Asus ZenFone 2 Philippines Price and Release Date, Complete Specs, Features

I've just arrived home from a three-day visit to Indonesia for the South East Asia launch of the Asus ZenFone 2 held at the Grand Ballroom of Pullman Hotel in Jakarta. I'll be posting a separate entry where I'll share more exclusive photos and information about this much anticipated handset that I got during event. But for now, let's talk about this smartphone in the context of its availability in our country.

Asus ZenFone 2 Philippines, Mark Milan Macanas

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

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 critically acclaimed and commercially successful series. The initial model - that has four variants - was officially introduced by Asus Chairman Mr. Jonney Shih at CES 2015 in Las Vegas last January 6, 2015 and was re-introduced in South East Asia last April 22, 2015.

Asus ZenFone 2 Philippines, Asus ZenFone 2

As we've shared earlier on TechPinas, the new flagship smartphone in the ZenFone family - the ZenFone 2 ZE551ML - features an all-new design, has a 13 MegaPixel 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 far more affordable 16GB version. There's an even more budget-friendly version, the 16GB ZE550ML, which has almost the same specs but sports a lower resolution screen.

Update as of May 16, 2015: Asus ZenFone 2 has just been launched in the Philippines. The country gets four official variants with prices ranging from Php 7,995 all the way to Php 14,995. All of these models are now available nationwide through the Taiwanese brand's concept stores and retail partners:

ZE500CL 16GB HD / 2GB RAM / 1.6 GHz Dual Core Intel Atom Z2560 - Php 7,995
ZE551ML 16GB Full HD / 2GB RAM / 1.8 GHZ Quad Core 64-bit Intel Atom Z3560 - Php 9,995
ZE551ML 32GB Full HD / 4GB RAM / 2.3 GHZ Quad Core 64-bit Intel Atom Z3560 - Php 13,995
ZE551ML 64GB Full HD / 4GB RAM / 2.3 GHZ Quad Core 64-bit Intel Atom Z3560 - Php 14,995

Asus ZenFone 2 Philippines, Asus ZenFone 2

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

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."

Asus ZenFone 2

"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," the Taiwanese company adds.

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 making it more energy-efficient and fluid.

Asus ZenFone 2

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

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.

Right now, we are still waiting for the company to disclose the official SRP of this much-awaited release in this region but according to our reliable sources, the handset should become available in the Philippines within May to June 2015 with price tag starting at around Php 9,000 to Php 10,000 for the 16GB model. I will be updating this entry regularly until the formal launch of this smartphone in the country so stay tuned.

Update as of 1:51 PM Manila Time, April 21, 2015: Asus has just announced the official suggested retail prices of the three variants of ZenFone 2 in Indonesian Rupiah ~

Asus ZenFone 2 Philippines

All Asus ZenFone 2 ZE551ML 16GB version with Quad Core 64-bit 1.8 GHz Intel Atom Z3560 chipset and 2 GB of RAM will go for 2,999,000 Indonesian Rupiahs (or around Php 10,710 with current conversion) while 32GB and 64GB versions with Quad Core 64-bit 2.3 GHz Intel Atom Z3580 chipset and 4GB of RAM will sell for 3,999,000 and 4,499,000 Rupiahs (or roughly Php 14,282 and Php 16,607), respectively. There's a more affordable ZE551ML 16GB variant with just an HD display (as opposed to Full HD on ZE551ML) that will be available for only 2,699,000 Indonesian Rupiahs or roughly Php 9,629. (Note that Indonesian Rupiah to Philippine Peso converted amounts are not yet the official SRPs of ZenFone 2 variants in our country.)

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 ZE551ML: 5.5 inches (~403 ppi pixel density), 1080 x 1920 pixels, IPS+, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, Gorilla Glass 3
ZE500CL: 5.5 inches (~267 ppi pixel density) 720 x 1280 pixels, IPS+, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, Gorilla Glass 3
Processor ZE551ML : 16GB version: Quad Core 64-bit 1.8 GHz Intel Atom Z3560 chipset with PowerVR G6430 GPU
ZE551ML : 32GB and 64GB versions: Quad Core 64-bit 2.3 GHz Intel Atom Z3580 chipset with PowerVR G6430 GPU
ZE500CL : 16GB version: Dual Core 32-bit 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Z2560
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 ZE551ML
Main: 13 MegaPixels, 4208 x 3120 pixels, autofocus, Dual Tone LED flash
Front: 5 MegaPixels

Main: 8 MegaPixels 3264 x 2448 pixels, autofocus, Dual Tone LED flash
Front: 2 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 ZE551ML: Non-removable 3,000 mAh Li-Po battery
ZE500CL: Non-removable 2,500 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
South East Asia ~ April 22, 2015
Philippines ~ May 15, 2015
Availability Philippines: May 16, 2015
Price Update as of April 21, 2015 ~
Official SRP in Indonesian Rupiah (280 INR = Php 1)
16 GB with 1.8 GHz Quad Core 64-bit Intel Atom Z3560 chipset: 2,999,000 (Guesstimate: Php 10,710)
16 GB with 2.3 GHz Quad Core 64-bit Intel Atom Z3580 chipset: 3,999.000 (Guesstimate: Php 14,282)
32 GB with 2.3 GHz Quad Core 64-bit Intel Atom Z3580 chipset: 4,499,000 (Guesstimate: Php 16,607)

Official SRPs in the Philippines ~
16 GB with 1.6 GHz Dual Core Intel Atom Z2560 chipset and HD Display ~ ZE500CL : Php 7,995
16 GB with 1.8 GHz Quad Core 64-bit Intel Atom Z3560 chipset ~ ZE551ML: Php 9,995
32 GB with 2.3 GHz Quad Core 64-bit Intel Atom Z3580 chipset ~ ZE551ML : Php 13,995
64 GB with 2.3 GHz Quad Core 64-bit Intel Atom Z3580 chipset ~ ZE551ML : Php 14,995