After storming the market by Zenfone 2 with 4GB RAM phone, Asus launched different variants of Zenfone series and Zenfone 2 Laser is one of them priced under Rs. 10K category. And this phone is not just a lower spec version of Zenfone 2, rather as per his name, it does have a laser auto-focus camera under a budget phone category and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor unlike their predecessor models of Zenfone which had Intel processors on it. We have used this phone for few days and let’s check it out more about the phone in this review.
Asus Zenfone 2 Laser Review
Build and Design
Asus Zenfone 2 Laser looks very similar as of Zenfone and have similar dimensions and weight. Although this phone have 5.5inch display size in horizontal, yet Asus ensured that overall dimensions of the phone must be comforting and it’s handling should not have any issue. That’s why, overall it has a 72% screen to body ratio.
Speaking of display, it’s a 5.5inch IPS HD display which offers a vivid screen, good brightness level for outdoors and great viewing angles. If you have an expectation of a full-HD display, not to forget that you’re looking for a budget phone. And yet this HD display performs well in rendering text and graphics and text was readable easily in good sunlight too. The phone display is protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 4 to protect against scratches and ensure an overall good protection to the phone. And i do remember that originally Zenfone 2 was launched with Gorilla Glass 3, so Laser gets a bonus point here. Also the touch response is very good and phone is intuitive in responding to the commands.
Since, because of it’s big sized display, it might not fit small hands of few people, and to tackle this general issue with bigger phones, Asus has included a special mode for single handed usage which can be invoked by double tapping on the capacitive home button of the phone. It’s exactly like Apple’s Reach-ability which activates if it’s enabled in phone settings. But Laser has more as it also offers on-screen navigation keys in single handed mode.
Speaking of design, at front bottom it has 3 capacitive touch buttons for navigation purpose and a metallic strip which gives the same reflective pattern which we have seen in Zenfone 2 other variants. The only thing different is, that capacitive buttons in Laser are not backlit.
Up front, at the right of speaker, it has a 5 MP secondary camera and a notification LED is given on the left.
At top, there’s the power button which is a bit difficult to reach for a normal hand, but then you can turn-off and turn-on the screen just by double-tapping on the display. That means you’ll hardly need to use that button ever.
Speaking of the back, it does have a volume rocker buttons at top-center and is just below the camera lens. While this position is already proven to give a good user experience to the consumers, and i have used LG G2 with similar back design for a long time, & can tell you, you’ll easily get used to it and will find it more convenient with time. There’s a dual-tone flash at left of camera lens with laser auto-focus sensor at right.
There’s also a speaker grill at back bottom with Zenfone branding and Asus logo is at center of the phone.
If you open the back cover of the phone, you’ll find a hybrid SIM slot beside volume rocker buttons which is designed to accumulate SIM card and MicroSD card simultaneously with memory card slot being above of SIM card. Other than that, another SIM slot is at right side. Both slots requires micro SIM cards.
Asus Zenfone 2 Laser Software
Asus Zenfone 2 Laser runs Asus custom UI named ZenUI which they have refreshed and updated for Laser. It runs atop of Android version 5.0.2 Lollipop and this version of ZenUI also supports themes. It comes with various pre-installed system applications, unlock gestures and Zenlink apps to easy connect your phone to the PC and other devices.
Although the whole navigation structure of phone is stock android alike, yet Asus has managed to tweaks the looks of ZenUI in a way, that it clearly differentiates itself from other manufacturer’s custom skins or even from stock android. Speaking of pre-installed apps, while some reviewers say those as bloatware, it’s not the way i look at those. Applications like Kids mode, PC link, Setup Wizard, Share link and other few are very useful apps if you look at it on usability purpose. Somehow in daily usage, you do require such features, for which we install 3rd party apps then. It’s all about the perception ultimately.
ZenUI also has a gesture support and double tap to direct unlock if you’re not using any security pin or pattern. Kids mode is another privacy saver app which saves most trouble and gives you freedom of handing over your phone to the kids. In Kids mode, you can allow only selected apps to run and rest of the phone remains password protected.
Also, if you’re gifting this phone to an elder, there is a mode for them too which Asus calls Easy mode. This mode is for those users who don’t use all features of the phones and prefer to keep and use the phone in an old fashioned way. Easy mode converts all app icons to bigger size for better visibility with bigger dialer buttons and offers a grid alike layout for most used apps by those users.
Asus Zenfone 2 Laser Camera
Speaking of camera, it’s one of the finest camera i have seen in this price range category. Laser auto focus can be said as the biggest USP of the camera in this phone. This laser technology can focus on any object in just 0.3 second which is quiet similar with what we have seen in LG G4.
Zenfone Laser has 13MP of primary camera and 5MP at front for taking selfies. It’s rear (primary) camera features a five-prism Largan Lens & Toshiba Sensors and is accompanied by dual-tone LED flash. Again it’s one of the few phones which provides laser auto focus in this price range category.
Upon testing we found that yes, camera’s laser sensor works really well and focus on the object immediately. This ultimately makes easier to take close-ups without any focus issue.
Primary camera has f2.0 aperture which takes some good quality pictures with optimum level of detail and balanced contrast and vivid colors. Even noise in pictures taken in low-light pictures were quiet low and output can be considered as with good quality and resolution. Also dual-tone flash does fills the gap of low-light in a good manner and helps reduce the noise to a very low level.
There’s also a depth mode, which allows to you take pictures with a bokeh effect and let you choose the detail of depth using a slider after hitting the shutter button. And front 5MP camera does a decent work at taking selfies and inbuilt beautification mode will improve your selfie to an good level. Good work Asus!
Asus Zenfone 2 Laser Performance
Being powered by 64-bit 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 Quad-core processor with Adreno 306 Graphics and 2 GB of RAM, this phone is completely fluid in daily usage. There was not even a single moment of lag while navigating menu, launching or switching to apps or playing most high-end games. We were able to play Subway surfer, Temple Run 2, Leo’s fortune or even Asphalt 8 without encountering any jitters or frame drops. Nor this phone heats up during game plays or while watching HD videos. That concludes that this phone do offers good gaming experience.
Zenfone 2 Laser Antutu score was 34020, 651 (single core) & 2479 (multi-core) in Geekbench which are quiet impressive. These scores are better than scores of Moto G Gen 3 scores. However we don’t endorse these benchmark scores, as at most times, real time world performance of the phones are always different.
Asus Zenfone 2 Laser Memory
With 16 GB of internal memory, only 10.8 GB is available to users for installing apps and for multimedia content. While this much storage suffices few, many would like to expand the memory by adding microSD card and this phone supports cards upto 128 GB.
Asus Zenfone 2 Laser Connectivity
While this phone lacks NFC (who requires that?), but it does offers FM radio, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, WiFi and GPS connectivity options. Why i mentioned GPS, it’s because it’s not A-GPS which relies more on network to get a satellite lock. Upon testing, phone was able to lock GPS without seconds. It offers excellent call quality & signal reception & we hardly faced any call drop where cell signal were relatively weaker. We also used 4G on Airtel network in Delhi and were able to get 25Mbps+ speed at few places. For other places, Airtel is to be blamed.
Asus Zenfone 2 Laser Battery
Packed with a 3000 mAh battery, this phone last for more than a full day even if you put the phone brightness at highest level and use 3G most of the time. I was able to spend 1.5 days with mix usage of 4G Plus 3G plus WiFi with moderate usage. That includes 2-3 hours of phone calls, playing games, watching movies and surfing web.
Asus Zenfone 2 Laser Compared with iPhone 6S Plus
|Brand Model||ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser ZE550KL||iPhone 6s Plus|
|Audio||5 magnet speaker|
Asus Zenfone 2 Laser is one of the best smartphone available under Rs 10,000 category. It comes with good hardware specifications, an excellent camera with laser auto-focus (the only phone in this price category with this feature), long battery backup and a big HD display. The biggest rival i see of this phone is Moto G 3rd Gen, but it’s priced Rs 4000 higher than Zenfone 2 Laser. That concludes that this phone is capable of taking budget smartphone segment by storm.