Announced at the Consumer Electronics Show(CES 2015) in January, the new ASUS ZenFone 2 will make an official appearance in the Southeast Asian region this Tuesday, 22 April 2015. The regional media launch will happen in Jakarta, and I'll be bringing you updates, hands-on reviews and live coverage together with network counterparts SoyaCincau.com, TheSkop and TheHypedGeek.
The ZenFone 2 is the most premium and largest of the ZenFone range --- packing a 5.5-inch (ZE551ML) or 5-inch IPS FHD display (403PPI) protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and powered by the latest Intel Atom Z3580 (quad-core 2.3GHz) or Z3560 (1.8GHz) mated to a PowerVR G6430 GPU.
The top-of-the-line variant has the distinction of being the first device in the world to pack 4GB RAM.
Design has been a hallmark of the successful ZenFone range, and the ZenFone 2 continues this tradition. It picked up the 2015 iF Design Award recently for its product design.
The ZenFone 2 has an incredibly slim profile, with a curved, tapered design and measuring 3.9mm at its thinnest edge. Its Ergonomic Arc design is reminiscent of the LG G3 series, and incorporates a physical rear key which enables you to snap selfies or adjust volume.
ASUS's signature brushed metal and iconic concentric circles returns, a result of precision diamond-cutting technology with a varying spin pitch of 0.13mm between each brush stroke.
The ZenFone 2 achieves a remarkable 72% screen-to-body ratio, with a bare minimum bezel width that fits a 5.5-inch display into a 5-inch device frame.
The famed ASUS PixelMaster camera is back to impress with a 13MP f/2.0 rear camera with autofocus and dual-tone LED flash. The front gets a 5MP unit, more than sufficient for crisp selfies and video chats.
All the good things that should be in a modern smartphone is there --- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP and EDR; A-GPS, GLONASS, NFC and FM radio.
There's a non-removable 3,000mAh battery that should translate into a full day's worth of use. The battery supports fast-charging, with a claimed 60% charge in 40 minutes.
The ZenFone 2 runs Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box with Zen UI.
There's a selection of colours to choose from including Osmium Black, Sheer Gold, Glacier Gray, Glamour Red and Ceramic White with matching ASUS ZenUI themes.
For those who want an even more personal touch, there's an exclusive Transfusion and Illusion Series of back overs to pick from.
Pricing and availability
The ZenFone 2 retails for $290 (RM1,300) in Taiwan and we can expect pricing to be more or less in the RM1,200-1,300 range in Malaysia. ASUS however, has the tendency to shock and undercut competition, so we may very well be surprised. All will be revealed at the launch on 23 April. So hang tight.