zenfone 2 Stories February 26, 2016


ASUS’ most recent phone entry to launch may be the much-delayed ZenFone Zoom, but it’s definitely not the most popular offering. Last year, at CES, the ASUS ZenFone 2 was basically the equivalent of this year’s Honor 5X. The phone was praised for its more-than-decent specs at a pricepoint that helped usher in the state of the market today. You can now get a few flagship-level phones at a mid-range price.  And while the ZenFone 2 wasn’t necessarily a flagship or an amazing phone (terrible software and bloatware held it back), it was a great phone for the price.

Now, ASUS has come out to announce the full list of phones that are getting Android Marshmallow in an upcoming update. And in this update, ASUS says it is planning to ditch at least 3 of its default ASUS-branded apps and replace them with official Google apps as default on the phones…

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zenfone 2 Stories January 19, 2016

PSA: ASUS just pushed Android for Work support, bug fixes to the ZenFone 2

ASUS just pushed a maintenance release to the ZenFone 2, according to a thread posted by the company on its ZenTalk forum. The update fixes several issues as you can see below, as well as adds support for Android for Work and a new “Screenshot sound settings” menu.

Here’s the full change log:

1.Fixed video sound issue. 2.Fixed google play stop service . 3.Fixed SD cards issue. 4.Fixed SmartBox not read the phone issue. 5.Fixed can not control the volume of YouTube when using miracast. 6.Fixed the issue of displaying wrong operator name when roaming and searching network. 7.Fixed phone hang-up issue in Russia 8.Fixed PosteMobile NFC issue (ZE551ML only) 9.Support Android for Work 10.Improve ASUS ZenUI Launcher stability 11.Improve Cell Broadcast stability 12.Fix the failure to share Photo Collage picture via Email 13.Several Apps update 14.Improve power usage of Email App

#        New Features 1.Add Screenshot sound settings

As far as we can tell, the update is still Lollipop, and is only going out to the standard ZenFone 2 at the moment. Be sure to let us know in the comments if you’re already seeing the update—my handy ZenFone 2 is still update-less.

zenfone 2 Stories January 5, 2016


Last year at CES, ASUS showed off a number of new competitive smartphones boasting the ZenFone brand name. Among them was the 3x optical zoom-equipped ZenFone Zoom. Since then, we’ve heard very little else about the photography-focussed Android device. Until now…

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zenfone 2 Stories November 16, 2015

ASUS says its ZenFone 2, PadFone S are getting Android 6.0 Marshmallow

ASUS has come out on its ZenTalk forum today to detail which of its phones will be getting the upgrade to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Among others, the list of course includes the ZenFone 2 (which we gave a decent review earlier this year), as well as the ZenFone 2 Special Edition and the recently-announced ZenFone 2 Laser…

Here’s the full list of models as per the forum posting:

We are planning to support the Android M upgrade for below model:

  • PadFone S (PF500KL)
  • ZenFone 2 (ZE550ML/ZE551ML)
  • ZenFone 2 Deluxe / Special Edition (ZE551ML)
  • ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE500KG/ZE500KL/ZE550KL/ZE600KL/ZE601KL)
  • ZenFone Selfie (ZD551KL)

Almost half a year ago, we reviewed the ASUS ZenFone 2 and basically said that it’s definitely a decent phone (which, frankly, was a first from ASUS in my book). We also gave the ZenFone 2E a review, in which I said that it’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect from a ZenFone 2 turned Go Phone. I’ve had my hands on the ZenFone 2 Laser for the last few days, so keep your eye out for that review sometime soon.

zenfone 2 Stories November 3, 2015

ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser: $199 gets you 3GB RAM, octa-core chip, 13MP laser autofocus, more

ASUS’ assault on the mid-range market looks set to continue as the company recently announced the ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser for the US market. It’s a slightly cheaper and less powerful version of the ZenFone 2, albeit one with a renewed focus on camera quality. The manufacturer confirmed the phone’s arrival in an official press release, and promises excellent performance from an affordable smartphone.

Looking at the spec sheet, there’s a lot to admire about the camera-focussed ZenFone. On the front, there’s a 5.5-inch 1080p display protected by Gorilla Glass 4. Inside, it’s powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor paired with Adreno 405 graphics and 3GB RAM. On the back, the wide-angle 13MP camera boasts an f/2.0 aperture and laser-guided autofocus to make focussing really quick.

You’ll be able to buy the phone in either 16GB or 32GB storage variants, both will be expandable up to 128GB via MicroSD and are equipped with a 3,000mAh capacity battery to offer all-day use, and then some. It also has dual SIM support for added flexibility. It’s compatible with all US GSM LTE networks, including AT&T, T-Mobile and their respective prepaid brands and MVNOs. Other notable specs include full HD video recording, a 5MP front facing camera and a front facing flash.

ZenFone 2 Laser runs Android 5.0 with ASUS’ ZenUI 2.0 custom launcher on top and will be available to order from Newegg or ASUS.com at some point this month. $199 gets you the 16GB, while $249 gets you 32GB.

zenfone 2 Stories September 17, 2015

PSA: ASUS now offers a 16 GB ZenFone 2 variant w/ 4 GB of RAM for $229

We got our first look at the ZenFone 2 all the way back at CES 2015 (and we recently gave the ZenFone 2E the review treatment), but now it appears (via Lilliputing), that ASUS is offering yet another model of the phone. While its hefty 4 GB of RAM was previously restricted to the higher-capacity models, ASUS is now offering a 16 GB model with the larger memory option for $229.

If you’re in the market to add a ZenFone to your Android arsenal, but you don’t want to pitch the extra cost for the 64 GB model, this is your handset of choice. Previously, the 16 GB model — which started at just $200 — was offered only with 2 GB of RAM, but now you can double the RAM for $30 more. It’s a no brainer, especially considering 2 GB of RAM is a little on the low side for 2015.

You can grab the new variant — in black, silver, gold, or red — on Amazon for $229 shipped.



zenfone 2 Stories September 9, 2015

5-disruptive phones

I won’t lie, in recent months I’ve found the traditional flagship smartphone market decidedly boring. Although phones from the likes of LG, Samsung, HTC and Sony are all steadily improving all they time and — by all accounts — are very good phones, they all cost a small fortune. The price of flagships from the “big” manufacturers can be anywhere between $500-$900, which is a heck of a lot to spend on a small pocket computer. With the prices steadily rising, it’s created the perfect opportunity for smaller companies to take advantage and release great devices that cost less. In my mind, if it’s below $400 full retail, has a full HD (or better) display and an octa-core processor, that makes it a flagship killing, disruptive smartphone…

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zenfone 2 Stories August 6, 2015

asus feature ZenFone Max and ZenFone 2 Deluxe

asus feature

ZenFone Max and ZenFone 2 Deluxe

Asus has just announced the availability of a huge range of new ZenFone smartphones and ZenPad tablets at its ZenFestival event in New Delhi, India. Among them are the ZenFone Selfie, ZenFone 2 Deluxe, ZenFone 2 Laser and ZenFone Max. A couple of those were already demoed by the company at Computex in June, but now we know which market they’re heading to first: India.

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zenfone 2 Stories June 19, 2015

ASUS Zenfone 2 Review! - YouTube 2015-06-19 12-51-56

Earlier today we shared our full review of the ASUS ZenFone 2 and noted that it was a great budget offering, although it comes with an excessive amount of bloatware installed. XDA users have now discovered, however, how to unlock the device’s bootloader.

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ASUS Zenfone 2 Review! - YouTube 2015-06-19 12-50-17

I first took a look at the ZenFone 2 when it was announced back at CES, and I remember standing at the ASUS press conference actually very impressed with what ASUS managed to do here. While many that I talked to immediately discounted the device — because, well, it is another ASUS ZenFone — I stood behind it as someone who had actually tried it out first-hand. The phone packs some great hardware, and while it was assumed that this was just going to be another underwhelming mid-range handset to clutter the 2015 lineup, I thought this one actually deserved a second look.

Four months after the phone’s announcement in January, it finally went up for sale for North American customers on Amazon. There are two variants here, the first being a lower-end model that costs just $200 and sports 16 GB of storage, and the second is the 64 GB model, coming in at $300. We’re going to be taking a look at the higher-end model in this review, and that’s worth noting because storage space isn’t the only differentiator between these two devices. The high-end $300 model also sports a better processor, as well as that record-breaking 4 GB of RAM…

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zenfone 2 Stories May 18, 2015

Asus ZenFone 2 now available on Amazon in 16GB/64GB variants for $200/$300

As announced would happen earlier today, the Asus ZenFone 2 is now available on Amazon in unlocked and contract-free fashion. The device is available in a 16GB variant for $200 and a 64GB variant for $300.

zenfone 2 Stories February 16, 2015

New photos claim to show Zenfone 2 variant w/ 5-inch screen

New photos have surfaced this morning showing what is purportedly the 5-inch variant of the ASUS Zenfone 2. This device has been rumored for quite some time, but now we have some tangible evidence that it’s likely a legitimate part of the Zenfone 2 lineup. The Taiwanese company announced the Zenfone 2 at CES 2015, but only showed off a model with a 5.5-inch screen.

zenfone 2 Stories January 5, 2015

My Movie 2 2015-01-05 23-22-30.png 2015-01-05 23-23-25

We got a chance to go hands-on this morning with the Asus Zenfone 2 at CES in Las Vegas, and I think I’ve come to the conclusion that this is one of the most notable smartphones to ever come from the Taiwanese company. Forget the fact that this device is the first smartphone in the world to come with 4 GB of RAM and consider this: At $199, this device, even without its headlining feature (which the base model is notably lacking anyway), is now by far the best $199-level phone on the market. expand full story

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