Asus ZenFone 2 ZE500CL vs ZE551ML : Specs Comparison Table, How Exactly Are These Models Different?

"Sir, why is ZE500CL more affordable than ZE551ML?"

"Sir Mark, how exactly is Asus ZenFone 2 ZE500CL different from ZE551ML?"

"Does ZE500CL also have PixelMaster technology?"

Asus ZenFone 2

These are only some of the questions that Pinoy Asus fans have been asking me ever since the much-talked-about ZenFone 2 was launched in the country last May 16, 2015.

You see, the Philippines gets four official models of the Asus ZenFone 2 with SRPs ranging from Php 7,995 all the way to Php 14,995. That's quite a lot so I totally understand why some consumers are a bit confused about the variance between each version.

There's the 16GB ZE500CL that sells for Php 7,995. And we have the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB ZE551ML models that go for Php 9,995, 13,995, and Php 14,995 respectively.

Asus ZenFone 2
On the outside and with their screens turned off, all of these models look exactly the same.

All the above-mentioned ZenFone 2 versions are now available through the Taiwanese brand's concept stores and retail partners nationwide.

For the benefit of everyone who has sent me questions as regards what makes ZE500CL more budget-friendly than ZE551ML, I made this side-by-side specs comparison table as reference.

TechPinas Smartphone Technical Specs Comparison Table (TSTSCT)
Name Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551MLAsus ZenFone 2 ZE500CL
Type Slate Form Factor (Full Touchscreen)
Price Category Midrange
Dimensions152.5 x 77.2 x 10.9 mm148.1 x 71.5 x 10.9 mm
Weight 170 grams155 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), Full HD 1080 x 1920 pixels, IPS+, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, Gorilla Glass 35 inches (~294 ppi pixel density) HD 720 x 1280 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
16GB version: Dual Core 32-bit 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Z2560
RAM 16GB version: 2 GB of RAM
32GB and 64GB versions:
4 GB of RAM
2 GB of RAM
Internal Storage 16GB/32GB/64GB options, expandable via microSD card slot supporting up to 64GB16GB, expandable via microSD card slot supporting up to 64GB
Camera Main: 13 MegaPixels, 4208 x 3120 pixels, autofocus, Dual Tone LED flash, PixelMaster
Front: 5 MegaPixels
Main: 8 MegaPixels, 3264 x 2448 pixels, autofocus, Dual Tone LED flash, PixelMaster
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 Non-removable 3,000 mAh Li-Po batteryNon-removable 2500 mAh Li-Po battery
Uptime TBD
Value-Added Features Zen UI, PixelMaster camera, Affordable price tag; Top-notch specs, Fast Charging Technology
Announcement CES 2015 ~ January 6, 2015
South East Asia ~ April 22, 2015
Philippines ~ May 16, 2015
Availability May 16, 2015
Price 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
16 GB with 1.6 GHz Dual Core Intel Atom Z2560 chipset and HD Display ~ ZE500CL : Php 7,995

Studying the table, it's easy to spot the six departments where ZE500CL is inferior specs-wise compared to the more expensive variants.

1. While ZE500CL's display is not only smaller - measuring only 5 inches across - but the panel also only has 720 x 1280 pixels or HD resolution as opposed to Full HD or 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution of the 5.5-inch screen on all ZE551ML models.

2. The Php 7,995 variant is powered by a mere 32-bit Dual Core 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Z2560 chipset. In contrast, all ZE551ML versions are equipped with a 64-bit Quad Core processor -- albeit the 16GB model's chip is less powerful.

3. ZE500CL's only has an 8 MegaPixel autofocus main camera while all ZE551ML's main shooter has a 13 MegaPixel sensor.

4. ZE551ML models are better at taking selfies as they have a 5 MegaPixel front cam versus the 2 MP snapper on ZE500CL

5. The most budget-friendly model's battery has a smaller capacity at 2,500 mAh compared to the 3,000 mAh packs of all ZE551ML variants.

6. Finally, ZE500CL (just like ZE551ML 16GB) only has 2 GB of RAM for multitasking, which is a mere half of what's on the two most expensive models.

Asus ZenFone 2
It was Asus CEO Mr. Jerry Shen's idea to put 4GB of RAM on the 32GB and 64GB ZE551ML models. Having more RAM means that the handsets can run more applications at the same time with less lags and stuttering. On top of that, this also helps improve uptime as the chipset and other other resources are not so strained when running multiple apps. Personally, I think the 4GB of RAM is the most iconic or most special feature of the ZenFone 2 and hence, I would advise that if you've decided to spend your hard-earned money to get this release, then you better get any of the two variants that have this specs enhancement.

Asus ZenFone 2
Both ZE500CL and ZE551ML support Cat4+ LTE-A connection

Asus ZenFone 2
The Php 7,995 Asus ZenFone 2 ZE500CL front and back cameras will give you lower resolution shots compared to that of ZE551ML variants but all ZenFone 2 models actually have Asus' PixelMaster imaging technology which greatly boosts the low-light performance of handsets' shooters, delivering bright images even when there's little ambient light available.

Asus ZenFone 2
Putting color (and texture) variance aside, all Asus ZenFone 2 models look identical -- even if they have different internal specifications. Their design identity employs iconic Zen elements, including the 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
Asus and Intel Executives during the ZenFone 2 Launch in South East Asia held in Jakarta, Indonesia last April 21, 2015.

Let me know if you have more questions about the Asus ZenFone 2 ZE500CL and ZE551ML models and I'll forward them to our friends from Asus Philippines to be answered. If you're already a fellow ZenFone 2 owner, let me know your thoughts about your new handset via our comments section below.