The ASUS Zenfone series has been a driving force for Intel’s Atom mobile processors with exception for the Zenfone 5 LTE edition. With the release of the Zenfone 2, they have renewed its partnership with the latest range of Atom processors including its 2.3GHz Quad-Core Z3580 processor that comes with an epic serving of 4GB RAM.
At yesterday’s Zen Festival event in New Delhi, ASUS has announced a new Zenfone 2 Laser line up that runs on Qualcomm’s processors instead. To make it stand out from the current Zenfone 2, it gets an extra Laser AF feature, hence the “Laser” moniker. This allows the camera to focus onto subjects as quick as 0.3 seconds especially under low light. Meanwhile the design is still unmistakably a Zenfone 2 with a curve back and a rear mounted volume rocker. Typical of ASUS, the Zenfone 2 Laser comes in 4 different variants with various screen size ranging from 5 to 6 inches.
5″ Zenfone 2 Laser (ZE500KG/ZE500KL)
It starts with the ZE500KG and ZE500KL that comes with a 5″ HD 720p display. The ZE500KG is the lowest denominator as it supports dual-SIMs with just 3G HSPA+ connectivity. It runs a 1.2GHz Quad-Core Snapdragon 410 processor that’s mated with 2GB of RAM and it comes with either 8GB or 16GB of storage that’s expandable with microSD. For imaging, it gets an 8MP f/2.0 rear shooter with Laser AF and PixelMaster technology. Meanwhile the front gets a 5MP f/2.0 selfie shooter. Powering the device is a 2,070 mAh battery and it runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop with its ZenUI.
The ZE500KL is similar with the ZE500KG but it is slightly better with support for 4G LTE and has a higher resolution 13MP f/2.0 main camera. Another difference is the battery where it is listed to come with either a 2,070mAh unit or a larger 2,400mAh option. These models would compete directly with the likes of the Redmi 2 that are priced under RM500.
5.5″ Zenfone 2 Laser (ZE550KL)
Moving up a notch is the 5.5″ Zenfone 2 Laser which is likely to be the popular choice. The front display is a larger 5.5″ size with a HD 720p resolution and accompanying it is a generous 3,000mAh capacity battery. Under the hood, it is the same story with a Quad-Core Snapdragon 410 processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable storage. It also comes with the same 13MP f/2.0 and 5MP f/2.0 camera combo, dual-SIMs with 4G LTE and a microSD slot supporting up to 128GB cards.
6.0″ Zenfone 2 Laser (ZE601KL)
For those wanting a bigger screen like the former Zenfone 6, there’s also a 6 inch variant and it gets beefier specs with a Snapdragon 615 Octa-Core processor that’s mated to 3GB of RAM. Unlike the previous models, the 6″ ZE601KL gets a Full HD (1920×1080) display for greater clarity. Apart from these upgrades, the rest of the device is the same including its 3,000mAh capacity battery. This could be an affordable alternatives to the larger phablets in the market like the OPPO R7 Plus and Huawei Ascend Mate 7.
The ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser series is an alternative to the current Intel-powered Zenfone 2 line up. Between the 2, the current Zenfone 2 seems to be the better option with more RAM, storage and it offers a higher Full HD resolution on its 5.5″ models. In terms of performance, the Intel Z3580 processor has proven to be superior than Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 processors. Since the Zenfone brand is often associated being cheap and good, the price would be the main deciding factor. The obvious compromise is its lower HD 720p screen resolution especially on the 5.5″ Zenfone 2 Laser model but ASUS tries to make up for it in the imaging department by fitting a Laser AF. For more info, you can check out the respective ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser ZE500KG, ZE500KL and ZE550KL pages.
Which would you pick? The Intel based Zenfone 2 or the Qualcomm powered Zenfone 2 Laser?
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