It’s been called a game changer sight unseen, not in the least by me! And you know what? After using it for a few days I’m convinced it deserves to be. No it’s not perfect, but nothing is, not even that fancy iPhone 6 Plus, and this wonder of tech does a lot that that piece, at almost FOUR times mind you, the price doesn’t!
There are plenty of places on the web to read up on the boring details: 1080P screen, 2GB of RAM (double what the iPhone 6+ has!), 13MP camera, modern quad core SOC. The screen is somewhat dimmer than the latest and greatest, but trust me, it looks excellent! It runs Android 5 with Asus’ software, called Zen UI, on top. I was worried about that, as many manufacturers really overdo it and I prefer the esthetics of plain Android, but I have to say: Asus did a fine job actually! And it’s doing lots of software updates, improving this thing with every version. Some of the earlier reviews complained of bad pictures, but the camera has seen MAJOR improvements and the ‘low light’ mode is brilliant!
I did install the Google Now launcher, but am using Asus’ email, contacts and calendar apps. They’re excellent! One of the great things about Android is that you can choose your default apps of course, unlike in the land of the Fruit. Another awesome thing right out of the box: this thing supports recording your calls! It’s built right in to the dialer! Voice recognition is beyond excellent, although speaker is not the best. It’s fine, but I have heard better. USB OTG: works like a dream, just plug in a USB stick or HD and use the File Manager App that comes with phone, just like you would on a regular computer. It evens allows me to access my shared drives on my main machine through Wifi.
Here’s another awesome feature: this phone supports dual SIM cards! As I moved my home line to an AT&T mobile, and my main line is on T-Mobile, I can now be connected to two separate providers. Each SIM is individually controllable too, although only the first can provide data connectivity. You can text and call through either though.
All in all, the Zenfone 2 is an incredible deal. Even its construction, while not top-of-the-line milled aluminum, is fine; it feels great in the hand, and does not flex. It always cracks me up when people who sing the praises of the mighty iPhone and its fancy materials, cover it up in some ugly case; cause they can’t afford to buy a new one if they break it! Like the grandma, who put plastic over her good couch, they probably made fun of.
Zenfone 2 runs all software I tried as fast as anything I’ve seen, and even though the GPU might not be the fastest, every game I’ve tried runs perfectly smooth, including GTA. The quad core CPU ATOM in here IS as fast as anything out there and makes it a joy to use. All in all, this thing is better than I had even hoped and all those three-and-a-half star reviews out there are, in my opinion, wrong. It might warrant that rating if it were $750 like the iP6+, but for $199??? This is better than 5 star material baby!