May 2015. Watch this space for updates.