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Asus ZenFone 2 Laser ZE550KL 5.5-inch vs ZE500KL 5-inch Price, Specs, and Features Comparison

At ZenFestival Manila held yesterday in Makati City, Asus Philippines officially announced three new Android handset models under its very popular ZenFone series; One of which is the Asus ZenFone 2 Laser.

Sidenote: I was supposed to be at the event but I got stuck in traffic for more than three hours going from our house in Manila to Green Sun AXON in Chino Roces. It was terrible. And I still feel bad that I missed the chance to interview Mr. Jerry Shen who's one of the coolest tech CEO's ever. Hopefully, I'd finally get the chance to meet him in the next Asus event.

Asus ZenFone 2 Laser ZE550KL 5.5-inch vs ZE500KL 5-inch, Asus ZenFone 2 Laser, Asus ZenFone 2 Laser ZE550KL vs ZE500KL

Anyway, our country will be getting two variants of this particular release: First is ZE550KL which has a 5.5-inch HD IPS display. And second, we have ZE500KL sporting a 5-inch HD IPS panel.

Both versions flaunt the exact same design identity - inspired by the 'arc' form factor of the original ZenFone 2 albeit lacking its 'brushed metal' back plate finish - with differences in heft and dimensions dictated by their screen size.

Asus ZenFone 2 Laser ZE550KL 5.5-inch vs ZE500KL 5-inch, Asus ZenFone 2 Laser, Asus ZenFone 2 Laser ZE550KL vs ZE500KL
Although smaller, ZE500KL's 5-inch screen is more 'pixel dense' as it has the same HD resolution of ZE550KL's 5.5-inch panel. Both displays are protected by scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 4 (with oleophobic coating) that has twice the drop-damage resistance of its predecessor, more than two and a half times the retained strength, and is 85% less likely to break in daily use. (I would like to give credit to Intellect Digest for all photos in this entry.)

The two phones also share the same internal hardware -- headlined by the Quad Core 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex-A53 and Adreno 306 GPU based Qualcomm MSM8916 Snapdragon 410 chipset, 2GB of RAM for multitasking, and 16GB of expandable internal storage.

Asus ZenFone 2 Laser ZE550KL 5.5-inch vs ZE500KL 5-inch, Asus ZenFone 2 Laser, Asus ZenFone 2 Laser ZE550KL vs ZE500KL

Having a larger screen, ZE550KL also comes with a bigger 3,000 mAh battery pack while ZE500KL only has a smaller - albeit also removable - 2,070 mAh pack.

Asus ZenFone 2 Laser ZE550KL 5.5-inch vs ZE500KL 5-inch, Asus ZenFone 2 Laser, Asus ZenFone 2 Laser ZE550KL vs ZE500KL

Now, let's talk about the department where the Laser is supposed to excel: Imaging. These two models have almost similar camera features including the f/2.0 wide-aperture, zero shutter lag, and - of course - laser auto-focus technology that lets you capture crisp and clear images in just 0.3 seconds. Likewise, both have Manual shooting mode allowing the user to tweak or fine tune ISO, shutter speed, focus, and exposure settings to his liking or depending on the shot's requirement.

ZE550KL's 13 MegaPixel main shooter and ZE500KL's 8MP main cam also benefit from Asus' PixelMaster Low Light mode that uses what the company calls 'pixel-merging technology' to capture up to 400% brighter shots even at night or in low-light settings, without the need for a flash! But if you prefer to use flash, ZenFone 2 Laser comes equipped with Dual LED Real Tone flash ensuring warm skin-tone and more accurate color replication.

ZenFone 2 Laser ZE550KL and ZE500KL's PixelMaster cameras also have Super HDR backlight mode and Pixel-enhancing technology to capture brilliant, vivid, and evenly-exposed photos even with challenging backlit scenes such as sunset portraits or if there's bright light source behind the subject.

To help you choose which Asus ZenFone 2 Laser model is right for you, I created this table showing a side-by-side price and technical specifications comparison between the 5.5-inch and 5-inch variants:

TechPinas Smartphone Technical Specs Comparison Table (TSTSCT)
Name Asus Zenfone 2 Laser ZE550KLAsus ZenFone 2 Laser ZE500KL
Type Slate Form Factor (Full Touchscreen)
Price Category Midrange
Dimensions152.5 x 77.2 x 10.8 mm148.1 x 71.5 x 10.9 mm
Weight 170 grams140 grams
Available Colors Pure Black, Glamour Red, Ceramic WhiteBlack, White, Red, Purple, Aqua Blue
Limited: Gold, Silver
Operating System Android 5.0 Lollipop with Zen UI
Display 5.5 inches (~267 ppi pixel density), HD 720 x 1280 pixels, IPS LED Backlit, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, Gorilla Glass 4 with 178⁰ wide view angle5 inches (~294 ppi pixel density) HD 720 x 1280 pixels, IPS LED Backlit, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, Gorilla Glass 4 with 178⁰ wide view angle
Processor Quad Core 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex-A53, Adreno 306 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8916 Snapdragon 410 chipset
RAM 2 GB of RAM
Internal Storage 16 GB of ROM, expandable via microSD card slot
Main Camera 13 MegaPixels, f/2.0 Aperture, 5-element lens, Laser Auto Focus, Dual Color Flash8 MegaPixels, f/2.0 Aperture, 5-element lens, Laser Auto Focus, Dual Color Flash
Front Camera 5 MegaPixels, f/2.0 Aperture, wide-angle 85˚Pano Selfie
Video Capture Full HD 1080p 30 frames per second for main camera, HD for front camera (TBC)
Audio and Video Playback MP3, WAV, eAAC+, FLAC, MP4, H.264
Ports microUSB v2.0, 3.5 mm audio jack
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP, EDR, 3G HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps, HSPA+; LTE Cat4, NFC
GPS Yes, with GLONASS and A-GPS
FM Radio Yes
Sensors Accelerometer, Digital Compass, Proximity, Hall, Ambient Light, Gyroscope
Network 2G GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - SIM 1 and SIM 2, 3G HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100, 4G LTE 700 / 800 / 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1800 / 1900 / 2100 / 2600 (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 17, 18, 19, 20, 28, 29), TD-LTE 1900 / 2300 / 2500 / 2600 (Bands 38, 39, 40, 41)
SIM Card Type Dual microSIM, Dual Standby
Battery Removable 3,000 mAh Prismatic Li-Po batteryRemovable 2,070 mAh Prismatic Li-Po battery
Uptime TBD
Value-Added Features Zen UI, PixelMaster camera, Affordable price tag, Laser Autofocus
Announcement Philippines - August 29, 2015 ~ ZenFestival Manila
Availability First Week of September 2015
Price Php 8,695Php 7,695

In a nutshell: Asus ZenFone 2 Laser ZE550KL has a bigger display, larger battery, and higher resolution main camera but it is also more expensive by exactly Php 1,000 compared to ZE500KL.

Asus ZenFone 2 Laser ZE550KL 5.5-inch vs ZE500KL 5-inch, Asus ZenFone 2 Laser, Asus ZenFone 2 Laser ZE550KL vs ZE500KL

If you ask me which one you should get, I'd tell you that it all boils down to whether you prefer having a lighter, more pocket-friendly smartphone that's ideal for one-handed use or a large phablet that's great for thumb-typing and media consumption. I personally prefer the latter so I would suggest that you spend that additional thousand bucks and go for ZE550KL. But hey, that's just me. Let me know your thoughts about these two in the comments section below.

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