Asus ZenFone 2 2015 Flagship Price Starts at $199, Complete Specs, Photos : Officially Introduced at CES 2015

In 2014, Taiwanese electronics giant Asus was able capture the fancy of many Filipino mobile consumers with its fairly powerful yet very affordable ZenFone line of handsets. In fact, ZenFone 4, 5, and 6 - especially ZenFone 5, which is a TechPinas Badge of Excellence Awardee - were three of the best selling smartphones in Philippines last year; Thanks to buyers who'd clear out stores until the very last stock available.

Asus Zenfone 2

With that mind, I bet a lot of you guys are totally excited about the upcoming Asus ZenFone 2 phablet, which is the 2015 iteration to this very successful series. The initial model - that has 3 variants - was officially introduced by Asus Chairman Mr. Jonney Shih at CES 2015 in Las Vegas yesterday, January 6.

Asus Zenfone 2

The new flagship smartphone in the ZenFone family, the ZenFone 2 features an all-new design, has a 13 MP PixelMaster camera, and comes with uncompromising performance delivered by a 64-bit Intel Atom Z3580 processor with 4GB of RAM for the 32GB and 64GB models and a 64-bit Intel Atom Z3560 chipset paired with 2GB of RAM for the 16GB version, which will sell for only $199 come March 2015. The other two variants will obviously be pricier.

According to Asus, "An Intel LTE-Advanced modem provides ultra-fast and reliable 4G/LTE connectivity. Building on the success of ZenFone and leveraging a quarter-century of engineering accomplishments, the highly-anticipated ZenFone 2 provides a wealth of exciting new features and a refined ASUS ZenUI experience to deliver a new level of empowering luxury to everyone."

Asus Zenfone 2
Actual Photos of the ZenFone 2 by MobileGeeks

Here's how the company describes ZenFone 2's design identity: "ZenFone 2 has a gorgeous, all-new design that employs iconic Zen design elements, such as a sleek, brushed-metal finish and concentric-circle detailing, and introduces new refinements, including a graceful curved case that tapers to an incredibly thin 3.9 mm at the edges. The case provides a comfortable, secure grip, and features an intuitively-placed volume control key on the rear of the phone within easy reach of the user's index finger. This phablet's 5.5-inch Full HD IPS+ screen has an ultra-narrow bezel that reduces ZenFone 2's overall size yet provides a maximized viewing experience."

Asus Zenfone 2
Looking at photos of the handset, though, I think it borrows design elements from at least three popular smartphones from 2014. The back - I think - looks a like HTC One M8 and LG G3 while the face and the tapered sides are reminiscent of Meizu MX4. But that's just me; Let me know your own thoughts about Asus ZenFone 2's design, TP Friends.

Asus Zenfone 2
Asus' very own Zen interface for Android 5.0 Lollipop doesn't only look sleek but now gives users a near vanilla Android experience. Yep, it's not as heavily customized as the UI's of other handset companies.

Let's jump to the phone's imaging capabilities. What's so special about its shooter? ZenFone 2's 13MP PixelMaster camera has a f/2.0 wide-aperture lens lets users quickly and easily capture beautiful, high-resolution photos with zero shutter lag. Camera features including Low Light mode, Backlight (HDR) mode, and Real Tone flash ensure great photos of various subjects even when there's little ambient light available. In front, above the display, ZenFone 2 flaunts a 5 MegaPixel cam for selfies, which is laudable improvement from the 2MP front cam of last year's ZenFone models.

Asus Zenfone 2

Lastly, ZenFone 2 phablet has a non-removable 3,000 mAh Li-Po battery that - Asus says - provides more than enough power to get through the day. This pack also comes with fast-charge technology for 'dramatically-reduced' recharge times.

As of writing, we haven't heard from Asus Philippines on the official release date and pricing details of the ZenFone 2 2015 flagship release in the country. I'm guessing, though, that it would land here come March or April 2015 with price tag starting at Php 9,000 to Php 10,000 for the 16GB model. Here's to hoping it will be a lot more affordable than that since 'pocket-friendly price' is actually one of the factors that made the ZenFone line such a hit in Pinas last year.

TechPinas Smartphone Technical Specs Table (TSTST)
Name Asus Zenfone 2
Type Slate Form Factor (Full Touchscreen)
Price Category Midrange
Dimensions152.5 x 77.2 x 10.9 mm
Weight 170 grams
Available Colors Osmium Black, Sheer Gold, Glacier Gray, Glamor Red, Ceramic White
Operating System Android 5.0 Lollipop with Zen UI
Display 5.5 inches (~403 ppi pixel density), 1080 x 1920 pixels, IPS+, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, Gorilla Glass 3
Processor 16GB version: Quad Core 64-bit 1.8 GHz Intel Atom Z3560 chipset with PowerVR G6430 GPU
32GB and 64GB versions: 16GB version: Quad Core 64-bit 2.3 GHz Intel Atom Z3580 chipset with PowerVR G6430 GPU
RAM 16GB version: 2 GB of RAM
32GB and 64GB version: 4 GB of RAM
Internal Storage 16GB/32GB/64GB options, expandable via microSD card slot supporting up to 64GB
Camera Main: 13 MegaPixels, 4208 x 3120 pixels, autofocus, Dual Tone LED flash
Front: 5 MegaPixels
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 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 Non-removable 3,000 mAh Li-Po battery
Uptime TBD
Value-Added Features Zen UI, PixelMaster camera, Affordable price tag; Top-notch specs, Fast Charging
Announcement CES 2015 ~ January 6, 2015
Availability March 2015
Price Official SRP: Starts at $199 for the 16GB variant
TP Guesstimate: Starts at Php 9,000 to Php 10,000