ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser is the new medium to low end smartphone of the taiwanese manufacturer, available in two different versions, with 5 or 5.5 inches. The data sheet is balanced, as well as the official price: 199 euros for the “small” version (the subject of this test) and 249 for one on the diagonal. As the name suggests, Asus is focusing on the presence of a camera with auto focus at laser to differentiate this Terminal compared to the competition.
The Zenfone Laser, 2 from 5 sec (ZE500KL), integrates a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset 410, therefore a 1.2 GHZ quad-core processor with 2 GB of RAM and graphics card Adreno 306. 8/16 GB storage is integrated, expandable via microSD slot, while the screen is an LCD Panel 1280 × 720 pixel HD resolution.
The phone supports dual SIM (micro), with LTE data networks. Antennas Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS, but not the NFC. The ambient light sensor, as well as the electronic compass.
The rear camera is from 8 Megapixel camera with autofocus and dual LED flash, laser, while the front is from 5 Megapixels. The battery is from 2070 mAh and can be replaced.
The build quality of the Asus Zenfone 2 Laser is remarkable for a smartphone of this cost. The phone is surrounded by a thin but strong metal frame, it features a front reasonably clean and back housing made of plastic with a textured rubberized, favoring grip and makes it pleasant to the feel.
From a design perspective, Asus has made some special options: the power button is on the top of the phone, while the volume rocker is on the back. Both keys are quite accessible, but perhaps less convenient than traditional saddle.
The three keys are capacitive screen bottom of Android, firm and not back-lit. Are 10.5 mm x 71.5 x 143.7 measurements, weight 140 g: not the smallest ever seen in a phone from 5 inches but still adequate.
Android OS 5.0 is installed with a customized quite invasive and not completely finished by ASUS. The phone is provided with an abundance of pre-installed applications (between managers of energy saving, file manager and various calibration software) and additional commands, which are likely to weigh down the user experience, especially for the less expert public.
With one swipe down performed on screen, for example, you open the quest: an interesting function, but often it ends up turn it on when you want to open the notification bar and controls. The interface isn’t perfect, between texts and references unlikely. Overall, there is more to ripen.
From the point of view of overall performance, the Asus Zenfone Laser 2 leaves no wishes unfulfilled. All operations are very smooth (for a terminal of this band), launching applications is quick enough and even Web browsing in Chrome is agreeable. The gaming power is modest, but large enough to handle the most common 2D games. Of course, those who wish to do 3D gaming pushed on their smartphones will have to look elsewhere.
The real surprise of this phone is its screen: while counting on a 1280 × 720 pixel resolution only, is really quite pleasant. The brightness, color, contrast and viewing angle are very good, better than average category. The lack of 1080 p is not felt practically never, since all images are defined and very legible.
Unfortunately, the audio is diametrically opposed: the single speaker connector on the rear of the device is in fact really anemic, with a maximum volume too low. Media usage is unpleasant, but especially the risk is to not hear alarms and alarms, or do not understand the directions of the Navigator in your car.
Improved also the autonomy: moderate usage reaches the end of the day without much trouble, but given the low consumption of the chipset, 720 screen and large physical size, it would be possible to do much better.
The camera is the appearance of this smartphone that Asus has advertised more, but unfortunately proves disappointing. Laser af is fast for the price range, but not surprising, and sometimes tends to cheat, emitting a beep for confirmation before you have actually produced a sharp image.
The camera app is very deep (even too much for the audience of the laity) and allows you to manually set a lot of options. What is missing, though, is the actual photo quality. The shots are indeed inadequate under more or less all points of view: detail, color and especially contrasts leave much to be desired. In General, pictures are overly full and saturated, very unrealistic, with shadows nerissime and skies burnt, even in backlit situations. Even videos 1080 p are plagued by the same problems.
It’s a shame because Asus pointed definitely much on this aspect, to the point where even some nice photographic accessories like an external flash very powerful (for the average smartphone) or a nice circular design spotlight.
The Asus Zenfone 2 5 inch in its Laser version is a smartphone with great strengths and great weaknesses. The build quality, design and the pleasantness of the screen are great, better than what is generally offered in this price range. Even the baseline performance are balanced and pleasing.
The experience of everyday use, though, is burdened by a rather invasive software customization and not excellently finished. Even the low volume of the speaker can be problematic, for example, making it difficult to use as a Navigator in the car. The real surprise is negative the camera: the shots captured are unpleasant, even for a budget phone.
The price of 199 euros overall is not excessive, but the advice is to carefully evaluate strengths and weaknesses before launching in purchase.