Asus, traditionally known as a motherboard and laptop manufacturer, surprised all with the launch of their Zenfone series, which stormed the market with its value for money. In fact, the series led to highend features trickling down to affordable smartphones.
The Zenfone 2, launched in the first quarter of this year, boasted a category-leading 4GB RAM and variants suiting every user. The devices ranged from Rs.12,000 to Rs.22,000. With the Zenfone 2 Laser, Asus has enhanced the camera capabilities in an aff ordable smartphone promising to provide a class-leading battery life.
Design and Build Quality
The Zenfone 2 Laser is built similar to the other phones in Zenfone 2 series. The volume rocker/shutter release button is at the back, and the back panel is curved. The device is designed well, and the fact that it has been recognised with the 2015 iF Design Award, shows its brilliance in design. The edges of the phone are just 3.9mm thick, and the back cover is matte-finished like the Zenfone 5. At the rear are the camera fl anked by the LED unit and the laser beam emitter and the volume control/shutter release button below this. Overall, the device is designed very well with a fairly good build quality.
The Zenfone 2 Laser works on Android platform and the current version is 5.0 (Lollipop). Unlike the previous versions of Zenfone, which featured Intel Atom processors, Asus has switched to a 64 bit Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor in the Laser, probably to bring down the cost and for better power saving features. Each core is clocked at 1.2 GHz. The processor is paired with an Adreno 306 GPU. Th e device has 2GB LPDDR3 RAM and uses 16GB eMMC Flash memory for internal memory (ROM). In addition to this, the Laser has a memory slot that accepts a MicroSD card up to 128 GB.
The device has dual Micro SIM slots and both of them support 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. However, it is on dual standby confi guration, which means you have to specify which one can access calls, and which one should be on standby. The networks supported are WCDMA and FDD-LTE. It uses LTE category 4, which, Asus claims, will support transfer speeds of up to 150 Mbps.
The Zenfone 2 Laser uses a 5.5-inch, HD 1280×720, IPS display, protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 4 screen. The screen provides 178 degree wide viewing angle and 267 ppi pixel density to off er crisp images even when viewed from the sides. The Zenfone 2 Laser boasts of Asus’s SonicMaster technology, which claims to deliver crystal clear audio under all environments.
The Laser incorporates a 13.0-megapixel PixelMaster rear camera with an f/2.0 lens. The camera captures images with zero shutter lag. The device uses Laser Autofocus, which measures the distance of the subject using a laser beam, and provides a fast autofocus speed of up to 0.2 sec. The front camera is 5 megapixels and it also has a wide aperture of f/2.0.
Both the cameras use Toshiba sensors (exact specifi cations not known). The camera features Backlight (Super HDR) and Super Resolution modes that can capture images with wide dynamic range and up to 52 megapixel resolution respectively. In the Super HDR mode, the camera creates an HDR image while post-processing. In Super Resolution mode, it combines four 13 megapixel images using Multi-frame Fusion technology to produce a 52 megapixel image with more detail and less noise. The camera also features an interesting Selfie Panorama mode to capture a panoramic selfie simply by tilting the camera from left to right. The Laser also features a full manual mode, which alloys you to take full control of your camera for creative possibilities. The camera comes complete with a dual LED fl ash, which emits a combination of yellow and white light to capture skin tones well. Still images are recorded at a maximum resolution of 4096 x 3072 pixels, while videos can be recorded up to Full HD (1920 x 1080) quality.
The Asus Zenfone 2 Laser is powered by a removable 3000 mAh Li-Polymer battery. The Laser has dimensions of 152.5 x 77.2 x 3.9mm (WxDxH) and weighs 170 g (with battery).
The Zenfone 2 Laser is comfortable to use, especially with the mattefi nished back cover with a rubber-like texture. The phone allows you to tweak the display colours using the Screen Colour Mode option. This is very useful since smartphone displays tend to over-saturate and over-sharpen the displayed images. The Zen UI is easy to navigate and Asus has provided enough customisations to suit your usage. Of the 16GB internal memory, 5.2GB is reserved for system files.